16# vs 15# comment yesterday

Posted by: Dennis Michael

16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 10:16 AM

It was during the Jones match yesterday, when Randy mentioned that TJ has been working with his Coach, Baker, for almost a year to correct a problem. Seems like he switched from 16# balls to 15#, I gather last March. In doing so, his backswing became too vertical and his arm was forced, per Randy.

Finally, TJ switched back to 16# balls, under the advise of his Coach, and he is bowling much better.

I have been cautioned about this by my Coach repeatedly as in his opinion, I would tend to carry my backswing too high by using my arm, and it follows through to my release. I even purchased 15# balls to try, and found this to be true.

I guess 15# is not for everyone. And, the switch should not be done in an attempt to gain revs. This is a formula for muscling.
Posted by: Russ I.

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 11:25 AM

I switched to all 15# this year. Maybe I should tell my wife I have to go back to 16# due to muscling. This would be my feabile attempt of an excuse to get more Balls in my aresenal.
Do you think it would work?
Posted by: MJA

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 02:54 PM

I found this to true in my game also. I was muscling the 15# balls and actually losing revs. 16# has me at a more relaxed swing. My accuracy and revs are up as a result.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 02:57 PM

raggity, your wife married you. She must be gullible. JK, LOL.
Posted by: Rack Wrecker

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 06:20 PM

I have found myself muscling few times here and there but I don't think jumping from my 15 to a 16 is the answer. I can't imagine me using a 16 based on my weight, but then again I have gotten much stronger. But still, don't think the muscling is always based just on the weight. I also have made a stupid mistake by using an old 11# ball for giggles and it has caused me to muscle more. I have stopped lol!
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 08:35 PM

For healthy adults, their body weight doesn't have much effect on the ball weight they should use. I've seen some small females using 15s and 16s. It's about what you can use comfortably and pain free.
Posted by: Rack Wrecker

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 08:40 PM

I agree. I mean I'm a 19 year old guy who only weighs 120 or so. I dislike it but have been told I'm pretty in shape and strong for my size. I have gone to the gym and all that stuff and tried to bulk up. But still, I only see some results. As far as using bowling balls though, I have no trouble with the 15# unless I have let the muscle tire out by not bowling for 2 weeks or so. I think 16 is definitely doable but the question is, do I get a strong enough reaction and contact with what I've got now? The other night a strong bowler who averages 213 was bowling next to me and giving me some advice. He knew his stuff for the most part and though he places pretty straight and in, which I usually don't, he was very good. He complimented my follow through on being natural and said that when I've got my shot together I have an explosive ball. I suppose that being the case, I don't really need to up the weight just yet.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 09:26 PM

i wouldn't worry about moving to 16# at all unless 15 starts giving you some kind of problem.

also, on the ball weight subject... i know people who throw dozens of games a week.. a guy who bowl(ed) in 2-3 leagues a night every day and averaged around 90 games a week and neither have any problems with being tired while bowling and they both have a non muscled armswing.

i think you just have to get in 'bowling shape' by bowling enough that your body gets used to it. 6 game / 9 game sets.. maybe even 12 games every so often. we're athletes and we have to improve ourselves to keep in bowling shape just like any other sport..

maybe if you muscle the ball you'll be feeling fatigue easily.. but i've noticed since working on a free armswing kind of like norms that I've been able to bowl in a faster pace without getting tired.
Posted by: Fgreco

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 10:13 PM

I was thinking of going to a 15# from a 16# ball. Sometimes I feel like it is hard for me to reach 14.5 MPH. Now I dont know if I should go to the 15# because I am going to buy another ball real soon. I just dont know what weight to get. I think I will go with the 16# since all the balls I own are 16#. What do you guys/gals think?
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 10:24 PM

I will be posting the full article soon to CMGBB, but in the meantime, here's the summary from the calculations I just did on ball weight vs. rev rate:

Originally Posted By: cmgbb.wordpress.com
What can we take away from this? One thing that stands out is that the difference is not very significant dropping from 16 to 15 gave, at most, a 4% gain, which is not a great deal. Another thing that stands out is that if the RG of the ball goes up as the weight goes down, the gain is much smaller. When the RG dropped, the gain in rev rate was magnified. My conclusion? A higher rev rate is not a great reason to drop in weight.


A note on ball speed. I will look into it eventually, but with a free swing, there should be *no* change in ball speed, with the tiniest caveat. The muscles that control the flexibility of the shoulder will have to go through an adjustment period as they learn to counteract the new weight, which may change speed a bit. After the change has been assimilated, the speed should end up the same as it was before. If it doesn't, you've been muscling.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 10:53 PM

Originally Posted By: cgeorg
A note on ball speed. I will look into it eventually, but with a free swing, there should be *no* change in ball speed, with the tiniest caveat. The muscles that control the flexibility of the shoulder will have to go through an adjustment period as they learn to counteract the new weight, which may change speed a bit. After the change has been assimilated, the speed should end up the same as it was before. If it doesn't, you've been muscling.


Thats my thought as well. I think dropping in weight magnifies a preexisting muscling issue, but it doesn't cause you to muscle it. The heavier ball would just provide more resistance to the muscling.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 11:05 PM

I was fortunate to get a 15 1/2 Hammer Anger. And while this ball feels heavier and is more difficult for me to throw, its carry is drastically different from my 15s. Even the 1/2 pound makes a big difference to me.

So I still stand by the idea of throw the heaviest you comfortably can.

Erin
Posted by: Fgreco

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/19/09 11:19 PM

How do you stop muscling the ball?
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 12:01 AM

I guess my experience told me there is a certain weight resistance in the arm swing with any ball. You become used to that weight when you roll it for a while. When you drop in weight, the normal ball resistance is lessened, and you notice that in your swing. Generally, one would try to regain the memory of the former resistance, and that would require the use of muscles to do it.

It generally starts by pulling the backswing up because that is where you notice the weight drop. And, could continue in the down swing through the release. This will affecting your timing, eventually.

This is just what I gather from my 15# experiment and conversations with my Coach.

Where's Mkirchie???
Posted by: Fgreco

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 12:21 AM

Thanks for the tip.
Posted by: SilentTuba

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 12:45 AM

I dropped to 15 lbs. from 16 lbs. a few months ago. I like it. No significant difference in speed that I can see, and I don't think there's more revs...what I notice, is less wear on my arm. My arm isn't as tired after bowling a bunch of games as it used to be, and I like that a lot.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 02:05 AM

Originally Posted By: SilentTuba
I dropped to 15 lbs. from 16 lbs. a few months ago. I like it. No significant difference in speed that I can see, and I don't think there's more revs...what I notice, is less wear on my arm. My arm isn't as tired after bowling a bunch of games as it used to be, and I like that a lot.


This statement confuses me. I have routinely bowled in 2 leagues in 1 day, afternoon and evening. And, I sometimes bowl again before evening. I can say that I easily bowl 20 games a week. In Summer, often more with a group of practice friends on Monday and Tuesday. Generally 6-8 games per night, plus any Summer league.

I have yet to feel tiredness in my arm. My lean would be you muscle your ball to feel tired, and feel less tired with a lighter ball.

Just my take. My normal routine is 3 leagues and 1, try for 2, practice nights per week. Somewhere between 20-30 games per week.

With all of that bowling, I should be better than I am.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 07:36 AM

When I started bowling, with 16, I was fine. As I was able to spend less time at the alley, and my fitness level generally worsened, I found that my forearm would grow tired at the end of a 4 game set, from keeping my wrist in a strong position at the release point. While the amount of energy you put into a release shouldn't change, the amount of that the ball's energy can affect you will change. If you are near the failure point for your muscles, that 1 pound can make a big difference.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 07:46 AM

I am right their with you Dennis,
Although you bowl a few more games than me (and your better)
I bowl two leagues every week, and a third every other week, and I usually practice at least four games a week..you would think I would be better as well wink
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 10:04 AM

Tim, with a hip injury a couple of years ago, and [censored] myself up bowling in PBA leagues, I complicated my mess by only bowling an inside line, that I am not very confident in. The compilation of these changes has really screwed with my consistency, and my average has suffered 10+ pins.

Many nights, like a few weeks ago, I start with 3 opens in the first 4 frames, then I run the table, finishing with the last 7. But, as fast as it comes back, it goes away. I just can't maintain consistency through the night.

How can I go 237, 257 and finish with a 160? Something just stops working, and I don't know why.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 11:16 AM

Dennis,
The PBA League srewed me up this year too. But I want to try it again, I did OK on it in the past..I dunno maybe I'm asking for trouble, but I would like to give it another try.

My scores are erratic too at times,for ex. 240, 182, 157...something stops working for me as well and I fail miserably adjusting. Not every night..but enough to lower the average. I also have a similar problem with only playing outside..I prefer it out there, and am not comfortable inside. Bassackwards..I know..I use to play inside all the time..now it just seems foriegn to me. Thats likely reason my adjustments in a game are not good. I have little confidence in my movements I suppose.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 08:52 PM

Here's the article in full: http://cmgbb.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/the-science-of-bowling-how-does-ball-weight-affect-rev-rate/
Posted by: Smooth Stroker

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 11:35 PM

I'm not nearly as sciencey as you cgeorg. One thing I always see when someone does some type of science test, is they eliminate the variables and put everyone on the same plane. But usually, all things aren't the same. If a person could handle both 15 and 16 pound bowling balls exactly the same way, and it made no difference to them which one they used, then your experiment is useful. Most people switch weights because of some particular reason. ( i admit, it was way too complex an article to hold my attention )
To me it stands to reason that if you can't keep your wrist firm for the duration of your armswing, then you are using too much weight. If the is no weight resistance and your ball speed fluctuates from delivery to delivery, then you are muscling the ball. Much like throwing a football or baseball. It's tough to let the ball swing the arm if you can't feel the ball at the end of your arm.

Most people can't do the same things with both ball weights, I think the rev rate increases because the bowler has more control of the ball at the lower weight. They can properly effectuate a strong release. Many bowlers have a hard time keeping their wrist firm. I ask some to do it and they just can't. To have a high rev rate, one has to be able to keep their wrist in a strong position for the release. When the weight is too heavy, the bowler has trouble doing this. I think that is what creates the extra revs.

One side note. I remember during some of the older telecasts, they would show you the bowlers ball speed and rev rate. I can remember seeing Pete Weber hit the same ball speed almost on the nose each and every time. I was amazed and the consistency. Now that is the hallmark of a muscle free armswing. I wish they would show some of that info now.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/20/09 11:52 PM

There seems to be some indication in that report, cg, that a bowler will get more revs as he drops in weight. So, why not all roll 13# balls?

I don't think the relationship is linear.

Didn't the robot test out of USBC Milwaukee say the rev rate was the same, or about equal? If I recall, the robot showed No difference in revs, as his release and speed were always the same.

So, if there is any measurable difference, it must be applied by the bowler.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/21/09 07:50 AM

Dennis,
Had you read the conclusion, you'd see that I'm of the opinion that a higher rev rate is not a good reason to drop in ball weight. The relationship is not linear. It's equivalent to the percentage difference of the square root of the weights. So going from 16 to 15, you'd have sqrt(16)/sqrt(15)% more revs. 16 to 13 would be sqrt(16)/sqrt(13). Less than 11% increase going from 16 to 13. You can get way more than that by just fixing your release.
I have never seen a USBC test, so I don't know about that. As far as I know, the USBC robot is set for a certain rev rate, not a certain amount of energy applied to rotating the ball. So it wouldn't matter if it was throwing a 5 lb ball or a 25 lb ball.

Smooth, at the beginning of the article, I noted that the calculations would only be valid if the bowler was able to bowl without his muscles getting fatigued to the point that he could not apply the same amount of energy to the release. If a bowler can't bowl/release the ball correctly at a certain weight, and they move down in weight, I would not say that they did it to add revs, and I would also not say that the rev rate gain was due to the weight drop. I would say that the bowler dropped weight so that they could bowl properly, and the rev rate gain was due to the fact that they could now in fact bowl properly.

I also dearly miss that, they would show the rev rate and speed of each shot. It was awesome to see someone playing the 2 lanes differently, yet managing to be consistent within their play on each lane.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/21/09 08:24 AM

Yeah, cg, I read that. I think your conclusion is accurate. I just don't think the calculations are linear with the weight reduction. And, the USBC test robot applies no energy to any ball, A ball rolls down a ramp as it is released. So, the energy is the gravitational pull on the ball. You can position the pin of the ball, the cg, but you cannot impart any rotation. That is generated by the ball and the tilted angle of the ramp.

Actually, it is really educational going to Milwaukee and see this contraption. I will miss it when it gets moved to Texas.
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/21/09 08:53 AM

The ball will always be rolling at the same speed at the bottom of the ramp. How quickly it gets to the bottom can change, but it will always be the same speed when it gets there (well, there may be a small bit of rolling friction, depending on the type of ramp).

If it rolls down a ramp, it will not have any hook potential - it will simply be rolling down the lane. Where does the robot part come in?
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/21/09 09:25 AM

Actually, the biggest part of the robot is the calculation it performs while optically reading the ball movement. The unit can be made stationary on the lane. Height can be varied. Tilt can be adjusted by varying each rail the ball rolls on. And, there are many other adjustments it can have. The purpose for most of the measurements I witnesses were to vary the ball with different coverstock, internal weights, etc, Roll each ball the same, with no difference in speed etc, and the machine takes measurements of every roll.

There is another machine that has a robotic arm that released every ball the same way. I missed that one being used.
Posted by: Ron A.

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/23/09 02:56 PM

Do you mean this robot? Harry the Bowling Machine
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/23/09 03:00 PM

Nice find.
Posted by: Timotheus

Re: 16# vs 15# comment yesterday - 01/23/09 03:45 PM

My two cents on this subject is that if you change ball weight you should see no difference in speed and revs (revs only if you're using the same ball drilled the same way as different balls and drillings will affect your rev rate). However you will see a difference in kinetic energy and hitting power because of the difference in momentum produced by the differeng weights. A heavier ball will have more momentum and kinetic energy than a lighter ball, which is basic physics, however rotational kinetic energy can change based on drilling and core design. It may not be an overly significant difference, but as a general rule a heavier ball will have more power behind it at impact than a lighter ball.

As for the muscling aspect of it, switching to a lighter ball will magnify any muscling issues you had already because you're muscles will be going like you are using the heavier ball, but won't be working as hard to support the lighter weight. The end result of this is that you will impart greater speed and power at release which will decrease results at impact. My observation on this is based on the video I posted up at the start of last season (2007-2008) where I was told by numerous people on this board that I had a controlled (muscled) armswing. It took me almost a full year to figure out how to correct this problem, but once I did I noticed a tremendous difference in not only accuracy, power and control, but also I wasn't as tired, my forearm wasn't as sore and I had much better balance. In that time I used balls ranging in weight from 15lbs to 16lbs and I noticed no difference in speed, control or balance if I was throwing correctly.

Dennis: I'm having a couple issues similar to yours where I hit a 230-250 game for the first two and then bomb to 190 in the 3rd. I did that this week in league, though I know why: a couple times I missed inside leave a 6-7-10 and a 4-6-7-10, and then I made an incorrect adjustment.