Sunday, September 20, 2015

Senior Bowling Observations - Discussion #4

Here’s Discussion #4 in a nutshell:

"On a 38-foot to 41-foot length oil pattern, if you throw your ball and it rolls over the '8-board at the outer marker,' your ball will hit the pocket."

For ease of discussion, I generalize the following:

(1) The "outer marker" is the dark-colored, three foot mark, on the 10-board, 40 to 43 feet from the foul line on many modern, synthetic lanes.

(2) What I refer to as the "8-board at the outer marker;" is actually the broader 6-board to 9-board area.

(3) This applies to oil patterns between 38 feet to 41 feet.

For the past three to four years, I've advocated an aiming point based on articles I've read and, by closely watching / studying videos of national and international bowlers and events.

Recently, my observations were validated while watching a broadcast of a bowling event and the technical commentator made a statement to the effect of, "spray painting the 8-board at the 40 to 43 foot outer marker on the lanes, so that everyone would aim there and at least hit the pocket, giving themselves a better chance to strike."

This doesn't mean the bowler has to target 41 feet down the lane. (More power to you if you can, but, bowlers like me have a difficult time seeing that far down the lane.)

Let's factor in the "3-point Targeting" theory (By USBC Gold Coach Joe Slowinski) to illustrate how to fine tune where a bowler can aim. (Keep in mind that every bowler has to take any hints and/or suggestions and tailor them to suit their style of bowling.)

What I utilize is a “modified 3-point targeting system."

For example, if I'm using the 12-board at the arrows, I look at the 8-board at the 40 to 43 foot marker as I get into my starting stance, then bring my eyes down to the 12-board at the arrows just before starting my approach.

If I'm targeting the 10-board at the arrows, I sight down lane to the 8-board, then bring my eyes to the 10-board at the arrows, and so forth.

Some of my friends have told me that they target down lane, then at the arrows, and finally end up sighting at a mid-way point between the down lane marker and the arrows as they start their approach.

This method of getting to the pocket will work regardless of whether the bowler is launching the ball from the 5 board, the 15 board, or the 35 board. Just make sure the ball gets to the “8-board at the outer marker,” and the ball will get to the pocket.

As to why the ball won’t strike every time, the reader needs to keep in mind the parameters necessary for a “perfect pocket strike:”

a) The ball enters the pocket at the 17-1/2 board with less than 1/8-inch discrepancy;

b) The ball has an entry angle of 6 degrees;

c) The ball makes contact with only the 1, 3, 5, and 9 pins.

I heard a great term recently, “Eliminating Variables.”

To wit: “The entire game of bowling is based on eliminating as many variables as possible.”

I think hitting the pocket consistently may eliminate a large part of the variables a bowler is faced with in any given game at any given time.

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