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 Post subject: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:03 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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I find myself on a league bowling team playing a typical (?) house condition where:

* one member is higher rev, higher speed who starts out standing left and bowls across the lane out to the 5-board with a Radical Ridiculous Pearl,

* one member is balanced who plays up the 5-board with a Storm Timeless (and does well),

* one member is a speed-dominate backup bowler who plays up the middle with a Radical Score, and

* one member is slower-speed left-handed bowler going up the 30-board.

Where do I fit in when as a stroker I like to play just a little inside (standing 18 and targeting 9, and moving left one board at a time)? I can't get left or right of them, and when it transitions, it is a mess. LOL


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:41 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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Glenn wrote:
Where do I fit in when as a stroker I like to play just a little inside (standing 18 and targeting 9, and moving left one board at a time)? I can't get left or right of them, and when it transitions, it is a mess. LOL


This is the eternal question, right? It sounds like every team I've bowled with. I wish there was an easy answer, but you've got to be willing to try some new things and execute different shots (versatility) to be successful with that type of traffic around you.

I've had good luck balling down (weaker, later reaction) and staying in (more or less) the same place, or sometimes even moving a bit right. Not to the first arrow, but between 1 and 2. Skid/flip type balls as well as playing straighter with low flaring solids. Perhaps bump up the ball speed or add a little loft.

As I got better at moving left, I found that angle adjustments would work well until it became too over/under. My benchmark ball would lose to much energy in the front, or become erratic off the breakpoint.

Sometimes I could switch to a polished/pearl/asym (Hyper Cell Skid, Paradox Trilogy, Guru Mighty) if there was a well defined hook spot to throw at and get the ball to flip with enough energy to carry.

Other nights, I would need to move left and use an early rolling strong solid (Guru Master, Paradox) and a lot of surface to blend out the over/under. The slower response time to friction and the early roll (with continuation) seems to combat this really well at times.

The key is really recognizing when your ball reaction stinks and having a few fallback plans (A, B, C) that you can use to gather more data and create some margin of error for yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:50 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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Steve, thanks for your well-reasoned response.

My post was partly just me whining out loud, but I wanted to see if others might offer something I'd missed.

I've played on diverse teams before, but I don't recall such extremes in skill levels (and average scores in this league range from 120s to 270s). I've been doing much of what you suggested here, so its a relief to know that I am pursuing the right things. I have only bowled one nite with them, but I have been observing the performance and equipment of other teams. So I have been taking notes on making adjustments in how/where I play, the equipment I want to try, and the surfaces I what to adjust. It bugs me that in the series I will have one good game, one game where I get my average, and usually one that is a disaster - LOL! So far, my best look comes from standing 21 - 18 and targeting 12.5 - 9 using polished hybrid or pearl equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:59 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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Sounds to me like you've already found the area where you'll have some of the best looks...

With two guys playing out at 5 you obviously need to play inside of them as much as you can, but yet try and play outside of the guy in the middle, get too close to him and you could be affected by him pushing oil into your track. Too close to the other two on the outside and by the 2nd game they will probably playing not too far outside of you.

Have you paid attention to the scores of the two playing the outside?

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 3:59 am Post Number: #5 Post
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I think that you need to stop looking at where other bowlers are playing at the arrows, and just consider where they playing at the end of the pattern. In preparation for an article that I just finished for BTM (tentatively titled "The Dead Zone Revisited") I photographed the destruction of the pattern at the arrows and at the end of the pattern. The result was that there was very little at the arrows, with massive destruction at the end of the pattern.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 5:12 am Post Number: #6 Post
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These articles talk about that and might help you set a strategy:
http://bowlingknowledge.info/images/stories/slowinskijune10.pdf
http://bowlingknowledge.info/images/stories/slowinski_oct_for_slowinski.pdf
http://bowlingknowledge.info/images/stories/el_dorado_el_diablo_april_2013.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 7:18 am Post Number: #7 Post
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To Rob's point, I've always focused on where the ball is exiting at the end of the pattern instead of the arrows. My team consists of 3 high rev bowlers, a finesse player who has low speed and rev, and a tweener who likes to play up the boards. On an average night we will get a team that hooks it a lot or plays up the boards. So for us it's hard to try to build a track and take advantage of it.

Versatility is key here. Everyone wishes they had my ball speed since I average around 17-19 mph. Well having rev rate to match that helps as well. Ball speed will allow you to play more up the lanes. However if you don't have rev rate to match it you will have a ball travel 60 feet and not move. Most of the time, moves on a typical house shot are going to be left. League bowlers in general start around 10 and keep moving in. Those who start around 15 only have left to go.

What's odd is I use to be a bowler who only could hook the ball. In high school and over the past few years I've worked on playing the lanes straighter and shutting down angles. Don't get me wrong I can loft the gutter cap send the ball out to the 10 pin and have it coming back to the pocket to either ring the 10 or strike, but it doesn't make as much money in pot games as closing down angles and being around the pocket to increase your chances of carry.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 11:46 am Post Number: #8 Post
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Wow! Good comments. I will try to respond to each.

bfweld: Yeah, I found an area that works ... for a while, but goes away with this traffic. The guys that play out to the 5-board (or less) are higher scoring. The guy bowling with the Timeless is in the 225 range and very consistent in his scoring. I can outscore him in the first or second game, but then my game goes away (over/under and erratic backends), and I have not found a ball change or adjustment that works consistently. The guy that plays across the lane leaves a lot of 10-pins to convert, and I easily stay left of him.

2y2: I am a fan of Joe, collect his materials, and subscribe to his ADT. Thanks for the links.

Rob: At the end of the pattern, it looks like two guys are at the 3-5 board, one is on both sides of the 20 board, and I am playing around 9-11 board.

Like Sonny says, I don't have a lot of wiggle room when playing with these guys and against the traffic of an opposing team. Some of these opposing teams are going to be interesting. There is one guy who is using the original Hammer/Faball stuff, and I hear that he is very good.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 2:36 pm Post Number: #9 Post
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Glenn wrote:
So far, my best look comes from standing 21 - 18 and targeting 12.5 - 9 using polished hybrid or pearl equipment.


Glenn wrote:
I can outscore him in the first or second game, but then my game goes away (over/under and erratic backends), and I have not found a ball change or adjustment that works consistently.


I don't think any one thing will ever work consistently. You will need a couple of tricks or options. Perhaps you have tried this already, but I'd recommend surface (500/1000, 500/2000) on a strong ball with an early rolling layout. If your cranker is starting at 3rd arrow (moving towards 4th arrow), you should be able to get through the front cleanly and have a ball that behaves more consistently through the over/under and controls the down lane reaction.

Glenn wrote:
Rob: At the end of the pattern, it looks like two guys are at the 3-5 board, one is on both sides of the 20 board, and I am playing around 9-11 board.


I think you're describing where they are playing at the arrows. End of the pattern is ~40 feet from the foul line. On a house shot, most bowlers are trying to get to a spot that is around 6-10 board at the end of the pattern (depending on ball speed, angle of rotation, etc). This is the area is getting beaten up by all the traffic. Surface may be a way to gain some control at the breakpoint.

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 9:49 pm Post Number: #10 Post
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Steve, I am probably wrong in my observation of these two guys, but their break-point is so far right that they occasionally will gutter the throw. But, maybe it is just out to the 9-6. There is no way I can/would play that far right and take that risk in my scoring. I bowled with another guy in another league last year who would do the same thing with a Storm Fringe, but he didn't stand as far to the left.

I keep a Roto Grip Disturbed at 500/2000 as a strong early rolling ball. I have a Marvel-S drilled for medium sport conditions at OOB.

You referenced the Guru Mighty as an option for balling up, and I have one.

But, I would like to get into a conversation with you about setting up an arsenal as a follow-up to your first post. I'd like to get to a 3+1 arsenal as I am loathe to cart around more balls than that to a league (tournaments are another story). I let my plan of just using Roto Grip's HP1/HP2/HP3 as my template slip, and bought into some Radical and Storm stuff for a total of eight balls. I have the Disturbed for the HP3, and the Rising Star for the HP2, but haven't purchased the Hustle for the HP1. So, I don't really have a good candidate to ball down from the Rising Star.

I have a mixed bag of Radical Score, Ridiculous/ASYM, and Rave that I really haven't found a good strategy in using them. They are all medium oil balls and really quite similar in my mind. I've been playing with different surfaces to see what works best, and testing them out on a second THC league I play (more of a "friendly" league).

I keep a Storm Super Natural on the shelf, but it doesn't see much use.

I've gotten rid of a couple of balls, and I'd like to reduce the inventory even more - just keep the ones that seem to give me the best result. So, your thoughts would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 12:19 am Post Number: #11 Post
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Glenn wrote:
Wow! Good comments. I will try to respond to each.

bfweld: Yeah, I found an area that works ... for a while, but goes away with this traffic. The guys that play out to the 5-board (or less) are higher scoring. The guy bowling with the Timeless is in the 225 range and very consistent in his scoring. I can outscore him in the first or second game, but then my game goes away (over/under and erratic backends), and I have not found a ball change or adjustment that works consistently. The guy that plays across the lane leaves a lot of 10-pins to convert, and I easily stay left of him.I was more referring to whether their scores increase or decrease at all as the night goes on...?

2y2: I am a fan of Joe, collect his materials, and subscribe to his ADT. Thanks for the links.

Rob: At the end of the pattern, it looks like two guys are at the 3-5 board, one is on both sides of the 20 board, and I am playing around 9-11 board.

Like Sonny says, I don't have a lot of wiggle room when playing with these guys and against the traffic of an opposing team. Some of these opposing teams are going to be interesting. There is one guy who is using the original Hammer/Faball stuff, and I hear that he is very good.

Comment above in red

Glenn, what are your stats? Also if possible a list of your current equipment and layout on each may help get some better insight on what may work for you.

You are having trouble with over/under because of the equipment you are using(polished hybrid and pearls), as was recommended above...a ball with a slower response time(control layout) to friction to help control the over/under reaction you are seeing. An earlier rolling ball would help also keep your exit point off the end of the pattern to the left of the two guys playing the outside.

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:31 am Post Number: #12 Post
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You can't just look at your teammates the other team is going to influence play more than them.

I've always felt you first have to figure out how you need to play the pattern with your style. That should be your starting point.

Then I've never used more ball than necessary to get to the pocket with some power/carry. The more aggressive of a ball you use the bigger the transitions will be.

Then I watch my ball reaction and observe where the players left of me are playing taking note if I have to move into their play. My moves are generally to get me to the same breakpoint area I started in. So once I find a line I'm always making moves of both my eyes and feet. Simply moving my feet causes me to project into the dry even faster and generally the ball will hook even more.

If you move in and still see the ball pick up early from someone else track then you may have to move more, change speed, hand position, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:40 am Post Number: #13 Post
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bfweld:

The two guys maintain a fairly consistent score across the three games whereas I do not. I think the cranker might see a slight decrease as the games progress, but not much.

Hmmm, not sure why stats aren't showing up (high-track stroker).

I've been experimenting with surface changes to deal with the over/under on the hybrid and the pearl, but I haven't liked the results so the hybrid is going back to 1500 polished.

The only solid I have that sorta fits this category is probably the Radical Score drilled with the "Length with Max Hit" layout and 2000 Polish, but it seems to go too long and not much punch.

I am going to take the Disturbed for next week, and maybe change the surface of the Score to 4000.

PinBuster:

I have a starting line up that generally works for me - for the 1st game, or works when the lanes transition into it - usually the 2nd game, but seldom for a 3-game series.

I don't have a well-developed sense for anticipating when and where to move - always trial and error. I'm going to a Gold-Level Training Center this summer to work on this and some other things.

Your "I've never used more ball than necessary" comment is something else I'm not sure I gauge very well. I envy the guys that waltz in for House Leagues carrying only a strike and spare ball who seemingly bowl consistently high scores game after game while not moving much or at all using that one ball. The ball, bowler, and conditions seem to perfectly match up. For example, I've bowled with a tournament bowler (multiple 300s, 800s, etc.) who will show up for a general league sporting only a Brunswick Rhino and do just that. I've experienced that in a game or two, but very seldom for a whole series - haven't found my recipe.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 2:08 pm Post Number: #14 Post
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There are at least a few guys around town that average 230 - 240 who never change balls and do not move very much, if at all, in a three game set. It does not matter where they bowl or who they are bowling against. Almost defies explanation, except, they utilize a lost art. Speed control.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 3:35 pm Post Number: #15 Post
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Glenn wrote:
But, I would like to get into a conversation with you about setting up an arsenal as a follow-up to your first post. I'd like to get to a 3+1 arsenal as I am loathe to cart around more balls than that to a league (tournaments are another story).


Glenn, I really can't claim any expertise. My arsenal strategy is pretty simplistic (but evolving). I don't use a lot of layouts and I prefer control or benchmark oriented stuff. I really should branch out and try some new layouts (Long & Strong, Strong, etc), but I like changing surface and messing with hand position instead.

Although I have a lot of equipment that I like, I always make sure I have the "4 types of ball motion" covered when I bowl. I rotate things from day to day and week to week, or depending on where I am bowling.

My league THS arsenal is not dramatically different than my sport/tournament arsenal. Typically 4 balls, or I bring 2 and have a few sitting in a locker (just in case). I do favor the lower totals/ratios for sport patterns, but also like my symmetrical benchmark equipment with surface adjustments on difficult shots.

What I am calling "angular" are really my benchmark layout on stronger cores with less surface. What I am using as "straight" are weaker drillings on midrange equipment (lower flare). I use these as a spare ball and for drier conditions.

Starting with a benchmark ball, I always have an option to go stronger (earlier) or weaker (later) and move left or right with either option and create different shapes and entry angles. It could be more sophisticated, but these 3 basic shapes give me plenty to work with.

Traction (surface @ 500/2000 or rougher)

Guru Master, 35x5x30
Paradox, 30x5x50
Menace, 45x5.5x70

Continuous/Benchmark (surface @ 1000/2000, 1000/4000, etc)

IQ Tour Solid, 75x5x50
IQ Tour Solid, 65x5x65 P2
Primo Pearl, 75x5x45
Primo Solid, 75x4x45

Angular (surface @ 2000+polish, 500/4000+polish, etc)

Hyper Cell Skid, 60x4x40 P2
Brunswick Exile, 60x5.75x45 P3
Guru Mighty, 65x4x40 P3
Paradox Trilogy, 65x5.75x45

Straight (4000, or 4000+polish)

Jackpot Pearl, 85x5x45
Arson Low Flare, 80x4x50
Arson Low Flare Pearl, 80x4x50

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 4:07 pm Post Number: #16 Post
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Steve, thank you so much for this input!

Yours is a philosophy that I am trying to return to as I develop a better understanding of bowling.

I'd like to PM you in the future to clarify/tweak this information to suit my needs.

I'm going to sit back for a while, digest what I've been told, and see what works in my summer leagues.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 5:32 pm Post Number: #17 Post
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stevespo wrote:

Glenn, I really can't claim any expertise. My arsenal strategy is pretty simplistic (but evolving). I don't use a lot of layouts and I prefer control or benchmark oriented stuff. I really should branch out and try some new layouts (Long & Strong, Strong, etc), but I like changing surface and messing with hand position instead.

Although I have a lot of equipment that I like, I always make sure I have the "4 types of ball motion" covered when I bowl. I rotate things from day to day and week to week, or depending on where I am bowling.

My league THS arsenal is not dramatically different than my sport/tournament arsenal. Typically 4 balls, or I bring 2 and have a few sitting in a locker (just in case). I do favor the lower totals/ratios for sport patterns, but also like my symmetrical benchmark equipment with surface adjustments on difficult shots.

What I am calling "angular" are really my benchmark layout on stronger cores with less surface. What I am using as "straight" are weaker drillings on midrange equipment (lower flare). I use these as a spare ball and for drier conditions.

Starting with a benchmark ball, I always have an option to go stronger (earlier) or weaker (later) and move left or right with either option and create different shapes and entry angles. It could be more sophisticated, but these 3 basic shapes give me plenty to work with.

Traction (surface @ 500/2000 or rougher)

Guru Master, 35x5x30
Paradox, 30x5x50
Menace, 45x5.5x70

Continuous/Benchmark (surface @ 1000/2000, 1000/4000, etc)

IQ Tour Solid, 75x5x50
IQ Tour Solid, 65x5x65 P2
Primo Pearl, 75x5x45
Primo Solid, 75x4x45

Angular (surface @ 2000+polish, 500/4000+polish, etc)

Hyper Cell Skid, 60x4x40 P2
Brunswick Exile, 60x5.75x45 P3
Guru Mighty, 65x4x40 P3
Paradox Trilogy, 65x5.75x45

Straight (4000, or 4000+polish)

Jackpot Pearl, 85x5x45
Arson Low Flare, 80x4x50
Arson Low Flare Pearl, 80x4x50


Steve,

You lost me at the end. Following the Hickland theories, straight pretty much refers to plastic. The balls you describe as straight seem like they're simply longer continuous balls.

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 9:07 pm Post Number: #18 Post
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Yes, you're correct.

Straight for Hickland means plastic, but I prefer to flatten out a weaker reactive and go straight at all my spares. The only time I actually carry plastic is for very short sport patterns.

It's not the recommended practice, but I am able to make it work well enough.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Sat May 06, 2017 12:53 pm Post Number: #19 Post
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He's baaack!

Steve, I like your philosophy, so I took your information and wove it into a spreadsheet that I can manipulate to get me various flavors of a 4-ball arsenal.

Here's how the second cut looks.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Last edited by Glenn on Sat May 06, 2017 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: League Bowling Team?
 Posted: Sat May 06, 2017 3:36 pm Post Number: #20 Post
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Glenn,

I like the spreadsheet ( I have one too). I'm looking forward to hearing how this works for you. I'm sure there are holes in my thinking, and gaps in the arsenal, but I do find it easier to manage and think about (without being overwhelmed).

The benefit (for me) around organizing my league arsenal like this is that my consistency from game to game and week to week has improved a lot. My average is down a little from it's peak a few years ago, but I'm a much more reliable teammate. More clean games, fewer big mistakes.

Steve

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