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.
PICKING UP THE PACE
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.
ADAPTABILITY WINS TITLES
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.
HOW TO RESTORE HITTING POWER
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
THE VARIABLES OF LANE PLAY
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