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Thread: What Happened to Spare Shooting?

  1. #1

    Default What Happened to Spare Shooting?

    After watching several days of live bowling for the first time in months and months, I'm appalled by the number of missed easy spares by the world's top bowlers. How can we expect league bowlers who don't have the ability to string strikes like the pros, to work on picking up their spares if the pros won't do it?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    After watching several days of live bowling for the first time in months and months, I'm appalled by the number of missed easy spares by the world's top bowlers. How can we expect league bowlers who don't have the ability to string strikes like the pros, to work on picking up their spares if the pros won't do it?
    Yeah, I was shocked to see Norm Duke miss an easy one. Not to make excuses for any of the pros, but it was clear that some of them had been practicing more than others. I wonder if bowling in an almost empty center had an effect on them. On Saturdayís show there seemed to be a little bit of banter between them, much like you would hear during a regular league night at a local center. Sunday they seemed to be dead serious.
    John

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    p.s. Did it seem to you that a lot of the pros were not using plastic for any of their spare attempts?
    John

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    It was great having 15 hours of live bowling on TV over the past 5 days. The 6 King of the Lanes shows were much more exciting than the marathon PBA Finals shows on Saturday and Sunday.

    Seeing professionals miss spares wasn't appalling. It simply showed they can miss spares just like everyone else. It adds to the drama of the matches.

    Having bowled a few pro-ams with some of the top bowlers (men and women), the pros' ability to strike on a standard house shot is next level; almost second nature. I have also witnessed some of the greatest bowlers miss single pin spares. However, seeing them bowl 230+ and perfect games on a sport shot (or even two different shots on the same pair) just reinforces how good they really are regardless of missing a spare. The overall spare conversion rate on the PBA Tour is not 100%. I believe even the 10-pin conversion rate on tour is low 90% range.

    Most league bowlers who might actually be watching bowling telecasts will have no appreciation for what the pros are dealing with in terms of the lane conditions. They don't understand (nor do they care) about lane pattern, lane topography, the effect of the TV lights on the lanes, the stress of being on live TV, the stress of bowling for tens of thousands of dollars, etc. All of those things weigh on the pros. I have had the privilege of bowling on local cable access television a couple of times in amateur tournament stepladder finals situations. The amount of nerves whenever I was up to bowl was off the charts. Trying to work through that and still bowl a respectable game was exhausting. And yes, I missed a ten pin spare on TV.

    Unfortunately, adult league bowlers are not using the pros as inspiration for their own games. Most don't even practice in between league sessions. The pros are more of an inspiration to serious junior bowlers who aspire to pursue a career in bowling (yes, there are kids who want careers in bowling), or perhaps go to college on a bowling scholarship. Seeing a pro miss a spare or two humanizes a pro, just like seeing a pro football player fumble a pass, or a baseball player drop a fly ball, or a tennis player double fault a serve. Errors happen. It is the overall manner in which the pro handles the error and how they overcome those errors that makes them professional.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Anderson View Post
    p.s. Did it seem to you that a lot of the pros were not using plastic for any of their spare attempts?
    Yes, but the most notable in terms of covering their spares were Clara Guerrero and Pete Weber; both were using plastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    Yes, but the most notable in terms of covering their spares were Clara Guerrero and Pete Weber; both were using plastic.
    I think I recorded all the shows but so far Iíve only watched through the two step ladders from Sunday. For some reason Iím always surprised at how good Kyle Troup is at shooting spares. I shouldnít be, heís one of the ones using a plastic spare ball.

    I think Pete Weber tends to be under rated as a spare shooter. Probably because his career coincided with Walter Rayís, or maybe because he has been so good at getting strikes when he needs them.
    John

  7. #7

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    Is there an easy way to keep up with tv schedules for bowling? Like a website that has live events and new shows listed?

    When searching using xfinity itís like impossible to figure out if the shows I find to record a renew ones or re broadcasts from a few mo the ago with how the list things

  8. #8

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    I watched a couple of videos from Daria Pajak and she spent seven days I think it was just using her plastic ball working on spares. At the end she created a test for herself and she was pretty happy with the results. You and I have discussed spare shooting and I've paid attention to your excellent articles on this topic. After watching Daria I was hoping to see better where she was laying the ball down and where she was aiming. I don't believe that she mentioned much about those two things.
    The last couple of years I've been using a spreadsheet to essentially remind me of where to stand and target for many common spares. I've found that if I keep my target at the arrow distance right around board 17 or 18 for any single pin spare I'm more comfortable and confident I'll shoot well with my Mix ball. My spreadsheet has three main targets to use and they are at the arrows, the dots and then at the 34 foot point down where the first range finder boards are located. Often I'll chose to target at about the 45 foot point for the right-side spares.
    On a different topic though I've found the Tropical Surge I bought recently has performed fairly well. My ability to get the ball into a roll is making bowling more fun. I put in an order for the Electrify Hybrid which has a lower RG and a bit more differential which may let this one to pick up earlier and give a harder turn at the breakpoint. I'll keep the Surge in the bag, plus the Electrify and then have the IQ Tour solid and Hy-Road Pearl in the wings. May have some fun with those in the senior league...

  9. #9

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    djp: Do you know what your ball speed is?

  10. #10

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    I've paid attention to the speed meters at our lanes and my spare ball speed is a bit slower than 15 mph on average. The sensors are down lane so you can rely on them for your hooking first ball shots.

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