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Thread: ball reaction vs inconsistent bowler?

  1. #41
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    I'm not sure how we got onto varying speed and releases and such. I personally have never advised anyone that they should adjust those. In my opinion most bowlers are lucky to have their primary half consistently. Nor have I ever suggested varied approaches or buying balls that are the same with different drillings. The converstation has been about being able to change into different balls at any point and not waiting for some mythical condition that doesn't exist.
    So, in other words...the lanes can dictate which ball to throw (#5 on list of importance below)...but not the more important aspects of your game? If the lanes are SO chaotic...and there's SO much variation lane to lane that you need to try out numerous balls in you limited practice time...wouldn't trying different releases and footwork be even MORE necessary?

    See...you 'think' I'm making your point...but you're really making mine. If the lanes can't be predicted from night to night and pair to pair...then simply trying a few different balls isn't going to get you to that magical "IDEAL" that the lanes are demanding. No?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    I'm pretty sure you backed up my point here. What's the biggest difference you ever really see on league night? Maybe 4-2 and that's rare. How much is the difference between your ball #1 and Ball #3? I personally don't buy hook monsters but the biggest I've seen is abut 6-3. If your primary target is 10 why can't you aim at 7 or 13 with just as good of results? that the point We've been arguing you should be making the decision on which ball to throw not the way you have them numbered in your head
    Well, this may be our difference. Like I said before...my bowling balls are set up to do different things. One of my earlier points to Boatman was he was trying to throw an almost identical ball and only vary the surface slightly and was expecting different reactions. That's not a good strategy in my book...nor is it what Rob Johnson described in his video. You want different balls with different specs to do different things. Where you move your feet...and possibly how you surface...should be how you fine tune your progression. Otherwise, you're not fighting the lanes...you're fighting your own ball.

    Like I said, I can't throw ball#3 on a fresh THS...it's not designed for that...it wasn't chosen for that. The Thug Life has similar specs but with a surface designed to let me throw it in Game #1 (although it hasn't been an ideal ball #1 because of the specs). I could try and resurface the Scandal Pearl to be identical to the Thug Life...then I could throw it on fresh...but I already have a ball with the same specs for that spot and doing so leaves me no skid/flip ball #3 option. Like I said, I could try the 300A...maybe play the 4-board...hope the boards out there are playable...but yeah...to answer your question...the diffference in ball motion from the Thug Life to the Track 300A...is not minor...it's at LEAST 4 boards with my eyes and probably 9-11 with my feet...moving right...which is the wrong direction to move in modern bowling.




    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    I'm pretty sure you made my point again. Lets look at this slightly differently of the 9 items you listed here which ones are you truly in control of?

    We both think #1+#2 are difficult to vary well
    The house controls #3
    #4 your having a good night or bad with your not flipping a switch
    #7 your opponents control
    #8 Your not changing
    #9 you can't change

    So basically the ball #5 and the surface #6 are then only items you get to choose!!!!
    True...valid point. But if the oil pattern isn't really changing (it's #9 of 9)...why would you mess around with #5...based on #9? If #3 (lane conditions) changes...thats a BIG DEAL and you need to make some changes....likely to #5. But you're gonna avoid a progression strategy and try 4-8 balls on different lines on the "off chance" that the least important variable has changed drastically?

    And yes, changing balls does require changing lines...and changing lines may require changing releases and speeds. I can't play left of 15 without changing my footwork...no matter which of the 4 balls I choose to throw. I have nothing in my bag that allows a 7-board target change to the left, that will get back to the pocket. I haven't needed one...99.999% of my games are on a THS.
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  2. #42
    Bowling Guru Amyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    So, in other words...the lanes can dictate which ball to throw (#5 on list of importance below)...but not the more important aspects of your game? If the lanes are SO chaotic...and there's SO much variation lane to lane that you need to try out numerous balls in you limited practice time...wouldn't trying different releases and footwork be even MORE necessary?

    See...you 'think' I'm making your point...but you're really making mine. If the lanes can't be predicted from night to night and pair to pair...then simply trying a few different balls isn't going to get you to that magical "IDEAL" that the lanes are demanding. No?
    Each ball should take a slightly different path to the pocket some nights playing straighter (i.e. your ball #1) maybe the more effective path other nights playing a more curved shot may work better (i.e. your #3) weather this is do to the bowler, the lanes, differences in oil is opinion but anyone on here that bowls regularly will tell you that's a fact. No I can't predict before I throw which one it will be but I can tell after throwing a shot or 2 75% of the time or so. Sometimes I'm still wrong. The thing is IMO your really wrong here. Practice isn't for figuring out where the pocket is. It's for figuring out which ball gets their best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    Well, this may be our difference. Like I said before...my bowling balls are set up to do different things. One of my earlier points to Boatman was he was trying to throw an almost identical ball and only vary the surface slightly and was expecting different reactions. That's not a good strategy in my book...nor is it what Rob Johnson described in his video. You want different balls with different specs to do different things. Where you move your feet...and possibly how you surface...should be how you fine tune your progression. Otherwise, you're not fighting the lanes...you're fighting your own ball.

    Like I said, I can't throw ball#3 on a fresh THS...it's not designed for that...it wasn't chosen for that. The Thug Life has similar specs but with a surface designed to let me throw it in Game #1 (although it hasn't been an ideal ball #1 because of the specs). I could try and resurface the Scandal Pearl to be identical to the Thug Life...then I could throw it on fresh...but I already have a ball with the same specs for that spot and doing so leaves me no skid/flip ball #3 option. Like I said, I could try the 300A...maybe play the 4-board...hope the boards out there are playable...but yeah...to answer your question...the diffference in ball motion from the Thug Life to the Track 300A...is not minor...it's at LEAST 4 boards with my eyes and probably 9-11 with my feet...moving right...which is the wrong direction to move in modern bowling.
    And anyone starting with a Scandal Pearl is wrong? Lol your balls are designed to do different things I'll give you that but they aren't designed to be one off creatures. You might actually have more point if you were bowling on Sports pattern conditions but on a THS the dry is there from ball 1 you don't have to make that dry spot for the ball to bounce off of. I never See Track balls so maybe it is the weakest creature on the planet and isn't a good choice to start off with but I seen plenty of scandal pearls out there it's a popular ball in game 1. Also moving right after the series start as an adjustment is often a mistake. Starting with a weaker ball and moving right is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    True...valid point. But if the oil pattern isn't really changing (it's #9 of 9)...why would you mess around with #5...based on #9? If #3 (lane conditions) changes...thats a BIG DEAL and you need to make some changes....likely to #5. But you're gonna avoid a progression strategy and try 4-8 balls on different lines on the "off chance" that the least important variable has changed drastically?

    And yes, changing balls does require changing lines...and changing lines may require changing releases and speeds. I can't play left of 15 without changing my footwork...no matter which of the 4 balls I choose to throw. I have nothing in my bag that allows a 7-board target change to the left, that will get back to the pocket. I haven't needed one...99.999% of my games are on a THS.
    I was using your # as a reference not really as a ranking. I'm not super concerned with any of them. Warm up is for two reasons to get the muscles used to moving and determine which ball path should be the most complementary. For league night it's not really about finding the pocket we know close to where it's at from the week before but figuring out what's the best way to get there.
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  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    But if the oil pattern isn't really changing (it's #9 of 9)...why would you mess around with #5...based on #9? If #3 (lane conditions) changes...thats a BIG DEAL and you need to make some changes....likely to #5. But you're gonna avoid a progression strategy and try 4-8 balls on different lines on the "off chance" that the least important variable has changed drastically?

    And yes, changing balls does require changing lines...and changing lines may require changing releases and speeds. I can't play left of 15 without changing my footwork...no matter which of the 4 balls I choose to throw. I have nothing in my bag that allows a 7-board target change to the left, that will get back to the pocket. I haven't needed one...99.999% of my games are on a THS.
    I'm cherry picking this part of the post to respond on, because what I've been trying to say is that if you have a ball who's reaction you trust, and can tell what it's going to do - you can and should be able to tell within a couple of throws what the lane is giving you. You should also know your equipment enough that you have a pretty good idea of what a different ball will do in that situation. So if your ball isn't reading right on your normal line, say you're going really light in warmup or washing out, you should be able to say "hey I need an earlier breakpoint" and ball up. OR, you can move outside to find more dry, with the same ball. Either way isn't running through a simple progression.

    For me personally in the above example, I have a Hustle INK that I knocked the polish off of and have finished at 4000 grit (great ball by the way). It's reaction is consistent and readable, I can tell within a shot or 2 if a track shot is going to work, if I need to swing off the dry, if it's better that I ball up to the Code X, etc.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc_runner View Post
    I'm cherry picking this part of the post to respond on, because what I've been trying to say is that if you have a ball who's reaction you trust, and can tell what it's going to do - you can and should be able to tell within a couple of throws what the lane is giving you. You should also know your equipment enough that you have a pretty good idea of what a different ball will do in that situation. So if your ball isn't reading right on your normal line, say you're going really light in warmup or washing out, you should be able to say "hey I need an earlier breakpoint" and ball up. OR, you can move outside to find more dry, with the same ball. Either way isn't running through a simple progression.

    For me personally in the above example, I have a Hustle INK that I knocked the polish off of and have finished at 4000 grit (great ball by the way). It's reaction is consistent and readable, I can tell within a shot or 2 if a track shot is going to work, if I need to swing off the dry, if it's better that I ball up to the Code X, etc.
    But if you use the Ink you'd have to move right??? Oh God
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  5. #45
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    @mcrunner
    I actually think we're in agreement. I know what my first ball does. 97-98% of the time...it does that thing with very minor lateral or vertical adjustments. If it's NOT doing that thing...then yes, I know I should try Ball #2. I'm not stubbornly refusing to start with Ball #2...it's just that I also know what ball #2 does...and why there's no sense to going to it when Ball #1 is working.

    My strategy, is based on 4 fundamental truths:
    1) A THS, at the same house, doesn't change 'enough' week to week or night to night to require a drastic ball/line/approach/release change. Like I asked in my previous post...how many people play more than 1-2 houses? Anybody? How many play on a non-THS condition every week? 1-5? What % of nights do you start with the same ball? 80%? 82% 95%??
    2) I'm not good enough that I can keep my release and speed at a consistency what will truly allow me to see small effects in drilling angles, opponent lane play, or lane topography.
    3) Know your arsenal. If you're gonna invest in 4-8 balls...have 4-8 balls set up in a way that they each do something useful...not just give you potential alternatives. An MLB pitching staff is set up with starters, middle relievers, and closers. A golf bag is set up with clubs in a certain order. If you select and know your arsenal if an intelligent and strategic way...you'll have a better idea when/why to change balls.
    4) Know and trust your game. If you're not a 2-hander...don't pretend you are. If you're a stroker, you're a stroker. If you make good shots and consistent shots...everything else is secondary. You can have the perfect ball in your hand and play the perfect line...but if you can't throw a good, consistent shot...it really doesn't matter.
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  6. #46
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    Practice isn't for figuring out where the pocket is. It's for figuring out which ball gets their best.
    For ME, practice is warming up and getting a good shot down...THEN...IF I'm warmed up and making good shots...what am I leaving? Assuming I am hitting the pocket...do I need to make a move left or right to start? Is it something that can be corrected with a vertical change in my laydown point?
    IF I have time to move inside...and I throw good shots...and it just looks like that ball isn't gonna work that night...then I go to ball #2. But it's very, very rare that happens on a THS...and very, very rare that I get enough time to figure that out in practice. By the time I get a couple warm-up shots in...one on each lane...determine I need to move in...thats one more on each lane...then determine I went from noticeably hitting too far inside to noticeably hitting too light after the adjustment...that's one more shot on each lane. Then you switch balls...get one more shot on each lane...hopefully it's lined up and you don't need to make another adjustment...that's 4 shots on each lane...IF you're throwing a good shot each time.

    10 minutes = 600 seconds. Each shot takes roughly 10 seconds...another 10 seconds to shoot the spare. Thats 20 seconds per bowler per shot. Figure 8 bowlers: 600/8 = 75 seconds per bowler = 3.75 shots (total). That's less than half the time...even if I'm throwing a good shot on each attempt...that I would need. Factoring in that some bowlers are gonna strike...maybe drop that down to 15 seconds per shot. Maybe only 6 bowlers are practicing...now you're at 6.67 shots per bowler...still about 2 shots shy of the minimum you'd need. It's not complicated math.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    And anyone starting with a Scandal Pearl is wrong?
    Not necessarily...it depends how they have their progression set up and what other balls they have in their arsenal.

    To Explain: My Ball #1 and Ball #3 (specs)
    (1) Thug Life = assymetric core, Pearl cover, 2.493RG, 0.052 diff, 231.8 PS, DV8, Released Date: October 2015, Surface :2000-3000 matte.

    (3) Scandal Pearl = assymetric core, Pearl cover, 2.49RG, 0.047 diff, 231.9PS, Hammer, Release Date: October 2016, Surface: 240-360 w/Storm Step 1 or Step 2 compound...maybe with resin polish.

    Since the balls have nearly identical specs related to core symmetry, RG, coverstock type, and overall strength (Perfectscale)...only the non-italicized numbers really matter. The remaining logic in terms of order was/is as follows:

    The weaker (later hook) Hammer cover and polished (compound) surface of the Scandal Pearl will allow it to get down the transitioned lanes better than the sooner hooking DV8 cover with a sanded (matte) surface. The release dates are working against me...but they are both fairly modern in relation to one another so that shouldn't be a big deal. The higher diff of the Thug Life will ensure an angular and significant flare on fresh. The slightly lower diff of the Scandal Pearl will keep it from reacting too strongly (should there be no carrydown at the breakpoint).

    See, since the numbers are so close for these two balls...it's very unlikely that if the Thug Life doesn't play well...the Scandal Pearl will.

    And the surfacing is a 'work in progress'. Since the Thug Life is more of a #3 than an ideal #1...I've had to try to use surface to fight the pearl cover and get the ball to move earlier on fresh. I started out at 3000 matte and am now trying 2000 matte. Likewise, I started out with the Scandal Pearl at 500/Step1/Resin Polish...but it was going too long. I then tried 360/Step 2...but it still was going a little long. Now I got it at 240/Step1...but that may be too much. According to the chart, I went from the equivalent of 3500 to 1500 to 800. The goal with the surfacing is to be able to step down without lateral adjustments (left or right). Due to differences in the balls...versus using 3 balls from the same series and manufacturer...it takes some minor surfacing adjustments to smooth out the transition.
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  7. #47

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    Funny, but I haven't seen anyone refer to where others on the lane are playing. How can anyone possibly get lined up a figure out a "progression" that will work without considering the other bowlers on the pair?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    Funny, but I haven't seen anyone refer to where others on the lane are playing. How can anyone possibly get lined up a figure out a "progression" that will work without considering the other bowlers on the pair?
    That was #7 (of 9) on the list of importance posted further below in the conversation.

    As I've mentioned before...and I'm sure it varies from bowler to bowler...but unless there's another guy/gal on my pair throwing 15.5-19mph using the exact same ball with a similar rev rate...there's not much for me to learn.

    CASE 1:
    Bowler 1: 9-12mph, Columbia WD, 99 average, stands center throws down the middle, flat release.
    Bowler 2: 9-12mph, Rotogrip Haywire, 127 average, stands right, throws straight up second arrow, flat release.
    Bowler 3: Me: 14.5-19mph, Reax Pearl, 195 average, stand just left of center and throw over 9-13, 250rpms.
    Bowler 4: 10-13mph, strong sanded ball, 195 average, stands left and throws over 3rd arrow, thumbless bowler (300+RPMs)

    The first two bowlers tell me nothing. If I try to play Bowler #4's line, I'm in the gutter at 40-44ft.

    CASE 2:
    Bowler 1: ME (See above, change out Thug Life for Reax Pearl)
    Bowler 2: 199 average, 2-hander, medium strength ball, stands far left and lofts to the arrows with >400RPMs, 16-18mph.
    Bowler 3: 199 average, medium strength ball, loft bowler up the side of the ball, plays the breakpoint area (not the arrows), > 300RPMs, 16-18mph.

    I've just never found other bowlers to be a reliable source of information. They usually have more RPMs, less speed, and stronger/newer equipment than what I throw. I realize it can help you find the breakpoint...but I've found the breakpoint doesn't change that much over 3 games on a THS...and most bowlers can't hit the same board at the breakpoint with +/- 1-board of accuracy anyways. The Rule of 31 kinda tells ya where the breakpoint is.

    BUT...if you can find someone "close" that sort of has some "clue" what they are doing...they can be a valuable source of information in terms of, "yeah, I think I need to start making a move...things are starting to transition, etc...
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  9. #49

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    I think that what you are failing to understand is that regardless of a bowlers rev rate, every single ball they throw down the lane (reactive resin) sucks oil off of the lane. Please permit me to tell you a story about how you can use the information.

    On Tuesday mornings I've been bowling in a recreational league with all levels of bowlers. I bowl with a lefty who averages about 175, I average 190, and our anchor man is averaging about 200 in this league. When we started bowling together, the anchor man told be that he wanted to learn to bowl better so that he could make the jump into tournament bowling. He agreed to do as I told, realizing that he would probably average a little bit lower than he does in other leagues where he usually subs. His problem is that he is very good throwing urethane in the track area, but he struggles moving left of the second arrow. I told him to leave his urethane equipment in the bag and force himself to make the horizontal adjustments that are needed.

    A couple of weeks ago, we happened to be bowling against a very obnoxious team who take the game way too seriously for a recreational league. They are comprised of two bowlers who play the third arrow and swing the ball out to seven or eight at the far tracer, and one bowler who throws spinning rockets with plastic balls, pointing from the corner and covering an area of about 12" at the head pin. Knowing this, when our anchor man arrived, I told him that rules were relaxed that day, so he could throw his urethane comfort zone. My thought was this; his urethane ball would carry oil down to the two bowlers break point, while the plastic rocket man would carry oil down to give me miss room left. I threw a weak reactive ball, crossing about 13 at the arrows, and staying around ten board at the far tracer. I was staying right of the two hookers at the arrows, but left of them at the break point. The line at the arrows is really meaningless without considering the breakpoint at the end of the pattern.

    My plan worked perfectly. We easily won every game, and how we were playing the lanes gave us each a very good look, allowing us to bowl well over our averages while limiting what the other team could do. You simply cannot avoid looking at every bowler on the pair regardless of how dissimilar their styles are to yours.

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    My perspective/analogy on this (which I will admit everyone may not agree with with) is as follows: at the core, the modern game of bowling is a strategy game based around the concept of transition - playing on an invisible field to discover what is the best, or most reliable, way to attack the pins.

    This may be difficult to explain in a message board, but I will try. For sake of simplicity lets say that there are 100 total combinations (a 10x10 grid) that we can create with different bowling balls, releases, speeds, lines, etc. (yes I know the real answer is thousands if not millions). As we develop and learn more skills, purchase more balls, and so forth more of these combinations become available to us - think of this grid with all gray boxes and one white box (this white box represents what shot choices are available to you as a bowler), the one white box is your normal release, line, speed, and ball. Now you purchase a new ball so another white box appears on the grid (normal release, line, speed, but new ball), your available shot choices increase. Now, if you can effectively increase ball speed 2 more boxes will light up (2 balls, 2 speed, 1 release, 1 line). As you learn new skills, get new equipment, and learn to move these combinations will exponentially increase. Our goal/challenge as bowlers is to now take all of these combinations of skills and equipment to determine which combination of speed, line, ball, release, etc. matches us the best with what the lanes are telling us to do.

    Using the above breakout, lets say the bowler can accomplish 50 of the 100 combinations. Ideally, we are hoping that one of the combinations are close enough to what the lanes are requiring that we will be able to perform well (the ideal combination of speed, ball, release, and line may not be in our skill set, that is why we practice new things). Now we get to the lanes for warm up and our goal is to determine what that "perfect" box is (or something close to it). We throw our first ball (or third for some of us) of warm up and this is where bowling turns into a game similar to the board game "Guess Who"; just like "Guess Who" we are trying to determine which character (or box) our opponent (the lanes) has. For those who have played "Guess Who" we know our first question is not specific like "Is your person Tommy?" (in bowling this would be similar to throwing something extremely strong up 1-2 board, it may work but unlikely) but it is more like "Is your character a girl?" (in bowling, this is throwing a benchmark ball up the track). The first question we may eliminate 1 of our 50 available boxes from the equation if it doesn't work but the second question may give us the answer that the ball skid way past the breakpoint, this would eliminate adjustments such as more ball speed, later reacting equipment, and most likely any moves left...potentially getting rid of 23 of our 50 boxes. Through warm up (and even early in the first game) we are trying to eliminate as many boxes as possible to find the best or closest combination available to us. The advanced part of this is the better/more characteristics we are able to identify (other bowlers, oil pattern, lane topography, lane surface, etc.) the more boxes we can potentially eliminate when trying to determine the best course of action. As we compete through the night some good boxes/combinations may become bad choices and some bad choices may become good choices - that is the beauty of bowling (and the concept of transition).

    With this analogy, what we also need to recognize that while we are all playing on the "same" lane each individual is playing with their own customized board. I may have 60% of the board available to me (exaggerated for the example), but when my wife bowls (who has one ball, one speed, can move laterally a little bit, and 2 releases) she may only have 4% of the board available. Our goals and expectations should be different at this point, I am hoping to string strikes while she is hoping to get good count on her first ball.
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