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There are much more effective delivery styles today.

Could you could tell me the basic method for throwing a full-roller? I have tried many times, but can't seem to get the release right. -- Matt Wilkenson, Tacoma, Wash.
The simplest way to throw a full-roller is to hold the ball in a suitcase type of position, with your fingers away from the pocket (and toward the side wall). At the release point, simply rotate your thumb and fingers in a counter-clockwise manner. While I'm happy to provide you with the basics for that type of release, I do not recommend a full-roller with today's bowling balls and lane surfaces. Most bowlers will find a ¾-roller to be much more effective in today's game.

As I have gotten older, it has become very difficult to create enough ball speed to control my [high-tech] bowling balls. Can you give me any suggestions to increase speed without getting totally out of time or throwing out my arm? -- Bert Alston, Visalia, Calif.
Reduced ball speed usually is the result of a shortened backswing and unnecessary control of the arm through the downswing and release. An easy way to heighten your backswing is to raise the starting position of your ball at the beginning of the pushaway. If, for example, you normally hold the ball at your waist, simply raise the ball to shoulder level. Proceed to push the ball forward from that level, and then let the weight of the ball swing the arm downward and backward. This procedure will give you a longer arc and increase the speed of the ball during the release. Let the ball swing the arm freely, and you will experience the increased speed needed to control the newer equipment.

Of all the bowlers that you have seen, who is the most adept at playing multiple lines and throwing the ball with different hand positions and speed patterns? --Gordy Faxton, Henderson, Nev.
I would rank Mike Durbin and Norm Duke as the bowlers who could significantly change their deliveries and still bowl successfully. Durbin has won tournaments with three, four and five steps, and also has won with a ¾-roller and full-roller release. In addition, I have seen him enjoy success (i.e., good carry) from most any spot on the lanes. Duke can use multiple releases, and also win from as far out as the gutter to deep inside. Both of these bowlers are great examples of being able to change one's game to fit the lane condition and still successfully compete with the best in the world.

I have a reactive bowling ball that I've used for six months. Lately, the ball seems to be hitting with less power. Is there anything that I can do to get the ball back to its original hitting power? -- Nancy Rodwick, Cleveland, Ohio
Today's bowling balls need to be cared for constantly to keep their hitting power -- much like a car engine benefits from regular oil changes and tuneups. I would suggest that you take the ball to your pro shop operator, who can perform a number of different procedures to restore the hitting power. For instance, the ball could be heated so as to "sweat" the lane conditioner out of it. (Warning: Do not try this at home; a pro shop has special equipment for this procedure, and a pro shop operator knows which balls will benefit and which balls could be harmed by the procedure.) The ball also could be "re-shined" back to its original luster. Or, resurfacing of the ball may be in order to remove some of the scratches that develop from normal use. Your pro shop operator can recommend which procedure or procedures are best for your bowling ball.

Our bowling center is putting down one of the PBA shots on its lanes, and a local PBA member tells me that this condition does not play similarly to the same conditioning procedure that he competed on in a PBA tournament. Why would that be? -- Jim Gilbert, Ames, Iowa
Just because you use a certain type of conditioning procedure on a lane surface does not mean that the lane will play as it would on Tour. There are many factors that can impact how a lane plays beyond the conditioning. Among those factors are the type of lane surface, the age of the surface, the humidity in the bowling center, and the ages of the pins, kickbacks and flat gutters. Also playing a role are the people who are bowling on those lanes. Professional bowlers, as a general rule, roll more balls over an individual target, throw the ball with more revolutions, and throw newer balls than the average league bowler. Lane conditioning is only one of many factors that impact scoring and lane play in a given bowling center.