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6 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Strike

  • Jim

    Is there any data (actual statistics) for professional bowlers related to the highest percentage of strikes and the “style” of shot? I always have tried to bowl less of a curve (I call a shallow curve a hook) thinking it is easier to make consistent shots on different lane surfaces. My thought process is that a shot that curves more is more dependent on the slipperiness of the lane surface, and therefore harder to bowl consistently. I try to have basically two shots; a strike ball that breaks fairly little, and a straight shot to pick up spares. I was never a pro, but carried a 190 average for a few years when I was bowling regularly.
    Does anyone know of any actual sources for these statistics?
    Thanks!
    Jim

    • admin Post author

      Excellent question.

      As far as I have found, not a mention. I’ve only seen computer generated math. See articles on this site. The distinction of cranker or stroker also does not cover many bowlers nowadays. There’s the two hander and still the straight ball ol style.
      What happened was technology took a look at the pin setup and saw there was an angle of attack and a spot, called the “sweet spot” that tended to produce a higher percentage of strikes. That angle was not obtainable in a straight shot. The best way to hit this spot is to have the ball rotating. Here, depending on some variables, like friction and ball speed, this angle could be obtained. The immediate result was higher scores. Manufacturers went into a frenzy to develop balls that could aid this process.
      Again technology went to work and it was found that placing computer generated asymmetrical weights inside balls helped increase response. Enter cover stock! Ball producers found that the outside surface of the ball could influence its reaction.
      Ahh. What’s this all about – – – – – Oil! Ad lane oil to the picture. Nowadays its not just the oil but how its laid down. Oil patterns. Then you have to read how that breaks down after use. And yes there’s beginning to be colored lane oils that help you see what the pattern is.
      All that sed: I couldn’t help but notice that a high percentage of high scoring bowlers, not just pros but folks, have some things about their shots in common. Many of the better, higher scoring, group have something I’ve called “The Natural”. It’s a deep bend in the wrist where the ball actually sits on the thumb instead of the thumb being used to hold the ball. Many, if not most, of the this group are crankers. The better of this group “roll the ball”. They seldom if ever loft. You can’t hear the ball hit the lane. At the bottom both wrist and fingers are used to obtain revs. Add deadly concentration and the ability to adjust the amount of revs and ball speed according to lane conditions and you’ve got it.

      Sounds like a lot. It is. And yes, it is rocket science!

      I would say that if any such survey were done, the higher percentage of strikes goes to the crankers.

      Also see the videos on this site In the article “Roll the ball”. http://www.bowlingquest.com/?p=6847

  • Milton

    2000 years? In all that time has anyone figured out the best placement and direction for a strike with a straight ball? From either side? All of the diagrams I see show the track for hooks.

    Milton

    • admin Post author

      Yup. I had to go take some pictures and actually draw in the aiming for a straight ball. It’s been added since you were last here probably. There’s little to no talk of straight balls on the web probably due to how few adjustments are available in using that style – only speed and direction with that direction limited by the fact the ball is going in a straight line. You DO hear of it when shooting the 10-pin, 7-pin. A lot of hook bowlers use a “spare ball” for this, usually a ball with no weight block.

      What happened was that once the angle of attack that yielded the most strikes was figured out, that “sweet spot” turned out to be too acute for a straight ball to hit from the confines of a normal lane. See Anatomy of A Strike. The rules of Consistency and Concentration do apply to both, though.

      In the world of hook balls, not only angle of attack, but ball speed in conjunction with rotation, can be considered. How one gets the ball to that spot, at that angle, varies with lane conditions, ball cover stock and state of cleanliness, how much speed and rotation is generated. It’s real cerebral, I can tell you. Breathing helps throw these calculations to where they belong, the near subconscious – Let the brain do what it does and relax – it comes right.

      You rule then.

  • Milton

    Really terrific articles, great information.
    But I throw a straight ball and have a devil of a time with consistency – either too much or too little head pin. I have injured shoulders so I don’t do anything that requires spin of torque. Thanks for the articles.

    Milton

    • admin Post author

      Thank you also. Your commentary helps make this site. The purpose of these articles is to help people with their game, and, of course, have some fun.

      Come back. There is more. This site is under heavy construction. There will be some tech on how to get rotation without ripping your shoulder out of socket. As a person without much rotation at first myself, I found there are several ways to produce and/or increase rotation. After watching many bowler’s styles, I saw people working with injuries, handicaps, and the like, who had to make adjustments to be able to bowl at all. Another group is the senior. Here one can find any and all kinds of bowling maladies, some due to aging alone. Are there explosive seniors? There sure are! Lots of us.

      One of my partners in crime(bowling) is also a straight ball bowler. Remember, straight ball bowling was the only game in town prior to the tech revolution, for possibly, some 2000 years. Some of the same principles of concentration and consistency apply to both straight and hook ball users.