It seems that it’s not just the amount of loft one gives the ball but also how it is applied. Here is the gist of an article found on http://www.bowlingball.com/BowlVersity/how-to-control-bowling-ball-loft that helps explain some of the principles of lofting.
Here’s a piece from that – On their site is a great explanation:
- Some of the best players in the world vary loft control from just beyond the foul line, perhaps 6-12 inches beyond the line, when they wish to get the ball into a quick roll on the lane surface. Sometimes these players will release the ball so it first contacts the lane perhaps five or six feet beyond the foul line when the player wants to delay the the roll, create a longer skid distance, and produce a shorter overall distance the ball has to travel before it impacts the pins.
Once you are able to control a consistent loft distance past the foul line and maintain a regulated ball speed, then you can work at changing loft distances by either releasing the ball later than normal for additional loft distance or releasing the ball sooner than normal for an earlier rolling pattern.
Of course we can’t leave WikiPedia out. Here’s their definition of bowling loft:
- Lofting (bowling)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lofting (by a bowler) in bowling is throwing a bowling ball more than a short distance down the lane. This is usually done with the bounce pass technique, but can also be done with a straight ball. Lofting is looked down upon by the bowling community and bowling alley employees because of the damage to the ball and lanes. Many bowling alleys that use wood for their lanes will either have signs that tell the bowlers not to loft, or an employee will tell the bowlers not to do so. Lofting the ball before the arrows in some bowling alleys is not against the rules. Some professional bowlers do loft a considerable amount under certain lane conditions. Crankers and other high-rev players may be forced to loft under dry conditions in order to delay the ball’s reaction and prevent it from overhooking. Lofting over the gutter is known as “popping the cap” and is done when a bowler hooks the whole lane.
In the sport of candlepin bowling, “lofting” a ball beyond a line situated ten feet (3.05 m) down the lane from the main foul line is called a lob, and is considered a ball foul, resulting in no counted pinfall from a ball delivered in such a manner, as the ball must first touch the lanebed on the bowler’s side of the lob line to be considered a legal delivery.
A discussion group at http://www.bowlingboards.com/archive/index.php/t-5476.html also has some good stuff.
There’s even more at http://www.strikeability.com/secret5.php and http://bowlercentral.com/RonClifton.htm