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#34904 - 10/30/06 09:26 AM 1st time on Sport yesterday
GunsTariq Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 07/01/06
Posts: 236
A/S/L: 25/M/Gwynn Oak, MD
My first time bowling on a sport condition....TERRIBLE!!!

I averaged like a 130 something...Highest scratch was a 163. I was trying to throw straight down and in and a lot my shots were actually going right and into the gutter. I definitely loved the opportunity to bowl on something like that cause it will only give me experience for the future.

Anyone mind discussing some of their experiences on sport lanes.
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#34919 - 10/30/06 03:46 PM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: GunsTariq]
Chris Cenotti Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 154
A/S/L: 25/M/Northern California
It certainly is a eye-opening experience. I'm about 5 weeks into my sport league and here are some observations in no particular order:

A lot more oil in the zone I usually play (6-12 board at the arrows).

Cleaner backends than the house shot

Consistency getting to the line is the key for me

Spares are also key, being able to forget about the poor 1st shot and focus on picking up the spare can be difficult mentally. Having a system seems like a must.

Lanes break down more dramatically

Watching others and their ball reaction gives a good heads up when the lanes start to break down, and also just ideas outside my normal range of thinking.

I don't have a lot of choice as far as ball (just the one) and don't have a ton of revs, so speed control (namely less speed) in the first couple games is important.


#34933 - 10/31/06 12:04 AM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: Chris Cenotti]
Jdhaze Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 235
A/S/L: 35/M/NH
If your throwing some into the gutter, you are not playing down and in shot, you are trying to swing the ball. Thats not going to happen on a fresh sport pattern as there is oil on the outsides of the lane were its normally dry. Imho its safer and easier to move right and play a more direct shot that way if you do miss right or try to swing the ball a little bit, it will stay on the lane. I did my first sport shot league this summer and let me tell you, you are not alone throwing gutter balls smile I did my homework and knew what was coming, but I would say about half the people bowling that league tried to swing the shot like they normally do and ended up in the gutter. Being new on this shot what I did was use the most consistent, even arcing and least agressive ball I had, for me it was the Monster Bruiser at 1000 grit. Play as strait at the pocket as you can, and untill the lanes breakdown and you have to, try not to swing the ball. I also picked up a plastic ball and went strait at spares. I ended up the year at 9 pins below my THS average and was very happy with that.

Its a wake up call, but can be a huge learning experience if your paitent and go into it with an open mind. One of the guys on my team refused to try anything new and the whole summer tried to play the same line as he uses on his other leagues, he did horrible and wont be back next year.

good luck!


#34961 - 10/31/06 02:14 PM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: Jdhaze]
Lefty Offline

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
The unfortunate thing about bowling on a sport shot is that when you notice that you don't have all the room you're used to on a house shot, most people tighten up, and that's the last thing you need to do to make good shots.

If you can relax and throw the ball and not worry about score, bowling on that type of shot will show you what you need to work on.

When I'm throwing the ball well, I can score well on a sport shot, and when I'm throwing the ball bad, I score really bad. I can shoot anywhere from 140-150 to 250, depending on how I'm throwing the ball. I've had good 180 or 190 games, and I've had 200's that I thought were better than that, but I've never had a 150 game where I thought I was throwing the ball well. And I've also never had a 200+ game where I thought I didn't throw the ball at least "good'.

And that's the reason why I'm trying to bowl only on non-house shots. I'm to the point with house shots where I don't feel like the score is a reflection of how I bowled. I can throw the ball bad and still shoot 700 on a regular basis. And I'm tired of knowing a shot it bad off my hand and then getting rewarded for it with a strike.

I'd rather average 180-200 and know that the scores were an accurate reflection of how I bowled instead of averaging 220-230 and knowing I didn't throw the ball anywhere near that good.

#55936 - 05/04/08 06:43 PM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: Chris Cenotti]
Jay R. Offline

Registered: 05/03/08
Posts: 1300
A/S/L: 21/M/Tacoma, WA
Originally Posted By: Chris Cenotti
Spares are also key, being able to forget about the poor 1st shot and focus on picking up the spare can be difficult mentally. Having a system seems like a must.

What type of system for spares do you guys use? I've been throwing a spare ball for a couple months shy of a year and I'm still very confused on how to hit my spares with it. Despite the fact that a lot of my misses with it have a lot to do with physical error, I feel that I don't quite have a solid system anyways. Here's what I've been working on recently in feet/arrow format

10- 31/21
6- 30/21
3- 33/24
2- 26/20
4- 24/20
7- 22/20

Everything but the 6 and 10 give me the biggest trouble throwing straight. I know my 3 pin setup is out of line according to the 10 and 6 but I always wanted to be able to hit it with enough angle in the case that the 6 and or 10 are involved. That 3-10 mini split has always been a thorn in my side and I'm lucky to ever pick it up. As for my left hand spares I'm not sure that's exactly how it goes but that's how I remember it. I've always done better using my strike ball and hooking it at those pins, but I'd like to learn to use my spare ball for them for tough patterns where I'm better off not having to factor in the condition so much.

Any tips?

#55940 - 05/04/08 08:48 PM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: Jay R.]
Matrix900 Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 276
A/S/L: 32/m/Canton, OH
I use the triax spare system. Stand on 35 and pick a board to hit that will knock the 10 pin down dead center. For left side spares I stand on 15 and aim at 17 to hit the 7 pin.

My feet/arrow alignment is as follows:
10 - 35/17
6 - 32/17
3 - 29/17

I also drift to the right when I walk to the line. My left side spares are still kinda shaky with alignment. I generally stand on 15 and hit a mark on the lane that hits the 7pin. Then I move left 3 boards for 4 pin then 3 more for the 2 pin.

System works very well if you can come within a board or 2 of your mark everytime.
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#55947 - 05/04/08 10:46 PM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: GunsTariq]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
The first time I went to the Nationals was in Reno in 2001 and I went to the stadium on the first day I was there to explore and look around. I saw a guy with a 236 average getting ready to bowl, so I decided to sit in the stands and watch to see how the lanes were supposed to be played. I was shocked when three of his first four shots went into the gutter and it never got better, his high game of the set was 140 the low game was a 105 the first game, it was like looking at a train wreck.

It was the worst I have ever seen someone with that high of an average bowl, and the guy was not that bad of a bowler, he just had no idea of how to play the lanes, he kept thinking it was something he was doing wrong and kept trying to play his regular house pattern shot.

Guns, how long was the pattern you were playing on?

I am not sure if any of you guys watched the Queens tournament this past week, but the shot was very tight, most of them were laying the ball down on the 8 board, crossing the 8 board at the arrows and hitting the 8 board at the break point, that is straight up the boards.

Most house bowlers idea of playing straight up the boards is laying the ball down on 13, crossing 10 at the arrows and hitting 5 at the break point. None of the women on the show had that kind of room, Carol Gionatti played a similar line to what I just mentioned, but she was only getting the ball out to the 8 board at the break point not the 5 board. Joy Esterson got the ball out that wide one shot and that is what cost her the first match.

This is the kind of accuracy it takes to bowl at an elite level it is hard to practice this kind of accuracy on a house pattern without being completely honest with yourself as to whether you actually hit what you were aiming at and trying to correct mistakes that are making you miss your target before you get to a tournament and have no clue why your ball doesn't come back from outside like it does back home.

#55961 - 05/05/08 07:15 AM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: CoachJim]
cgeorg Offline

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
Lots of good stuff said here. To address the issue of gutter balls, you are used to swinging the ball. That much has been said. This means that your default setup and finish position involve open shoulders and hips. You need to learn to square everything up to the line. Start with your feet - get them perfectly square. Then your hips need to get lined up straight - not at your target. Make them parallel with the line. Then the shoulders. You will actually feel closed, like you're facing back to the left. Get your pushaway going straight toward the line, and just let the ball come off your hand - you should end up going straight up the boards.
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#69200 - 10/23/08 01:10 AM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: cgeorg]
SimplyAmazuring Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 7
A/S/L: 23/M/Dallas; TX
Having bowled in a PBAX league for two years, I can definitely confirm a lot of great things mentioned here. A few things I tended to notice in addition to what people mentioned before:
1. More oil on the outside, less on the inside - especially compared to a house shot - misses to the right will go in the gutter especially if the ball in swung
2. Spare shots - even with a good spare ball and straighter release tend to drift a bit more to the left on Sport conditions (I'm a righty)

Also, SPEED is very important. Especially at the beginning, I find that a slower ball speed helps a great deal in finding a suitable break point. - SimplyAmazuring

Oily Lanes, Later Hook, More Hook, Sharper Break:
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Current Average:207
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High Series:741

#69215 - 10/23/08 08:40 AM Re: 1st time on Sport yesterday [Re: SimplyAmazuring]
Brian Pickell Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 140
A/S/L: 39/M/Fort Wayne, IN

The one thing I noticed is that if I'm going to miss my target arrow, I am better off missing it left than right. If I miss my target arrow so much as 1 board I will either end up in the gutter or hitting the ten pen.

If I miss left, I need to miss at least 3 boards or I will end up with a split. A 3 board miss left will almost always end up a Brooklyn, and maybe a third of those will strike. I have missed as much as 6 boards to the left once and by doing that I hit heavy oil, which caused my ball to not hook at all and I hit the pocket perfectly for a strike. It's just amazing how much more forgiving the shot is to the left vs missing the right.
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