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Thread: Low ball speed

  1. #1

    Default Low ball speed

    I've only been bowling a few years, and I've made a lot of great improvements in my technique and results in a short span of time. I average between 185 and 190. I own two bowling balls: a Columbia 300 Noize and a new Track 920A. The Noize is my regular ball for a no-frills strike shot, and the 920A is for a more angular inside line.

    I have a fairly consistent release, a typical approach, and a good amount of hook when I want it. The only problem is I have an extremely low backswing and never throw the ball over 14.5 mph.

    At first, when I physically raised my backswing, I found my arm swinging off to the left and my ball having more sideroll. I've been working on that, and I have that problem mostly under control. However, as soon as I bring my speed past around 15.5 mph, I find that my ball has no hook at all. I try to crank the ball more at the bottom of my swing, but it really seems like I'm not even getting the same number of revolutions as when I keep it slow.

    In certain lane conditions, throwing it slow means having it overhook or having it roll out before reaching the pocket. I also have difficulty modulating my speed. If I don't release it well, my ball speed might be as low as 12 mph, and it always overhooks past the pocket when that happens.

    I was hoping someone could give me a few tips, thoughts about what the problem is, maybe point me in the right direction for something to watch or read.

  2. #2
    Pin Crusher Strike Domination's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Tacoma, Washington
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    Without watching you bowl this is really too hard for me to guess what the problem is given the information. So I would just say check this site out if you haven't already. It has plenty of articles that may help.

  3. #3
    What is Bowling?
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    Jul 2010
    New York
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    14.5 MPH is plenty. I wouldn't worry about it. Speed isn't that important. If you can average between 13 and 14 MPH and maintain good movement on the ball, you'll receive plenty of pin action. I bowl with someone that has a 197 average and I've never seen him throw over 11.5 MPH. When you factor in speed, location and hook, speed is by far the least important factor.

  4. #4

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    Aug 2008
    Butler, PA
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    The question I have is how are you measuring your speed? Are you taking speed from a display on the monitor, or are you measuring the time it takes for the ball to reach the pins?

    I have found speed displays are flawed. I know at least the Quibica one is. The sensor that measures the speed is located on the camera housing. This sensor is past the break point. What happens, especially if you hook the ball, is the ball is being measured as it is in the hook phase. Instead of going straight through the "speed trap" it is going at an angle. Because the ball is moving at a tangent to the "speed trap" it takes longer to cover the measured distance thus showing a slower speed.

    Consistancy is the key. A 14 pound ball thrown at 14 mph will hit with nearly 200 pounds of force. That is plenty to get the pins moving.
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  5. #5


    I had no idea that ball speed was measured past the break point like that. Depending on how much of a difference that makes, that would explain an awful lot.

    Next time I bowl, I'll bring a camera and try to get a more accurate measurement.

  6. #6
    Member Big Dog's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    The other guy is right. Ive seen unrealistic speeds list on these lanes. I dont trust the sensors at all. It said I rolled the ball at 35mph one time. Ive had a broken back and 2 knee replacements.right. Consistency is more important.

  7. #7
    SandBagger WAC4504's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Memphis TN
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    Thumbs up Bowlforfun

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike Domination View Post
    Without watching you bowl this is really too hard for me to guess what the problem is given the information. So I would just say check this site out if you haven't already. It has plenty of articles that may help.
    Thanks for the link, some great info and tips. Very very useful.
    Good luck and good bowling


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