Severe bruising on top of the thumb

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Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by HedgeMan » February 19th, 2019, 2:53 pm

Hello!

First; I know this issue have been discussed here before, but I can't find a suitable solution to my problem:

From a large thumb hole and a wrong thumb pitch, I have developed bruising on the front (the side that touches the ball) of the thumb in the whole area of the top of the thumb. I have the usual brown bruisings from hard grip pressure, but that isn't the problem. Under the usual brown spots I have developed severe underlying bruising in the whole area on the top of the thumb and behind the nail-area (image attached).

I have already changed my pitch to around 1" forward (don't remember exact pitch) and drilled more suited thumb-inserts (IT-system). This helps a bit and I can hold the ball without too much grip pressure, but this isn't enough. To ease the pressure more I have tried tiered taping, and I think that's why I got the severe bruising, I have now too much pressure on the middle-area of the thumb and the blood presses upwards the thumb and causing sever swollen thumb and numbness.

I have also tried to mimic Sieberzky's tiered oval thumb hole v. 3, but my driller couldn't get the drilling right (not his fault, it is a very special thing to do). I thinking this would be the solution, I can't simply have more forward pitch, I have hard to get the thumb to release cleanly as it is. Do you know how to fix this tiered thumb drilling? Or perhaps know how to 3D print this type of drilling to Turbo Switch Grip instead of Vise IT?
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by 44boyd » February 19th, 2019, 4:36 pm

So you have bruises because of squeezing, but squeezing is not the problem? You should only squeeze at the base of your thumb. Think your hole is too tight, do you have video? I’m curious as to see why you’re grabbing.
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by MineralitePaul » February 19th, 2019, 5:35 pm

I’ve seen this many times over the years. Almost all were caused by squeezing during the thumb exit due to poor fit (too large a hole, excess reverse thumb pitch, not enough gripping friction on the front of the thumb hole, etc.). At the last moment when the tip of thu thumb exits, an extreem snapping of the thumb tip on the edge of the hole occurs - very similar to the action of snapping one’s fingers - and it hurts.

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by HedgeMan » February 19th, 2019, 7:42 pm

44boyd wrote:So you have bruises because of squeezing, but squeezing is not the problem? You should only squeeze at the base of your thumb. Think your hole is too tight, do you have video? I’m curious as to see why you’re grabbing.
Yes, I have bruises because of squeezing. Yes, sqqueezing is a problem, but not a big problem as this swollen thumbtip is. No, I haven't any videos to show yet. I have old videos, but that is before some critical changes. I'm grabbing because of old poor fitting and then learning habit.


MineralitePaul wrote:I’ve seen this many times over the years. Almost all were caused by squeezing during the thumb exit due to poor fit (too large a hole, excess reverse thumb pitch, not enough gripping friction on the front of the thumb hole, etc.). At the last moment when the tip of thu thumb exits, an extreem snapping of the thumb tip on the edge of the hole occurs - very similar to the action of snapping one’s fingers - and it hurts.
Can't get the hole tighter than it is now, yet it is too large as you describe. I am aware of the cause behind the bruises but I seek a good solution for it. I think the snapping is the result of a too tight thumb hole and I need to snap the thumb out. But the paradox is that I loose the ball with one less tape.

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by 44boyd » February 19th, 2019, 8:33 pm

Post a pic of your thumb, see if it’s hourglass
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by MineralitePaul » February 19th, 2019, 9:17 pm

HedgeMan wrote:
Yes, I have bruises because of squeezing. Yes, sqqueezing is a problem, but not a big problem as this swollen thumbtip is. No, I haven't any videos to show yet. I have old videos, but that is before some critical changes. I'm grabbing because of old poor fitting and then learning habit.


Can't get the hole tighter than it is now, yet it is too large as you describe. I am aware of the cause behind the bruises but I seek a good solution for it. I think the snapping is the result of a too tight thumb hole and I need to snap the thumb out. But the paradox is that I loose the ball with one less

It may be the shape of the hole (oval and/or tapered to accommodate your thumb shape? As another posterasked, can you post any photos of yoir thumb, tjumb hole and yoir grip with you gripping the ball?

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by DarkHorse » February 19th, 2019, 9:46 pm

In my experience, the tiered taping is only helpful for bowlers with "hitchhiker" thumbs, where the tip/nail points backwards when the thumb is held straight. The bottom tiers help fill in the gap at the bottom. For folks with straight thumbs, the increased pressure at the bottom can be less than helpful.

I have tried the TOPS method, and agree that it's tough to get right. It's also not necessary for each bowler. Again, liked the tiered taping, it's only for certain thumb shapes. The tiered taping achieves almost the same result, with much less effort, and it's easier to repeat.

There is such a thing as too much Forward pitch, as well. I realize you said you're not sure about the measurement, but 1" Forward is a lot. Can you verify that for us?
What was your prior pitch?
What is you Middle Finger span?
What kind of tape are you using?
Do you use fitting tape on the back of your thumb?
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by TonyPR » February 20th, 2019, 12:29 pm

To what direction is your thumb pointing during the swing, especially the downswing? Many people need to squeeze the ball, it doesn’t matter what pitches or spans they use, if their thumb is pointing down before the release. Make sure you have a firm wrist while swinging the ball.

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by HedgeMan » February 20th, 2019, 2:21 pm

DarkHorse wrote:In my experience, the tiered taping is only helpful for bowlers with "hitchhiker" thumbs, where the tip/nail points backwards when the thumb is held straight. The bottom tiers help fill in the gap at the bottom. For folks with straight thumbs, the increased pressure at the bottom can be less than helpful.

I have tried the TOPS method, and agree that it's tough to get right. It's also not necessary for each bowler. Again, liked the tiered taping, it's only for certain thumb shapes. The tiered taping achieves almost the same result, with much less effort, and it's easier to repeat.

There is such a thing as too much Forward pitch, as well. I realize you said you're not sure about the measurement, but 1" Forward is a lot. Can you verify that for us?
What was your prior pitch?
What is you Middle Finger span?
What kind of tape are you using?
Do you use fitting tape on the back of your thumb?
Sorry, but I can't verify your demands right now, I check my measurements later.

I'm using Power House white and black tape; white tape in the front (the tiered taping) and black tape on the sides. I don't like the feeling to tape the back of the hole. It is too easy to get stuck when I tape back of the hole.

I have tried to use Motive thumb tape, black, grey and orange but it didn't help me. I dropped the ball when I had that tape on the thumb.

TonyPR wrote:To what direction is your thumb pointing during the swing, especially the downswing? Many people need to squeeze the ball, it doesn’t matter what pitches or spans they use, if their thumb is pointing down before the release. Make sure you have a firm wrist while swinging the ball.
I have a start position with my thumb pointing around 11-11:30, I have the thumb around 11.30 in the back-swing and in the downswing. I have the thumb around 10:30-11 in the release, but with the hand behind the ball with a slightly angled wrist, both cranked and left. Normal axis rotation is around 40 degrees and tilt is around 10-12, PAP 5½ right and 1/16 up. High track.

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by kajmk » February 20th, 2019, 5:19 pm

Welcome to the Forum Hedgeman.

I'm not a PSO, but thought I'd offer this short video with Ron Hoppe as performing his test may be of some value to you. Note, the title has to do with swing, but he addresses the thumbhole insofar as pitch.
Good luck in finding your solution.

[youtube][/youtube]

Additionally, check out these words of wisdom found on our wiki regarding reduction of grip pressure.

http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... p_Pressure" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Don't overlook the fact that to an extent, grip pressure is a habit and as Stacy intimated, affected by technique such as a bowler's timing ...

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by VLe » February 23rd, 2019, 9:16 am

Not knowing your situation or spec's but here is some general observations about gripping and thumb fit.
- Late timing can cause gripping, snapping, ball dropping and eventually the feeling that thumbhole is not tight enough. For most times, this is the cause for everything that is "wrong" at bowling, not only the grip.
- When using more radical forward pitches on thumb (for example .250" or more than the wikifit suggests) the lateral pitch becomes lot more important and is affecting especially on how you grip the ball.
- Thumbhole should not be too tight. Fit should be snug, but overtight thumbhole is causing swelling and inconsistency and is usually caused by something wrong in the technique (timing for example, or bad gripping style etc.)
- Correct bevelling of the hole-edges help a lot to get thumb out of the ball cleanly if that is problem and allows the thumb to go deeper. Also prevents callouses and other injuries. As general rule, more forward pitch on the thumb could require a lot more bevelling to the hole edge.
- Amount of reverse/forward pitches for specific bowler is highly dependent on the span lenght (and flexibility of the thumb) and this is where usually people are going wrong when searching help from forums, google etc. Smaller span length equals more forward as starting point. You should fit the ball to your hand and not doing something that feels good to another person.
- Mixing different styles of fitting instructions is most of the time same as driving a road wrong way. If you think you can just add a lot of forward pitch to the thumb because of something like "in ADT-fit they are doing basically this" things probably go very wrong.

My suggestion for your problem is to stop the hassle with special thumbholes at this point when there is obviously something bigger to be dealed with at first. The purpose of tiering the hole is to equalize the pressure at the edge of thumb thus preventing swelling etc. Make a clean straight oval hole for your thumb and do some tiered taping if necessary. Remember that the purpose of tiering is to fit the tip of your thumb to the hole. Also the tiered tape should be positioned closely at the same angle than your oval angle. Of course this is something to be dealt with but it is after you get your delivery and "big lines" of the grip to more suitable for you. Focus on the root cause, not the effects.

Probably the easiest way for you would be to find a different and professional PSO that you haven't met before and tell him to fit you properly and make sure he watches you to throw the ball. Try to not take part on the fitting process with your opinions and comments.

It would be interesting to know of how you have come up with the 1" thumb forward pitch. What is your "wikifit pitch"?
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by imagonman » February 23rd, 2019, 4:45 pm

Most assuredly a bad fit. 1" fwd thumb, whoa!
What are your spans & pitches, if you know??

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by kajmk » February 23rd, 2019, 6:09 pm

Some of the consequences of 1 step late timing as per Juha Maha of ETBF.
Juha's stated that by far and away, most bowler's tend to have late timing, most of them 1 step late timing.

In bowling, what ever we do wrong, we either suffer from it, or build in a compensatory move, sort of 2 negatives resulting in a positive ...

This video is the third part of the ETBF Presentation at the ITRC a few years ago.
The entire video is available via link on the wiki.
If you search on YouTube, you will also find the presentation segmented into 3 parts.


[youtube][/youtube]
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by HedgeMan » February 24th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Oh, a lot of text to read here. Thank you for the interest.

Kajmk: Thank you for the video, but I already have watched that clip of Hoppe's. Mr Maja has already looked at my timing (several times over the years) and it isn't late . Yes I muscle the ball due to the grip pressure, but I always have a good timing in the right key-areas. Yes, high grip pressure with good timing is a product of several compensatory moves, I know that. But this is the Pro Shop forum, not the coach forum :)

VLe:
I don't really have a late timing, but I have several other combinations of things that isn't right. And I know that timing and other things can screw up the grip. But here we are in a catch 22, I need a grip that works to train to not get in a grip that doesn't work. And to get a grip that work, I need to correct some approach issues. To be able to do that, I need a temporary fit that doesn't hurt my hand!

I don't know where I got the 1 inch pitch from, I must have messed it up with something else I thought of when I wrote it. If my chart is correctly updated I should have 3/16F, 5/16L (both toward the palm). I have a short thumb (as shown in the pic) and a thumb that does have two directions to point at :). The ratio between thumb pitch and span is what it should be; However, I can feel that it is short but when we measures it it isn't. Me and one operator (I have a few certified operators around me) thinks this is why I hurt my thumb. I think this is the area of problem, I need to find the right pitches so I can feel the ball as a attachment to my hand, not a thing to grip-fight. Then I can untie the catch 22 above.

About the bevelling: Yes, you are right there; without bevelling I cant release at all. And with that comes the question if the bevelling isn't going to cancel the pitch?
Spoiler:
To those who ask about my measurements: The exact measurement of my fit isn't really important in this question; meaning I can be a child or a 2m high adult it doesn't matter in this case.. So long as you guys going to drill and layout my arsenal, the span, thumb and finger diameters and pitches shouldn't matter for this discussion about how to temporary solve my hurt thumb. With that statement I don't mean any disrespect. I can't see the interest of the measurements in this discussion.

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by imagonman » February 24th, 2019, 4:46 pm

HedgeMan wrote:
To those who ask about my measurements: The exact measurement of my fit isn't really important in this question; meaning I can be a child or a 2m high adult it doesn't matter in this case.. So long as you guys going to drill and layout my arsenal, the span, thumb and finger diameters and pitches shouldn't matter for this discussion about how to temporary solve my hurt thumb. With that statement I don't mean any disrespect. I can't see the interest of the measurements in this discussion.

Really. it doesn't matter huh? Then why ask in this in the pro shop forum at all? An improper ball fit will not only cause physical issues but swing issues as well, if not more so. The human body is capable all kinds of compensations to 'right any wrongs'. If the fit feels short to you then it probably is! Get the ball to fit 'your' hand by a qualified PSO for 'your' span and hand attributes. You seem pretty darn confident that the drill is correct for you, yet you have a severe thumb clearance issue that may be doing other damage to tendons & nerves you are presently unaware of. But, hey stick w/ what you got...….it must be all good!

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by HedgeMan » February 24th, 2019, 5:51 pm

imagonman wrote: Really. it doesn't matter huh? Then why ask in this in the pro shop forum at all? An improper ball fit will not only cause physical issues but swing issues as well, if not more so. The human body is capable all kinds of compensations to 'right any wrongs'. If the fit feels short to you then it probably is! Get the ball to fit 'your' hand by a qualified PSO for 'your' span and hand attributes. You seem pretty darn confident that the drill is correct for you, yet you have a severe thumb clearance issue that may be doing other damage to tendons & nerves you are presently unaware of. But, hey stick w/ what you got...….it must be all good!
Okey, I knew this reaction would come: Yes, an improper ball fit is a bad thing to have and yes, I may have it regards to my thumb problems. I am not confident of my fit ( I shouldn't write here if I was), but I have enough certified operators and high coaches around me to help me with that. I don't live in US, I don't have a alley full of self claimed "operators", thus I don't need to question my operators.

And then; The PSO can only do so much for me that I let the guy do. If I don't feel the right or wrong with a fit, the PSO can't drill the fit the correct way. This is probably the thing that is happening now, I can't give it enough time to try if the fit feels good. I have tried to change the pitches four times, and every time it feels good for a month or so, then the problem comes back. We change the grip again, wait 1-2 month and the same again. That is the reason for my reach out here.

This forum have no help at all with my exact measurements because you don't know me, my body or my biological measurements. But it is very important to discuss ratios and relative things like long-short spans, wrong span ratio, faulty pitches and so on, but you can't simulate my fit without my hand. I can write that I have 4" span and you can't know if that is right for my accusal span without my hand, or can you Mr. imagonman? Therefore, the exact measurement isn't important right now.

I asked the forum for an suitable answer to my problem, either it is tiered hole or some ideas about pitches or the game. I didn't think about to arguing about my exact fit. Some of you have brought me very helpful ideas, that without my exact fit, and for that I thank those who wrote here.

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by MineralitePaul » February 24th, 2019, 7:22 pm

My guess is that you have late timing and have the tendency to pull the ball through the release zone rather than waiting on it. Every time you try something new with your thumb hole or other part the grip, there’s an adjustment period you must go through before you start to feel comfortable with the ball. During this period, your tenuousness with the new fit might be making you wait on the ball which is easier on the hand. Everything seems ok until you become comfortable with the new fit and you resume the pulling through the shot with the attendant squeezing needed to keep the ball from staying behind because you want it to go faster than its inertial properies want.

You have to ask yourself: is my thumb really this finicky, or could there be something fundamentally wrong with my game?

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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by DarkHorse » February 24th, 2019, 8:13 pm

I can't speak for others, but I asked about some of your measurements because you stated that you had 1" Forward pitch in your thumb. To anyone who has drilled bowling balls, that is a red flag. In general, moving a thumb pitch Forward (or less Reverse) eases grip pressure, but you claimed that 1" Forward was not enough. You may not see the interest of this information, but an extreme measurement like that piques my interest.

Since you are new to this forum (I didn't notice that when I read your first post), let me give you some friendly advice (no sarcasm intended). If you post in this sub-forum about grip issues of any kind, many of the replies will refer you to what they call the "Wiki-fit," which can be found here:

http://wiki.bowlingchat.net/wiki/index. ... itting.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Be aware that this guide is taken as gospel by some folks around here. To be sure, it is the most complete fitting guide I have ever used and will provide a solid starting point for any new bowler, or someone that's simply been ignored by a previous Pro Shop. However, it doesn't work for everybody.

Understanding WHY we want to create certain gripping angles (pitches) is SCIENCE.
Measuring/looking at a hand and determining HOW to apply those principles is an ART.

You are 100% correct that since you aren't standing in front of me I can't give you 100% accurate information. So how do you expect me (or anybody; I'm not taking this personal) to help? I have to make guesses. I've seen enough people with problems like this to know there is no singular fix. It differs for each person based on what is wrong with their individual fit. By providing us with more information, we can gain a clearer picture of what you're dealing with and hopefully provide more targeted information. But please don't get upset when we're wrong. Heck, if the guys that CAN see your hand can't fix this issue, how can we do better?

Back on topic of helping you:

Regarding tape:
I agree about the fabric tapes on the back of my thumb - most of them make my thumb too slick.
I use the Ebonite Magic wrap tape - the sparkly blue stuff - on the back of my thumb. Depending on which way you cut the roll, it will provide different levels of friction.
For taping the thumb hole, I started using the Genesis Sync hybrid tape. It's smooth, but tacky. On top of my tiered white tape, it's been an amazing improvement for me.

Why do you use black tape on the sides? I've not seen/heard of that before.

Regarding bevel:
Yes, a lot of bevel can negatively affect the span and pitches (overall fit).
Use as little as possible, but as much as necessary. There is no exact measurement, because everybody's hand is different.
Also, pay attention to WHERE you have it beveled. Mainly, focus on the "off-ramps" for the thumb - the front corners, so to speak.

Perhaps the base of your thumb is larger than the thumb itself. For years, I've had a large callus at the base of my thumb due to my previous day job. If i didn't apply extra shaping around that part of the thumb hole, my thumb didn't sit deep enough and my span felt short. By carving out that extra notch, everything was right with the world again. Now that I've left that job my thumb is shrinking, and I'm drilling a new thumb hole every couple weeks to compensate. (I love Switch Grips, by the way!)

More generally, some people have fits so bad that it will take several months and fit changes to fix. Coach Slowinsky even stated as much in his article about using the TOPS thumb hole. He stated that the thumb should be remeasured every couple months, as he expects the thumb to shrink over time due to reduced grip pressure. It may take 6 months or more, along with several TOPS adjustments, to get it perfect as your thumb size changes.

Hope that helps.

P.S. - Knowing you're not from the U.S. helps (me at least), since then I know we may have simple communication issues.
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by VLe » February 25th, 2019, 10:09 am

HedgeMan wrote:I don't really have a late timing, but I have several other combinations of things that isn't right. And I know that timing and other things can screw up the grip. But here we are in a catch 22, I need a grip that works to train to not get in a grip that doesn't work. And to get a grip that work, I need to correct some approach issues. To be able to do that, I need a temporary fit that doesn't hurt my hand!
Basically everything that you seem to have a problem with looks like it is related on your grip. Yet you keep telling that it is not important to know your spec's and want some information and evaluation for the problem. All fitting styles are based on taking the basic measurements of your hand, span length and so on. Then you use some charts and guides (depends on what kind of fitting process are you using). After that it is time to do those small arty stuff-modifications to the grip based on the specialities on the hand itself (crooked fingers etc.). Or you could do even some functional modifications to alter the ball motion (release).
HedgeMan wrote:The exact measurement of my fit isn't really important in this question; meaning I can be a child or a 2m high adult it doesn't matter in this case.
You can be whatever you are but your hand is how it is. Unless you have injury etc. your current spec's can be measured and used as starting point for fitting process. As reference to earlier comment: this is the Pro Shop forum, not the coach forum. :geek:

There is no "one and only fit" to a person. You could have many different type of fittings to your hand based on different approaches that will work like a charm. The problem is usually on what you will use for regular basis since every grip, no matter how good or strange it feels at first, requires this learning period. Everything in between these different fitting approaches (that fit good on your hand) is like a chaotic and misunderstanded mess that will cause all kind of problems. A good fit does not necessarily place the ball to your hand like you are wearing a glove. This is not maybe even suitable for your current style at all. Good grip does not cause blisters. Good grip allows you to even have a little loose thumbhole without having to squeeze the heck out of it.

For example I have fitted myself with ADT that has basically 1"pitch in the thumb (pointing left, RH). I have fitted myself with my own modified grip where the thumb is pitched over 1" (direction is left with a bit more reverse). I can use comfortably a thumb pitch that is forward and towards palm. Yet in my current go-to -grip I am using a 0" to 1/8" forward with no lateral in thumb. Why? I got tired of making all sorts of testing and getting blisters and callouses when adjusting the fit only to find some interesting modifications to test. This close-to-zero is my wikifit thumb pitch. It feels comfortable and I can get clean release. It is also easy to drill (I drill my own balls). Stopping these experiments allowed me to focus on the bowling. And btw, I have the most awkward hand to dealt with. Short span, long thumb, 0 flexibility and a lot of meat. I would suggest you to make yourself a very basic wikifit/IBPSIA-fit to start with.

You said that you are living out of the US and you have been doing stuff with Mr.Maja several times. In case you are living in Finland you can PM me and I may be able to give you some advice or contact’s that way.

My apologies for a long post. :lol:
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Re: Severe bruising on top of the thumb

Post by TonyPR » February 26th, 2019, 5:11 am

Use 1” reverse on both fingers with 7/16 laterals for both fingers, don’t insert thumb, do your approach with two hands... there, problem solved... :D

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