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#194682 - 08/20/16 03:15 PM Could bowlers of the past compete today?
nord Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 759
A/S/L: 40/M/Santee/CA
If you were to take a bowler from the past, at the peak of their game, give them a modern ball drilled for their style and put them on the tour, how would they fair?

Example:

Two players I have been watching old videos of are Don Carter and Billy Hardwick.
I finally found two videos where I can see their ball actually roll.

Both of them roll the ball early and directly end over end.

Don of course has a high track semi-roller and Billy a Full Roller.

But both of them roll the ball straight and end over end with virtually no side turn.
Both hit the pocket high flush and both strike hard when they do.
The straight roll does not seem to reduce their carry, if anything it increases it.

Back then, they rolled weak cover stock balls without cores on high friction lanes and those balls struck hard.

Why couldn't they use strong cover stock balls with cores on the lower friction lanes of today and get the exact same carry effect?

Would the effect be the same?

In essence, haven't we simply switched the friction from the lane to the ball in modern times?

If Billy or Don were transported from their time to the present and given a modern reactive ball, couldn't they just get on a lane and start striking?

Would they actually be amazed at how much more they are striking with these balls?

You can watch both videos here to see their distinctive roll and style:

Billy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Gyfme3fJY

Don
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAi3HEFUvYg


Edited by nord (08/20/16 03:21 PM)
_________________________
High Game: 259 bowled with The Hardwick Rubber Ball at Poway Bowl.
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.
Composite Avg: 175

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#194684 - 08/20/16 04:56 PM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
82Boat69 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 659
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A person just needs to remember Earl Anthony to see that accurate bowlers with moderate speed could compete at a high level.

But, could Anthony compete in today's game? No. In fact, nobody prior to Mark Roth could make the grade.

Accuracy is not enough anymore. Everyone hits the pocket almost every time. It's those that carry the most hits that percolate to the top and make the shows.

Even Walter Ray Williams would struggle. Strokers just don't carry enough off hits to compete with power players who carry everything close. It's why 2 handed is taking over the game. Two hands can generate more RPM's and more speed. I don't care who you put on a pair of lanes today, against the likes of the Belmos of this world, they'll struggle to compete.

I've been watching the National Junior age groups compete on CBS Sports and you can already see the game is changing much more rapidly than even I imagined.

If USBC doesn't step in and mandate more difficult lane patterns and reign in ball technology, the game will suffer simply because it's getting too easy.

With so many young people coming up using 2 hands and the rest already cranking the ball with one, as adults they're going to be averaging so far over 200 on typical house shots that the challenge will be gone.

One of the 12 and under junior girls shot her first 300 at age 9.

Bowlers today who want to get better have to work on technique and understand how to make use of ball technology. Today's game would be inconceivable to the Hardwicks and Carters. Their delivery technique just doesn't have what it takes to compete against the crankers who compete today.

Neither Hardwick or Carter ever through a ball 20-25 MPH with 600 RPM's. Bowling skills are picked up young. Learning to crank the ball can't be done later in life. Its why you never see too many retired people winding up their shots. Some tweeners for sure but no crankers.

Ten years from now, many who we call dominate today will also fade from the game as the next generation comes up with more speed and more RPM's. USBC will have its hands full.

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#194686 - 08/20/16 07:04 PM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: 82Boat69]
nord Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 10/27/11
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Quote:
...nobody prior to Mark Roth could make the grade.


Somehow I instinctively do not agree with you. It is difficult to put it into words, but I "feel" these champions of the past, given a modern ball suited to their game would kill it.

I also do not "feel" that high rev/high speed bowlers will be the future, though I really like Belmo and Jesper Svensson.

Today in the women's game the best bowler in the world in my opinion is Liz Johnson, a low rev stroker. Down and in gets it done.

In the latest U.S. Open when all the high rev bowlers trying to play the middle and swing it were suffering, Liz just stood right and laid it in the pocket all night.

She it always in the cash round, almost always makes the telecast.

What about the men's champions of today who are still cashing and making telecasts?

Norm Duke
Pete Weber
Parker Bone

High rev?

What if I reverse the question.

Could bowlers of today compete in the past?
Or would the Hardwicks and Carters have them for lunch?
_________________________
High Game: 259 bowled with The Hardwick Rubber Ball at Poway Bowl.
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.
Composite Avg: 175

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#194688 - 08/21/16 12:04 AM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
82Boat69 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 659
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The answer is simple. How many survived the migration from hard rubber to polyester? Or, from polyester to urethane? Or, from urethane to reactive resin? Few. Many big names became part of history due to ball technology alone.

How many of the old pros did you ever see standing so far left they had to throw over the gutter cap? To shoot that deep inside a person has to have significant RPM's so the ball can recover and still carry. Those old pros just didn't turn up the ball the way they do today.

Going the other way would be different. When the PBA was still going, they had an event each year where everyone had to use urethane. Most didn't have any problems.

Revving up urethane helps. A number of 2 handers throw urethane as a way to control the back-end of their 2-handed delivery.

There are always a few who change with the technology, but only a few.

A more interesting question is what comes after 2-hands? I bowled with a fella a couple years ago who could crank a ball hooking it from right to left but then could also cranked is up throwing a back-up left to right.

As new balls use up the lane, anyone able to throw a good back-up would have a big advantage.

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#194689 - 08/21/16 12:24 AM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: 82Boat69]
nord Offline
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Registered: 10/27/11
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I think you are right that two hands are a likely future.
This happened with tennis.
They said it was wrong, but look at the tennis players today.

As to hooking the gutter cap, well obviously there was no reason to do that in the past. I am not sure why it is done today.

If a player has high revs and the lane breaks down that much, move right and play a straight shot.
Belmo has done this before with success.
Or, simply ball way down to urethane or plastic.
I have seen Belmo do this too with success.

Technology has changed the game of bowling in the same way technology changed the game of tennis.
It has become a power game, not a game of precision anymore.

Baseball is one of those hold out sports that does not allow technology to change the game.
And assuming you can keep those hitters off the roids, then I think it is a better game for it.

But back to my original question, would a player of the past, with the benefit of modern tech still excel in today's game?

I watched a local tournament, 50 and over last week.
The leader and eventual winner did not have high revs or hook the ball.
He threw it very straight and very hard and only used one arm to do it.
He hung his bowling arm at his side, swung it up and let it come back and go hard.
He averaged 260 in the tournament!
He used reactive of course, was a total dead eye and could put that reactive ball on 17.5 all day.
So I think a pro of the past with their pin point precision and heavy roll could also use reactive in the same way to great effect.
_________________________
High Game: 259 bowled with The Hardwick Rubber Ball at Poway Bowl.
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.
Composite Avg: 175

Arsenal
Brunswick True Motion Urethane Axis Drill
Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane
Visionary Crow Urethane

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#194690 - 08/21/16 01:21 AM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
BrunswickKing170 Offline
Junior

Registered: 07/30/16
Posts: 27
A/S/L: 28/m/AZ
yes

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#194691 - 08/21/16 07:47 AM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 659
A/S/L: 70/M/California
The reason pros move so far left is because the new balls use up all the oil to the right. Once the oil to the right is gone, moving back to the right and throwing straight is not an option. None of these guys are carrying a plastic or urethane ball around except to shoot spares and even if they did they wouldn't do well with it.

Dry lanes scrub off energy. Less energy means less strikes. These guys know more about the game and their ball reaction on any condition than most of us and none of them move right and throw straight. Why?

I've tried. I own an old polyester Blu Dot circa 1978 and a Black Hammer from the same era and neither will carry off the corner on dry lanes unless I hit high flush. a little too high and I'm wide open with some 4-6 combination. A little light and its a corner tap. I'm sure pros have had the same result and they just avoid wasting time trying to make a shot that won't work, work.

That's the secret of bowling. A person has to shoot where the lanes will allow a bowler to score, not where the bowler may want to shoot from.

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#194699 - 08/21/16 04:48 PM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
steveA Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 12/21/12
Posts: 578
A/S/L: 58/male uk
There's a saying you play the lane not the line.
If you've a high revs cranker you need to play through the oil to stop the friction causing the ball to go into the hook phase, that's never going to happen by moving right on to a burnt out lane. A stroker may get away with it with less revs and balling down, even to the point of playing down the splinter
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#194753 - 08/22/16 01:18 AM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
Vic44 Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 801
A/S/L: 51/ Male/ Colorado Springs CO
Earl could. Others could. The accuracy they had and the fact they would also compete with today's equipment would absolutely enable them.


Edited by Vic44 (08/22/16 01:19 AM)
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Storm Sync, NVD & a worn-out Widow for spares.

Career HG: 300 (3)
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15-16 Avg: 189

Last year? Not pretty. No high scores worth posting from 15-16. But good times ahead. smile


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#194757 - 08/22/16 10:59 AM Re: Could bowlers of the past compete today? [Re: nord]
W9JAB Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 272
A/S/L: 66/m/Il.
The secret of bowling
That's the secret of bowling. A person has to shoot where the lanes will allow a bowler to score, not where the bowler may want to shoot from.

Also the ability to repeat the shot consistency.

I see no reason a Pro from the past cloud not do that.
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