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#182021 - 10/15/13 09:20 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
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If that is your conventional span ball, as I know you are also experimenting with a finger tip grip, it looks like it is just slightly shorter than the correct span for finger tip. Most of the time when we talk about fit on these forums it's usually finger tip grip so I'm not sure how the same rules of thumb apply to conventional.

That being said, I do believe your span is too long on the conventional grip. I would think that the second knuckle would be past the leading edge of the hole to allow the fingers to bend easily to get into the finger holes.
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#182028 - 10/16/13 05:51 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
Joe Bowler Offline
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Nord, I suspect your conventional grip is more like a semi-fingertip grip. Your Pro Shop operator should be able to help clarify.
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#182035 - 10/16/13 11:19 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: Joe Bowler]
nord Offline
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So I took one of my conventional balls to the pro last night and he determined the span is 1/4" too long for a conventional grip and that the finger pitch should be changed to 1/8 forward for starters.

He said on conventional drillings it is generally standard to have the linear drillings match. So if you have 1/8 forward thumb you should have 1/8 forward fingers.

As to the thumb pulling issue, my thumbholes are way too tight. I use tape around my whole thumb and the tape is slick so unless the thumbhole is tight the ball will fall off.

The pro recommended first that I try only putting tape on the back of my thumb and leaving the front skin bare.

He said this will allow traction in the front as the skin will grip the hole and make the ball easier to hold but the back of the thumb will be slick allowing an easy release. This is what the pro does.

Second he will have me insert my newly taped thumb into the thumbhole and open it up for me to the proper size and put a vent hole for extra safety so any suction does not pull on my thumb.

The fear is my thumb will get raw in the front from friction with the ball. I have very soft skin and it tears easily. If this occurs then I will have to go back with tape on the whole thumb but maybe I can put a piece of white tape in the front of the hole for extra grip traction?

I will try the new ball in league this Thursday when we play the first place team! Pray...
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#182144 - 10/22/13 02:38 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
nord Offline
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I tried my fingertip grip out in practice.

It has 1/8 reverse in fingers and 1/8 forward and 3/16th left in the thumb.

It felt good and I did not have to hold the ball tightly.
But in the middle of the third game of practice I got the shooting nerve pain up the thumb and wrist and had to switch to my conventional grip ball just to finish out the game.
My hand still hurts a day later.

I have always used between 5/16 and 7/16 reverse in the thumb and 1/4 left lateral with 1/4 forward in the fingers.

I tried the forward pitch since most of you here and Ron Clifton recommend it. But I think the forward in the thumb is really hurting me. I have never had thumb pain before until I switched to forward pitch.

What could possibly be going on here?
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#182146 - 10/22/13 06:14 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
Joe Bowler Offline
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As previously mentioned, if I had to guess the source of the pain it would be not supporting the weight of the ball with a cupped wrist and fingers underneath the ball. Thus, your thumb is doing all the work of holding onto the ball from the top.

Take a look at the following release drill, and compare it with your release. This would be one way to isolate and practice a proper release with the floor supporting the weight of the ball.


Still, bowling should be pain free. If it's not practical for you to commit the time to learning the new semi-roller release, strengthening your wrist and hand, and getting more under the ball, then perhaps a pitch change back to your old full roller pitches would help. It would be very easy for your Pro Shop operator to slug and re-drill your thumb.
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#182156 - 10/22/13 11:20 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: Joe Bowler]
nord Offline
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Hi Joe,

When I threw a full roller with suitcase grip I never had pain in my thumb.
But even trying to do the full roller release with the current fingertip grip pitches of:
1/8 forward in thumb and 1/8 reverse in fingers causes thumb pain.
Even a conventional grip of 1/8 forward in thumb and zero in fingers causes pain.

As you may recall I used to use a conventional grip with 7/16 reverse and 1/4 left in thumb and 1/4 forward in the fingers and had no pain.

Why would this latter grip make such a difference in thumb stress?

I currently have a new experimental conventional ball with a slightly shorter span, basically a proper conventional span and it has 1/8 forward in thumb and fingers.

It still feels like I have to squeeze the ball to hold onto it and the thumb still feels like it takes more of the stress than the fingers.

If I set both conventional balls on the ground, the 1/8 forward fingers and the 1/4 forward fingers and just stick my fingers in both, I can lift up the 1/4 ball by just my two fingers easily but the 1/8 forward ball just falls off.

My thought is: if I do use a suitcase grip I need a lot of forward in the fingers to support the ball so the thumb is not taking all the weight.

Does this make sense?

I may just go back to full roller and just perfect that release. It seems so natural for me and more powerful and accurate than my sad attempts at semi-roller.
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#182192 - 10/23/13 09:17 AM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
Joe Bowler Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
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Nord, I would like to help, but it is difficult to make an assessment over the internet. I will have to refer you back to your local Pro Shop. The most important thing is to eliminate any pain. At least now you know what does not work for you. Perhaps with practice, you can learn the semi-roller release with your ball drilled for full roller.
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#182208 - 10/23/13 02:38 PM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: Joe Bowler]
nord Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 10/27/11
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I understand Joe and appreciate all your help you have given me to this point.
I like your Dr. Manhattan avatar better than hulk, I think it suits your bowling intellect better. smile
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#182209 - 10/23/13 03:45 PM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
djp1080 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 416
A/S/L: 70/m/IL
Nord, Just jumping in here. Just a couple of years ago I started back into bowling after a 30 year layoff with my old rubber ball and had previously threw a full-roller. Went to the Pro Shop and bought an entry level reactive resin ball. Wow! What a difference. I did okay with this ball until I began using it in a league on a regular basis. I tore up my thumb on the back knuckle. My fingers hurt. We tried opening up the thumb hole, etc. The fix ended up being I asked that my thumb pitch be moved forward from zero and now it's at 3/16 forward. My old rubber ball was probably 3/16 reverse. Also, I had a bad habit of turning my hand too early. I saw a video of myself and I couldn't believe I was releasing the ball with my fingers on top of the ball with virtually no revs! Now I'm staying behind the ball just like the video Joe posted from Norm Duke. No thumb problems, fingers don't hurt, getting revs, good to go. I'm now rolling a semi-roller with a fairly high track and not between the fingers and thumb like before.
Hope this helps and good luck...

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#182210 - 10/23/13 04:35 PM Re: Proper Thumb Pitch for a Semi-Roller convert? [Re: nord]
Joe Bowler Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3824
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Originally Posted By: nord
I understand Joe and appreciate all your help you have given me to this point.
I like your Dr. Manhattan avatar better than hulk, I think it suits your bowling intellect better. smile

Thanks, Nord. Concerning the avatar change, remember when he is not the Hulk, he is the reserved physicist Dr. Banner. Lately, I have been wanting to hulk out on the lanes and really smash some pins. Just one more experiment away, hehe...
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USBC (2008-2016):
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House: 239
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Heavy: Nano, HyperCell, Eternal Cell
Medium: IQ Tour, Tour SiC, Tag
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Spares: WD

Internet advice is offered free, as is, at your own risk.

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