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#43666 - 03/16/07 06:58 PM Thumb pitch
Khaz Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 03/03/07
Posts: 41
A/S/L: Dodge City Kansas
I would like any input on the benefits of forward and reverse pitch in the thumbhole.
I currently have a lot of reverse pitch.
If any Pro Shop tech would like to chime in I would appreciate it.
Definitions of exactly what those pitches mean would be nice also.

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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#43672 - 03/16/07 10:15 PM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: Khaz]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
The benefit or thought process behind putting reverse (away from the fingers) pitch in a thumb hole is to get the thumb out faster so you put more of the ball's weight on the fingers giving you more revs. The reality is that reverse pitch causes the ball to slip off of your thumb causing you to squeeze the thumb to hang onto the ball and making your thumb come out later and get less revs on the ball.

Putting the proper amount of pitch in the ball for your hand requires you to keep putting more and more forward (toward the fingers) pitch in the thumb hole until you hang up, then back off 1/16" or 1/8" for comfort. The amount of forward pitch can change as your hand learns to realx in the ball without squeezing the thumb. After you have mastered not squeezing the ball with your thumb you will notice higher rev rate and more control with less effort.

Think of it like this, it is easier to palm a baseball than a basket ball.

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#43674 - 03/16/07 10:56 PM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: CoachJim]
Khaz Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 03/03/07
Posts: 41
A/S/L: Dodge City Kansas
wow so all 12 or so of my bowling balls are screwed up lol

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#43691 - 03/17/07 07:15 AM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: Khaz]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
Hopefully they are all screwed up the same, and can be fixed with slugs.

One side note, make sure your span is not too long before you start going forward with the thumb pitch. Your span should be short enough that when your hand is in the ball, your finger nails shouldn't be pressing against the back wall of the finger holes.

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#43696 - 03/17/07 08:44 AM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: CoachJim]
Brian Longo Offline
Legend

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
We had a lock-in for our junior bowlers (I just got home from it). I had some ball work to do, so I figured I'd mess with one of my RH balls that I wouldn't mind tinkering with to start changing my RH thumb pitch. It was originally drilled 5/16 reverse (zero lateral), and was probably 7/16 reverse with the tape layering I did with it. I slugged it and went with 1/8 forward and I also shortened my span a smidge (1/16"). I used ExBronxiteBowler's ovaling suggestion he sent to me (it worked like a champ this time, EBB...thanks) so I didn't have to grind out the thumb oval with a bevel sander. When I finished the thumb, I didn't bevel it a whole lot, either; just enough to contour the edge and smoothed it with the bevel sander. I did have to put in about 7 pieces of tape because my thumb has shrunk from not bowling RH for 2 months, but I didn't taper-layer it like I used to, so it still maintained the 1/8 forward pitch.

Now, the lanes this morning were D-R-Y. I'm talking 1970's-80's less than 3 units so bone-freakin' dry a Manhattan Rubber would move 15 boards dry (good enough imagery?). The ball I tinkered with was my Command Zone that works well on drier/torched Track conditions. I rolled about 2 games with it and it felt good. No pain in my shoulder and even better, I didn't have to squeeze the ball, which allowed me to loosen my grip, which loosened my wrist, which loosened my armswing. I couldn't try to fan the ball or rip through it because of the conditions, so I'll have to find a different time for that.

Now, normally if I was increasing speed and decreasing revs at the same time like I had to do this morning, I'd have to squeeze the hell out of the ball to do so. Uh uh, not this morning. I was able to hang onto the ball with my thumb stuck at the back of the thumbhole. The only pain I had was the back of my thumb under the thumbnail. It's a little black and blue under the nail right now, but better that than a kink in my shoulder. I probably need to bevel the front lip just a little so my thumb can clear the front lip a little better and that should go away. Otherwise, I'm pleasantly surprised and extremely happy.

I'll keep my pitch at 1/8 forward for the time being. If there comes a point when I feel I'm starting to squeeze again, I'll bring it forward another 1/8. What really stuck out at me, though, was when I was taking that ball to work on it and it just felt wrong even carrying it. I had to squeeze just to tote it. Now, I don't have to squeeze and there's enough play but enough "snugness" to be comfortable to me. Now I just need to order some slugs and finger inserts.

I'm thinking I'm going to scrap my bowling LH experiment because now I found something that, hopefully, will keep me pain free, and will benefit me for quite some time without sacrificing my power and accuracy. Again, thanks CoachJim for being adamant about forward pitch in the thumb. I'm now advocating that to anyone who asks me to drill a ball for them and to my junior bowlers, and if any of you reading this post had your doubts initially, I hope you at least consider it now from what I've written.

Word of mouth is a powerful advertiser.
_________________________
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

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#43697 - 03/17/07 08:50 AM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: CoachJim]
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
The length of your span also plays a role in the equation. The longer it is, the more your thumb will be under your palm without forward pitch.

For years I had a little forward in my equipment and really struggled to get out of the ball. I'd have to bevel the snot out ot the thumb to get it out clean. Drilling a new ball was really a chore because of how much I had to fiddle with it. I've since backed off to 1/8th reverse and I have to bevel very little to get my thumb clear of the thumb hole. I still need to use a thumb size that's a little larger than it should be and tape it because I'll still hang a little with a smaller thumb. I'm sure I could bevel the smaller thumb more, but It's much harder to get thumbs consistant that way. I'd rather add an extra piece of tape or two and not have to carve.

If you can, grab a ball you don't use anymore and start playing around with pitches. That's what I did to find what works for me. There's a lot of people who like forward pitch, but it doesn't work for my hand.

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#43724 - 03/17/07 03:28 PM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: Lefty]
802dave Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 11/01/04
Posts: 201
A/S/L: 52/male/Fort Worth, TX
I was using up to a 1/4 reverse pitch and had all kinds of problems with hanging up in the oval - I'd work out the oval to where I wasn't hanging up and then I had a lot of trouble just hanging on to the release... Tried many different taping methods!

I read a couple Ron Clifton articles about using forward pitch and going back to a round thumbhole. Thank you Ron Clifton!!!

I'm now using 1/2" forward pitch and a looser round thumbhole (and now using the SwitchGrip system - good stuff!)

I have no trouble with the thumbhole, period!!!
_________________________
Visualize your Target Line!

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#43727 - 03/17/07 03:49 PM Re: Thumb pitch [Re: Lefty]
Brian Longo Offline
Legend

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
Originally Posted By: Lefty
The length of your span also plays a role in the equation. The longer it is, the more your thumb will be under your palm without forward pitch.

For years I had a little forward in my equipment and really struggled to get out of the ball. I'd have to bevel the snot out ot the thumb to get it out clean.

Along with span, the amount of thumb flexibility plays a part. If you have a "tight thumb", then the more forward pitch you have, the harder it is to come out of the ball.

I find that I do need an oval thumb because my thumb is fairly flat, so a round hole is something I'm trying to avoid. If I drilled my thumb round, it would be 1 1/32" and I would have at least 15 pieces of tape in it, if not more (that's what I used to do before I went to an oval thumb). Plus, I'm more comfortable with a front/back snug fit rather than the sides. If my sides begin to hang, mentally I struggle to get out of the ball regardless of pitch.
_________________________
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

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