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#173505 - 11/29/12 11:34 PM Exotic Finger Pitches
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
Hello friends,

I have recently took over a new Pro Shop in an area I'm unfamiliar with. One thing I've noticed is that people are bringing me balls (that have been drilled by another local guy) with very extreme finger pitches.

I've always used 3/8 left for the left finger and 1/2 right for the right finger.

now, I have never experimented with different lateral pitches, so I'm intrigued by what it affects.

Say I were to go 1/8 right for the left finger and 1" right for the right finger (for a right handed bowler), what would that do?

If I were to go 7/8 left for the left finger, and 0 for the right finger (right handed), what would that do?

What are your finger pitches and why?

And, does anyone know what finger pitches the pros are using? Tommy Jones, Rhino Page, Dan Maclelland, Robert Smith???

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#173509 - 11/30/12 03:58 AM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
Joe Bowler Online   content
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3529
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Using a 31/32 bit for finger inserts, two straight parallel lines with a 1/4 inch bridge and zero pitch would be around 5/8 and 5/8 lateral on both fingers. However, most drillers go with 3/8 and 3/8 lateral for comfort. The fingers are pitched towards each other, but the combined net lateral pitch is still effectively 0. The finger holes touching are not usually an issue unless the holes are drilled very deep.

Last night, I plugged and redrilled a ball for myself with 0 on the middle finger, and 3/4 lateral on the ring finger. Both fingers have 1/2 away from palm. This has a combined net lateral pitch of 3/8 (minus 3/8 on the middle finger, plus 3/8 on the ring finger). The effect is the weight of the ball is now more on the index finger than ring finger. The ball sits higher off my palm. It helps keeps my hand a little more behind and on the inside the ball. I need to confirm via video, but I suspect it trades a little axis rotation for a little more tilt and revs. (Talking fractions here, not suddenly spinning versus rolling the ball). In the meantime, I can feel the weight of the ball more on the pads versus the sides of my fingers, which is good.

In a word, the opposite lateral pitch, 0 ring finger, 3/4 middle finger, would...hurt. For most people, it would pinch the middle finger joint on the thumb side. But, perhaps it would be effective for bowlers with extra large hands that wrap around and palm the ball.

Below are a few links with different pro bowlers' layouts (at least at the time of publication).
Robert Smith - http://www.kegel.net/V3/ArticleDetails.aspx?ID=42
Chris Barnes - http://www.kegel.net/V3/ArticleDetails.aspx?ID=45
Mika Koivuniemi - http://www.kegel.net/V3/ArticleDetails.aspx?ID=44
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#173544 - 12/01/12 12:24 AM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
HughScot Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 206
A/S/L: 72/M/NC
Reading this makes me ask, are you talking fingertip inserts or conventional? If fingertip, I don't see how a pitch would affect one's release since so little of the finger is in the hole. Please explain.

I'm trying to make sure the ball comes off my fingers with as much leverage as possible for better rotation.


Edited by HughScot (12/01/12 12:25 AM)
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#173545 - 12/01/12 01:14 AM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
We're talking about a fingertip grip. With the modern fingertip grip, your fingers go in to the first knuckle. So this, in fact, does make a definite impact on how it feels, and how the ball comes off your hand. I haven't had too much experimentation with finger pitches, so that's why I started this topic.

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#173550 - 12/01/12 02:27 PM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
HughScot Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 206
A/S/L: 72/M/NC
Originally Posted By: Murdershaw
We're talking about a fingertip grip. With the modern fingertip grip, your fingers go in to the first knuckle. So this, in fact, does make a definite impact on how it feels, and how the ball comes off your hand. I haven't had too much experimentation with finger pitches, so that's why I started this topic.


Thanks, as a beginner I have zero knowledge of lateral finger pitches. Never thought of it but I can see where it would make a difference.

So much to learn, so little time.
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Best game 222 league
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#173558 - 12/01/12 04:13 PM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
Fin09 Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 977
A/S/L: 47/M/Virginia Beach, VA
I've never really experimented with different finger pitches, partially because I feel the finger tendons are more likely to be damaged over time if the pitches don't allow for a relaxed feel, or if the fingers would need to get into an unnatural position to get them out of the ball. Be careful with this- you don't want to sustain an injury over this.
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#173561 - 12/01/12 06:30 PM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
Joe Bowler Online   content
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3529
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Just wanted to report back after having a chance today to roll about 7 games with the ball that now has 0 lateral on the middle finger, 3/4 lateral on the ring finger, and both with 1/2 reverse (away from palm). I liked how the ball sat in my hand, and released off of my fingers, but there was an unexpected side effect. It applied pressure to a different part of the base of my thumb where there is no callous. After a few games, it became distracting, and I started shifting the ball around to get a comfortable feel.
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Advice is offered free, as-is, for info only, not a substitute for prof. assistance

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#173562 - 12/01/12 07:06 PM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Joe Bowler]
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
Originally Posted By: Joe Bowler
It applied pressure to a different part of the base of my thumb where there is no callous. After a few games, it became distracting, and I started shifting the ball around to get a comfortable feel.


Yeah, I know when you change your finger pitches, you also need to change your thumb pitch. That's why I'm not in a big rush to try something dramatic.

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#173570 - 12/02/12 07:54 AM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
Joe Bowler Online   content
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3529
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Yes, making any significant changes (grip, layout, form, etc.) is a trial and error process. It's good to have a test ball just for that purpose. A thumb pitch change might also be in order, but the first thing I noticed holding the ball more off of my palm is that it increases my middle finger span, while reducing my ring finger span. I think that tension might have been the reason the base of my thumb felt funny.

I also noticed that because of the difference in spans, 1/2 reverse pitch on both fingers does not evenly distribute the workload between my index, middle, and ring finger. So I will be backing off some of the reverse pitch on my ring finger. My goal is to get more under and on the inside of the ball. But, after trying 3/8 combined net lateral side pitch, I think that might be too much. 1/8 should be enough to get the same effect without such a drastic change.

So, my next experiment will include a few changes, increasing my middle finger span 1/16, reducing my ring finger span 1/16, adjusting my ring finger pitches to 1/4 reverse, 1/2 lateral, and my middle finger pitches to 1/2 reverse, 1/4 lateral. The ball plug is cooking right now.
_________________________
Career (since 2008):
300s: 9
800s: 7
House: 239
Sport: 198

Arcing: 16# Sync, IQ Tour, Advantage, Natural Prl
Angular: 16# HyperCell, Zero Gravity, Byte, Ascent Prl

Advice is offered free, as-is, for info only, not a substitute for prof. assistance

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#173586 - 12/03/12 06:09 AM Re: Exotic Finger Pitches [Re: Murdershaw]
Joe Bowler Online   content
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3529
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Update....Five games with the new grip has me considering updating the rest of my equipment. No issues with the thumb this time. While the changes to the finger span and pitches were more subtle than exotic, they have simultaneously made my grip feel more comfortable with less pressure on the middle finger, and a new, more-under-the-ball feeling as if I could rip the cover off anytime I wanted. While that might only be an additional 25-50 RPMs for me being a stroker, that is the desired leverage feeling.

I did make two other corresponding changes as a result of the new feel. I now hold the ball higher in my stance (more speed = more potential RPMs), with my wrist cupped and the weight of the ball on my other hand (a la Chris Barnes). Also, I took a pair of pliers and Hammer to my Gadget wrist support to straighten out the index finger, and to curve the other fingers to provide more support there instead. Now, when I straighten my wrist, there is a straight line through my wrist, hand, and index finger. That is all the support required. Any more bend there seems to cause over turning/lifting/lofting versus rolling the ball smoothly off my fingers.

I am thinking of taking the test ball to league, and maybe doing some slow motion video, as a final confirmation before plugging and redrilling the rest of my equipment.
_________________________
Career (since 2008):
300s: 9
800s: 7
House: 239
Sport: 198

Arcing: 16# Sync, IQ Tour, Advantage, Natural Prl
Angular: 16# HyperCell, Zero Gravity, Byte, Ascent Prl

Advice is offered free, as-is, for info only, not a substitute for prof. assistance

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