Monday, February 25, 2008

USBC Press Release - Ball Reaction Study

GREENDALE, Wis. - The United States Bowling Congress has completed its pioneering two-year study of bowling ball motion and how advanced, high-tech equipment may influence lane conditions and scoring in the sport.

The USBC Bowling Ball Specifications Task Force - formed in 2005 and comprised of USBC research engineers and technical volunteers from several bowling ball manufacturing companies - is now analyzing the research data results. The task force plans to meet in February 2008 to discuss the data further. USBC expects to release complete research results to the public next spring.

The goal of the study is to better understand the motion of bowling balls using scientific research and data analysis. As the sport's national governing body, USBC undertook the research working cooperatively with bowling manufacturers. One impetus for the study is that over the past 20 years, bowling's credibility has been compromised in part due to technological advancements that have greatly affected scoring in the sport.

"USBC is concerned that technology has overtaken player skill in determining success in the sport of bowling," said USBC Technical Director Neil Stremmel. "Now that the research phase is complete, the task force looks forward to further analysis and discussion prior to releasing the results to the public."

The testing process officially started in summer 2006 after the formation of the USBC Bowling Ball Specifications Task Force. That group has framed the research project, deciding which bowling ball layouts and lane oil patterns are to be used.

A total of 59 particle and reactive resin bowling balls were used for the research study being conducted in the USBC testing center in Greendale, Wis., which includes eight lanes in a climate-controlled building. USBC's robotic ball thrower - nicknamed "Harry" - was used to roll the test balls. The data was measured using "Super C.A.T.S." (Computer Aided Tracking System) to record the velocity of the bowling balls as they were rolled down the lane. The Super C.A.T.S. system is made up of 23 small electronic sensors installed on the lanes.

USBC engineers and technicians have performed more than 150 tests and have conducted several hundred multiple linear regressions to analyze the data.

USBC is committed through that ball research to maintaining the highest standards for credibility and integrity for bowling. In fulfilling that pledge, USBC is launching a re-evaluation of all components of the System of Bowling, which includes lane surfaces, lane conditions, bowling balls and pins. USBC also has formed task forces to deal with issues and standardization of lane surfaces and lane conditioners/cleaners.

"The ultimate goal of USBC research is to strike a better balance between player skill and technology," Stremmel said.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Can't Hit My Target

When you are attempting to hit between second and third arrow, where do you set your feet before you start moving toward the foul line in your approach?

Always starting on the same spot, will help determine if your missing your target because of drift with your footwork, or a misaligned swing and some funky swing dynamics.

Realizing that you target with your eyes but deliver with your shoulder/arm, determine from your favorite starting position where do you end up? Do you walk nice and straight (sliding and stopping on the same board that you started on)? Or do you drift a little, a couple inches left or right of the board you start on? or maybe just one inch?

Repeat your approach and delivery until you have a solid feel for what is happening. Throw a couple games and record each result. Where did your slide stop? Where did the ball roll at the arrows? Where did the ball go down lane? What pin(s) did you hit first?

From the middle of your body, determine how far over is the middle of your arm? 6 inches? 8 inches? 10 inches? less? more?

If your ball truly does not require grip pressure, it allows a free unforced swing. If you can depend on your swing; you can now aim with your body.

If everything is relaxed and aligned, if you start with your left foot (slide foot for a right hander, assuming right handed) on the twentieth board (middle board on the lane, the board with the center arrow on it, and the big dot on the approach) and the distance between middle of your chest and arm is 8 inches (8 boards over - each board on the lane is an inch wide) your arm should swing straight above the the twelfth board. If you walk up the approach with no drift, you'll slide at the twentieth board, middle dot at the foul line, deliver the ball up the twelfth board, but because you are watching to hit the thirteenth board (between 2nd and 3rd arrow) you might pull the ball just a touch.

Adjust the scenario for your specific tendencies (chest to shoulder 9 or 7 inches, drift a board, drift two boards, when you walk up the approach, left or right?). Once you determine what you do, you should be able to deduce why you miss?

If you drift right (and want to slide at 20, start two boards to the left, on 22nd board) adjust your starting point so you finish at the point at the foul line that you want to slide on/throw from.

The secret to bowling is a comfortable ball fit and embracing momentum and gravity to help deliver consistent shots.

Also, a slight bend in the knees at set-up with back fairly straight and shoulders square should help with balance. When aligned at delivery, the traditional player has head above slide knee, knee above toes. If your mechanics are OK, and without being able to see you throw a bowling ball, we may magically have a way to figure this thing out.

What do you think? Please post questions if you have them. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Bowling Balls

The Roto Grip Cell targeted for heavy oil, features a Cutoplasmic Solid Reactive cover, in Turquoise, Navy and Black, finished with 2000 grit Abralon. The Nucleus Core features 2.52 RG and .056 Differential generating an expected 7+ inches of track flare.

The Roto Grip Pluto a Sure Grip II Solid cover finished with 2000 grit Abralon, will be Scarlet and Charcoal. The Higher RG ball features the Orbiter II core with 2.61 RG and a .018 Diff expected to create 2” of track flare.

Lane 1 is introducing the Liberator Buzzsaw, a black cover of BUD (Black U-Dot) Urethane finished at 1000 grit. The new Liberator contains the patented, classic, Buzzsaw Diamond core, 2.53 RG.

Hammer introduces the Black Widow Bite Featuring the High Mass Bias Gas Mask Core with Flip Block and new Violent Bite Reactive coverstock. The Black Widow Bite expands the performance offerings in the Black Widow series by offering a stronger hook motion with more aggressive backend.

A Premier Line addition from Storm, is the Gravity Shift. Storm’s new Silver Cherry and Violet colored R2X Pearl Reactive coverstock will be finished at 1500 and polished. Expect 6+ inches of flare from the Shape-Lock HD core and a Cherry/Chocolate fragrance from the New Storm.

Expect a Grape fragrance from the New Storm Rapid Fire. The 1500 grit polished Purple and Sapphire Blue ball contains the Twin V core and R2S Solid Reactive cover.

Hopefully the buzz is true. The Brunswick Avalanche Dull and Pearl are in transit to distributors everywhere. The retro Teal Rhino Pro light bulb core and N’Control Power Boost Reactive Cover in Blue and Silver (pearl) and Power Coil 18 Red and Blue cover of the dull Avalanche should be available in less than a week.

The Break™ Pearl from 900Global, features the same core and S70™ coverstock developed for the original Break. The Pearl Break was designed with the same properties based on feedback from Pro Shops and bowlers alike. Look for the Pearl Break to come with 600 Grit sandpaper Finish, 2000 Grit Polish, with Flare Potential of 5 - 6" Expected reaction shape of length and flip.

Track Kinetic Energy is the 2nd ball in the upper mid-price line for Track. It features the same Assymetrical Shuttle core as in the original Kinetic, with identical core numbers. RG: 16lb - 2.49/15lb - 2.48/14lb - 2.46 DIFF: 16lb - .040/15lb - .040/14lb - .040. Veneer: "UMP 2" Reactive, Navy/Orange finished at 2000 Abralon Polished.

Brunswick's Ultra Zone, New Mid February, Rough Buff enMotion Hybrid Reactive coverstock Black Solid/ Blue Solid/Silver Pearl, RG 2.40, RG Differential 0.046 (Medium) with the Blast Zone/Phantom asymmetrical core.