As You Age The Fit Of Your Bowling Ball Will Change
Ask any pro shop professional and they know all about the bowler who enters their shop carrying a ball that's 30 years old. "I've had this ball since I was 23. This ball fits perfect, I'd like you to match it on my new ball."
Your mind's eye can make you believe that your ball fits perfectly because it's what you're used to. What isn't taken in to account by most people is the fact that flexibility is reduced as you age. This calls for changes in pitch and span due to the fact that the joints and ligaments stiffen over time. For most people, it's not possible to stretch your hand out as much as you once could.
In Bowling Fundamentals, second edition
PWBA champion Michelle Mullen says, "If you use a fingertip grip, you especially need to have the finger pitches adjusted to match the current range of motion in those joints. Eventually, you will likely need to add more reverse to the pitches so that the pads of your fingers can remain flush against the front of the finger holes."
As you get older you tend to lose strength in your hand, so having a proper fit is even more important. In order to continue scoring well you have to have the tools for the job. Adjusting pitches in order to ensure the pads of the fingers are flush with the ball will allow older bowlers to continue to lift with their fingers and create hook when needed.
Michelle Mullen also explains in Bowling Fundamentals
, "...you may even decide to add a fourth hole, or pinkie hole. The ring finger and pinkie typically share a tendon, so when one bends, so does the other." She continues, "I used to tuck my pinkie finger on the ball... I no longer do this because of arthritis, and the pinkie hole made the grip more comfortable."
You should never have to bowl with pain or discomfort in your hand, forearm or elbow. A ball with an improper fit can cause issues with all of these errors due to having to squeeze to hang on to the ball. Don't let your body or your game suffer by using a ball that doesn't fit. Even if you're not in the market for a new ball, visit your local pro shop professional and have your grip re-evaluated. Your existing ball can be adjusted to the proper fit if necessary. Get a grip on your game and watch the high scores continue.