Use and distribution of this article is subject to our terms and conditions whereby bowlingball.com's information and copyright must be included.
bowlingball.com BowlVersity Q & A Part 5
We hope our responses to these questions below lead to helping you improve your bowling game. Most of the responses are to questions we received from bowlers ranging from beginners to 180 average players.
As we indicated in our first articles in this series, if you are an advanced player or a highly skilled and experienced player, you are most welcome to join in and offer your comments with the intent of sharing your knowledge from your personal experiences on the lanes with our fellow bowlers. We cannot possibly keep our responses to questions short and direct in content without likely omitting information which could expand the range of answers to a more acceptable level, thus another reason we invite you to share your thoughts by making a comment under the posted article and help us pass along useful ideas.
Here are the three questions for this article addressing issues many bowlers encounter:
Q. How do I decide if I need a wrist support to help my delivery?
A. The wrist support device will prevent the back of the bowling hand from tilting or collapsing prior to the delivery of the bowling ball.
The purpose of the device essentially is to limit tilting movement of the wrist.
The limited wrist movement serves to regulate the relationship of your thumb exiting the ball compared to your bowling fingers which act to impart rotation on the ball.
Some wrist devices greatly limit movement of the wrist and the fingers because of a longer support structure behind the bowling hand than other devices provide.
Experimentation will be necessary before finding the best device for your needs. Generally, the longer support structure behind the hand, the wrist and finger hinging movements will be restricted leading to a decisive delivery action.
Wrist Support devices are available in adjustable and non-adjustable models. If you choose to use a wrist device, be prepared to use bowling tape in case your thumb exits very quickly to avoid dropping the ball behind the foul line.
Q. What do the terms "angle of entry" and "break point" I hear so often mean?
A. Angle of entry refers to the angle measured parallel to the boards of the lane and at which the bowling ball hits the pocket. USBC has confirmed, that an entry angle of about 6 degrees improved overall strike percentage.
Break point refers to the point on the lane created by the ratios and distance of oil application on the lane surface and by a given bowling ball's length potential where the bowling ball completes its transition from skid to traction and begins the rolling process. The break point usually exists from 5-7 feet past the final distance of oil. As a rule of thumb, the longer the distance of the oil pattern, the closer to the center of the lane is the break point. The shorter the distance of the oil pattern, the break point is nearer the edge of the lane.
Q. Are there any tips on breaking in my new pair of bowling shoes?
A. Wear your bowling shoes around the inside of your home and walk in them to break in any stiffness in the uppers portion of both shoes. Try and determine which type of socks fit the shoes most comfortably so your shoes do not feel too tight. Loose shoes may cause your feet to "hydroplane" when trying to develop consistent footwork on the approaches.
Take several practice slides on the various areas of the approach near the foul line. Practice slides near the center of the approach where you typically slide for a strike ball delivery and near the edges of the approach where you slide to pick up corner pin spares will prevent unwanted sliding surprises during competition.
Warm up slowly to ensure your initial practice approaches are at a slow footwork speed and your bowling ball releases are at a slow speed. Try not to release your ball at full speed if your shoes have not been tested for a smooth and even sliding process on the approaches.
Avoid excessive journeys to the concourse area of the bowling center but rather remain in the bowling settee area until you are confident you can slide consistently for a game or two of bowling without any incidents. We recommend wearing shoe protectors which slip over the shoes when walking about the bowling center. Shoe protectors keep gum, food, liquid, or dirt off of the bottom of your bowling shoes.
We thank the bowlers who shared their questions with us for this article. We hope our responses serve a useful purpose. Feel free to offer your comments; they are most welcomed. Be sure to check the "Improve Your Game" link in "BowlVersity" on the home page of our site for future posts. Thank you.