Looking for a little help with angles...

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Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by UBC » January 30th, 2020, 5:28 am

I am new here, but loving what I've been reading so far.

I just have a couple of questions. I posted this in a thread already, but then I realized that the thread was from 2016, so I thought I'd make my own post to maybe get the help I'm looking for.

I know that every bowler is different, but I believe Bowling is a game of math. Therefore there must be some simple (orComplex) ways to calculate things for better accuracy. Please read my questions and offer some practical advice.

I know someone will have the answers I am looking for in this group. Thank you for reading.

1. If you do not know where to start from. Say you know the exit point is on 9 (40 ft pattern) Is there some math to calculate what board you should set the ball down at and what board at the arrows you should target?

I guess what I am thinking is if you take the exit point and subtract it from the target. So say you are targeting 15 at the arrows. Subtract 9 (exit Point) from the 15 and you get 6. Now add 6 to that 15 to get 21. So if this works, I should lay the ball down on the 21 board aiming for the 15 and it should hit the exit point at 9,am I correct or does anyone know the math to truly calculate this to find your lay down point.

2. I am also curious of any math that can help with spares if I throw a plastic ball straight for spares. Now my question is let's say I leave a 6, 7, 10... I know where I normally stand to get a 10 pin and I move 3 boards left from there to pick up a 6 pin. What math is there to calculate for hitting the right edge of the 6 pin to send it into the 7. I know there has to be a formula for finding out what board to lay down the ball and what board to target to hit that particular board (4 board) at the pins to hit the right side of the 6 pin... I usually either miss the 6 and chop the 10 or I hit to high on the 6 and do not send it into the 7. Should I be moving more like a 2 and 1 for a smaller increment. When Ijust move 1 board it doesn't do the trick.

Does anyone know the math or formulas to use to help increase a person's conversion chances for spares and especially splits.

3. Is there a reason most moves for strike adjustments are 2- 1 increments or 1-1 parallel moves...? This has always confused me, but trying to understand why these moves in these ratios... I know you can move like a 4-2, but that is the same as a 2-1 twice, so curious why these numbers for making adjustments. So, what is the 3-1 used for?

I hope this makes sense.

Thank you in advance,.

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by boomer » January 30th, 2020, 8:27 pm

so - here's my input:

1. This is difficult because it would have to take into account YOU, your roll/rotation/speed, your ball's dynamics. This is why most of us recommend that you have a baseline ball and line that you can start with and, based on reaction, you can adjust from there. For me, it's my baseline ball (which does vary a bit) and I start at feet 25, target 10. I can tell pretty quickly what's going on and what I'll need to do. So, sorry, no math here, at least from me.

2. Spares - well, again, this is going to depend on YOU. In this case, it's more your drift, but also remember that plastic WILL hook a bit (even if it's just a board. . .) what I do is I pivot off the 3rd arrow. I line my eye up with one pin to the RIGHT of where I want to hit (because my ball is farther to the RIGHT of my eye, my pendulum swing will naturally be a bit LEFT of my eye-line) and I can be pretty accurate. But again, this is something you'll need to put together your own system - but I would do it by pivoting from a specific target. Don't just spray and pray. . .

3. 2-1 moves or parallel moves - this has to do with angles. If you keep the same target at the arrows and move, say, 5 boards, your exit angle is going to be quite a bit off. Moving 2-1 helps keep the angle more where we want it - also has to do with oil, the pattern, etc.

When we find that 2-1 moves aren't right - that we may be balled out, or really aren't anywhere near where we want - often it's time to make a parallel move. Perhaps our friction point has been burned up by a cranker or something, or that darned Belmo is crossing our line twice and our ball is jumping (dang it guy! LOL) then it's time to parallel move - but I tend to parallel move by a jump, typically 5-5. This gets me well away (hopefully) from that cranker or at least in a place that's not going to jump a lot.

And 3-1 might be where the oil is still heavier a bit, so you can roll it there and when it hits friction it's still going to hook with enough angle.

All of these require us to watch and interpret our ball's motion. While we have formulas, sort of, they still require us to interpret and apply our best judgement. . . otherwise it would not be a sport. :)

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by kajmk » January 31st, 2020, 4:00 pm

Of possible interest.

Besides being a teacher (pertaining to mathematics), Jim Merrell is an elite coach.
This link has a post by him with a mathematical explanation.
He wrote this at a time his schedule precluded going in to how he worked with his bowling students regarding lining up, adjustments etc. I highly expect that method is something more easily digestible and not scary to those with math apprehension.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13949&p=109176&hilit=Math#p109176

Perhaps the major fly in the ointment is the human factor.

There are several threads addressing pre match recon to determine how to play the lane. I can add some, but you can also use the forums search engine.

See if Jim's explanation satisfies some of your curiosity.
Jim has retired from forum activity, but you can find a lot of his bowling wisdom in the Certified Coaches Forum.

Two older SHORT texts dealing with lines and adjustments are: "Target Lines" by Bill Taylor, The Pro Approach, by Larry Mathews.
The Taylor booklet deals expressly with lines and adjustments, n.b. this is an old text written prior to the resin era (maybe pre urethane), nonetheless I'd highly recommend this to many bowler's.
The forum has some member reviews of bowling ed material.
Responses are typically sparse. Bowling ed is a notoriously poor seller, but you can find reviews on Amazon as well.
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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by GrumpyCatFace » February 1st, 2020, 3:45 pm

Yeah, remember the arrows are 1/3 the distance to the end of the pattern (15’ vs ‘45’ or so). So just aim for 1/3 the sideways distance to your target from where you lay it down.

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by kajmk » February 1st, 2020, 4:41 pm

As for a simple visual to accentuate the differences in adjustments, get a piece of graph paper and a flexible soda straw.
Mark some pivot points representing, lay down, short target , exit point, focal point.
It won't be to scale, but aligning the straw with the points and comparing the project might drive home the point.
Start with a straight line. Of course this is devoid of shot dynamics and lane variables.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so

There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by deanchamp » February 2nd, 2020, 1:59 am

I'll try and address some of your questions using my logic, based on some simple math.
1. If you do not know where to start from. Say you know the exit point is on 9 (40 ft pattern) Is there some math to calculate what board you should set the ball down at and what board at the arrows you should target?
40' pattern, using PL -31 gives us the exit point of the pattern at 9 board, but not necessarily the breakpoint. This isn't a breakpoint formula but is often used as such incorrectly.

Your first challenge is to know where to stand to bowl straight down the lane. This is different for everyone. For me, to bowl straight down 20 board, where you lay the ball down on 20 board, roll over 4th arrow and hit the head pin, I stand on 23 board (22 board is beside my left shoe). You can't assume a 6 board gap between the laydown board and the inside of your shoe either, as this distance is different for everyone.

So if I wanted to bowl straight down 9 board, I would stand on 12. And this is often my starting shot (bowling my strike shot straight down the board that is the exit board of the pattern using PL-31) on flatter patterns to see how much hold there is and miss room right down lane.

Now some assumptions: when we say the arrows are at 15', we know that they all aren't. The base of the 1st arrow is at 14' and the tip of the 4th arrow is at 16'. The tip of the 2nd arrow and base of the 3rd arrow are at 15'. To keep the math simpler, you are targeting the arrows at 15' and you are using an imaginary line that goes across the lane at 15' from the base of the 3rd arrow.
3. Is there a reason most moves for strike adjustments are 2- 1 increments or 1-1 parallel moves...? This has always confused me, but trying to understand why these moves in these ratios... I know you can move like a 4-2, but that is the same as a 2-1 twice, so curious why these numbers for making adjustments. So, what is the 3-1 used for?
Now when I think of these moves, it isn't feet and target, it's laydown board and target. So a 2-1 move is laying the ball down 2 boards inside and aiming 1 board inside off the previous shot's target line, with the target being 15' downlane. Where you stand to do this is yet again different for everyone. Some can stand 2 boards inside and create the launch angle with their swing, others will stand a bit further inside to allow for walking towards their target a bit and using a straight swing to keep the ball on the target line from the stance to release.

To simplify this, the pattern length I'm using is 45'. So if I'm bowling straight down 14 board to exit the pattern at 14 board using PL-31, where does a 2-1 adjustment place the ball at 45'? On the 13 board. Laydown on 16, at 15' the ball is on 15 board, at 30' it is on 14 board and at 45' it is on 13.

Assumption here? The ball doesn't hook at all on this target line from the foul line to 45'. So a 3-1 move off the straight shot down 14 board will place the ball on 11 board at 45'. As you can see, these moves require friction along the target line or outside the exit point to work. So I wouldn't use a 3-1 adjustment on a flatter 45' pattern as that 3 boards further right downlane at the exit point could be out of bounds - but then the variables of rev rate and ball surface and how much friction has developed downlane etc. may allow this move to work.

My preferred adjustment is always a 3-2 move, as it gets the ball to the same board downlane at 45'. Starting on the 14 board line, a 3-2 will be laying the ball down on 17 and rolling over 16 at 15'. At 30' the ball is on 15 board and 45' the ball is on 14 board again. Same board at the end of the pattern, but different launch angle. Another 3-2 moves yields the same result. Laydown on 20 board, rolling over 18 at 15'. At 30' the ball is on 16 board and 45' the ball is on 14 board again. Another 3-2 moves yields the same result. Laydown on 23 board, rolling over 20 at 15'. At 30' the ball is on 17 board and 45' the ball is on 14 board again. And so on.

Now these launch angles don't change, but the length of the pattern does, and here it gets a bit more complicated. So back to your 40' example. Straight down 9 board to exit the pattern at 9 board at 40'. A 3-2 adjustment gets the ball to 9 board at 45', but where is it at 40'? With this adjustment, the ball is covering 1 board every 15', so at 40' it will be on the 9 1/3 board. What is the 9 1/3 board? I always think of a 'board' as using the middle of the board as the reference point, so the ball will be 5/6" from the right edge of the 9 board at 40' and the middle of 9 board at 45'.

Another 3-2 move gets the ball to 9 board at 45', but this time it is on the 10 board at 40'. Laydown 15 board, 13 board at 15', 11 board at 30', 9 board at 45'. The ball is covering 2 boards every 15' now, so at 40' it is on the 10 board 1/6" from the right edge.

There are launch angle calculators that can work all this out for different pattern lengths, but what becomes apparent to me is how accurate is the average bowler to hit parts of the board when targeting to get to the exact point they want to down lane. And all the variables of friction and different ball rolls and speed/rev relationships and layouts means the launch angles and adjustments are different for everyone.

Note: Might be worth checking my math, but hopefully it makes sense.
Now my question is let's say I leave a 6, 7, 10... I know where I normally stand to get a 10 pin and I move 3 boards left from there to pick up a 6 pin. What math is there to calculate for hitting the right edge of the 6 pin to send it into the 7.
I wouldn't over complicate this. If your normal spare shot hits the centre of the 10 pin you only need to hit slightly right of this to get the edge of the 6 pin. This can be achieved by backing the ball up slightly or making a very small move left with your feet or aiming slightly right of your target. Experiment and see what works for you.
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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by RobMautner » February 2nd, 2020, 10:05 pm

In terms of angles for making splits, remember that the larger the angle between your line, the pin you are going to hit, and the pin that you are throwing the pin into, the easier the spare is to make. Consider the four-six split, where both the four and the six on on the same line in the rack, the angle that you are trying to slide either the four or the six into the other pin is at most, 45 degree. This split, like the seven-ten, the eight-ten, and the seven-nine, are statistically impossible: the area that you have to hit is thinner than the thickness of a piece of copy paper. Now, if you look at the four-nine, angle that you have to throw the pin is much larger than 45 degrees, and the spare is much easier to make.

The rub is this: when you are trying to throw the front pin into the back pin, from left to right (for a right handed bowler), if you hook the ball into the front pin, you are making the angle smaller, and the conversion tougher. As Norm Duke (a notorious keeper of statistics) told me, when a right hander hooks the ball into the one, two, ten washout, he will pick it up approximately 33% of the time. When the same right hander, throws the ball straight up the fifth arrow, he will pick it up approximately 59% of the time!

I wrote an article for BTM about this several years ago, and I posted a short video on U Tube entitled the "Shadow Pin Spare System," which deals primarily with picking up splits.

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by kajmk » February 3rd, 2020, 3:41 pm

Great points Rob!
My two cents -

On a personal note, I found Norm's method to work best for me.
It boils down to execution, mechanically it seems to be easier to control a straight ball release. If you execute the line and the delivery correctly, you've minimized lane conditions.

I recall Johnny Petraglia advising, the infrequent bowler to not modify their release and use a spare ball.

OPINION - However, for someone that bowls a lot and in various houses, they should be able to release the ball in various fashions, including a straight ball and back up ball.
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There should be a rule of war saying you have to see someone up close and get to know 'em before it's ok to shoot 'em

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by RobMautner » February 3rd, 2020, 5:30 pm

I have a hunch that Johnny Petraglia gave that advice in a time before balls had self-hooking cores. It's a whole lot more difficult to "flatten out" your release to get modern balls to go straight. Just watch most high average league bowlers who still try to follow this archaic advice and see how bad they are at picking up corner pins.

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by MegaMav » February 3rd, 2020, 5:34 pm

RobMautner wrote:
February 3rd, 2020, 5:30 pm
I have a hunch that Johnny Petraglia gave that advice in a time before balls had self-hooking cores. It's a whole lot more difficult to "flatten out" your release to get modern balls to go straight. Just watch most high average league bowlers who still try to follow this archaic advice and see how bad they are at picking up corner pins.
Just for clarity, a core does not make the ball hook on its own.
Rotation + friction makes the ball hook.
A ball can flare and not hook.
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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by RobMautner » February 3rd, 2020, 9:07 pm

Just for more clarity, I've lost count of how many bowlers I've helped over the years by simply convincing them to stop trying to make the ball hook, and just let it hook. As usual, I'm not talking in scientific terms, just the terms that help bowlers to improve their bowling. I stand corrected.

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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by kajmk » February 4th, 2020, 12:14 am

Johnny Petraglia
His exact words from 2012.



Rob Coachs bowler's of all levels and no doubt gets good results.
Part of his success as a coach is probably due to knowing his audience and the best way to get results. Years ago I watched and listened to Ron Clifton tutoring two bowler's at opposite ends of the knowledge and performance spectrum.
Ron tailored his instruction accordingly.

I met a neighbor at dollar store a few years ago. He was carrying about a 208 average. I tried to engage him about bowling ball basics, core, surface. He said, all that stuff is too complicated. I was surprised, as not being very well versed I was talking at a very basic level.

Years ago, a young boy was watching me practice. He began asking questions.
I was delighted by his curiosity about the physics of the game cause and effect and the aspects of the balls. He was about 10 or 12, his parents paid little attention to him. He enjoyed our chat.

I read that Ron Hoppe schedules an hour meeting with new students wherein they learn about each other.

So again, this is not to ruffle feathers, just to share an opinion and experience.
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Re: Looking for a little help with angles...

Post by TonyPR » February 5th, 2020, 3:14 am

If a bowler wants to hit a specific board at the pins passing on a straight line through a specific board at the arrows there is exactly one board where the ball must land on your lay down point. For every board you miss right or left at your lay down you will miss 3 boards left or right at the pins. Lane is 60’ long and 3.5’ wide so it’s an optical illusion (appears wider than it really is). Because of all said above I prefer to anchor the line of play at a specific board at the pins (focal point) and figure out the lay down point based on the board at the arrows I choose. If I roll it straight it will go straight to that board I want to hit at the pins, if I roll a strike ball with a strike release, the ball will curve at some point in that trajectory. Slide will be five boards from that lay down, anything more means we need to work on the physical game.

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