Regulations for ball returns????

Posted by: Pin Bomber

Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/18/06 09:21 PM

I would love to know if there are any regulations concerning ball returns (shape, size, placement). For the longest time when I shot at the 7 or far left-sided spares (I am a righty) I like to stand far to the right and shoot over the 2nd. I haven't had a problem as long as I can remember (but I have not done this technique forever either).

Anyhow, the other day I went to a Brunswick house and whenever I went to pick up a left side spare, the ball hit the ball return machine on my downswing. It was very irritating and threw me off several times and missed the spares. I also felt that the ball returns went out into the lane far more than what I was used to, but this could have been my eyes playing tricks on me after I hit the machine.

Even though I know ball returns are different, it seems like there would be some kind of standard that would not have caused this. Either I should be hitting it all the time or if I am already used to the way I bowl I shouldn't then hit it because of my being in a different house.

It's not the ball return itself I have the trouble with, but the inconsistency that its shape and size seems to be.

Any other experiences on this trouble?
Posted by: Rolling Pin

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/19/06 02:06 AM

Ball returns seem to vary in length and width. In the place where I do most of my bowling, the ball returns are in the way if you want to play very deep. And when I stand in front of them, I can only get a two step approach (which I've become fairly good at, but I am not fond of because I have to change my timing).

I think us bowlers just have to work around them however we can, because I don't think there is ever going to be a standard sized ball return that everyone agrees on.

It seems like they could find a way to have them off the approaches entirely. I wouldn't mind carrying my ball farther, but others might. Aside from that, there must be some good reasons why they have them on the approaches. I wonder what those reasons are...
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/19/06 03:11 AM

I know sometimes I cannot stand far enough left on the right lane to pick up my ten pins comfortably. This is rare. But the key word there is "comfortably". Sometimes you have to adjust for immovable obstructions. And if you have a big hook that demands you to be in front of , or right next to the ball return then that's your problem for being dependant on that big hook.

I bowled in one house that had no walkways on the left side of lane one and the right side of lane 10. So on lane 1, when you went to get a 10 pin (right hander) you were right there with your shoulder against the wall, no balance arm. And a buddy of mine had a very long arm span, he hit the wall with his balance hand on every strike ball. Immovable penalty.

In the days of above ground ball returns, it was common to hit the ball return with your trail leg on the right lane.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">whenever I went to pick up a left side spare, the ball hit the ball return machine on my downswing. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Something else that occured to me as I reread your post. To hit the ball return on the downswing that has to mean that your arm swing is not straight. That its more out to in.....your armswing is not "within" the box. In addition you could be drifting funny or walking non straight to the foul line. Also by the time I'm in my second step, I'm already clear of the ball return. So maybe you are taking too long a step, too many steps and standing too far back on the approach. If you have a coach, I'd put this problem in their hands and see what they suggest.


Posted by: Pin Bomber

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/19/06 06:06 AM

Hi Erin...

I have a pretty straight swing, but I stand kind of angled-facing the left of the lane. So while the swing is straight, I am facing about 10 degrees left as I make my approach. I start at the very back of the approach with a 5-step approach, but perhaps if I started further up I could clear the return?

I appreciate your input on this.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/19/06 01:23 PM

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">I start at the very back of the approach with a 5-step approach, but perhaps if I started further up I could clear the return? </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Unless you are over 6', it does sound like your steps are too long. It would take a very long legged person, to make it to the foul line with 5 steps from the back of the approach. Unless you regularly end about 2 to 3 feet from the foul line.

When you say you start facing 10 degrees to the left, is this because you are playing off the gutter from the extreme right? Because your forearm, shoulder and pushaway should all be inline with your ball path. And for most right handers, unless they are pointing the ball, that means facing straight or slightly right. In a left facing position, it would make it hard to open your shoulders for a nice backswing since your shoulders are already over closed.

Good luck at the tournament.

Posted by: Lefty

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/19/06 08:36 PM

You should also be aware of older ball returns that go all the way to the foul line. They're not much fun when you're in deep. The worst were the old school ones that had the ball come back above ground! smile There was a place around here that had those up until about 10 years ago.
Posted by: Pin Bomber

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/19/06 10:13 PM

Thanks for the good luck wish Erin smile I am actually 6'4 and about 275lbs...a bulk of a man! Because of my ball speed I do also end up about 1 foot in front of the foul line to 'add' length on the longer patterns I bowl on. Admittedly I also don't get down much at the line with my height. Koivuniemi and I are the exact height side-by-side (and I have the photo to prove it!), but I don't get down as much as he, but we both have a good bit of loft.

I do actually play off the gutter at 7 pins all the way on the right. And I only do that for 7 pins and hitting the gutter only happened when I went for 7 pins.

And unfortunately I never open up, even on a strike shot, so I don't have that issue. What a weird bowler I am huh??!! My game has always been down and in, and I mean STRAIGHT down and in. It's been most consistant for me to not open up much and keep my hand just about at the same position the entire swing. So whichever way I position myself the swing will come back that way.

Hope all that made sense...I am kind of a strange case in my style. smile
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/20/06 03:23 AM

Well, Steve Cook is taller and he ends up at the foul line. But if it works for you, at your height then its probably fine. Long legs = long stride. YOu probably have plenty long legs. I have long legs too (inseam is 52") and both my brothers and father are over 6' 4". So I understand that if you have a long stride, you have to use it. You probably also have the long arms to go with it. I can't buy long sleeved shirts, they cuff way too far above my wrist. But the long arms, with the long legs.....makes for a good bowler as long as you don't try to over muscle the ball.

Now the down and in stuff. That's got to get more varied. Because you'll find plenty of conditions where the down and in shot doesn't work....unless you are throwing an old Manhatten Rubber. (like the guy who recently won our city Master's Tournament). After your tournament this weekend. I'd suggest you tring to find lane conditions that don't let you play that down and in shot. I am stuck playing a pretty much down and in shot at the house I"m at. If I get inside 7 that's unusual, and I"m throwing high end equipment. But if I can get to a tournament where I can shoot 15 or even 20 board I feel liberated. Out of the to speak.

Posted by: bimmerman

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/20/06 08:28 AM

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">Originally posted by Atochabsh:
I have long legs too (inseam is 52") and both my brothers and father are over 6' 4". Erin </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">I think you meant to say 32"???
Posted by: Pin Bomber

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/20/06 08:50 AM

I have been trying a few different lines. If the lanes or outside gets too dry, I will move in a few boards and bend it a little, but too much and the ball isn't going to come back with my speed. My driller has done an excellent job of giving me a lot of great options for playing the outside though. I will move if the outside isn't working, but I like to exhaust changing out balls and changing speed before doing so.

I have come a little way though-I used to only like to play the 10 board, but now I can easily play out to the 1-2 or move in to about the 12-13 without difficulty. Perhaps this summer I will experiment some, but not as fall leagues are winding down and we are in a serious race for place on my league smile
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/20/06 10:41 AM

You can make some changes with your finger positions as well to change how many boards the ball will cover. My normal hand position is with my pinky against my ring finger and my index finger spread. If I then spread my pinky, it will smooth out the back end a little. If I then bring both fingers in, it will mellow it out even more. If I then spread just my pinky, it's even mellower. From my normal finger positions to the weakest, it's 7 boards difference.

Something maybe to consider and practice if you have a hard time getting the ball to make the more extreme angle it takes to play deeper.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Regulations for ball returns???? - 04/20/06 01:27 PM

LOL, yeah Bimmerman. I went to bed and thought about that post. But just decided to correct it in the morning. I think that would make my legs alone almost 6' long. WOW

Anyway everyone in my family has problems buying pants and long sleeved shirts.