Several years ago I read an interesting article in the US Bowler Magazine. The USBC Equipment and Specifications & Certification Team (ESCT) did an interesting study for a few years on why you sometimes get strikes when the ball is perfectly in the pocket and other times you get robbed. It basically involves pin carry, and bowling ball motion.
Since good pin carry comes down to angles, it's important for you to have a close eye on the ball! During the study, the ESCT used special studio lights and a high speed camera to discover where the bowling balls' precise entry angle and location was on the lane to acquire the most strikes. Write this down in your notebook because it really works! Are you ready?????
They said that strikes will occur most often when "the bowling ball enters the pocket on board 17 1/2 from the highest possible angle for the ball being used"! This below image I got from the article shows that the bowling ball is exiting the pin deck between the 8 and 9 pins slot which causes the greatest pin deflection. When the 3 pin hits into the 6 pin and the 6 pin into the 10 pin, you will get the perfect strike!
If your ball hits the pocket more to the right side of the headpin, it will keep deflecting to the right and exit the pin deck through the 9 pin slot as shown in the next photo. As you can see, the 3 pin is taking out the 10 pin instead of the 6 pin taking it out which is the correct way. (For lefty's, if you hit the pocket more on the left side of the headpin, the 2 pin will be taking out the 7 pin instead of the 4 pin taking it out. When this happens, you end up getting robbed and even though you hit the pocket, the strike may NOT carry.
Ball motion consists of three phases--Skid, Hook, and Roll. and NOT skid, roll, and hook as previously thought. In order for the strike to carry, the ball MUST be in its' "ROLL" phase as it enters the pocket.
If your ball appears to be moving left as it goes through the pins on a high pocket hit for example, then it is still in the "HOOK" phase. When that happens, you may leave a solid 9 pin or 4 pin spare or even a 4-9 or 7-10 split! If this happens, you need to CHANGE your ANGLE. If the ball appears to be deflecting to the right as it goes through the pins, then the ball was in the "Roll" phase too early leaving you with a 10 pin spare, 5-7 split, or a 2-4-5-8 bucket to have to deal with! If this happens, you'll need to adjust by moving to an area with more oil on the lane.
Train yourself to watch the ball carefully and follow its' path as it's going through the pins. Check to see if the ball is entering the pocket at board 17 1/2 and in the hooking phase. It's just a matter of having a "Keen Eye" and being more observant as the article points out.
Join me here next week when I'll be giving you some more"Good Tips" that will help you in improving your game.
Good Luck and High Scoring!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.