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#7507 - 06/12/06 12:03 AM bowling questions
Beth06 Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2
A/S/L: female
Hello to all, I am currently doing a report about league bowlers for my English class. I have several questions that I would like to put out there for anyone who would be kind enough to answer.


1. What is a "handicap" and how is it figured?
2. How do you feel about handicaps being used?
3. Do you practice during the week or only play on league nights?
4. If you practice, do you practice as a team or individually?
5. How are bowling balls weighted and priced?
6. What are the superior balls and why?
7. Do bowlers switch teams and leagues and if so, why?
8. Do you change balls during a game? Why?
9. What are some symbolic or significant rituals that you do or that are used in bowling in general?
10. How did these rituals come about?
11. Different levels of teams exist, from the die hards to the fun loving players, where do you fit in and how do you view the others?

Feel free to answer a few or all of the questions. Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!!

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Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#7508 - 06/12/06 04:17 PM Re: bowling questions
Pin Bomber Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 11/21/05
Posts: 273
A/S/L: 31/Male/Central Florida
I will take a shot at as many of these as I can...I hope it helps. I will number them to match the numbers on the questions.

1. A handicap is where there is a set score (usually between 200 and 200), and in a handicapped league those who do not maintain an average at that limit are 'given' points that are added to their totals. Example: A bowler who is averaging a 180 will get an extra 20 pins added to their scratch score if the handicap is set at 100% of 200. If it were 100% of 210 they would have 30 pins added, etc. Sometimes a league will use like 90%of 200 and then math kicks in a little more smile You would take 90% of the difference between the bowler's average and 200.

2. As for my thoughts on handicap leagues, I think it is decent that it levels the playing field for those leagues that use one. Without a handicap, it is easy for some teams to never have a chance to win while others would win all the time. This would hurt the popularity of leagues. In my area we do have scratch leagues that are very competative, so I don't mind that there are also handicap leagues (and I bowl on both types). If I did not have the option to bowl on a scratch league I would be disappointed to only bowl on a scratch league.

3. I practice several times a week in addition to leagues. I also try to practice on conditions harder than just the house shot.

4. I like to practice alone...I have not ever practiced with a team. I also like to bowl with my wife, but that's more fun than practice.

5. If I am correct, balls start at about 8lbs and go to 16lbs. Anything over 16lbs is against USBC regulations. The price of ball varies enormously. Most casual bowlers use house balls which are basically plastic balls (and do not hook much). More serious bowlers only use these to throw at spares and if they want the ball to go straight. They cost about $20-70 (and higher if you want certain characters or logos on them). Then there are balls that have particles, or resin built into them. These are put into the coverstock (the outer layer) of the ball. These help to create friction on the lane and have the ability to hook into the pocket. More serious bowlers use these. Some can cost $80-120. The high performance balls supposedly have highly advanced coverstocks on them and can cost $100-225. Balls bought at on-line pro shops are cheaper than balls bought at pro shops, and the pro shops usually already have the price of the drilling included.

6. There really is not a definitive answer to this. Even the pros on tour all use different balls and ball brands. What might work for one bowler may not be good for another. These days it is more about matching up the aspects of the ball with the bowler. Where you drill the fingerholes in relation to the weight block in the ball, whether the surface of the ball is poliched or sanded, and of course the condition of the lane and the oil on it have the most impact. So, there really are no balls that are better than others. These days it really is more about matching up the type of ball and the dynamics of it with the bowler and the condition he is bowling on. This is also why pro bowlers may have 20-30 different balls with them each week on the pro tour. You could buy 10 of the exact same ball and have all 10 of them roll differently based on the drilling and the surface adjustments on each ball.

7. I have never switched teams, but our scratch team essentially 'fired' a bowler because his average was too low and we were able to bring in a higher average bowler without going over our cap (or average limit for the team). I may bowl on different leagues throughout the year based on how good they are. I like to bowl 2-4 leagues at one time in both summer and winter.

8. Usually by the end of warm-up/practice, a bowler has decided which ball to start out with. However, as bowling progresses, the oil on the lane is altered as balls are rolled by the bowlers. The sanded balls with resin tend to absorb oil, and the plastic balls repel oil. Additionally, all balls carry the oil into the back part of the lane (the backend) which is normally dry (and the balls hooks as the friction kicks in). But, as the oil gets pushed further and further down the lane, balls may hook less and less as the oil goes further down. This is called 'carrydown'. And, while the oil goes down further, the heavy oil at the start of the lane is drying up and starts to hook more. Anyhow, all this comes down to the condition of the oil and lane changing. This is what may prompt a bowler to change his ball speed, hand rotation, where they play the lane, and as you said, changing balls. Again, because the balls can be altered in many ways, I find that I may change balls as the lanes change and the reaction I get with the ball I started with has also been affected to the point where I wish to try a different one.

9. I am a neat-freak, so I like to have the balls as clean as possible going into play (and it's good for the balls too). I like a clean towel each time. I have 2 towels...one to wipes the ball with and one for if I get sweaty. smile
I do have a pre-shot routine of bending to get the ball, then I wipes the ball with a towel, then I set my feet and then get into my stance. I try do this consistently before each shot. Having a routine is what helps some players get the mental part going to produce a good shot each time.

10. Don't have much of an answer other than they started it out of habit and in time realized it helped to get them focused before their shot.

11. I consider myself a die hard player. I'm not saying I am the best, but I love the sport and follow it and participate in it as much as possible. I am a member of the PBA and have started bowling in pro events. I love both the competition and people at these events. I watch bowling anytime it's on TV and I travel hundreds of miles to both watch and participate in tournaments and events.

Sometimes it's hard to talk about bowling to the ones in it just for fun because there is so much more to the game than most understand. On the other hand, I have made good friends with people on teams that were not so serious. Occasionally it is hard to really concentrate on my game in handicapped leagues because when I try to focus I am more quiet and keep to myself, and a lot of people on the more fun leagues want to talk and laugh, etc. And that's fine...and that's why I do bowl in PBA events and tournaments and scratch leagues. Besides, we still need the people who enjoy bowling just for fun to keep the businesses open and the leagues going for all the bowlers. As long as there is a place for both fun bowlers and serious bowlers, I am OK with that.

I'd be happy to help if you have any more questions. Hope I didn't bore you and get into too much detail. Feel free to send me a private message if I can help any further.

Doug B.
_________________________
I graduated at the top of my class from Randy's Bowling Clinic. Helicopter, Eagle, Airplane, Swan!

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#7509 - 06/12/06 08:05 PM Re: bowling questions
Silent Mike Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 998
A/S/L: 39/M/Poconos PA
1) Our mixed league works with team max cap score of 750 minus actual team combined average x 90% or something like that.

2) I have no problems with handicap leagues, you know what you are getting into. The only time I have an issue is when someone or a team blatantly keeps their scores low to benefit later on.

3) I bowl in leagues Weds and Fri night at 7pm. I practice for 4 games every Tues with friends/coworkers and I'll get some games in on my own over the weekend.

4) Individually.

5) I think they start at 6 lbs for kids and go to a max of 16 lbs. Prices range from $50-$300+ depending on the ball.

6) Wide open question. It goes by personal choice, style and results. I tend to buy from Storm and lately I am VERY happy with Ebonite's The Big One.

7) Not during a season USUALLY but sometimes people change teams the next season. It could be for personal reasons, can't fit under the cap with their average, work hour related, etc.

8) In practice I throw what I brought to see what the lanes are giving me and what ball performs best. Once I make that decision I only use another ball for 10 pins (plastic ball to go straight). By the 3rd game I might make a ball change once the lanes break down. It varies week to week.

9) Oh boy lol Well I start by using a perfectly folded towel to cup the ball from the return then I spin it for a good 5-6 hard revs. I find my footing left foot first (I'm righty) then get set and start my approach. I tend to wear dark shirts because the ball spinning ritual lightly rubs my shirt and leaves marks(live and learn lol). I have other things I do as a pre throw ritual to get "comfortable" but they are weird so I'll spare you.lol

10) I just picked them up as I went along. Sometimes I'd bowl real well and felt "comfortable" so I would repeat those actions and eventually they became 2nd nature.

11) I am a diehard, bowling is a lifestyle and dominates my life. I'm a current 216 avg bowler as a high for the Summer leagues and while that's not bad I strive for better. I don't care if you are the most inexperienced bowler or the best if you come ready to bowl, don't have to be told when it's your turn and keep your dues paid up then I'll enjoy bowling with you or against you.
_________________________
Hammer - Swagga
Hammer - Black Widow Nasty
Roto Grip - Infinite Theory
Storm - Natural

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#7510 - 06/12/06 11:37 PM Re: bowling questions
Smooth Stroker Offline
Legend

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 1905
A/S/L: 45/M/Long Island
1) Been answered.

2) I have no problem with the concept. I haven't heard of a better idea yet. The problem comes around when you run into people who are pros at average management ( called sandbagging ). These bowlers begin the season with a very low average. As the season wears on, they become experts. By the end of the year, they are impossible to beat. It's hard to differentiate the sandbaggers from the bowlers who are just learning and are learning fast. I usually look at the form and how good they are at picking up spares. High average bowlers leave very few splits and pick up their spares. They also string strikes. Sandbaggers try to stay just ahead of you and beat you by a tad. No more than is neccessary. Sandbaggers are hard to beat because they have a high handicap and the high average bowler has a low handicap. the sandbagger is every bit as good as the high average bowler so the sandbagger will win most of the time.

3)I practice on Fridays and Sundays. I bowl league on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I practice about 13-15 games per week.

4) I practice on my own mostly. On Fridays, I sometimes have my bowling buddy from work. I like to practice with him because he has years of bowling experience on my and I like to have his eyes watching me. On Sundays I practice on the PBA shot and instruct my son.

5) Answered.

6) It's a matter of opinion. It really goes by bowling style. A bowler that's a high rev bowler won't want a ball that hooks a ton. A low rev bowler wants all the help hooking the ball he/she can get. A high speed bowler wants a ball that grips before it flies into the gutter. A low speed bowler wants a ball that will get length before it hooks. You can combine two characteristics to come up with different combo's. Like a high rev bowler with high ball speed. A low rev bowler with high ball speed. These bowlers would have two very different opinions about the same ball.
That being said, High performance balls usually have what is called a mass bias. This is an extra protrusion on the core of the bowling ball. This protrusion makes the core assymetrical. Bowling balls have a core inside the ball that makes the ball hook in a particular shape. The coverstock on the ball dictates how early the ball will begin to grip the lane. A dull coverstock will grip the lane earlier than a hard shiny coverstock. A coverstock with particles in it will grip the lanes even earlier. A pearlized coverstock will get much further down the lane before it begins to hook. High performance balls have more track flare. The ball rotates accross new ball surface as it tries to find its most stable axis. This core that is inside the ball, can be drilled to be offset inside the ball. This offset core makes the ball flare. The ball rolls on new surface trying to become stable. The more new surface of the coverstock the ball rolls over, the more the ball will hook. More flare usually means more money. Little flare means little money.

7) There is one team that I'm on that is constant. Other than that I switch teams and leagues almost every year. I like trying different houses, different shots. I'm looking for the perfect league. My endless quest.

8) Like the others I try things out in warm ups and decide on a ball to use at this time. Usually I stick with it for the whole 3 games. I try to use the ball that will give me the most room for error and allow me to make adjustments during the night. If I run out of room and I'm standing on top of the ball return, then I'm prepared to use something weaker.

9) I always wipes the bottom of my slide shoe before I step on the approach. I always do a practice slide as I step to my spot. I always wipes the ball with a nicely folded oil absorbant towel. I don't look at the pins until I'm ready to bowl. I always take a deep breath before I take my first step. I always tell myself some tip to stay in focus before I take my first step. Positive reinforcement.

10) Trial and error. I only had to stick once because my slide sole wasn't dry. I live and learn. I only had to pick up the ball once and have oil all over my hand.

11) I'm as diehard as they come. I think about bowling a whole lot. My family comes first, right after that, bowling isn't far behind. I love the challenge. I want to have a room full of trophies. I want an 800 series ring for each finger. I want to win many tourny's. I want to win a regional tourny. I want to bowl on TV. I love to bowl. I love to compete.
_________________________
A Storm is coming.

IQ Tour Fusion
IQ Tour anniversary edition
Lights Out
Natural

USBC level 1 certified coach

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#7511 - 06/13/06 01:45 AM Re: bowling questions
Beth06 Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2
A/S/L: female
Thank you for your replies.

I hope I did't offend anyone with the "die hard" statement. I used to bowl years ago on an IOF League and remember the different types of teams. Everyone was there to enjoy themselves and have fun, but for some the game came second. Things have changed alot since then. Or maybe I have!

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