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#195118 - 09/17/16 04:48 PM Where to stand to throw a straight ball
LindaDelcamp Offline
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Registered: 01/24/15
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A/S/L: 63/Female/Michigan
I'm a female right handed bowler with a 5 step delivery. I usually throw a straight ball when I bowl and would like to know just where to stand on the alley to throw a straight ball and also how to hold my ball?

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#195119 - 09/17/16 06:20 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: LindaDelcamp]
Richie V. Offline
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You probably want to throw from the right side of the foul line and angle it into the 1-3 pocket. It has been calculated, however, that a straight-ball bowler would have to throw it from the adjacent lane to get the proper angle for maximum pin carry, which is why most good bowlers throw a hook.


Edited by Richie V. (09/17/16 06:20 PM)
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#195121 - 09/17/16 08:23 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: LindaDelcamp]
LindaDelcamp Offline
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Registered: 01/24/15
Posts: 9
A/S/L: 63/Female/Michigan
Richie V:

Where exactly do I stand on the lane? What boards do I stand on? Also, how do I hold my bowling ball?

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#195122 - 09/17/16 11:22 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: LindaDelcamp]
82Boat69 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
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If the idea is to hit the pocket and have the highest probability of carrying the hit, then we need to know a little more about your game.

Ball: Weight? Brand? Model? Speed (slow, medium, fast)

When a bowling ball hits the pocket, to carry a strike the ball has to come into the pocket at an angle of 4-7 degrees. That may not sound like a lot, but the length of the alley skews what the bowler sees. If you measure 4-7 degrees from the pins back toward the foul line, your starting position would be way off to your right.

With this in mind, your starting position will need to be as far right as you can get. The bad news, many find shooting close to the channel too spooky and never do it. I say, forget the channel.

Here's a solid way to find a good starting point. When you stand facing the foul line, your right shoulder will be roughly 10 boards right of the center of your body. If you want to shoot over the 1st arrow (5 board) and angle your shot to the pocket, then your left foot will need to be at least on the 15 board on the approach. The boards on the approach usually match up with the arrows. So the large dot in the middle of the approach is the 20 board or 4th arrow from your right. You will want to start your discovery process with your left foot one dot right of the center dot.

Think of your trajectory as a teeter-totter laying on it's side and the arrows as the fulcrum point. If you move your feet left, the other end of the trajectory will move right and vice versus.

So, if starting on the 15 board makes the ball go too far left, move your feet left to make the other end move right. If starting on 15 makes your ball go to the right, then move your feet to the right to make the other end move left. This technique also works with the 3-6-9 spare system.

Armed with this information, stand with your left toe on the 15 board on the approach and throw across the first arrow. Based on where the ball hits at the other end, move your feet accordingly. Move 1 board at a time on the approach. It will take some time, but eventually, you will discover the best place to stand so the ball has a nice angle to the 1-3 pocket. As I mentioned before, forget the channel. Pretend it doesn't exist and it won't.

People who throw big hooks, use this same mentality. The only difference, their teeter-totter is curved, not straight.

Here's a very important point. Because you throw straight and because it's not possible to stand to the right as much as you really need to, your ball MUST be rolling when it gets to the pins.

To make the ball roll properly when you deliver it, you want to keep your hand behind the ball, keep your elbow tucked in tight to your body with your thumb in the 10-11 o'clock position. Allow your arm to swing back completely relaxed. Let it come forward completely relaxed too. Don't you try to throw your ball. Let the ball's weight do all the work. All you want to do is make certain your thumb comes out cleanly before your fingers. This will cause the ball to roll properly. Any other forces you add to your delivery will have negative results. Your ball will skid or you will send it off to the right or pull it off to the left. Swing your shot, don't throw the ball.

If you relax your hand, that will relax your wrist which will relax your forearm which will relax your elbow which will relax your bicep/tricep which will relax your shoulder. Done this way, every shot will go where you aim. When shooting off the corner, this is a must.

Good luck!

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#195124 - 09/18/16 12:15 AM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: LindaDelcamp]
djp1080 Offline
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Registered: 04/20/13
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Originally Posted By: LindaDelcamp
I'm a female right handed bowler with a 5 step delivery. I usually throw a straight ball when I bowl and would like to know just where to stand on the alley to throw a straight ball and also how to hold my ball?

Linda, Assuming you're shooting for a strike, right? I'll assume your approach is straight down the boards. Typically a female will have their ball about six to seven boards to the right of their slide foot (their left foot) when they release the ball. Much of what Boat says about your swing and hand positioning sounds right on!
Just continue to keep your fingers under the ball at the release point and roll the ball straight down the lane like he says. Typically right-handers will line themselves up on the approach using their slide foot. I generally line up with the middle of my shoe. Others line up somewhere around their big toe. Just be consistent.
Here are some suggestions on where to stand. Again, let's assume the middle your ball will be seven boards right of your slide foot. Pick a board # that you'd like to roll your ball over at a distance at the arrows which are about 15 feet down the lane from the foul line. If you pick to aim at board #15 (the 3rd arrow from the right), try lining up on board #21 (one board to the left of the middle arrow or center of the lane). In this case your ball should roll over board #14 at the foul line.
If you pick to aim at board board #12, try lining up on board #17 (two boards left of the 3rd arrow). If you pick to aim at board #9, try lining up on board #13.
In each case your ball should end up about two boards right of the middle of the head pin which is a good straight ball shot.
What's probably more important though is that you learn to make your spares. Susie Minshew has a web site that covers lots of topics and one on spare shooting: http://strikeability.com/learn.php

Hope this helps. Good luck...

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#195126 - 09/18/16 08:52 AM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: LindaDelcamp]
spr3wr Offline
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#196287 - 01/01/17 02:09 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: 82Boat69]
LindaDelcamp Offline
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Registered: 01/24/15
Posts: 9
A/S/L: 63/Female/Michigan
To 82Boat69:

Thank you very much for all the information and advice that I asked for on Where to stand to throw a straight ball. First of all let me tell you about my game. I am a 62 year old female that bowls on a weekly league. I have a 5 step delivery. I have a 14# Ebonite Pro Executive 300 ball and throw medium speed around 10-12 m.p.h.

I recently practiced bowling and used the information you mentioned and did pretty good. First game was 116, second was 171! and the third was 167! I stood on board 15 like you said and kept my hand behind the ball and at 10-11 o'clock. The first game I got around 4 splits in a row. In the second game, I moved 1 board to the right and got some strikes, but they weren't exactly in the 1-3 pocket. They were on the brooklyn side of the 1-2 pocket. I also picked up most of my spares. No matter how I tried or moved, I still hit on the brooklyn side, but hey, whatever works. I'm happy just to get some strikes. In the second game I tried something different. Usually I put my fingers in the ball and spread my first and little finger out. I read that the ball doesn't roll very straight that way, so I tried just putting my fingers together on the ball and I threw a lot of strikes and picked up a lot of my spares. I know it's going to take some getting used to throwing my ball almost in the channel, but remember what you said "pretend that the channel doesn't exist".

I only throw my ball around 10-12 m.p.h. and was wondering where to hold the ball in order to get the speed up. Currently I hold the ball around chin high and let the weight of the ball do the work. Should I hold it different? Where?
Waist high? Chest high?

So far this season my highest game has been 184, but I wasn't using your information. I hope it will get better now that I know what to do. With a little more practice I should do a lot better.

I will keep you updated on my progress and THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR HELP.

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#196294 - 01/01/17 07:51 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: LindaDelcamp]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 618
A/S/L: 70/M/California
Speed is very difficult to increase as we age. Creating speed usually occurs in our youth when we learned to bowl and if we didn't develop a high back swing, it's difficult to develop one now.

Many suggest holding the ball higher in front hoping it will cause a higher arc in back. Because of muscle memory, it usually doesn't work because a person will do things from habit that get in the way of the ball reaching a higher arc.

Another way is to develop quicker feet. This requires more balance and again is more difficult as we age.

Something you can try is to totally relax your arm from the head down. What I'm going to say requires you create a relaxation cascade from your head to your hand at the same time you are taking a little quicker approach.

Relax your lower jaw,
This will relax your neck,
this will relax your shoulder,
This will relax your upper-arm,
This will relax your lower-arm,
This will relax your wrist,
This will relax your hand.

Think of a bull whip. The handle is hardly moving, yet the tip of the whip breaks the sound-barrier. It applies to all sports. Relaxing until our body parts are accelerated by a fulcrum point. In bowling, this is called creating 'leverage'.

If you can increase your foot-work speed safely and stay relaxed, as you begin your slide, your arm will still be high enough that as your slide foot comes to a stop, that leg becomes the fulcrum point for your pendulum swing and you will generate more speed. I've been using this technique for a couple of months now. My ball speed was about 11.3 MPH before and is now between 12.7 and 13.1 now. Just by quickening my feet and relaxing my arm.

I'm 69 and quickening my feet was a little spooky at first, but feels okay now. With time and practice it can be done. How long this will last I don't know. I think as long as I keep my legs strong and my balance in check, it might work for many more years.

You can try and see if it works for you. Just make sure your sliding shoe and the approach is clean every time. Sticking at the foul line with more speed can cause injuries even if you don't fall and much worse if you do fall.

You mentioned throwing lots of Brooklyn strikes. Here's something to consider. A bowling lane is 60 feet long. So small changes at one end can make bigger changes at the other. Everyone loves to miss left and still carry, but we should really stay on our own side. Simply move your starting position left on the approach, 1 board at a time, but keep the same target. See if this doesn't help get your shot back on the right side.

Finally, the position of your fingers has everything to do with the kind of release you will have. If your index and little fingers are spread equidistant from the other 2, this will be your strongest hand position to stay 'behind' the ball. However, you won't get much axis rotation.

http://blueprintbowling.com/blog/Posts/axis-rotation-and-axis-tilt-explained.aspx

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-EHBg3-wn4

If you spread your index finger and close-up your little finger, this will weaken your hand position causing your hand to rotate right to left easier at release and create more axis rotation.

If you close-up both your index and little fingers, this accomplishes the same thing, although it might concentrate more leverage on both fingers at the same time at release.

Bowling balls are usually drilled so that the fingers come out at different times naturally, creating a predictable axis rotation and axis tilt. Changing finger position is another tool to help you fine tune your release for the condition you're bowling on.

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#196300 - 01/02/17 12:23 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: 82Boat69]
djp1080 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 411
A/S/L: 70/m/IL
Originally Posted By: 82Boat69

Relax your lower jaw,
This will relax your neck,
this will relax your shoulder,
This will relax your upper-arm,
This will relax your lower-arm,
This will relax your wrist,
This will relax your hand.


Boat, I have been thinking of this portion of your post. I've found that if I squeeze my fingers into a fist my entire forearm tightens up. If I squeeze even more, then my upper-arm tightens up and next is my shoulder and chest.
I've concluded that this is why bowling coaches teach bowlers to lightly hold the ball otherwise we'll attempt to muscle the ball down the alley.
So I look at this topic 180 degrees from you... smile
Happy New Year!

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#196301 - 01/02/17 02:28 PM Re: Where to stand to throw a straight ball [Re: djp1080]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 618
A/S/L: 70/M/California
As long as you get relaxed, it works. It works for other sports too.

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