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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM How-to easily create hundreds of ball reactions confidently and competently as well as lane play methods to improve your score!

Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed. Director of Coaching & Coach Certification National Sports Council of Malaysia USBC, Silver-Level Coach and Level I Coach Instructor Top 100 Coach, Bowlers Journal, 2005, 2006 & 2007 Contributing Writer, Bowling This Month Contributing Writer, Asian Bowling Digest Member, PBA Member, IBPSIA

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM How-to easily create hundreds of ball reactions confidently and competently as well as lane play methods to improve your score!

Joseph Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Bowling Knowledge, Joseph Slowinski 8-14-1 Endah Villa 2/149B Jalan Sri Petaling Kuala Lumpur 57000 MALAYSIA

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Bowler Reference System © 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Bowler Reference System: How-to easily create hundreds of ball reactions confidently and competently.

Copyright © 2007, by Joseph Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction or use of any of this publication by any mechanical, electronic, or other means is prohibited without written permission of the publisher.

ISBN: 978-983-43642-0-5

Cover photo © 2007, by Joseph Slowinski

Bowling Knowledge, Joseph Slowinski 8-14-1 Endah Villa 2/149B Jalan Sri Petaling Kuala Lumpur 57000 MALAYSIA http://www.bowlingknowledge.info joseph_slowinski@yahoo.com 6-016-364-2690

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To Stanley Slowinski, my father For his unwavering support and instilling a love of this great sport.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS PRELUDE

7

CHAPTER 1 WHAT RESEARCH INFORMS ABOUT HOW MUCH BALL REACTION A BOWLER CAN CREATE 9 CHAPTER 2 HOW TO MANIPULATE YOUR BALL REACTION – BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM IN DETAIL 14 THE 4 MANIPULATIONS OF THE BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM WHAT ARE AXIS OF ROTATION AND AXIS TILT? MANIPULATING THE ANGLE OF THE AXIS ROTATION CLARIFICATION ON THE 1 O’CLOCK AND 12 O’CLOCK REFERENCES BALL REACTION WITH AXIS OF ROTATION ANGLE MANIPULATING AXIS ROTATION WILL CREATE EXTRA BOARDS OF BACKEND REACTION AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO CREATE AXIS ROTATION CHANGES CHANGING AXIS TILT MEASURING AXIS TILT INCREASING AND DECREASING REVOLUTIONS REVOLUTION RATE REFERENCE SHEET ALTERING BALL SPEED BALL SPEED CHANGE REFERENCE SHEET BALL SPEED COMPARISON CHART (MPH & KPH) SPEED CONSISTENCY DATA COLLECTION TOOL

15 16 20 21 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 33 34 35 37

CHAPTER 3 ADVANCED LANE PLAY – IMPLEMENTING THE BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM

38

OBSERVING BALL REACTION FOR BETTER DECISION MAKING BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM (SLOWINSKI, 2007) EXIT POINT MODEL: RESEARCH TELLS US WHERE TO BEST PLAY THE LANES ADVANCED TARGETING WITH 2-POINT AND 3-POINT TARGETING LANE SURFACE FRICTION WILL IMPACT BALL REACTION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LINING-UP LANE PLAY PLANNING & LANE PLAY POST-SQUAD REFLECTION SHEET

39 39 40 43 44 46 48

CHAPTER 4 BOWLING BALL ARSENAL ANALYSIS AND BALL MAINTENANCE

50

BOWLING BALL ARSENAL WORKBOOK BOWLING BALL ARSENAL SHEET BALL CARE AND MAINTENANCE

51 52 54

CHAPTER 5 ADVANCED SPARE SHOOTING

55

8 STEPS TO IMPROVED SPARE SHOOTING EXPERIMENTAL TIP: INTERSECTION SPARE SHOOTING

56 59

CHAPTER 6 DRILLS TO SUPPORT YOUR IMPROVEMENT

61

PUSHAWAY DRILL 5-STEP DRILL

62 64

CHAPTER 7 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

66

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HOW GOOD ARE YOU? TOURNAMENT & LEAGUE BOWLING RECORD SHEET BOWLER RATING CALCULATION FORM DATA TRACKING SHEETS

66 71 72 73

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

76

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PRELUDE A typical scratch bowler that bowls in a scratch league is capable of maintaining a high average (220-240) in his home bowling center on an easy “House Condition”. These players usually have one (1) type of “style” (game) and are extremely limited to what they can do. A top Regional Pro is capable of maintaining a high average (200-220) over a variety of tournament conditions. These players usually have “one” solid game A typical Touring Player is capable of maintaining a high average (200-220) over a variety of Tour conditions. These players usually can do more than one thing with their games and are fairly versatile. A very successful [PBA] Touring Player can easily go from his “A”-game to his “B”-game and is comfortable doing that. They are usually a Champion with a title or two. The Hall of Fame players and multiple champions can (and could) do 2 or 3 things comfortably with mixing their styles based on the environment. They are well practiced and possess the knowledge needed to succeed. – The Phantom, Len Nicholson, April 2006

Welcome to the Bowler Reference System (BRS)! With the purchase of this short booklet, you will soon learn the secrets to manipulating ball reaction to change length and backend reaction consistently, competently and confidently. As I always say, knowledge first. This leads to skill. And, skill leads to confidence. This system is the result of my nearly 40 years of involvement in the sport of bowling including approximately 25 years as a coach. I have worked diligently to create a system that will allow bowlers to create complex ball reactions easily with references that provide a solution to more easily repeat good shots. Specifically, the Slowinski BRS is based on easy to remember reference points to manipulate ball reaction with relative ease and repeat more quality shots with a significantly more diverse game. Literally, BRS will enable you to create more than 500 unique ball reactions. To illustrate, think about the following example. If you can create 5 different angles of axis of rotation, 3 axis tilt angles, 5 ball speeds, 3 ball revolution rates and 3 lofts, then you would have 675 possible ball reactions. To calculate, simply multiply the different combinations, 5 X 3 X 5 X 3 X 3. Once you master one of these release domains, the possibility of creating ball reaction variety becomes a reality for you. With BRS, you will become a more complete bowler. If you want more length, then you can create more length. If you want a stronger backend, then you will be able to create a stronger backend, easily and confidently. But, it will take practice. Great bowling begins with knowledge first. Practice based on knowledge builds skill. Finally, skill fosters confidence and risk-taking, skills necessary to become an accomplished bowler. I know the system will make you a better bowler. I am confident that you will see a variety of ball reactions in your game almost immediately. But, the name of this game is repeating quality shots. This will take time. And, this will require a commitment on your behalf to practice. To be honest, it will take hundreds of hours to master the knowledge in this booklet. For those who take it seriously, due to the NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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knowledge and ability to create more ball reactions, you will have an improved game and more options to deal with lane transitions as well as the ability to play more parts of the lane, from the extreme outside to the deep inside. The bowler reference system explores the major adjustments that you can make to enable you to create hundreds of ball reactions. These five adjustments are: axis rotation, axis tilt, revolutions, ball speed and loft. In this book, I focus on the first four. There is always a place to score best on any lane condition. Excuses reveal a lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge will always lead to confusion or fear of making a move. I want you to believe that no lane will beat you again because you possess the knowledge to make competent adjustments. After reading this book, you will be able to: 1. Know how each of the five adjustments impact ball reaction; 2. How to accurately change your axis of rotation; 3. How to change your axis tilt; 4. How to change your ball speed; 5. How to change your rev rate (the number of revolutions); and 6. How to use an advanced targeting system to play the lanes in the best place. With some practice, you will be able to make substantial adjustments to your bowling ball reactions. Most importantly, you will know when and how to make these ball reactions adjustments. This KNOWLEDGE will allow you to have many ball reactions with just one bowling ball.

Knowledge + Practice = Competence + Confidence

After knowledge, you must practice to improve your skill or competence. Only then, will you really become a confident bowler.

Joe Slowinski August 28, 2007 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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CHAPTER 1 WHAT RESEARCH INFORMS ABOUT HOW MUCH BALL REACTION A BOWLER CAN CREATE

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It is appropriate to begin with what we know about a bowler’s ability to create ball reaction. Specifically, it is very important to understand how much you can actually alter a bowling ball’s reaction by changing the release. And, with this knowledge, you will see the value in possessing the skills that will enable you to change your release to obtain a different ball motion that best matches the lane condition as well as being able to deal with transitions more competently. First and foremost, as a bowler, you should understand that the bowling ball will transition through three distinct phases: skid, hook and roll. So, when observing your bowling ball travel down the lane, you should always ask yourself two main questions: (1) How far? (2) How strong? These two questions translate into observing the length of the skid phase, the shape of the trajectory and the backend reaction strength. In a ball reaction nut shell, both loft and ball speed contributes to increasing the amount of skid as well as decreasing the overall ball reaction. Rev rate, axis tilt and axis rotation impact the overall length, the trajectory shape of the shot as well as the backend strength. As each of these three increases, in general, the length will increase and the backend strength will grow increasingly stronger. While on the lanes, always keep thinking about how much skid you need and how strong the backend reaction needs to be. How Does Axis Rotation Manipulation Alter Ball Reaction? As mentioned earlier, as you increase your axis rotation, the bowling ball will skid further and have a stronger backend reaction. In essence, the earlier the bowling ball enters into the roll phase, the less backend reaction you will have and the less entry angle you will achieve. Most importantly, the axis of rotation provides you with the most opportunity to alter your ball motion. Specifically, from the research base, we are talking about an 11 board difference on the backend, by changing the release from 15 degrees to 60 degree in regard to the angle of the axis rotation. Research at Columbia 300 revealed that a bowler can obtain 5 more boards of hook on the backend by increasing the release from 30 to 45 degrees of axis rotation. Specifically, with this 15 degree increase in the axis rotation angle, the entry angle would also increase from 3.1 to 4.5 degrees. Moreover, when a bowler increases from 45 degrees to 60 degrees, 3 more boards of additional hook on the backend are achieved with an increase in entry angle from 4.5 degrees to 5.6 degrees. According to research at USBC, Six degrees of entry angle has been proven to maximize strikes. From this information, you can see the value in learning to change your release consistently to manipulate the amount of axis rotation. You can achieve 8 extra boards of hook or a reduction of 8 boards, by releasing the ball with an axis rotation, between 30 and 60 degrees. Sometimes you need more. Sometimes you need less.

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Note: The research was conducted with a ball thrown at 270 RPM and 18 MPH. These variables were held constant in an effort to only change the axis rotation to measure the amount of ball reaction change would occur in axis rotation.

Revolutions (Rev Rate) To learn more about how increasing and decreasing revolutions affects hook, Columbia 300 also completed research on this important domain of ball reaction. From the research findings, with each increase of 30 revolutions, the ball will cover two additional boards of hook. So, with an increase of 60 revolutions, a bowler can achieve 4 extra boards on the backend. With each 30 RPM increase, the entry angle will also be increased by approximately 0.5 degrees (i.e., one-half degree). As you can see from the numbers, it is important to be able to adjust your rev rate, up or down. Sometimes, you need to cover fewer boards to score high. On the other hand, increasing revolutions is important as well. If you need to increase your entry angle, added revs will do the job. In addition to the added boards of hook, increasing your revolutions will also increase the amount of push past the oil line. In a project at the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certification Department, research revealed that rev rate was more important to "push" than ball speed. Specifically, the results of 14 test bowlers, on a 37 foot sports pattern, demonstrated that as revolutions increased, the amount of push increased as well. Yet, interestingly, for those who can achieve a rev rate higher than 350 the amount of push decreased as it increased. REVOLUTION RATE

MILES HOUR

PER PUSH (in feet)

170 – 200

16.9

2.3

200 – 250

17.7

2.7

250 – 300

18.1

5.4

300 – 350

18.0

7.7

350 – 400

18.4

6.3

400 – 500

18.7

5.9

(Stremmel, 2006)

On a note of interest, CATS data has illustrated elite bowlers (220+) have a ball speed of at least 19.1 MPH and a REV RATE of 363 or higher. From the PUSH data table, you can see that the bowler in the 300 REVS and 18 MPH range may be achieving too much push. This extra push can lead to over-under situations too often. Sound familiar? If so, as a tweener, work on increasing your rev rate.

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How Does Surface Preparation Effect Ball Reaction? Most knowledgeable pro shop operators or coaches will agree that the surface of the bowling ball plays the highest percentage in regard to ball reaction. This is generally agreed upon to be between 60 and 70 percent of ball reaction. And, at the elite levels, additional surface tweaking with sanding techniques can make the difference between winning and losing. So, it is critical for bowlers to understand how surface preparation can alter bowl reaction. Ebonite recently published findings from their Research & Development department. Specifically, they explored how surface preparation with various Abralon pad grits impact ball reaction. Ebonite found, on a shorter high volume lane house condition, a bowler could achieve 2.5 feet extra of length, using a 4000 grit surface as compared with a 360 surface pad. Corresponding to the extra length of the higher grit pad, the breakpoint was further right (for RH bowlers) with a reduced backend movement of 2 boards (6 versus 8) leading to an increased entry angle. Amount of Distance Achieved on Shorter Pattern Bowling Ball Cover Abralon Surface Grit Distance (in Feet) 360 Grit 39.23’ 500 Grit 40.13’ 1000 Grit 40.81’ 2000 Grit 41.27’ 4000 Grit 41.82’ (Ebonite, 2006) Amount of Distance Achieved on Longer Pattern Bowling Ball Cover Abralon Surface Grit Distance (in Feet) 360 Grit 42.96’ 500 Grit 43.06’ 1000 Grit 43.27’ 2000 Grit 43.38’ 4000 Grit 43.40’ (Ebonite, 2006)

How Does Ball Speed Impact Overall Hook and Entry Angle? In an effort to determine the effect of ball speed on ball reaction, Columbia 300 also conducted research on this relationship. Specifically, they found that an increase of 1 Mile Per Hour (1.6 KPH) led to a decrease in 2 boards of hook. In addition, the findings demonstrated that entry angle decreased .2 for every MPH increase. This is also an important area to be able to change ball speeds reliably. This finding should facilitate reflection on why ball speed and rev rate should match when playing a certain release.

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Conclusion If you want to be a better bowler, it is time to learn how to manipulate your bowling ball reaction. I have created a Bowler Reference System to enable bowlers to accurately and consistently repeat shots and control ball reaction more accurately. Let’s learn about this in the next chapter. References Speranza, D. (2003). Bowling by the Numbers. San Antonio, TX: Columbia 300. Stremmel, N. (2006, April). Entry Angle, Part 3, Bowling This Month, 13(4): 6-8. Joshua Sports & Entertainment:San Marcos, TX. Teitloff , R. (2006, Fall). Surface Management, Part III: Sanding with Abralon® Sanding Pads. Pro Shop Insider, 36-37. Hopkinsville, KY: Ebonite International, Inc.

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CHAPTER 2 HOW TO MANIPULATE YOUR BALL REACTION – BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM IN DETAIL

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The 4 Manipulations of the Bowler Reference System Let’s begin with a short discussion of the five key release changes you have control over as a bowler. Specifically, there are five adjustments that a bowler can make to manipulate ball reaction. With these five adjustments, the bowler can manipulate the amount of skid as well as alter the strength of the backend reaction. These include: the angle of the axis of rotation, the angle of axis tilt, revolutions, ball speed and loft. Each of these adjustment domains needs to be understood in isolation because each has a distinct impact on ball reaction. In simple terms, these five adjustments control the length of the skid of the bowling ball as well as the strength of the backend reaction.

The 5 World-Class Release Manipulations and Ball Reaction Changes Axis of Rotation

As the angle of the axis of rotation increases, both the skid and backend reaction strength increases. The angle is measured in the horizontal plane.

Axis Tilt

As the angle axis tilt increases, both the skid and backend reaction strength increases. The angle is measured in the vertical plane.

Revolutions

Ball Speed

Loft

As the rev rate increases, the backend reaction strength increases. The rev rate actually controls the amount of push past the end of the lane pattern more than speed does. As you read in Chapter 1, the amount of push is determined by the rev rate.

As ball speed increases, the ball will skid further down the lane. In addition, the entry angle will decrease.

As the ball is lofted more, the ball will skid further down the lane

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What are Axis of Rotation and Axis Tilt? To understand both the axis rotation and axis tilt, you must understand the rotation of the bowling ball at the point of release. This should not be confused with revolutions. Revolution rate is a measurement of how quickly the ball is rotating. The axis of a bowling ball at release is the imaginary line the ball rotates around as it leaves your hand. When a bowler throws the ball, s/he applies both axis rotation and axis tilt simultaneously. In short, axis rotation is the measure of where the axis line in the horizontal whereas axis tilt is the measure of the axis line in the vertical. To understand these two concepts, you must first understand what the Positive Axis Point is on the bowling ball. The easiest way to understand the Positive Axis Point is to think about our planet Earth. As everyone learns in school, the earth rotates around an imaginary axis through both a positive (North Pole) and negative axis (South Pole). The same holds true when you throw a bowling ball or any object; it will spin around an imaginary axis. Specifically, as it leaves your hand, the bowling ball rotates around a Positive Axis Point (PAP) and a Negative Axis Point (NAP). In the example of the earth, the equator is the same distance from any point of the equator to each pole. In our bowling ball example, the initial track line (oil ring closest to your grip), is similar to the earth's equator. From any point on the initial track line, it is the same distance from this line to the PAP, or North Pole. Similarly, the distance from this line to the NAP is the same from any point on the initial track line. But, the distances from the initial oil line to the PAP and NAP are not the same distance. The higher the tilt angle, the shorter this distance will be to the NAP and the further it will be to the PAP. It differs for each bowler and each throw. And, a skilled bowler can change it by altering the amount of axis tilt. The image below shows two lines, equidistant, from the initial track line to a point of intersection, the PAP. In fact, all lines drawn perpendicular to the initial track line will intersect at the PAP and be equidistant. Positive Axis Point Equal Distance from the Initial Track Line

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At the point of release, each bowler throws the ball with both axis of rotation and axis tilt. How you throw the ball determines how much axis of rotation and how much axis tilt you have on that throw. As stated above, as you throw the ball you release the ball with both axis rotation (horizontal) and axis tilt (vertical). In the image below, the ball is rotating around an imaginary axis. A bowler will see the ball rotating around the North Pole or PAP. This represents the axis the ball is rotating around as it leaves your hand. Tilt indicates the amount of spin at the release. The larger the angle of tilt, the more the ball is spinning. As is illustrated to the right, the position of the PAP illustrates how much axis rotation and how much axis tilt exists on the throw. This is much like the coordinate graph system that you learned in math class. Point (2, 3) would be 2 positive units on the X axis (horizontal) and 3 positive units on the Y axis (vertical).

RIGHT-HANDED BOWLER’S VIEW OF THE PAP AT RELEASE

But, in our example, the PAP is the coordinate point of the imaginary axis in which the ball rotates around. In the case of a bowling ball, the axis rotation goes The Positive Axis Point has both a horizontal and vertical These represent the Axis Rotation from 0 to 90 degrees, coordinate. from the left to the (horizontal) and Axis Tilt (vertical) angles. center in the horizontal direction, for axis rotation. And, from 0 on the horizon to 90 degrees in the vertical for axis tilt. Similarly, a bowler has both axis rotation and axis tilt when the ball is released. When a bowler releases the ball, the ball will rotate around an axis, as pictured below. If the PAP is marked, with a piece of tape, a bowler can see how much axis tilt (vertical) and how much axis rotation has been achieved. The only precise way to determine this is through video at the point of release. In the example above, illustrating a ball being thrown at release, from the PAP position we know that the axis of rotation is approximately 60 degrees and the axis tilt 40 degrees. As the arrows illustrate, the ball is rotating around an axis in which the pole

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of the axis pictured is the PAP. The NAP is 180 degrees from this point on the other side of the bowling ball and is not visible from this position. Axis Rotation is the angle in the horizontal plane whereas axis tilt is the angle in the vertical plane. As a bowler rotates around the ball more, the axis of rotation angle will increase. Specifically, the motion of the rotation is more in the opposite direction of the motion toward the pins. A ball with complete forward roll is 0 degrees of axis rotation. The motion of the ball is completely in the direction of the pins and lane. Conversely, a ball with 90 degrees of axis rotation is rotating initially 90 degrees relative to the lane or perpendicular to the pins. You can envision this by imagining a protractor at the foul line. The axis of rotation is the axis through which the ball rotates around at the release. As the ball leaves your hand, it rotates around an axis relative to the horizontal plane. This will provide the angle of the axis of rotation. You can also think about this as relative to the motion of the direction toward the pins. To the right is a protractor, relative to the lane, with the specific degree measures. The image is for a righthanded bowler with the angle of the imaginary axis shown. This will help you understand the axis of rotation for a right-handed bowler and the degree equivalent. 1 = 0 Degrees of Axis Rotation 2 = 30 Degrees of Axis Rotation 3 = 45 Degrees of Axis Rotation 4 = 60 Degrees of Axis Rotation 5 = 90 Degrees of Axis Rotation

Watch closely, as each ball is released, you will begin to train yourself to see the approximate axis rotation and axis tilt with most bowling balls. Watch for the rotation around the axis. You can see the ball revolving and rotating around the imaginary axis. With the exception of a dark colored bowling ball, you can learn to visual capture and approximate both the axis of rotation and axis tilt. This is

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a great coaching eye and advanced bowler skill to acquire. Most importantly, you will know if your release matches what you intended to throw! RESEARCH NOTE: Columbia 300 determined that a bowler can obtain 5 more boards of backend reaction from increasing the release from 30 to 45 degrees of axis rotation. With this 15 degree increase, in axis rotation, this would also increase the entry angle from 3.1 to 4.5 degrees. By increasing the axis rotation from 45 degrees to 60 degrees of axis rotation, a bowler would hook the ball 3 more boards on the backend and increase the entry angle to 5.6 degrees. As in the research project, this is assuming a ball thrown at 270 RPM and 18 MPH. In general, a high axis of rotation will yield a more skid-snap reaction while a medium axis of rotation will be an arcing trajectory. When a bowler throws the ball, s/he applied both a forward velocity and a rotational velocity. The higher the rotational force, the more backend reaction will result. Consider matching-up the release with the ball surface. A high axis rotation with a particle bowling ball will still have more or an arcing trajectory. Whereas, if you use a reactive resin ball with a medium release, you are still likely to see more of a skidsnap characteristics as compared to a particle bowling ball. But, the key is to understand the fact that you can change the roll characteristics of a bowling ball relative to which release you use. A high axis rotation release with a particle ball is going to give you more length and more backend as compared with a particle ball with a medium axis of rotation.

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Manipulating the Angle of the Axis Rotation When you throw the bowling ball, you turn your hand in a counter-clockwise rotation. But, without a specific reference, it is difficult for a bowler to control the amount of hand rotation. Thus, a bowler can’t create a specific axis rotation angle precisely and reliably. That is, until now. To aid the bowler in achieving a specific axis rotation and repeat consistent shots, I have developed an easy to use system to change the axis rotation, at release, precisely allowing for a bowler to easily repeat the release they want. This will allow you to get the exact reaction you want, amount of skid and backend reaction. The four references are: (1) pinky or elbow; (2) ring-finger; (3) thumb to 1 o’clock at the end of the follow-through; (4) thumb to 12 o’clock at the end of the follow-through. With the 4 key references, you will be able to create 4 distinct ball reactions, with different amounts of skid and backend reactions. Then, you can use the placement of your index finger and pinky to create additional variations. Spreading the index finger will add more axis rotation while spreading the pinky will reduce it.

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Clarification on the 1 O’clock and 12 O’clock References With the references for the 45 and 90 degree, the idea is to envision a clock face in front of your ball side shoulder. To achieve the specific axis rotations (45, 60, 90), focus on getting your thumb to the reference point, 12 or 1 o’clock, at the end of the follow-through. Your hand will rotate counter-clockwise. But, the reference point will prevent your hand from rotating too much or too little. For left-handed bowlers, obviously, the reference for 45 & 60 degrees would be 11 o’clock for the reference. As a left-handed bowler, you must get the thumb to 11 o’clock at the end of the followthrough to create the rotation for 45 degrees or 60 with the index wide. To help illustrate visually, put your hand in the 45 degree release, 4 (middle) & 5 (ring), position. If you are left-handed, you would do this in the 7 (ring) & 8 (middle) clock position. Straighten your whole hand.... notice the thumb will naturally point to 1 o'clock. For left-handed bowlers, it goes to 11. Now, turn your fingers to 3 o'clock (RH) or 9 o’clock (LH) and straighten the entire hand. The thumb naturally points to 12. So, with the reference points, you are enabling yourself to keep your hand in the 45 or 90 positions and continue to follow-through to these positions in the follow-through. By focusing on the reference, 1 or 12 in the follow-through, you will be able to create and repeat both 45 and 90 degrees of axis rotation. Think about Pete Weber as he follows-through. His thumb points-up to 12 most of the time because he was the master of 90 degrees.... DON"T THINK ABOUT THE THUMB POSITION INSIDE THE BOWLING BALL - ONLY THE FINGER POSITIONS. JUST GET YOUR THUMB TO THE END OF THE FOLLOW-THROUGH REFERENCE POINT. YOUR HAND WILL DO THE AMOUNT OF ROTATION NATURALLY. The 1 and 12 o'clock references relate to a point after the thumb exits the ball. After your thumb exits, you will continue to follow-through to a specific reference point, at the end of the follow-through. Imagine a clock face out on the lane at the arrows with 12 directly in front of the ball-side shoulder. These references subconsciously will help the bowler to rotate to 45 or 90 degrees. DON'T THINK about rotating your hand counter clockwise and then back clockwise. You will rotate your hand counterclockwise to 45 degrees or 90 degrees and then continue on to the 1 or 12 o'clock. YOUR THUMB HAS ALREADY EXITED THE BALL. It is like sweeping-out a slanted or straight "j" with your hand. Remember, you are starting with the hand under the ball. You will rotate the hand counter-clockwise and then stop at 45 or 90 degrees with your mind thinking you want the thumb to get to a specific place in the followthrough.

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Illustration of the Hand Rotation While Using References 0 Degrees Lead with the pinky through the target. Or, lead with the elbow through the target.

20 Degrees

Right-Handed Release

Lead with the ring through the target.

finger

Left-Handed Release

Imagine the thumb continuing to 1 o’clock at the end of the follow-through

Left-Handed Release

45 Degrees

Right-Handed Release

90 Degrees

Right-Handed Release

Focus on getting the thumb to 12 o’clock at the end of the follow-through as you release the ball

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

With the 4 reference points plus the index and pinky placements, you can create many different ball reactions. Just focus on being able to execute the 4 key references. Then, add or subtract with the index and the pinky.

Specifically, you can easily create 8 different axis rotations approximately with the following angles: 0, 15, 20, 30, 40, 45, 60, 75 and 90. On the next two pages, these are presented in one chart with the references for realizing the distinct axis rotation angles. With these reference points, you will now be able to repeat a specific ball reaction with a consistent skid and backend reaction that you need. The chart on the next page provides you with details on how to create the approximate axis rotation angle at release.

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Axis of Rotation Reference (AoR2) System RELEASE REFERENCE POINT

FINGER POSITION

APPROXIMATE AoR REFERENCE BASE # 1 0 DEGREES

RH & LH 15 DEGREES

+ REFERENCE BASE # 2 20 DEGREES

+

30 DEGREES

+

RH

LH 40 DEGREES

+ +

REFERENCE BASE # 3 45 DEGREES

RH

LH 60 DEGREES

+ 75 DEGREES

+ +

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REFERENCE BASE # 4 90 DEGREES

RH

LH

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Ball Reaction with Axis of Rotation Angle

HIGH

S K I D LOW 0 Deg

BACKEND REACTION STRENGTH

HIGH

15 Deg

20 Deg

30 Deg

40 Deg

45 Deg

60 Deg

75 Deg

90 Deg

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

AXIS ROTATION RESEARCH SUMMARY

Increasing from 15 Degrees to 30 Degrees

Increasing from 30 Degrees to 45 Degrees

Increasing from 45 Degrees to 60 Degrees

+ 3 Board Backend Hook

+ 5 Boards Backend Hook

+ 3 Boards Backend Hook

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Manipulating Axis Rotation Will Create Extra Boards of Backend Reaction

From 15 to 30 degrees, move your feet

+3

Boards

+3

Boards

+5

Boards

From 30 to 45 degrees, move your feet

+5

Boards

From 15 to 30 degrees, move your feet

+ 3 Boards

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+ 3 Boards

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An Alternative Method to Create Axis Rotation Changes For some bowlers, the 4-point method proves initially difficult. So, I have developed an easy-to-use method that focuses on finger-tip pressure. This can be used to begin altering your hand rotation to create different axis rotations, at release, in a more subtle manner. It does not provide the accuracy or precision of the 4-Point axis rotation method. But, it can be used to change your ball reaction especially for someone who is learning to adjust their release for the first time. Do not begin with this method until you have exhausted all efforts and given yourself time with the 4point axis rotation release system. If it proves to be too challenging, then you can try this.

MOST ROLL

MEDIUM ROLL

MEDIUM SIDE ROTATION

MOST SIDE ROTATION

LITTLE FINGER or ELBOW

RING FINGER

MIDDLE FINGER

INDEX FINGER

Lead and Push with the tip of the ring finger through the target at release.

Lead and push with the tip of the middle finger through the target at release

Spread index finger wide and push with the tip of the index through the target, at release

Lead and push with the tip of the small finger (pinky) at release. If a bowler continues to turn their hand, lead with the elbow through the target. This will reduce hand rotation and achieve a full roll.

Focus on following-through “through” the target with the specific finger. Focus on “through” the target rather than “to” the target

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Changing Axis Tilt The next manipulation a bowler can use is axis tilt. As axis tilt increases, you will achieve more skid along with increased backend reaction. For axis tilt manipulation, I teach three specific unique ways to alter the axis tilt: (1) pinky tuck and (2) cocking the wrist. Consequently, you have three different axis tilt combinations with these three: (1) pinky tuck; (2) cocking; (3) pinky and cocking

WARNING: These three choices, to alter axis tilt, can lead to severe pain and potential injury. As you experiment with these combinations or individual choices for altering axis tilt, immediately stop attempting any in which you have severe pain.

Pinky Tuck I consciously chose to put the pinky tuck in the axis tilt section. Realistically, the pinky tuck alters axis tilt slightly and also enables a bowler to also increase the axis of rotation slightly as well. Tucking the pinky is an easy way to get a little extra length and a little stronger backend reaction.

Cocking the Wrist Cocking the wrist is the most effective way to alter the axis tilt. But, you must be cautious when learning to throw the ball effectively in this position. Be sure to support the bowling ball and/or wrist when trying this method. To cock the wrist, shift your ring and middle fingers toward the center of your body. As you can see in the images below, you change the wrist position in the horizontal plane. And, you can imagine three various positions: small, medium and large.

STRAIGHT – BASE

COCKED

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COCKED

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Axis Tilt Reference Sheet Tuck the pinky for adding a small amount of axis tilt.

Cocking the wrist will create much more axis tilt as compared with pinky tuck.

Next up is the combination of the tucked pinky and cocking wrist option. This will increase the length and backend reaction.

+ ARC DISTANCE In inches

AXIS TILT in degrees

0 1.5 3 4.5 6 6.75 7.5 9 10.5 12 13.5

90 80 70 60 50 45 40 30 20 10 0

Measuring Axis Tilt Axis tilt is actually the amount of spin a bowler has at the release point. Every bowler applies some amount of spin at release. The higher the axis tilt the more skid and the more flip will be realized. You can measure axis tilt by determining the arc distance from the negative axis point to the first ring of oil, through the hemisphere between the NAP and PAP. The Negative Axis Point is located 180 degrees or 13 ½” from the PAP. After locating it, find the distance from the first oil ring to the NAP. With this distance, determine the AXIS TILT from the chart to the left.

Calculate the Axis Tilt with the Following Formula Axis Tilt = [ (13.5 – Arc Distance) / 13.5 ] X 90

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Increasing and Decreasing Revolutions The key to generating a higher revolution rate is maintaining a strong wrist position before initiating the release. Specifically, you must wait until your hand passes your heel to begin your release. This is an easy-to-remember reference to begin the ignition of the release. This will create more consistency in your release. By thinking of the heel as the starting point, you will actually begin the release just in front of the ankle. And, by keeping your hand in a stronger clock position, you will create more revs.

Keep the Hand In A Strong Position Until the Initiation of the Release

Wait until your hand passes your heel to begin the release

The ability of the bowler to create a higher rev rate is directly related to scoring ability. Here is the C.A.T.S. data for different types of bowlers. As you can see by the data, to be able to move to a higher level of scoring, a bowler must be able to have a higher rev rate as well as be able to adjust it. Relationship between Rev Rate and Scoring 77

118

135

162

186

218

239

275

290

363

375

<139

140149

150-159

160-169

170-179

180-189

190-199

200-209

210-219

>220

PRO LEVEL

(Slowinski, 2007)

I have a developed a simple method to increase or decrease the amount of revolutions. Specifically, you will begin with a specific position of your wrist, in the stance. By beginning in a wrist position, this will adjust your wrist to a weaker or stronger position. The goal is to make the bowler turn their hand more or less will increase or decrease the amount of revolutions, relative to their game. This system will help you with diversifying your game by altering your rev rate but creating revolutions also requires release speed and finger pressure. But, if you practice these various starting positions, you will notice that your revolution rate variance should NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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increase. For example, the difference between your lowest and highest should increase. Now, this system will not make you Robert Smith. But, with practice, you should see some more options in your game. Specifically, you will be able to create more backend reaction with a higher rev rate as well as decrease backend reaction with a lower rev rate. WARNING: Be careful with the MORE and MOST positions. These will take more practice to master especially if you add-in axis tilt to the mix. And, these can cause wrist problems if a bowler is not careful. Practice these two positions with a 45 degree axis of rotation release and a flat wrist. The coordination needed to master these will take most bowlers some time to master.

REVS

Revolution Rate Reference Sheet Right-Handed Ring-Finger Start Left-Handed Ring-Finger Start

MOST

MORE

BASE

LESS

LOW

LEAST

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Cupping the Wrist In addition to the ring-finger starting position, you can increase revolutions by cupping the wrist, from less to more. You will move your wrist up and down to control the amount that you cup the ball. And, you can imagine small, medium or large amounts of cupping the ball. I recommend that you consider broken, flat, medium cup and full cup as conscious references to alter, from base to the most, with cupping the ball. This gives you four distinct variations of cupping the ball that is easier to remember.

So, you have nine distinct positions to modify your revolutions on the bowling ball. When you combine finger starting position and the amount of cup in your wrist you will achieve many positions. AMOUNT of CUP Broken Flat Medium Full

Starting Finger Position for Each Most, More, Base, Less, Low, Least Most, More, Base, Less, Low, Least Most, More, Base, Less, Low, Least Most, More, Base, Less, Low, Least

To use this knowledge most effectively, always begin with the base rev rate position (i.e., flat and 6 o’clock). If the ball path trajectory is working well, but the backend reaction is slightly flat or weak, then you can increase to a stronger finger position to increase the backend reaction and entry angle. Conversely, you might need to decrease the finger position to lower the rev rate and reduce the backend reaction as well. Progress upward with the system in order of magnitude to increase and make adjustments you can incrementally see the backend reaction. This will allow you to match-up with the lane more quickly. Major Revolution Increase Progression (1) Flat wrist at 6 o’clock (base) (2) Flat wrist at 7 o’clock (RH) (3) Cupped wrist at 6 o’clock (4) Cupped wrist at 7 o’clock (RH)

References Slowinski, J. (December 29, 2006 – January 1, 2007). What Is C.A.T.S.? Malaysian Today.

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Altering Ball Speed To change ball speeds, I do not recommend changing your position on the approach. Some coaches teach changing the foot speed and the starting distance from the foul line. In my opinion, these recommendations do not provide consistency and repeatability. Rather, I teach raising or lowering your ball in the stance to a specific reference point: chest, rib, belly button, waist or pocket. With a free swing, this will provide 5 different ball speeds that can be executed in a reliable and precise fashion. To allow for consistent timing, I use the elbow-knee as an intersection reference point for creating pushaway consistency. Specifically, the reference used for timing purposes is the elbow-knee-heel intersection in the pushaway. This will allow you to alter the ball speed without feeling strange in your approach. I have found that you can easily alter the height in the stance and maintain good timing by focusing on achieving the elbow-knee-heel. Just get the elbow over the knee and let the ball drop into the swing. To use speed variation with changing the height of the ball in the stance, you should use a simple reference to keep the timing smooth. As the heel strikes the ground, you want the elbow to be over the knee, slightly in front of it. See the picture to the left for guidance. At this point of intersection, the ball will drop into the swing. This is the reference point for you to achieve great timing and is a requirement for easily altering ball speeds. And, it is critical for altering the bowling ball height in the stance. The higher the ball is in the stance, the faster you will throw it. The lower the ball is in the stance, the slower you will throw it. With the Bowler Reference System, you will be able to use five different starting position heights. Thus, you have five base speeds. I recommend pushing the ball out-and-down

By using the elbow-knee-heel reference, you will, through practice, be able to easily have five different speeds in your bowling bag of tricks: fast, medium-fast, basemedium, medium-slow and slow. The position, in the stance, is measured by the bottom of your hand. As you push the ball, consciously think of getting the elbow to intersect the knee. Then, let everything just happen. It really is that simple: > > > > >

For your fastest speed, start with the ball at chest height. For medium-fast, start the ball at rib cage height. For medium, your starting base, start the ball at belly button height. For medium-slow, start the ball at waist height. For your slowest speed, start the ball at pocket height.

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Ball Speed

Ball Speed Change Reference Sheet Reference

Fastest

Chest

Fast

Rib

Medium (your starting base)

Belly Button

Medium-Slow

Waist

Slowest

Pocket

Picture

REQUIREMENT  ELBOW over the KNEE in the PUSH

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Ball Speed Comparison Chart (MPH & KPH) Seconds (t),

Miles Per Hour

Kilometers Per Hour

Foul Line to Head Pin

40.91 / t

65.45 / t

1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.7 1.71 1.72 1.73 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.77 1.78 1.79 1.8 1.81 1.82 1.83 1.84 1.85 1.86 1.87 1.88 1.89 1.9 1.91 1.92 1.93 1.94 1.95 1.96 1.97 1.98 1.99 2 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.1 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.2 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.3 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38

25.10 24.95 24.79 24.64 24.50 24.35 24.21 24.06 23.92 23.78 23.65 23.51 23.38 23.24 23.11 22.98 22.85 22.73 22.60 22.48 22.36 22.23 22.11 21.99 21.88 21.76 21.65 21.53 21.42 21.31 21.20 21.09 20.98 20.87 20.77 20.66 20.56 20.45 20.35 20.25 20.15 20.05 19.96 19.86 19.76 19.67 19.57 19.48 19.39 19.30 19.21 19.12 19.03 18.94 18.85 18.77 18.68 18.60 18.51 18.43 18.35 18.26 18.18 18.10 18.02 17.94 17.86 17.79 17.71 17.63 17.56 17.48 17.41 17.33 17.26 17.19

40.15 39.91 39.67 39.43 39.19 38.96 38.73 38.50 38.27 38.05 37.83 37.61 37.40 37.19 36.98 36.77 36.56 36.36 36.16 35.96 35.77 35.57 35.38 35.19 35.00 34.81 34.63 34.45 34.27 34.09 33.91 33.74 33.56 33.39 33.22 33.06 32.89 32.72 32.56 32.40 32.24 32.08 31.93 31.77 31.62 31.47 31.32 31.17 31.02 30.87 30.73 30.58 30.44 30.30 30.16 30.02 29.89 29.75 29.62 29.48 29.35 29.22 29.09 28.96 28.83 28.71 28.58 28.46 28.33 28.21 28.09 27.97 27.85 27.73 27.62 27.50

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Bowler Reference System © 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed. 2.39 2.4 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.5 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.6 2.61 2.62 2.63 2.64 2.65 2.66 2.67 2.68 2.69 2.7 2.71 2.72 2.73 2.74 2.75 2.76 2.77 2.78 2.79 2.8 2.81 2.82 2.83 2.84 2.85 2.86 2.87 2.88 2.89 2.9 2.91 2.92 2.93 2.94 2.95 2.96 2.97 2.98 2.99 3 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.1 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15

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17.12 17.05 16.98 16.90 16.84 16.77 16.70 16.63 16.56 16.50 16.43 16.36 16.30 16.23 16.17 16.11 16.04 15.98 15.92 15.86 15.80 15.73 15.67 15.61 15.56 15.50 15.44 15.38 15.32 15.26 15.21 15.15 15.10 15.04 14.99 14.93 14.88 14.82 14.77 14.72 14.66 14.61 14.56 14.51 14.46 14.40 14.35 14.30 14.25 14.20 14.16 14.11 14.06 14.01 13.96 13.91 13.87 13.82 13.77 13.73 13.68 13.64 13.59 13.55 13.50 13.46 13.41 13.37 13.33 13.28 13.24 13.20 13.15 13.11 13.07 13.03 12.99

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27.38 27.27 27.16 27.05 26.93 26.82 26.71 26.61 26.50 26.39 26.29 26.18 26.08 25.97 25.87 25.77 25.67 25.57 25.47 25.37 25.27 25.17 25.08 24.98 24.89 24.79 24.70 24.61 24.51 24.42 24.33 24.24 24.15 24.06 23.97 23.89 23.80 23.71 23.63 23.54 23.46 23.37 23.29 23.21 23.13 23.05 22.96 22.88 22.80 22.73 22.65 22.57 22.49 22.41 22.34 22.26 22.19 22.11 22.04 21.96 21.89 21.82 21.74 21.67 21.60 21.53 21.46 21.39 21.32 21.25 21.18 21.11 21.05 20.98 20.91 20.84 20.78

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Speed Consistency Data Collection Tool GAME or NAME

Use in conjunction with a stop watch and the ball speed comparison chart above SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Time Time Time Time Time Time Time Time Time Time

AVG Time

Example Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed Speed

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CHAPTER 3 ADVANCED LANE PLAY – IMPLEMENTING THE BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM

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Observing Ball Reaction for Better Decision Making As a bowler you must constantly be observing your ball reactions and asking two important questions: (1) How far is the ball skidding?; (2) How strong is the backend reaction? This will inform you about what changes, if any, you need to make. Do you need more skid? Do you need more backend reaction? Use the ball manipulations of the Bowler Reference System to make adjustments. Watch where the ball is leaving the pin deck, this will provide you with much information about how the ball is entering into the pocket. Pay attention to which strikes put all ten pins into the pit. Where was the ball at the end of the deck? Is the ball flat in the pocket with too much deflection to the 8 or is the ball driving too much toward the 9? So, far, you have learned the following Bowler Reference System adjustments and their subsequent ball reactions. This will allow to manipulate skid and backend, as needed. Bowler Reference System (Slowinski, 2007) ADJUSTMENTS REFERENCE POINTS > > > > > >

Axis of Rotation

> Cocked Wrist > Pinky Tuck

Axis Tilt

> > > > >

Ball Speed

Chest Rib Belly Button Waist Pocket

> Wrist (Broken, Flat, Cupped) > Wrist (Ring & Middle Finger Start)

Revolutions

> Achieve the vertical intersection of the Elbow-KneeHeel in the Push

Timing

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Pinky Ring Finger Thumb to 1 O’clock Thumb to 12 O’clock Index Spread Pinky Spread

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Exit Point Model: Research Tells Us Where to Best Play the Lanes Moving Away from Break Point Thinking Many bowlers continue to talk about the break point as the ideal position where the ball should be located down lane. Specifically, the break point, as the name indicates, is the location in which the ball transitions from moving away from the headpin to moving back toward the head pin. But, is the break point the best place to help bowlers target and play the lanes? It is difficult to know exactly where it is and it will be different for each bowler, bowling ball used and release attempted. There is a better way. Recent research indicates that the exit point is a better place to determine ball location down the lane. Most importantly, the exit point model is the same for all types of releases, whether higher rev rate and faster speed or those with lower rev rates and slower ball speeds. To illustrate why the exit point would be better than the break point, think about a fundamental truth. Since each individual bowler will throw the ball with a different ball speed, rev rate, axis rotation, axis tilt and loft, the break point of individual bowlers can’t be in the same place. Specifically, each of these release variables impacts skid, the shape of the shot as well as backend strength. The odds of the ball being in the same location down the lane is nearly, statistically, impossible. Now, add-in the cover material of a bowling ball and core dynamics that impact ball motion. The complexity of ball motion illustrates that the break point will not be the same for each individual player. So, why should we emphasize a target, down the lane, which is not consistent for different bowlers? Enter the Exit Point In the April 2006 issue of Bowling This Month, USBC Technical Director Neil Stremmel published an article on research that USBC had done on ball location on the lane and achieving optimal entry angle. What was fascinating about the research was the fact that the exit point was approximately the same for every bowler, independent of ball speeds and rev rate. So, a bowler with slower ball speed and a lower rev rate had the same exit point as a bowler with higher revs and a faster ball speed. But, clearly, the bowlers had different break points. Specifically, the USBC research revealed where the bowling ball should be at the end of the oil pattern to maximize pocket hits, with 4, 5 and 6 degrees of entry angle. Specifically, the research data revealed a truth about lane play. All bowlers, independent of release, should play the same point on the lane, at the end of the pattern. Whereas breakpoints must be different, as discussed above, the exit point could be used as specific target to maximize error room down the lane and increase pocket hits. From my coaching perspective, this was one of the most important findings in the history of our sport. Using the Exit Point To develop a formula, I took the raw data from the research and simplified it. The rounded data fell into nice linear formula: Exit Point = Pattern Length – 31, where the exit point is the board at the end of the pattern. This formula provides the maximum NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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miss room, right and left, down the lane while still keeping the pocket in play with 4, 5 and 6 degrees of entry angle. To illustrate, a lane condition of 40 feet would have an exit point on board 9 at 40 feet (40 – 31 = 9). A 35 foot pattern would have an exit point on board 4 at 35 feet (40 – 35 = 5). LANE PLAY DATA TABLE Pattern Length

Exit Point

35

35 – 31 = Board 4 @ 35 Feet

36

36 – 31 = Board 5 @ 36 Feet

37

37 – 31 = Board 6 @ 37 Feet

38

38 – 31 = Board 7 @ 38 Feet

39

39 – 31 = Board 8 @ 39 Feet

40

40 – 31 = Board 9 @ 40 Feet

41

41 – 31 = Board 10 @ 41 Feet

42

42 – 31 = Board 11 @ 42 Feet

43

43 – 31 = Board 12 @ 43 Feet

44

44 – 31 = Board 13 @ 44 Feet

45

45 – 31 = Board 14 @ 45 Feet

Exit Point = Pattern Length – 31 The board to target at the end of the pattern The exit point model provides with a precise research-based location, to begin playing the lane, down the lane. And, all angles should go through the exit point. Have your bowlers begin by using the exit point as the first target they look at on the lane. This is where you want the ball at the end of the pattern. Then, your bowlers should choose a second target, a visual target. They should visualize a trajectory line between the two points. This is where research informs us is the best place to play the lane to maximize scoring. A bowler must still make wise choices of what release and equipment to use. In general, short patterns require less change of direction while longer patterns require more change of directions, down the lane. Think about the Bowler Reference System to create more or less change of direction. To help you utilize the exit point in tournament or league play, you will want to use a visual reference to assist you in locating the end of the pattern on your pair of lanes. Walk on the side of the end pair to find the end of the pattern. Then, find a visual target, on the wall or ceiling to help you locate the exit point on each pair you will bowl. You can utilize the visual wall target with each move. On the next page, you will see two photos illustrating how to think outside the box when locating the distance.

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Advanced Targeting with 2-Point and 3-Point Targeting To increase your accuracy and margin of error, use the 2-point or 3-point targeting system. For 3-point, you will utilize the exit point, a focal point and a visual target. For 2-point targeting, you will use just the exit point and visual target. Step # 1: Identify the Exit Point Board (the board the ball should pass through leaving the oil condition to maximize miss room) (Pattern Length – 31) = Exit Point (board ball should hit at the end of the pattern) Step # 2: Locate the focal point The focal point is a point at the pins which would be an extension of a line drawn from the exit point to the pins. Imagine this as a target line. As you can imagine, the longer, flatter and heavier volume patterns demand this focal point to be closer to the head pin. This can help you open-up or close-down the launch angle. You should line-up with your body perpendicular to this line and your arm parallel to this line. Start at this point, draw through the exit and look at your target. Step # 3: Chose a target to look at based on the distance of the pattern Vary target length to add more skid or earlier roll. Look closer for more roll – further for added skid. For shorter patterns look longer down the lane close to the end or past the end of the pattern. Looking longer will also allow the ball to be straighter to the target. For longer patterns, bring your visual target closer. Step # 4: Draw a line from the Focal Point through the Exit Point to the actual visual target. Actually look at the focal point to begin, bring your eyes through the exit point and finally on to your actual viewing target. This sets the unconscious mind to be more accurate on this target line. Be sure to visualize the ball through this ball path.

3-POINT TARGETING ON SHORTER PATTERN

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3-POINT TARGETING ON LONGER PATTERN

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Lane Surface Friction Will Impact Ball Reaction In addition to the oil pattern length and the exit point, the surface material of the lane will impact how much friction will be available. Specifically, the hardness of the lane surface and lane oil viscosity will impact ball motion due to higher or lower levels of traction. Begin with the exit point formula. But, if the lane plays tighter, adjust with commonsense. A simple rule is to adjust your exit point to the left for less friction surfaces and to the right for higher friction surfaces. Use the following friction table to help with making an initial decision on the exit point. SURFACE

HARDNESS (SWARD SCALE)

GLASS

100

68 – 74

PRO ANVILANE HPL 9000

56 – 63

WOOD LANES (URETHANE)

56 - 62

WOOD LANES (WATER-BASED)

14 – 20

GUARDIAN

4–7

(Pinel, 2004)

From a line-up perspective, you would play a wood lane with a urethane finish very differently than a water-based finish. Specifically, knowing the surface hardness and the lane condition will help you to decide how much backend reaction you will need to create. As you can see from the table, a urethane finish has three times more hardness than a lane with a water-based finish. Consequently, the angle to the pocket, bowling equipment and hand position might be different due to the higher friction. In addition, the viscosity of the lane oil will make a difference. In lower viscosity oils, the ball will skid further but the lane will transition more often and more quickly. On the other hand, higher viscosity lane oils will slow the ball down sooner. So, the ball will roll earlier. But, the condition will hold-up longer. To help you anticipate the initial reaction as well as how quickly the lane will change, try to determine the lane oil viscosity before you bowl. References Pinel, M. (2004, March). How to conquer the modern bowling environment - So long Castaways. Bowling This Month,11(3):18 - 23. Joshua Sports & Entertainment: San Marcos, TX. NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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Recommendations for Lining-Up 1. Determine the distance of the lane condition, in feet. The most important factor of playing lane conditions is the length of the pattern. Use the exit point formula to identify the exit point, PL – 31 = exit point. The exit point will provide the best place to play on the lane, providing the most margin of error at the end of the pattern while offering the location to maximize pocket hit and carry percentages. 2. Choose an appropriate visual target (i.e., longer for shorter patterns and shorter for longer patterns). Adjusting longer will reduce launch angle and looking closer will increase launch angle. 3. Determine the reference of all of the different axis rotation releases by starting with a straight-up position. Specifically, find the location of playing straight-up, with a 15 degree release, by lining-up to slide 7 boards from the exit point board. If you were to playing straight to the exit-point, use the 15 degree release. This would be a straight trajectory through the exit-point. 4. Think about what release would be best on the specific lane condition. Ask yourself the fundamental question, “How much change of direction, down the lane, do I need to create?” For shorter patterns, use a lower axis rotation (15 or 30 degrees) to create less change of direction, down the lane. To create more backend reaction, move to the next axis rotation and adjust your feet from the straight-up position. This will provide you with the best location to start. i. 30 Degree Release (from 15 to 30 degree release, move 3 boards) ii. 45 Degree Release (from 15 to 45 degree release, move 8 boards, 3 + 5 or 8 boards) iii. 60 Degree Release (from 15 to 60 degree release, move 11 boards, 3 + 5 + 3 or 11 boards) 5. Draw a line from the exit point through the visual target. You would visualize this trajectory line in your pre-shot routine. With the focal point, draw the line from the focal point through the exit point to the visual target. 6. Research first – commonsense second. Use the research to line-up. Then, watch your ball reaction. Adjust accordingly using commonsense. If you are hitting the pocket, but it is flat, then add more revs or decrease ball speed. If you are not hitting the pocket, adjust the distance of the visual target. Once you are lined-up you can use the increase in hook when you make a move with your feet to adjust for the increase release. 7. As the lanes change, keep the following in mind: a. The heads will dry-up and the end of the oil pattern will realize carry-down. So, you need to create both more skid and backend reaction as your set or squad continues. So, you will likely need to increase your axis rotation. b. Initially, as the lane changes, you might need to increase the entry angle slightly. Do this by increasing your rev rate. Proceed through the three

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phases of rev rate increases: (1) ring-finger to 7 (RH) or 5 (LH); (2) ringfinger back to 6 and cup the wrist; (3) ring-finger to 7 (RH) and cup the wrist. 8. Stance fundamentals are critical. Line-up with your body perpendicular to the target line. Be sure that your bowling arm and bowling shoes are parallel to the target line through the exit point. 9. Before your squads, use the lane play planning sheet on the next page to plan for your lane play. Take notes as you bowl. Use your original plan and your notes to make a new plan for the next qualifying squad or finals. How well did your plan work? When and how well did it work? Think about when the plan didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. What changes would you need to make?

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Lane Play Planning & Lane Play Post-Squad Reflection Sheet NAME:

TOURNAMENT:

LOCATION:

Exit Point (pattern length – 31) =

Lane Oil & Viscosity (lower creates more skid, higher earlier roll):

Lane Surface (from hard to soft):

 Brunswick Synthetics  AMF Synthetics  Urethane-Coated Wood  Water-Based Wood

PHASE 1 (Games 1 & 2) VISUAL TARGET  Past Exit Point  Exit Point  35 feet  30 feet  25 feet  20 feet  15 feet

PHASE 2 (GAMES 3 & 4) VISUAL TARGET  Past Exit Point  Exit Point  35 feet  30 feet  25 feet  20 feet  15 feet

PHASE 3 (GAMES 5 & 6) VISUAL TARGET  Past Exit Point  Exit Point  35 feet  30 feet  25 feet  20 feet  15 feet

PHASE 4 (GAMES 7 & 8) VISUAL TARGET  Past Exit Point  Exit Point  35 feet  30 feet  25 feet  20 feet  15 feet

AXIS ROTATION (as > more skid & backend)

AXIS ROTATION (as > more skid & backend)

AXIS ROTATION (as > more skid & backend)

AXIS ROTATION (as > more skid & backend)

 15 (indexin, lead with the ring finger to the target)  30 (indexout lead with ring finger to the target)  45 (indexin/pinky-in, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  60 (indexout, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  MORE (followthrough to 12 o’clock)

 15 (indexin, lead with the ring finger to the target)  30 (indexout lead with ring finger to the target)  45 (indexin/pinky-in, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  60 (indexout, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  MORE (followthrough to 12 o’clock)

 15 (indexin, lead with the ring finger to the target)  30 (indexout lead with ring finger to the target)  45 (indexin/pinky-in, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  60 (indexout, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  MORE (followthrough to 12 o’clock)

 15 (indexin, lead with the ring finger to the target)  30 (indexout lead with ring finger to the target)  45 (indexin/pinky-in, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  60 (indexout, followthrough to 1 o’clock)  MORE (followthrough to 12 o’clock)

AXIS TILT (Skid & Back)  Pinky  Cocking the Ball

AXIS TILT (Skid & Back)  Pinky  Cocking the Ball

AXIS TILT (Skid & Back)  Pinky  Cocking the Ball

AXIS TILT (Skid & Back)  Pinky  Cocking the Ball

BALL SPEED (Skid)  Fast (wrist @ chest)  Medium (90 deg base)  Slow (wrist at pocket)

BALL SPEED (Skid)  Fast (wrist @ chest)  Medium (90 deg base)  Slow (wrist at pocket)

BALL SPEED (Skid)  Fast (wrist @ chest)  Medium (90 deg base)  Slow (wrist at pocket)

BALL SPEED (Skid)  Fast (wrist @ chest)  Medium (90 deg base)  Slow (wrist at pocket)

REVS (Backend Reaction)  More (ring @ 7 RH)  Medium (6 o’clock)  Less (ring @ 5 RH)

REVS (Backend Reaction)  More (ring @ 7 RH)  Medium (6 o’clock)  Less (ring @ 5 RH)

REVS (Backend Reaction)  More (ring @ 7 RH)  Medium (6 o’clock)  Less (ring @ 5 RH)

REVS (Backend Reaction)  More (ring @ 7 RH)  Medium (6 o’clock)  Less (ring @ 5 RH)

BOWLING BALL

BOWLING BALL

BOWLING BALL

BOWLING BALL

COMMENTS

COMMENTS

COMMENTS

COMMENTS

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NOTES on BALL REACTION

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CHAPTER 4 BOWLING BALL ARSENAL ANALYSIS AND BALL MAINTENANCE

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Bowling Ball Arsenal Workbook

Directions: Complete one data block for each of your bowling balls in your current arsenal. This could be used as a general guide to review your current equipment range or for the preparation analysis for an individual tournament. After completing all of the data blocks, one for each ball, chart your bowling balls on the Chart Your Arsenal sheet. This visual display will provide you with information on the relative ball reaction of all of your equipment, as they compare with one another. This will help you choose the best bowling balls to begin on a specific lane condition as well as illustrate any gaps in your equipment. This will also be useful in illustrating a need to change the cover of equipment for an upcoming event.

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Bowling Ball Arsenal Sheet

Bowling Ball: Cover: Reactive

Bowling Ball: Particle

Particle Pearl

Cover: Reactive

Particle

Particle Pearl

Surface Grit (500, 1000, etc.):

Surface Grit (500, 1000, etc.):

RG:

RG:

DIFF:

PIN to PAP:

DIFF:

PIN to PAP:

DEGREE LAYOUT (Angle PAP to PIN to MB): 0 30 45 60 75 90 105 135 MORE

DEGREE LAYOUT (Angle PAP to PIN to MB): 0 30 45 60 75 90 105 135 MORE

Skid (less to more): Hook(less to more):

Skid (less to more): Hook(less to more):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Bowling Ball: Cover: Reactive

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Bowling Ball: Particle

Particle Pearl

Cover: Reactive

Particle

Particle Pearl

Surface Grit (500, 1000, etc.):

Surface Grit (500, 1000, etc.):

RG:

RG:

DIFF:

PIN to PAP:

DIFF:

PIN to PAP:

DEGREE LAYOUT (Angle PAP to PIN to MB): 0 30 45 60 75 90 105 135 MORE

DEGREE LAYOUT (Angle PAP to PIN to MB): 0 30 45 60 75 90 105 135 MORE

Skid (less to more): Hook(less to more):

Skid (less to more): Hook(less to more):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Chart Your Arsenal Relative Bowling Ball Reaction

MORE 10

S K

9 8 7 6 5

I

4 3

D

2

1 LESS

MOST 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

H O O K

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10


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Ball Care and Maintenance I want to help you save some money by teaching you how to clean your equipment to maximize your ball reaction. Reactive resin and particle bowling balls absorb oil. This is the same dynamic process that keeps the cover surface drier as it travels down the lane as well as maximizing hook. This will lead to oil penetrating the pores of the bowling ball. To maintain a competitive edge, elite bowlers maintain a structured cleaning process such as the following: 1. Keep a clean towel. After every ball, wipe the oil from the cover. 2. After each bowling session, clean the bowling ball with an approved cleaner. 3. In addition, be sure to complete a deep cleaning every 60 – 75 games. This will keep your bowling ball at peak performance. Deep Cleaning Process DO NOT BAKE, WASH a BOWLING BALL in an AUTOMATIC DISH WASHER or PLACE it in a HOT SHOWER. These procedures that emerged with urethane bowling balls are no longer valid. These efforts could severely damage a particle or reactive bowling ball. Use a dish washing detergent with a degreasing agent in it. Simply check on the label and be sure it is has a degreaser. 1. Fill a sink or bucket with warm water and the liquid dish soap. Foaming Dawn is the best. Be sure that the water is only warm and not too hot. As mentioned above, excessive temperature could do damage to the cover. 2. Place the bowling ball in the warm soapy water and let it soak for 10 – 15 minutes. At this point, wash the bowling ball with a cloth. If you have Foaming Dawn, lather some up on the cover with the first round of cleaning. Leave on for one minute. 3. Wipe off the bowling ball and drain/dump the water. Repeat the entire process multiple times (2 or 3) or until you notice no more dirt and oil in the water after the soaking phase.

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CHAPTER 5 ADVANCED SPARE SHOOTING

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8 Steps to Improved Spare Shooting Follow these steps and tips to increase your margin of error and improving your spare system. (1) Use a Plastic Ball Using a plastic ball increases the margin of error since the ball will skid more and have less backend reaction when a release mistake is made (e.g., rotating around the ball)

(2) Hold the Ball Higher in the Stance When you hold the ball higher in the stance it increases your ball speed leading to more skid and a straighter ball path.

(3) Break the Wrist When you break your wrist, you reduce the amount of revolutions reducing the backend reaction and increasing the margin of error.

(4) Spread the Pinky Wide and Keep the Index Tight to the Middle Finger By spreading the pinky wide, you will promote more end-over-end roll, increasing your ability to throw straight and reduce the backend reaction.

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(5) Visualize a Dark Black Target Line and Roll The Ball Over the Line When you visualize a dark thick line, from the pin to the target, you are setting your mind to throw straight on that line. Paint this line in your mind, from the arrows to the contact pin or pins. Be sure to look up and down the line multiple times before going. Be sure to “draw the line” by bringing your eyes back and forth to create the line in your mind. Now, throw to the line and roll the ball on this mental path.

(6) Set Your Body Perpendicular to the Target Line Be sure that your body is perpendicular and your arm and shoes are parallel to the target line. When you visualize the thick, dark line it is easier to line-up your body. Walk parallel to the line and push toward the target. A top view of a bowler illustrates a cross-lane perpendicular (90 Degrees) body position

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(7) Target Longer to Promote More Skid and Increase Accuracy

X

In addition, target longer down the lane on the target line. The longer you look down the lane, the straighter the ball will go to the target.

(8) Lead with your Pinky or Elbow to the Target I teach bowlers to lead with the tip of the pinky to the target in order to promote a straight end-over-end roll. This works for most. In the event bowlers still turn their hand, I ask them to lead with the elbow to the target. This will reduce rotation of the wrist and lead to the desired end-over-end throw. The idea is that the pinky or elbow will be project over the target. Literally, you want this to be what leads everything else through the target. Imagine the tip of the pinky throwing over the target or the elbow leading the follow-through.

These tips will make you a better spare shooter by setting the stage mentally and physically allowing you to throw straighter. NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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Experimental Tip: Intersection Spare Shooting In this experimental tip, I explore a method for increasing your margin of error in spare shooting and increasing your ability to throw the ball straighter. The result is an increased conversion rate in spare shooting for many bowlers. I call this the intersection spare method since the target is at a visual point on the spare target line, down the lane. Follow these directions to try the experimental spare shooting method: (1) First, draw an imaginary target line, in your mind, cross-lane, to the intended contact pin or pins. Try to make this a thick black line, about 1 inch thick. Paint the line back and forth, up and down. This will “burn” the imagined image in your mind. (2) Now, imagine an intersection point, across the lane, at a distance 40 to 50 feet down the lane. (3) These two imaginary lines create an intersection point in which you will target, at that distance, on the intersection board. Thus, you know understand name of this experiment, the intersection spare method. (4) The distance promotes a straighter trajectory while the distance promotes an increased margin of error. (5) With all spare methods, the basics are what counts. So, with this experimental method, don’t forgot about the fundamental basics of great spare shooting: (A) set the body perpendicular to the target; (B) break the wrist down to promote roll; (C) use a plastic ball to increase skid and reduce hook; (D) spread the pinky with while keeping the index-in to promotes roll; (E) hold the ball higher in the stance to increase ball speed, which promotes skid and reduces hook. Multiple-Pin Conversions (1) First, draw an imaginary target line, in your mind, cross-lane, to the intended contact pin or pins. This should be the best contact to convert. In the case of the 36-10, this is the 3-6. (2) Second, imagine an intersection point, across the lane, at a distance 40 to 50 feet down the lane. (3) Now, the two imaginary lines create an intersection point in which you will target, at that distance, at that board. To test the effectiveness of this method, compare the spare shooting percentages, overall, single-pin and multiple-pin spares, of your current method with the intersection spare method. Take data during one practice session using your own. On your next practice day, take your conversion rate with this method. Watch the ball NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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reaction as well. Does it go straighter than your current method? I think you will find this spare shooting system very effective. Intersection Spare Method

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CHAPTER 6 DRILLS TO SUPPORT YOUR IMPROVEMENT

I have developed two drills to support the Bowler Reference System: (1) Pushaway Drill; (2) 5-Step Drill. These are both designed to improve timing and free your swing. Clearly, each of these is critical to supporting the Bowler Reference System. Pushaway Drill • Timing • Free swing • Benefits: can be done at home for a daily drill 5-Step Drill • Timing • Free swing • Improved smoother physical game approach

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Pushaway Drill With just a 10 minute commitment each day, this drill will help you by improving your timing as well as freeing-up your swing. In this drill, you will take the first two steps of a full approach. But, the ball will swing twice. After the first swing, you will reload into the stance starting position, pause, then pushaway and let the ball swing freely again. The beauty of this drill is that it can be done at home, on the lanes or in the gym. I actually use it at the gym as well with a 16 pound medicine ball with a handle. Set-up in the Stance and Step One I recommend placing the non-slide shoe one inch (2.5 cm) in front of the slide shoe. Place the ball in front of the shoulder with your elbow at your side. This will form a 90 degree angle between the shoulder, elbow and hand. The hand should be directly under the ball with the non-ballside hand under the ball for support. After setting-up, take one natural step with the slide foot without moving the ball. I advocate not sliding the slide foot on the first step. Bowling has many different approach surfaces. Each has a different amount of friction. So, the length can be changed due to friction. Rather, a natural first step is the best practice for consistency. Think step – push. Step – push - relax. Before you start, say to yourself, “my swing is free, smooth and light.”

Step-Push Remember to push in the second step. Push out and down as you take your second step in the drill. Your goal is to get the elbow to intersect with the knee and let the ball enter into the swing. Notice the arm is not fully extended.

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Swing Remember to stop after the second step and let the ball swing. With this drill, you want to emphasize a free swing. Let the ball, with the aid of gravity swing naturally. If you feel yourself pulling, try closing your eyes throughout the entire drill. Closing your eyes will accomplish two things: (1) relax your body; and (2) allow you to “feel” whether you are pulling the ball up or down in the swing.

Reload Let the ball return to the start set-up position for a brief moment. Your feet will remain in this position for balance. The ball and your arm should completely stop moving, momentarily, as it would in the stance. Be sure the ball returns in front of your shoulder and your elbow is at your side under your shoulder. Now, push the ball away, out and down, again.

Swing and Stop Let the ball swing freely one more time. At the end of the second swing, stop. Take your hand out and dry.

Concluding Remarks Repeat the drill for 10 full minutes. This drill replicates the beginning two steps in a full approach. After, one month you will see a significant improvement in your game. Your swing will be freer and your timing better. But, the choice is yours. Do you want to improve? If so, be sure you focus on the feeling of the arm swing. If you feel tension in your forearm or shoulder, you are likely pulling up or down. Take a video to watch the swing. Is it free? Is the upswing and downswing similar in regard to smoothness-fluidness? If not, close your eyes for the drill and relax. And, give it some time.

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5-Step Drill Purpose: timing set-up, generate a free swing, smoother transition in the approach, balance at the line and a consistent release Begin with your 5-step normal position with your feet. I recommend the slide foot slightly in front of the ball-side foot (1 inch or 2.5 cm). This promotes consistency.. The balance arm should be at 8 (RH) and firm. The hand begins at 6 o’clock directly at the bowler’s side. The ball should be under the shoulder.

Take one step (don’t promote initiating the 5-step with sliding the non-ball side foot). Do not move the ball at all in the first step. The ball should remain directly under the shoulder.

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Focus on pushing the ball up until the wrist intersects with your belt line. The key to successfully executing the drill is getting the push to intersect the elbow, knee and heel. Notice, this creates a straight line down. The bowler will really feel the leverage of this position. Once the bowler reaches this intersection, they should let the ball fall freely into the swing. Everything will be slower and they should try to let it happen until the release.

To finish the drill, the bowler continues through the last 3 steps and finishes with good form. Hold the finish position until the ball hits the pins.

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CHAPTER 7 DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

How Good Are You? Joe Slowinski Bowlers Journal International, June 2003 (* Reprinted with Permission of the Publisher *)

How do we measure performance quality in today's game? First, we must factor in high-friction bowling balls and dynamic weight blocks. Then, add in a technology that allows anyone to "grow an extra hand" on a sanctioned "adult bumper" shot. What have you got? Nothing that can really be measured by any known means. Instead, you've just defined a credibility issue! Simply put, bowling averages become less meaningful as credibility decreases. As a result, we can no longer tip our 3-unit top hat in unqualified respect to most "honor" scores because they are simply so outrageous. According to the American Bowling Congress, John Chacko of Larksville, Pa., has shot eighty (80!) sanctioned 800 series. Further, Jeff Carter of Springfield, Ill., averaged 261 last year, while the women's record book shows that Jodi Musto, Schenectady, N.Y., averaged 240 in 1998-99. True, these athletes are good. But is anyone that good? More to the point, in an era of hyper-inflated scores, how do we measure individual performance so we know just how good these bowling athletes really are? The Sport Bowling motto probably says it all on this issue: "[I]t's time to separate the sport from the game, to separate skill from technology, placing the impetus for performance where it belongs - on the bowler's accuracy, and ability to read lanes and adjust speeds." This article is an attempt to do just that - separate the sport from the game while finding a way to measure the true skills of the sport. At the very least, the proposals outlined here are designed to get the collective tenpin community to reflect on how we can measure overall performance with an increased use of statistics. By introducing more statistics into competitive play, as well as creating a bowling rating system, we can shift the measure of quality back on the complete game of strikes and spares. Such a system could lead to rewarding those who make an effort to excel in all dimensions of the game while providing incentive to improve. A Humble Start First, we propose the introduction of additional statistics into league play to increase interest and enhance the quality of the experience. You can catch a glimpse of the possibilities in the "new look" PBA shows on ESPN. During the telecasts, viewers are privy to match play strike percentages, and conversion rates for single pins and splits. Data provides those who tune in with a much richer view of a bowler's overall performance.

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This is not new in professional sports. Baseball, football and basketball collect and analyze a significant number of statistics that provide a rich array of information about player quality (free-throw percentage, assist-to-turnover ratio, quarterback rating, slugging percentage, etc). For example, most sports fans understand the significance of Barry Bonds' slugging percentage during the 2001 season (when he broke Babe Ruth's 81-year-old record). Why can't league bowling do the same thing? And why can't the PBA add more performance statistics to differentiate performance characteristics? In both cases, the answer is they can. Bowling leagues could be rejuvenated with the collection of individual performances in a number of additional categories: strike percentage, spare percentage, single-pin conversion percentage, split conversion percentage, 10th frame strike-out percentage. Data such as these would provide information that illustrates the ability of bowlers to perform the fundamental elements of the game (i.e., not only strikes, but spares as well). Few would argue that bowling on a legalized wall has increased everyone's ability to strike, but it has also made us all softer in the spare-making domain. How many new 200-plus average bowlers have you seen miss a 10-pin by over ten boards? Bowling needs a performance rating system. By collecting some of the information noted earlier, a simple bowling performance rating emphasizing the holistic elements of the game could be used to measure overall quality. A Simplified Bowling Rating (SBR) could be equal to a bowler's strike percentage (X %) + spare percentage (/ %) + split conversion percentage (SPLC %). As an equation, the Simple Bowling Rating would be: SBR = X % + / % + SPLC % A league could include individual performances in each category, as well as a bowling rating, in addition to providing recognition for weekly and seasonal high ratings. The league could award prize funds for the highest spare percentage or the highest strike percentage. Most improved awards could take into consideration average as well as most improved spare-shooting. Increasing our record-keeping is the catalyst we need to increase performance. Would you make an effort to improve if these stats were published in your league? Median and Standard Deviation Two other statistics that have a logical home in the game - at least in regard to measuring performance and quality - are median and standard deviation. The median is the value at which 50 percent of the scores are above and the other half are below. An important concept to understand is that the median is far less sensitive to extreme scores (high or low) than the average. In other words, the median will not fluctuate due to a very high or low score like your average will. How many seasons has your average jumped due to one or two outstanding weeks, or plummeted due to a few poor performances or games? With a 66-game minimum, the average is not as good an indicator of performance as the median.

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Standard deviation is the measure of how far scores are from the average, whether below or above. In other words, the standard deviation illustrates the amount of variation in all of your scores. So, with the standard deviation, it is possible to measure how consistent you are as a bowler during league play. For illustrative purposes, a bowler with a low standard deviation is far more consistent than a bowler with a higher standard deviation because his overall scores are closer to the average. As an example, let's look at two bowlers to illustrate these ideas. Let's use a nine-game sample so it is possible to more clearly see the numerical relationships among average, median and standard deviation. Assume Bowler A shoots games of 210, 199, 185, 212, 205, 216, 195, 190, 207, for a 202.1 average. Meanwhile, Bowler B shoots games of 231, 185, 243, 201, 210, 205, 175, 164, 256 for a 207.7 average. OK, who is the better bowler? In our current traditional system of data collection and stats use, Bowler B has the highest average and would be considered the better bowler. Is he? If we look at the two bowlers' median scores, both have identical scores of 205 (four scores exceed 205 for each bowler, and four are less than that score). This leads back to the original question: Is Bowler B really better than Bowler A? The equivalent median score suggests that both bowlers have 50 percent of their games above 205 and 50 percent of their games below 205. Doesn't this offer evidence that they are more evenly matched than their averages, expressed in isolation, suggest? What about the bowler who has a median below his average (Bowler B) or vice versa (Bowler A)? If we look at Bowler B, his high scores have skewed his average upward. Isn't the median a better indication of his bowling? Comparing the standard deviations reveals more information about their performance. The standard deviation for Bowler A is 10.5 pins, while Bowler B's is 31. That means Bowler A is a significantly more consistent bowler than Bowler B. With the median scores being equivalent, who is the better bowler? It depends on what skills go into the makeup of "better," and/or how you define the term in relation to bowling performance. But it would seem to illustrate the validity of including median and standard deviation in regard to measuring performance. You might be surprised what you see in your own performance or in others in your league. With traditional league information, a league secretary or center could easily include such data in league stats. What about an introduction of an award for high median? Do you see the possibility for most improved awards? What about most improved average and most improved consistency (decreasing the standard deviation) as a measure of improvement? By using more statistics, leagues have more potential opportunities to measure and reward individual performance than via the use of an isolated bowling average. But this is only the beginning. Technology could provide the opportunity to create an elaborate rating system that our sport needs to bring some integrity back to the game. NO LANE BEATS ME!!

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Phase Two: What Could Happen Next With the future of computerized scoring systems, the potential to measure individual performance is available if the manufacturers want to contribute to the advancement of our sport. With the addition of a few lines of code, a league management software package could yield strike percentage, spare percentage and other information. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Here is where the potential gets very interesting and exciting. I propose the creation of a system that measures two bowler ratings: power rating (PR) and an advanced bowler rating (ABR). Like slugging percentage in baseball, a power rating in bowling could provide additional prestige to the sport by providing data about a player's ability to repeat good shots. A power rating would be comprised of a strike percentage (X %), carry percentage (C %) and what I refer to as the double percentage (XX %), the measure of an individual's ability to strike after throwing a previous strike. Symbolically, this leads to the following "power rating" equation: PR = X % + C % + XX % This rating places value on throwing shots in the pocket and carrying, as well as repeating shots when a bowler is lined up. It would allow those who want to improve their game to see data about elements that are weaker (e.g., pocket percentage, carry percentage and double percentage). The power rating can be calculated quickly. First, one calculates his strike percentage by dividing the number of strikes by the number of frames that require throwing a first ball. Carry percentage is calculated by dividing the number of strikes by the number of pocket hits (no Brooklyn hits, please). And, finally, the double percentage is calculated by dividing the number of strikes after strikes by the total number of strikes. Try this in your next league with your teammates. Who has the highest power rating? Next, with the power rating as an additional quality component, we can take the simple bowling performance rating discussed earlier and create a more advanced and accurate rating. The advanced bowling rating (APR) would include the power rating, spare percentage and split conversion rates. As an equation, it would look like the following: APR = PR + / % + SPL % where PR = X % + C % + XX % Wouldn't it be great to see this information on the PBA telecasts? Bowler of the Year candidates could be selected on a complete array of merit, including a bowling rating system.

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

How good are you? Find out by keeping track of this data. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare your bowler rating to that of Parker Bohn, Walter Ray Williams or Pete Weber? True, it doesn't take lane conditions into consideration. But a bowler rating system would provide information about the completeness of any individual bowler. Therein lies its value.

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Bowler Reference System © 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Tournament & League Bowling Record Sheet NAME: EVENT & LOCATION:

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DATE:

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SINGLE-PIN SPARE %

OVERALL SPARE %

CARRY %

STRIKE %

POCKET %

SP Made

Spares Made

Pocket Xs

Pocket Xs

Pocket Hits

MP Attempt

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Spare Attempt

Pocket Hits

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

MP Made

Bowler Rating Calculation Form

First Shots

TOTAL

First Shots

=10=

Pocket Hits

=9=

Spare Attempt

=8=

SP Attempt

=7=

MP Attempt

=6=

Pocket Hits

=5=

Pocket Xs

=4=

Pocket Xs

=3=

KNOWLEDGE + PRACTICE

Spares Made

=2=

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SP Made

=1=

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MP Made

GAMES

MULTIPLE-PIN SPARE %


Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Data Tracking Sheets Pocket % Monthly Performance Tracking 100

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Carry% Monthly Performance Tracking 100

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Overall Spare Conversion % Monthly Performance Tracking 100

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

Single-Pin Conversion % Monthly Performance Tracking 100

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Bowler Reference System © 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed., is the Director of Coaching and Coach Certification for the National Sports Council of Malaysia. He is an active member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) as well as a United States Bowling Congress Silver-Level coach and Level I Coach Instructor. He is one of the world’s leading coaches being named as a Top 100 Coach in the United States by Bowlers Journal International for three consecutive years, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He began his twenty-three year coaching career, at the age of 17 when he was first certified as a coach (YABA) while still a junior bowler himself. Since then, he has earned four additional certifications: USA Bowling Junior Olympic I, USA Bowling Junior Olympic II, USBC Bronze and USBC Silver. He is also a USBC Certified Level I Instructor and certified Lane Inspector. Slowinski was the National Coach of Hungary in 2005-06 and has coached at all levels throughout his coaching career: youth, college, international. He is sought for his knowledge and innovative approach to teaching the sport. Slowinski engages in bowling research and he has developed many new approaches to lane play and releases. With these teachings, bowlers are performing well on the international stage. And, he shares his insight and work through he highly successful web site, http://www.bowlingknowledge.info. Bowling since the age of 4, Slowinski is also an accomplished bowler who competes in PBA events as well as in many highly competitive amateur tournaments. In 2006, he finished in the top 40 percent (186 of 461 competitors) at the US Open, a PBA Major, averaging a respectable 199 in rounds 2 and 3 on the demanding conditions and outperforming one of the television finalists that year. He has 5 state scratch bowling titles as an adult and was a state scratch champion as a youth bowler. He currently averages 220+ and has averaged 200+ for the past 20 years. He is a member of the state record state setting 5-man team that averaged 242 per man and had 125 strikes in 3 games. As an 18 year-old collegiate bowler at top-ranked West Texas State University, he learned a great deal about the sport, from teammates and elite players such as 1984 World Cup and PBA champion Jack Jurek, PBA champion Mark Scroggins and 2005 Masters Champion Mike Scroggins. He is a monthly columnist (Slowinski At-large) for Bowling This Month, the leading authority on bowling knowledge as well as an author of a column in Asian Bowling Digest and frequent contributor Bowling This Month. His April 2004 Bowlers Journal International article, “Filling the Coaches Pool,” earned a 3rd place prize in the 2005 Ebonite National Bowling Writers contest. Slowinski has also worked as a Principal, Teacher Trainer at the university as well as a K-12 school teacher. He has a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy and a M.Ed. in Educational Administration.

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

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Bowler Reference System Š 2007 Joe Slowinski, ABD, M.Ed.

BOWLER REFERENCE SYSTEM How-to easily create hundreds of ball reactions confidently and competently as well as lane play methods to improve your score!

The Bowler Reference System will help you become a more complete player by sharing with you the secrets of controlling skid and backend strength with easy-to-use reference points. After reading this book, you will have hundreds of easyto-create ball reactions. And, you will know how to best play the lanes. Now, that is power! Knowledge + Practice = Skill & Confidence

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