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How To Learn Bowling Ball Terms


Discovering how to learn bowling ball terms can be interesting and informative if you start by reviewing some excerpts provided below of common bowling ball terminology courtesy of our bowlingball.com "Glossary of Bowling Terms."

How to learn bowling ball terms which are not publicly made readily available begins by reading through these excerpts and then by viewing a comprehensive list of terms merely by clicking on the "Bowling Terms" link provided under the "Help" column found on our home page. You may then review an alphabetized index of comprehensive terms to help you broaden your bowling vocabulary. Why not become familiarized with some of the bowling terminology commonly used throughout the world? Let's get started:

Angle of Entry – angle measured parallel to the boards of the lane and at which the bowling ball hits the pocket.

Axis of Rotation – an imaginary line perpendicular to the track along which a bowling ball rotates.

Axis Point – one of two points located on opposite poles marking the end points of the axis of rotation.

Axis Tilt – known as the angle of rotation of a bowling ball imparted by the bowler. Rotational positioning is critical in determining bowling ball hook potential.

Balance Hole – an extra hole drilled in a specific position in the bowling ball used to balance the ball statically and alter the overall reaction of the bowling ball.

Ball Track – the portion of the bowling ball which comes into contact with the lane surface as the ball rolls down the lane.

Break Point – the point on the lane where the bowling ball completes its transition from skid to traction and begins the hooking process. The break point usually exists from 5-7 feet past the final distance of oil conditioner application on the lane surface.

Core – the large inner portion of a bowling ball consisting of filler materials and of high density materials for dynamic control purposes.

Coverstock – the outer shell of a bowling ball constructed with a variety of materials, all polyurethane based products. These variations are commonly referred to as plastic or polyester, urethane, reactive resin, hybrid urethane, or particle urethane.

Differential of RG – the difference of the radius of gyration (RG) of a bowling ball’s “X axis” (weight block vertical) compared to RG of the “Y” or “Z” axes (the weight block horizontal). Differential is an indicator of a bowling ball’s flare potential. High Differential of RG, high track flare – low Differential of RG, low track flare. Length adjustments by use of certain drilling patterns is created by using bowling balls with various Differential ranges.

Flare Potential – the maximum amount a bowling ball can migrate while traveling down the lane. Flare Potential can be used as an indicator which bowling balls are best suited for oiling lanes (high flare) and which balls for dryer conditions (low flare).

Length – an evaluation of how far a ball will travel before it begins to hook.

Pin – a small factory plug that signifies the center of the weight block in most bowling balls.

Pin–In – a term used to describe a bowling ball pin location 1” (one inch) or less from the CG.

Pin-Out – indicates the weight block is not centered and the pin is 1 “ or more from CG.

Positive Axis Point (PAP) - the point on the pocket side of the ball at the end of the Axis of Rotation upon delivery of the bowling ball.

Radius of Gyration (RG) – an account of the location of the mass inside a bowling ball. RG tells whether the ball mass is toward the center of the ball (low RG), toward the cover (High RG), or between (medium RG). Low RG balls rev-up quickly, medium RG balls slightly later, and high RG balls lope down the lane conserving energy until later.

Skid-Flip – refers to a ball reaction on the front end of a lane and an excessive backend reaction with increased entry angle.

Weight Block – inner portion of a ball which influences ball motion based on its density and the Bowlers axis of Rotation.

We hope these terms help you expand your understanding of bowling ball terms heard in the pro shops and in bowling centers by highly experienced players. Perhaps these few terms will whet your appetite to learn more about bowling balls and take a proactive approach to the science of the game.

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