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#173600 - 12/03/12 04:33 PM Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport?
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
I could argue that the balls hook too much and are too dynamic.

My opinion is, you shouldn't be able to have an advantage on the lanes, just because you know a lot about core dynamics and layouts.

My opinion is, that the balls change the lanes too dramatically. The equipment shouldn't change the playing environment.

If we were to take the equipment back 50 years, what would happen??

People would quit. People would quit bowling.

If you forced people to throw away their equipment and start over, they would quit. There are plenty of people that couldn't hook a non reactive ball. There are plenty of people who's game inhibits them from playing straighter lines. They would have to re-learn how to bowl.

My suggestion?

Limit the differentials. Limit the Ra values. Limit the oil ratios. But do it very gradually. instead of maxing the diff at 0.060, max it at 0.055 for a couple years. Instead of letting every proprietor use the absurd oil ratios, max them at 6:1 for a couple of years. Then go to 5.5:1 for a few years.

I'm proposing a gentle wean off. A taper off. So that bowling is saved for future generations.

And when our grand kids ask, "Why do they make the lanes so tough!?"

We can respond, "we tried making them easy, and it just didn't work."

Bowling is in a bad state, but lets turn it around!

Who is with me!?

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#173602 - 12/03/12 05:05 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
Joe Bowler Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3824
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
My two cents ...

The high tech bowling ball did not ruin bowling. My personal record for stringing strikes, 22 in a row, occured at a tournament years ago rolling a hard rubber, no dynamic core, AMF 3-Dot Classic. Fast forward to today, and every year, the Plastic Ball tournament generates a surprising number of high scores.

The counter balance to the bowling ball has always been the oil pattern. At any time, a bowling proprietor or tournament director can nullify the advantages of a high tech bowling ball by putting down a more challenging pattern. I see good bowlers shooting 170's all the time when the lanes get tough.

For years, the pattern has been newer, stronger bowling balls followed by more, heavier oil on the lanes. I believe in the natural course of events, bowling ball technology will reach its maturity, oil patterns will compensate, and the balance will be restored in order to preserve the sport of bowling for future generations.
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#173603 - 12/03/12 05:18 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
10PinGaloot Offline

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 2094
A/S/L: 65/m/ Woodburn, OR
Originally Posted By: Murdershaw
Bowling is in a bad state, but lets turn it around!
Who is with me!?

This is the wrong forum to ask that question.

99% of bowlers are in it for the fun of it. And that's the way it should stay. Just go to any bowling alley on Saturday or Sunday afternoon and see how many parents are taking their kids. Are they competing with them? Heckk no. They're having fun with them.

Most folks don't even own a ball. And those who do could bowl with any sort of equipment and have the same amount of fun, as long as everybody else had the same sort of equipment.

It's only in scratch leagues and competition that anyone complains about the shot.
"If it ain't workin', you're either throwing the ball wrong or throwing the wrong ball."
"Follow the oil!"
"Dry lanes ain't worth a shot!"
"I love the smell of lane conditioner in the morning!"
current avatar is Gabby Hayes. Looks a lot like me! smile

#173604 - 12/03/12 05:26 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
Sure, you can make the lane conditions tough, but after 3 games, the players will just open them up. Let's take the US Open. The shot is perfectly flat. Now, if you put a bunch of amateurs on it, they won't break it down properly and the lanes will stay tough if not become impossible after 10 games. But take the touring pros and put them on it, and you will see the scores steadily increase from game to game. Are they getting better at bowling from game 1 to game 8? No. The lanes simply break down to the right giving them a little miss area when they swing it. That's why Jason Belmonte will go 180, 180, 190, 230, 230, 250, 279. Because the balls have such a dramatic effect, the difficulty of the lanes changes.

The bottom line is that the equipment should not change the playing conditions.

#173607 - 12/03/12 05:56 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
I'm not complaining about the shot. I'm contributing the 50% loss in league bowlers from 1997 to 2007 due to the scoring environment.

League bowlers are in decline, that is a fact! What has changed in the last couple of decades? Why is the PBA forced to buy TV time from ESPN for 100 grand!? When before, ABC PAID the PBA for the rights to have bowling on their network!

Bowling is in a terrible state!

So why are people quitting?

Well, one of the contributing factors is the scoring conditions.

Think of it like this, without competitive bowlers, the PBA won't exist. And if the PBA doesn't exist, there is no pinnacle for kids to strive for. Parents won't get their kids into bowling when there isn't any future. Kids won't want to get any better if there is nothing to aspire to. It's a vicious cycle.

So how do we get more people into bowling? Make it competitive! The more competitive people are, the more they will go bowling! They need to spend money for equipment, lessons, games, ect. They will put money into the bowling industry which will allow more bowling businesses to thrive which will attract more bowlers!

We need to save bowling as a whole!

When a younger bowler works on their game, wants to go pro, and takes a lot of valuable time and effort to try and achieve this, BOWLING GROWS!

But after a while, when that younger bowlers reaches a 220 or higher average in his league, he will feel like he's ready to compete. This is where the bad part happens. He'll go out and bowl a scratch tournament on a much tougher shot, and get his head caved in! All his practice, all his time, all his money was wasted! The THS didn't set him up for success, it set him up for failure! It made him think he was ready, when in fact, he wasn't. he'll bowl a couple more tournaments before he realizes that he can't win and he'll quit.

There is too big of a gap between the good league bowler, and the good tournament bowler. And I've seen too many GOOD people get lost in it and give up.

In golf, everyone can see how deep the bunkers are and how tall the rough is, so they know the pros play on these tougher conditions. But with bowling, the OB is invisible.

There are a lot of reasons why our sport is dying.

I am not concerned with the recreational bowlers. They are not the ones who shape our industry, and no matter what we do, they are not affected.

#173608 - 12/03/12 06:30 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2111
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
I think of these things in terms of gravity. The sun is huge, therefore it has massive gravitational pull. A pebble is tiny, and its gravitational pull is inconsequential.

For bowling to grow, it must be bigger. The bowlers must take the initiative to make it happen though. They need create new leagues, organize more tournaments, and be more active. If we demand more from proprietors, and they demand more from us, we all benefit. Rather than birthday parties, we have tournaments. Instead of cyber bowl, we have second shifts. How do we do it? We stop whining that it isn't happening, and start doing it. If everyone on the internet who bemoans the lack of leagues and tournaments took the time to organize them, we'd have them.

Bowling will not grow because balls get weaker, or lane patterns get tougher (or vice versa as we already know). We need to stop sitting around pointing fingers, and just get out and bowl more.

Here in Tucson for example, there are NO scratch tournaments unless the Phoenix based tournament organizations come down here and set one up. Then we Tucson bowlers whine that there are no tournaments. Why isn't anyone organizing them?

What we all must decide for ourselves is at what level we are happiest at. Not everyone has aspirations for becoming a touring pro, and the industry shouldn't be catered only to those who do. Conversely, not everyone is content with being a social mixed-leaguen't bowler, and the industry should not be catered solely to them either. We need to focus on giving ever regular bowler in America more. We do that by demanding more, and taking the initiative to make it happen.

Stop waiting for the houses and associations to organize things; organize them yourselves and do your part to make bowling bigger.
Career Highs: 300/759

#173609 - 12/03/12 06:39 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
In due time, my friend. In due time.

#173610 - 12/03/12 06:56 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2111
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
I just went and re-read my post...that wasn't directed specifically at you. It was directed at the general bowling public. Just in case in came off as I was attacking you.
Career Highs: 300/759

#173614 - 12/03/12 07:15 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
Murdershaw Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 89
A/S/L: 27/M/Murrieta, CA
It did, but I've said the same thing to so many people that have said the same thing as I did, so I understand and take no offence.

It's hard to set things up and make changes. First, I will need money and power, then I will change the game. You'll see. Just wait wink

Right now, I just want to open minds. Because right now, that's all I can do. Me and my dad run 2 shops. He works 6 days a week and I work 7. We are in the makes of a website that not only sells product, but explains it with detailed instructions and tips. It's called You see, I'm not just a bowler, bowling is my livelihood. Bowling pays the bills and feeds my family. 5 years ago, my dad had to take a $1000 monthly pay cut and business isn't getting better. If bowling dies, so does my family. So I take bowling personally. It's my life.

I want to give back to the sport, but right now, I'm barely surviving. This new website is what (I'm hoping) will allow me to make an impact. I want to sponsor tournaments and scratch leagues. I ultimately want to open a center and hire full time coaches and put nothing but tougher shots out. That's my dream.

My goal with this website is to make it profitable enough to fund all the things I want to do with bowling.

So I'll be around a long time, and I'll never give up.

"A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence."

Edited by Murdershaw (12/03/12 07:16 PM)

#173620 - 12/03/12 10:42 PM Re: Is the modern bowling ball ruining our sport? [Re: Murdershaw]
BillinPhilly Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 262
A/S/L: 50 / M / Malvern, PA
I have agreed with this for a long time. I have no doubt that the modern bowling ball has RUINED this game, but it is in combination with modern lane conditions, too.

We have 10 year old kids shooting certified 300's today (go look it up, there are at least 4 that I know of). We have teenagers shooting certified 900s. 300 games are being rolled by everyone from 10 year old kids to 89 year olds. There is a blind man who has shot 300, there is an old man in a wheelchair who has shot 300. How much more ridiculous do we think it can get? Then we wonder why the game isn't taken seriously and isn't even considered a sport.

Storm and Hammer have been the biggest offenders for the past 2 decades. Every few months, they release some new piece of insanity designed to overpower lane conditions 100% more than their last piece of insanity. As far as lane conditions, the days are LONG gone when the lane man could easily defeat high scores. These modern miracles do everything but roll themselves for strikes. (And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Storm and/or Hammer has an automatic robotic ball under development. They might as well.) Center owners DON'T try to reduce scores, they put out easier patterns to try to raise scores. Because if they don't, the egotists who need to average 225 will all go to the other house that does put out the shot that will let them do that.

Lane conditions may seem easy, but its mostly because of the high tech balls being used. If you disagree, go bowl with a rubber ball, a plastic ball or a urethane ball and see if you can still average the same as you do. That might have been the case 30, 40 or 50 years ago in the 60's, 70's or early 80's that you could shoot well with rubber - on laquer lanes with no oil - but that is NOT the case now.

Don't forget about the pins, too - you know with the lighter weights and voids inside that make them ultra-easy for anyone to knock over with a breeze.

I absolutely HATE the modern scoring pace and what modern equipment has done to this game. There is no separation now between what amateurs roll in their leagues every week and the scores rolled by professional bowlers - and that is a HUGE problem.

The problem is the genie is out the bottle and we can't put it back. If we took away the modern equipment, all the guys who currently average 225+ would throw fits and quit when they could 'only' average 170 or 180 without their wonder balls.

If this is the wrong forum, then I am in the wrong forum.

Edited by BillinPhilly (12/03/12 10:53 PM)
"Bowling should be played by bowlers, not physicists." - CoachJim

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