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Category: Equipment
Type: Tip


Selecting a house ball
The bowling establishment provides house balls for bowlers who do not own their own balls. The management of the establishment attempts to keep them arranged in ball racks in order of weight, from 6 to 16 pounds. The hole sizes and spans generally increase with increasing total ball weight.

Select the proper ball fit
Proper ball fit feels more comfortable, causes less fatigue of the hand and arm, and lessens the chance of injury through pulled muscles, tendinitis, blisters, deep calluses and so on. To see whether a ball fits your hand, use the following sequence:

1. Thumbhole size: First, insert your thumb into the thumbhole. While pressing one side of the thumb lightly to one side of the hole, slide the thumb in and out. If the other side of the thumb barely touches its side, the thumbhole size is appropriate. If the thumbhole is too loose or too tight, try another ball.
2. Correctness of span: After selecting a thumbhole that fits, select a ball with the proper span based on descriptions previously given for the conventional ball.

Select the proper ball weight
The weight of the ball you use should be appropriate for your physical makeup. You cannot effectively place a ball into your swing if it is too heavy. Further, your hand will not be able to hold the ball as it is falling into the downswing . On the other hand, you will often manhandle a ball that is too light; the weight of the ball is insufficient to signal you to let it swing by its own weight. Adult male beginner bowlers often choose balls in the 14 to 16 pound range, whereas adult females often choose balls in the 10 to 14 pound range. Youngsters often choose balls ranging from 6 to 14 pounds.

Selecting a customized ball
If you bowl more than a couple of times per month and want to become a better bowler, you must have a better ball fit and good footing. Go to a good pro shop to purchase your own ball and shoes. Call around and ask several of the best bowlers in your area for the name of a skillful ball driller. Here are some helpful considerations:

  • Try to buy a ball, bag and shoes together if possible, because your shoes are an important element in providing stability for good leverage (lift that causes rotation) to be imparted to the ball. Furthermore, a bowler serious enough to own a ball should not have to dole out money continually for rented shoes. The necessity for a bag is also obvious, since other accessories are usually carried in it.
  • Do not immerse your hands in water for at least two hours before you have your ball fitted. If you do, there is a possibility that the grip holes will be fitted too large.
  • Exercise your hand before having the ball fitted. Relax your hand, stretching your grip to what it will be after a few practice shots and giving you a better chance for a more accurate span measurement. Otherwise, your span may be fitted too short.
  • Tell the pro shop operator if your hands are in frequent contact with slippery or drying solvents or if you have any problems, such as arthritis, that lessen your ability to grip. These factors may necessitate modifications in the fit and the ball weight.

    Selecting a used bowling ball
    A used bowling ball can be a good buy because it is cheaper than a new one. There are plenty of used bowling balls available. Many pro shops offer used balls, and members of the PBA and LPB tour have good used balls for sale. Teammates often trade balls. All these are sources of better quality used balls. Pawn shops and garage sales often sell used balls, too, but be cautious—many balls found in these places prove to be damaged, due to improper storage.

    If you are considering buying a used ball, check the cover for deep cracks or abrasions. Check to see whether the cover of the ball is solidly bonded to the core. If the ball has a badly damaged cover or if the ball sounds nonuniform or hollow when you tap it with a blunt object, pass it up. If you do find an acceptable used ball, take it to a pro shop for the appropriate fit. In most cases, the driller will have to plug and redrill all of the holes with your own customized grip.

    Submitted by: Robert H. Strickland

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