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 Post subject: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:26 am Post Number: #1 Post
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I am curious if you have the same secret desire that I have?
The desire to find one bowling ball that you can use for everything.
One ball that will do it all.
A ball you learn with, that teaches you, that rewards you.
Can a bowling ball be like the perfect mate?
You date a lot and are never satisfied till you find that perfect person and when you find them, you marry them!
Have you ever had that secret desire?
It makes no sense, we know it is not practical, we know there are all kinds of lane conditions that need different balls and surfaces, but still, secretly, we want to find that one wonder ball and marry it and stay faithful to it.
To have that joy when we open our bag and see that ball staring back at us.
Maybe I might call this ball a Zen ball.
Like the Zen archery masters can use an old style bow and be mindlessly as accurate as a modern archer using a modern compound bow with scopes and balance weights and perfect aluminum arrows, can we use a single ball with the same mindless accuracy and perfection if we only commit to it with the same years and intensity as a Zen archer does with their old style bow?

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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:21 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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Dream on, but don't be too disappointed if you never find it. -- JohnP


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:21 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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The closest you will find is a strong hybrid ball. At this point if you can adjust speed, rotation, rev rate, and tilt, you essentially have a one ball fits all. But unless you have an insane rev rate and high enough ball speed to match that rev rate, and can still adjust rotation and tilt you will in today's game need multiple balls for multiple conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:50 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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I think it's entirely possible, depending on your versatility and scoring expectations.

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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:19 pm Post Number: #5 Post
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With today's lane conditions, i would go with the urethane bowlingball and also polished for your spare ball. that would be the closest that you come to an all around ball......actually, i have been warming up with my urethane to slow me down. it seems when i go to my strong balls, i have a tendency to throw them with more speed and revs, so i start with my urethane to slow me down and let the ball rule the lanes instead of me.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:31 pm Post Number: #6 Post
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I found mine... a plastic T Zone! With it, I never have to worry about changing balls. My average has actually gone up, and I am enjoying bowling more than I have in many, many years. While I know I cannot bowl any huge games with it, I also know that my bad games will be much higher than they were with reactive balls because I rarely miss the pocket. While 240 games are very rare, I know that when I bowl an occasional 220, I earned every pin I knocked down. If I make a mistake, I pay the price. It's that simple. When I throw a perfect strike ball, I have about a 60% chance of striking. When I don't strike, I know I have to be a very, very good spare shooter just to survive. It's like minimalist bowling. I love it!


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:04 pm Post Number: #7 Post
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RobMautner wrote:
I found mine... a plastic T Zone! With it, I never have to worry about changing balls. My average has actually gone up, and I am enjoying bowling more than I have in many, many years. While I know I cannot bowl any huge games with it, I also know that my bad games will be much higher than they were with reactive balls because I rarely miss the pocket. While 240 games are very rare, I know that when I bowl an occasional 220, I earned every pin I knocked down. If I make a mistake, I pay the price. It's that simple. When I throw a perfect strike ball, I have about a 60% chance of striking. When I don't strike, I know I have to be a very, very good spare shooter just to survive. It's like minimalist bowling. I love it!

Ahhh...now we are talking.
Thanks for embracing my thread with your very interesting answer.
Please tell me all about your plastic ball and how you use it.
What grit do you have on it?
What is your ball speed and style of bowling?
Etc.

The idea for this thread kinda came to me because last night I used my urethane arsenal and bowled horrible.
137, 159 and 153. Did not close a 10th frame.
I couldn't figure out what was up.
If I put the ball right of second arrow it rolled up instantly and went high or died out.
If I kept it on, or left of second arrow it would not roll up.
Basically everything that hit the pocket bounced off.
Lots of splits and washouts.
I was like: "Why do I always have to have this drama when I bowl?"
Meanwhile my partner with his Code Red averaged 207 for all three games.
And our opponents blew the top off their averages with their reactive balls.
One guy threw the ball very oddly and poorly with terrible balance and the ball was hitting the pins so off center and rarely square and guess what?
He bowled a 277!
All his reactive ball had to do was touch the pins and they would all go down.
He had a magic ball! It was crazy.
Meanwhile I am sweating bullets trying to find a minuscule line to the pocket.

I actually thought in my mind: I am done with all this drama, I will just get an old 1960's Brunswick Crown Jewel 60 hardness on D-Scale plastic ball and use that only forever.
I will keep it shiny and it will go where I throw it every single time and I will have a consistent average that will not be high, but I will never have to worry about: lane conditions, do I have the right ball and so on.
I can just focus on fun and perfecting how to use that one ball with its limitations.
Maybe, given enough time, me and that ball will become one.
A Zen pair and performance will rise to Zen levels like the Zen Archers with their old bows and arrows have.

As John P. said: "Dream on..." but hey, I think you all know what I am talking about and have felt it yourself at one time or another.

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High Game: 259 bowled with Billy Hardwick rubber ball. The Back 9!
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:52 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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I started using plastic exclusively about six or seven months ago. I have degenerative bone disease down the entire length of my spine, so my ball speed is pretty low, and trying to throw it harder does nothing but hurt even more. I put a 500 abralon finish on my T-Zone and touch it up occasionally with 1000, though, truthfully, it really doesn't make much difference. Since I cannot increase my speed or change balls, I have only two types of adjustments: horizontal and hand position. My ability to adjust horizontally is limited by my ability to get the ball back as I move left... the third arrow is about as far left as I can go. I can change my tilt and my rotation and that, along with the line adjustments that I can make allows me to keep the ball in the pocket. During three games of league yesterday, I got my first count of less than nine in the tenth frame of game two.

As I said earlier, bowling this way is more satisfying to me than any bowling that I have done in years. I have to pay attention to everything; how the oil is moving, as well as the individual lane topography. I know that I can't miss, so I rarely do. I wish I could still compete like I used to, but I can't. I can still, however, enjoy the game that I've loved for so many years.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:39 pm Post Number: #9 Post
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RobMautner wrote:
I started using plastic exclusively about six or seven months ago. I have degenerative bone disease down the entire length of my spine, so my ball speed is pretty low, and trying to throw it harder does nothing but hurt even more. I put a 500 abralon finish on my T-Zone and touch it up occasionally with 1000, though, truthfully, it really doesn't make much difference. Since I cannot increase my speed or change balls, I have only two types of adjustments: horizontal and hand position. My ability to adjust horizontally is limited by my ability to get the ball back as I move left... the third arrow is about as far left as I can go. I can change my tilt and my rotation and that, along with the line adjustments that I can make allows me to keep the ball in the pocket. During three games of league yesterday, I got my first count of less than nine in the tenth frame of game two.

As I said earlier, bowling this way is more satisfying to me than any bowling that I have done in years. I have to pay attention to everything; how the oil is moving, as well as the individual lane topography. I know that I can't miss, so I rarely do. I wish I could still compete like I used to, but I can't. I can still, however, enjoy the game that I've loved for so many years.

This is really a wonderful story.
Thank you for sharing this.
How do you roll the ball?
Are you pretty much up the back of it, getting it into a early roll?
Do you have much side rotation?
How high is your tilt if any?
How slow is your ball speed as measured at the pin deck?
Where do you normally target at the arrows and where do you place your foot?
Also, does anyone ever question you about why you are only using a plastic ball? :?:

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Ball speed: 10.5 mph at the Pin Deck
Composite Average: 175
High Game: 259 bowled with Billy Hardwick rubber ball. The Back 9!
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:34 am Post Number: #10 Post
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Nord wrote:
How do you roll the ball?
Are you pretty much up the back of it, getting it into a early roll?
Do you have much side rotation?
How high is your tilt if any?
How slow is your ball speed as measured at the pin deck?
Where do you normally target at the arrows and where do you place your foot?
Also, does anyone ever question you about why you are only using a plastic ball? :?:


I can pretty much control where I want the ball to track as well as the amount of rotation. For right corner spares, I thump the the ball over the thumb hole. As the lanes dry out, I will increase the tilt and increase the rotation to get the ball down the lane and still get it back to the pocket. I really don't know my ball speed as there are no sensors at the center where I bowl league. I don't target at the arrows, though I often notice where my ball crosses them. I target the reflections of the pins in the lane and watch the ball all the way from the arrows to the tracers and as it exits the pin deck. Most bowlers in the recreational leagues that I bowl in now don't even notice that I'm throwing plastic, though they often comments that I hook my ball more than they do. LOL


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:58 am Post Number: #11 Post
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RobMautner wrote:

I can pretty much control where I want the ball to track as well as the amount of rotation. For right corner spares, I thump the the ball over the thumb hole. As the lanes dry out, I will increase the tilt and increase the rotation to get the ball down the lane and still get it back to the pocket. I really don't know my ball speed as there are no sensors at the center where I bowl league. I don't target at the arrows, though I often notice where my ball crosses them. I target the reflections of the pins in the lane and watch the ball all the way from the arrows to the tracers and as it exits the pin deck. Most bowlers in the recreational leagues that I bowl in now don't even notice that I'm throwing plastic, though they often comments that I hook my ball more than they do. LOL

Wow, totally old school.
Targeting the pin reflections!
I would love to hear what the USBC bowling academy has to say about that one. :lol:
I am going to try that tomorrow in league!
Do you have any videos online of yourself so I can see you in action?

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High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:09 pm Post Number: #12 Post
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I pretty much try to get there all the time, except for spares where I use plastic.

Virtually everything I bowl is on a house shot. So I try to find a good benchmark ball that will work on those conditions.

I have had several that have stood out over the years.

A Columbia Red Pulse polished with 3M Finesse it to a high shine.

A Storm triple X factor with factory polish.

An Ebonite Total NV with factory finish.

Right now I'm using a Rotogrip Hustle Ink that the jury is still out on but looks pretty good.

I carry a couple other strike balls in case I run into extreme conditions but on a THS I can generally get lined up somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:09 pm Post Number: #13 Post
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Nord wrote:
Wow, totally old school.
Targeting the pin reflections!
I would love to hear what the USBC bowling academy has to say about that one. :lol:
I am going to try that tomorrow in league!
Do you have any videos online of yourself so I can see you in action?


I've targeted pin reflections for years as I am left-eye dominant, so it is virtually impossible for me to hit a target at the arrows; they're too close. As for a video, I just look like an old man who tries to be smooth. Not much action there! LOL


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:10 pm Post Number: #14 Post
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Funny, but that's how things used to be, even at the pro level. In the book, "From Gutterballs to Strikes," written by Mike Durbin, he said that we he went out on Tour in 1967, he used ONE ball (rubber) for the entire season. Every strike shot and every spare attempt was with that one ball.

As already stated, all adjustments had to be done by the bowler.

It didn't take long for things to go downhill. In the same book, Durbin talked about putting his plastic ball in the Lustre King for the 1972 Tournament of Champions. He said the improvement in his ball reaction helped him to win the tournament. That same plastic ball (a White Dot or Blue Dot--I forget), also helped him to break the national high average one year. He had no area with his rubber ball, but did with the plastic.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:17 pm Post Number: #15 Post
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I go through phases where there will be one ball that won't leave my hands - especially on THS and medium pattern sport shots. However, bowling on a variety of sport patterns, it's very hard to match up with the same ball on a short pattern where you're looking for a slower response to a lot of back end vs a long pattern where you're looking for a quicker response to less back end.


With all that said though - I share the desire to find that one magic ball too - who doesn't? It would be awesome...


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:52 pm Post Number: #16 Post
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So as I understand the question, one ball for all conditions. Is this like using a swiss army knife to build a house? Does a lot of things, but none of them perfectly. Jack of all trades, master of none.

I will have a ball in my hands for an entire year on THS, but not because I want to have one ball, but because my THS is excruciatingly consistent and that ball is the best option.

Ideally, one would evaluate each condition they face on an individual basis and determine the best tool for that instance. Unfortunately for many, specific tools are required today.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:24 am Post Number: #17 Post
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pjape wrote:
Funny, but that's how things used to be, even at the pro level. In the book, "From Gutterballs to Strikes," written by Mike Durbin, he said that we he went out on Tour in 1967, he used ONE ball (rubber) for the entire season. Every strike shot and every spare attempt was with that one ball.

As already stated, all adjustments had to be done by the bowler.

It didn't take long for things to go downhill. In the same book, Durbin talked about putting his plastic ball in the Lustre King for the 1972 Tournament of Champions. He said the improvement in his ball reaction helped him to win the tournament. That same plastic ball (a White Dot or Blue Dot--I forget), also helped him to break the national high average one year. He had no area with his rubber ball, but did with the plastic.

Pretty amazing huh?
Just one ball.
Nice.

I was talking to someone who has an ear in the USBC and he was saying that the USBC is about to make some serious changes in rules governing ball design and layouts.
The extent of these changes are not currently known, but perhaps a majority of the modern ball designs and layouts would not be approved for professional bowling competition.

Interesting...

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High Game: 259 bowled with Billy Hardwick rubber ball. The Back 9!
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:07 am Post Number: #18 Post
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The PBA will NEVER prohibit any ball that can be used in USBC league competition on the Tour. The simple reason for this is that the ball manufacturers count on league bowlers seeing the Pros use the same balls that they use to sell product. No pro use = no ball sales = no sponsorship. It's a simple matter of dollars and cents.


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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:36 am Post Number: #19 Post
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RobMautner wrote:
The PBA will NEVER prohibit any ball that can be used in USBC league competition on the Tour. The simple reason for this is that the ball manufacturers count on league bowlers seeing the Pros use the same balls that they use to sell product. No pro use = no ball sales = no sponsorship. It's a simple matter of dollars and cents.


I dont think thats accurate.
You'd think TV ratings would be higher than they are if league bowlers were paying attention.
Ask a few league bowlers how much pro bowling they watch.
I think *maybe* 1 in 10 watch it on TV and 1 in 100 or more watch XtraFrame.
Pro influence was important in the 20th century, I dont think its as important now.
Now its all about social media saturation with product exposure, keep the product factories running and market share via pro shop affiliation.

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 Post subject: Re: One Magic Bowling Ball?
 Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:44 am Post Number: #20 Post
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RobMautner wrote:
The PBA will NEVER prohibit any ball that can be used in USBC league competition on the Tour. The simple reason for this is that the ball manufacturers count on league bowlers seeing the Pros use the same balls that they use to sell product. No pro use = no ball sales = no sponsorship. It's a simple matter of dollars and cents.

I can't agree with this statement.
Pro Bowling is basically hidden from view since it left the major networks and lost all its sponsorship.
Now if you want to see pro bowling you have to hunt on youtube to find some channel where some guy ripped it off his cable box and posted it for us.
Or watch it on the obscure ESPN 2 or CBS sports channel, channels I will not pay for since they are too expensive.
Extra Frame should be called Rip Off Frame.
Super low quality and crappy camera work, not worth subscribing.
Now maybe if they posted the matches in full 1080p and shot with broadcast 4k cameras and professional lighting and allowed you to download the matches then it would be worth it.
But just putting a couple of go pros on a stick is not something I will pay for.
So pro bowling is pretty much hidden from view.
And because it is, the average league bowler has no idea what balls the pros are using.
So when the USBC takes the balls away from the pros, as long as it is still legal for us hacks to own them and use them in league, sales will not be hurt at all.
But if they forbid them in sanctioned league, then sales will be hurt.
But it will not matter since the companies will proliferate new legal balls and call them cool names and put stupid scents on them and still say they strike better than any ball made.

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Axis Tilt: 0
Rev rate: 150
Ball speed: 10.5 mph at the Pin Deck
Composite Average: 175
High Game: 259 bowled with Billy Hardwick rubber ball. The Back 9!
High Series: 630 bowled with Black Widow Urethane.


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