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Thread: "Design intent of the ball"

  1. #1
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    Default "Design intent of the ball"

    "Design intent of the ball" I'm not sure where I'm going with this, This feels like Rob's bailiwick.

    I was reading a post from a player who was complaining that they felt their ball was a touch too over/under on the shots they were on. So he hit it with a 4000 pad and took the shine off. (Note:The ball was the standard 1500-grit Polished OOB surface)

    Well he didn't like it for a unspecified reason, I'm guessing from what he says later that it probably evened it out (which to me would have been the point of sanding in the first place to help with the over/under.) and it wasn't recovering from the outside like it did before.

    So he put it back to 1500-grit polished, Now he liked it better! So he said that removing the OOB shine defeated the "Design intent of the ball".

    That phrase "Design intent of the ball" just struck me, I usually only see that comment in staffer posts.

    I guess it made me think of that whole idea a lot of players have, that you can't change the factory OOB surface. The company put "THAT" surface on the ball, it's the best one you can't change it.

    I guess I'm also wondering how many players might think when they see the phrase "Design intent of the ball" , That they think I can't change anything that goes against the companies "Design intent of the ball".

    Like the company designed ball "A" with this surface, to react this way, for X condition, So that means I can't try changing layouts and surface to get a different reaction and try it on condition "Y".
    Last edited by bowl1820; 02-14-2020 at 10:56 AM.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  2. #2

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    It would seem that ball manufacturers would design their balls and place a surface on it so that it would appeal to the majority of bowlers. Lately I've paid some attention to Ron Hickland and what he's used as a guideline to what a normal player might have for ball speed, tilt and axis rotation, pin to PAP, etc.
    Once I played around a bit with surface adjustments on various balls I have, I found that some of the balls I bought came to life for me after modifications from box surface. The balls didn't make them my favorites necessarily for the house shots I play on normally, but the balls were at least usable and could be relied upon to do fairly well rather than dump them in the garbage.
    If a ball doesn't begin to slow down a bit somewhere around 30 to 40 feet down the lane, I won't like the reaction I'm getting and know that a rougher surface is needed or at least the shine has to come off that ball. If the ball begins to make a move earlier than that, I'll realize that a smoother surface is probably necessary or perhaps some Clean n'Dull or polish should be used on that ball.

  3. #3

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    Wow, talk about serendipity! I just logged on to create a thread called "Do you suffer from MBS?" MBS is Magic Ball Syndrome.

    It's ironic that after writing countless articles about understanding bowling balls for BTM, I now see how bowlers have selectively adopted a philosophy of using multiple bowling balls to overcome particular lane conditions without learning the prerequisite facts about the balls themselves. Not changing the surface of a ball is just one aspect of MBS. For years I, as well as countless other bowling writers, have advocated changing the surface of the ball for the simple reason that once the ball is drilled, it's the only one aspect of the four things that create a particular ball reaction that can be easily changed. The core is what it is. The cover material is what it is. Once it's drilled, the position of the core is what it is. The surface can be easily changed. At one point I wrote an article based on a review of a years worth of BTM ball reviews. I found that 60% of the reviewers needed to change the surface of the ball to get it to work the best for them. djp1080 is absolutely correct that the OOB finish is nothing more than a best guess as to what will appeal to the most potential buyers. It's a Marketing decision, not a technical one.

    Anyway, my decision for posting my thread on MBS is based on two recent experiences with bowlers I know. First is a league bowler who brings eight bowling balls to league every week. Despite the fact that he is now able to migrate left with ease, he still feels the need of bringing all these bowling balls with him. I even tried pointing out that to use all eight, he would have only four frames per ball in a three game set to "find a shot." I guess he just brings them for security. Secondly I know a league bowler who freely admits that he is uncomfortable moving left, yet he buys only high end, low RG balls that his ball driller tells him that he drilled them to "go long."

    Okay, now I feel better!

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    Design intent of the ball, that's a first. I spend a lot of time on the Radical Facebook group and Mo Pinel the ball designer for Radical has come out and said many times, he doesn't like polish on balling balls. They only reason they have polish on any of their balls is for marketing purposes. Shiny balls look better on the shelf. Mo also will suggest surfaces changes so I guess if anyone can go against the "design intent of the ball" it would be the ball designer. =P

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    I had never alter the surface of any of mine until about a year ago. Now mine have all been hit with a pad. Even my new T-Zone got hit with a slightly worn 2000 just to scuff it. You can hardly tell visually that it has been touched. I seem to do better on our THS with very little surface. Mine are all at 3000 (Rhino) or 4000 (Squatch and BWG) except the Conspiracy which is 1500 just in case we get really wet conditions. No polish on any of them.

    I have been told to hit a brand new ball to get a baseline cause you cannot replicate an OOB finish. I know my PSO hit my new Conspiracy with a fresh 3000 before he gave it to me but did not o that with the Squatch or BWG.
    Arsenal "15# Radical Squatch Pearl" "15# Radical Conspiracy" "15# Brunswick Kingpin (at home on the shelf now)" "15# Hammer Black Widow Gold" "15# Brunswick Rhino Black Pearl"
    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 17.5 MPH * High Game: 267 - High Series: 657
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!
    I am a proud member of bowlingboards.com bowling forums

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatman37 View Post
    I had never alter the surface of any of mine until about a year ago. Now mine have all been hit with a pad. Even my new T-Zone got hit with a slightly worn 2000 just to scuff it. You can hardly tell visually that it has been touched. I seem to do better on our THS with very little surface. Mine are all at 3000 (Rhino) or 4000 (Squatch and BWG) except the Conspiracy which is 1500 just in case we get really wet conditions. No polish on any of them.

    I have been told to hit a brand new ball to get a baseline cause you cannot replicate an OOB finish. I know my PSO hit my new Conspiracy with a fresh 3000 before he gave it to me but did not o that with the Squatch or BWG.
    With that said, do you know the core numbers, shapes, and symmetries on your bowling balls? Be honest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    With that said, do you know the core numbers, shapes, and symmetries on your bowling balls? Be honest.
    Not off the top of my head but the Conspiracy and BWG are asymmetric and the Squatch is symmetrical. The Kingpin is also Asymmetrical but that and the Rhino stay at home now. The BWG has the gas mask core. What I do know is the JR Raymond 'generic' scoring on them. The Kingpin and Conspiracy are in the 180's while the BWG is about 190 and the Squatch is about 200. His method is take the RG - the Diff then add or subtract a certain amount for the coverstock. The lower the number the earlier they read the lane and smoother the hook. Example: Radical Squatch RG (248) - Diff (54) = 194 + pearl (6) = 200. IIRC pearl gets +6, hybrid gets -3 and solid gets -6. Not an exact science but gets you an idea of what they will look like.

    Too many numbers for me to remember anymore...lol. So I cheat with this system. All are drilled very similarly except the Kingpin is slightly shorter pin to PAP than the others (by maybe 1").

    Of course I could have looked these all up just now but you said to be honest....lol. I have an idea of what they are but not exactly. The BWG I think is about a 2.52 with a little higher diff and the Conspiracy is a lower RG with a higher diff but I could be wrong. Thinking the Conspiracy is about 2.48 RG and .56 diff?
    Arsenal "15# Radical Squatch Pearl" "15# Radical Conspiracy" "15# Brunswick Kingpin (at home on the shelf now)" "15# Hammer Black Widow Gold" "15# Brunswick Rhino Black Pearl"
    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 17.5 MPH * High Game: 267 - High Series: 657
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!
    I am a proud member of bowlingboards.com bowling forums

  8. #8

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    Thank you so much for your honest response. Here's the problem with "generic" ball ratings, based on my own observations of students and bowlers, plus my own bowling experiences.

    1. RG is very important for low speed and high speed bowlers. Low speed bowlers need high RG balls, while high speed bowlers need low rg balls. This is also affected by rev/speed dominance. Low speed, rev dominant bowlers (me, for instance), need high RG balls. High speed, speed dominant bowlers need very, very low RG balls. Medium speed, rev balanced players can use a whole range of RG balls to their advantage in various situations.

    2. Differential's importance is totally based on Rev rate. For high rev bowlers, differential is very important. For low rev bowlers, differential means very little if anything at all.

    3. Asymmetrical cores will give you more power at the breakpoint, if you have a decent rev rate. If your rev rate is lower, you may see a little difference, but probably none at all. What you will see is that asymmetrical balls magnify mistakes in the release. If your release is not ultra consistent, leave your asymmetrical balls at home.

    4. I've talked about the whole solid, hybrid, pearl thing until I'm blue in the face. If you still believe that there's an inherent difference other than the OOB surface, I GIVE UP!

    With all of these differences, how can anyone possibly rate a particular ball for everyone?

    Let me close by saying this. A number of years ago, I gave a ball seminar at a local bowling center. I explained all of the differences between balls so that anyone could understand them. The next week, one of the attendees was using a ball with which I was unfamiliar. I asked him what the RG of the core was. He responded, I don't know, but I'll find out for you and let you know next week. Again, I GIVE UP!
    Last edited by RobLV1; 02-15-2020 at 10:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    Thank you so much for your honest response. Here's the problem with "generic" ball ratings, based on my own observations of students and bowlers, plus my own bowling experiences.

    1. RG is very important for low speed and high speed bowlers. Low speed bowlers need high RG balls, while high speed bowlers need low rg balls. This is also affected by rev/speed dominance. Low speed, rev dominant bowlers (me, for instance), need high RG balls. High speed, speed dominant bowlers need very, very low RG balls. Medium speed, rev balanced players can use a whole range of RG balls to their advantage in various situations.

    2. Differential's importance is totally based on Rev rate. For high rev bowlers, differential is very important. For low rev bowlers, differential means very little if anything at all.

    3. Asymmetrical cores will give you more power at the breakpoint, if you have a decent rev rate. If your rev rate is lower, you may see a little difference, but probably none at all. What you will see is that asymmetrical balls magnify mistakes in the release. If your release is not ultra consistent, leave your asymmetrical balls at home.

    4. I've talked about the whole solid, hybrid, pearl thing until I'm blue in the face. If you still believe that there's an inherent difference other than the OOB surface, I GIVE UP!

    With all of these differences, how can anyone possibly rate a particular ball for everyone?

    Let me close by saying this. A number of years ago, I gave a ball seminar at a local bowling center. I explained all of the differences between balls so that anyone could understand them. The next week, one of the attendees was using a ball with which I was unfamiliar. I asked him what the RG of the core was. He responded, I don't know, but I'll find out for you and let you know next week. Again, I GIVE UP!
    That's actually good info and a good way of explaining it. I have read and heard alot about RG and Diff but not knowing when and why then all that reading doesn't help much. I had been speed dominant but have slowed my speed down and my revs seem to have went up a little but I'd say I'm more matched now. Speed at the pins reads from ~15.7 to about 16.5 and my best guess at revs is 325-350.

    As for the whole solid/hybrid/pearl thing I have been doing better with the pearls but think it's more of the pearls being a little less surface. I seem to do better at our center with less surface. Probably due to me liking to stay near the drier part of the lane. I have the Conspiracy at 1500 for when I need to get way inside but last week I was tugging my shots playing inside. I think I am trying to guide the ball knowing it won't hook in there. Just need to work on that.

    I typically start with the Squatch for 2 games then go to the BWG for game 3. Last week the BWG kept leaving 7's early in game 3 so went back to the Squatch and out to the 7 board struggling for 2 frames at the 15 board with the Conspiracy (tugged shots and both opens).

    Sorry...didn't mean to hijack this thread...lol
    Arsenal "15# Radical Squatch Pearl" "15# Radical Conspiracy" "15# Brunswick Kingpin (at home on the shelf now)" "15# Hammer Black Widow Gold" "15# Brunswick Rhino Black Pearl"
    Rev Rate about 325 @ about 17.5 MPH * High Game: 267 - High Series: 657
    Oh, and LEFTY!!!
    I am a proud member of bowlingboards.com bowling forums

  10. #10

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    I did some research on your bowling balls. In terms of the low RG, all three balls are very similar. The usable range of low RG's is 2.47 to about 2.61. RG stands for Radius of Gyration. It is an actual measurement of the X and Y axis of the core of the ball, in inches. The X axis (height) is the low RG, and the Y axis (width) is the high RG. When we talk about ball RG's, we are talking about the low RG's. The high RG only comes into play when we reference the Differential (Diff), the difference between the low RG and the high RG. The lower the RG of a ball is, the easier it gets into a roll. The higher it is, the harder it has to work to get into a roll and the further it gets down the lane as it is working. Your three balls have low RG's of 2.48, 2.48, and 2.50 (BW). If you are speed/rev matched as you say you are, you could actually use a much wider variation in the RG's of your bowling balls.

    I once wrote an article where I compared bowling balls to motor vehicles. The cores are the engines, and the surfaces are the tires. You currently have three dump trucks that you are trying to turn into race cars by putting racing tires on some of them. It really doesn't work! The balls that you have at home are also pretty low: 2.48 for the King Pin, and 2.52 for the Rhino.

    I think that you have the same problem as one of the bowlers I first talked about in this thread. He is very uncomfortable moving in, yet he keeps buying low RG bowling balls. I'd love to see each of you try a ball with a low RG of 2.55-2.57. I think you'd be amazed at the difference.

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