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champ

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Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 379
Reply with quote  #1 

Just curious how many bowling balls you guys take with you to bowl league, and why?

 

I personally have always carried just two to league though I own five balls. I take one ball that can hook in the track area, and one I can play outside with. As of late, I like playing as far outside as possible. I get pretty good carry, never have to worry about other people trashing my line, and it lets me use my favorite old equipment.  

 

What about you guys?

themrfreeze

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Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 3,117
Reply with quote  #2 
I own about a dozen balls, but most are older urethane balls that I don't use all that much.  For my one league at the "modern" center I bowl at, I'll only bring two, as the shot never changes.  For my league at "old school" Parkview bowl, where the lanes are oiled by hand and the shot varies greatly, I have four at hand.  One is a sanded resin ball I leave there for when the oil is 60 feet down the lane, and the other three are urethane.  Between the four, I can usually find something that works for any given week.


froggiemlm

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Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 50
Reply with quote  #3 
To tournaments i bring about 12-15 balls league i just carry my 6 ball bag.

First out of the bag are my Vivid and Nano.

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Chipper

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Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 2,017
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
To tournaments i bring about 12-15 balls league i just carry my 6 ball bag.


That's a typo isn't it? I don't even have 6 pieces of equipment to take anywhere (nor do I want to lug all that around IMHO).

I usually only take 2--Blue Hammer Remake + a particle  (Morich NSane Lev, Hammer Widow Nasty, or Hammer Backlash).  Its basically a "whatever I feel like" for the week.  Lately, I've been pretty bummed using the particle balls because the reaction is funky, inconsistent, and the carry is really dreadful where I'm bowling for the summer.

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brian1969

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1,238
Reply with quote  #5 

I haven't bowled league or tournaments since 2001, but up to my ending days I never took more than two balls with me anywhere. Maybe once or twice I took another bag of two, but that was very, very rare.

 

I had one ball that I could hook and one that I could play down and in with if need be. I was always more of the philosophy that you can make a ball do what you want by changing hand positions, angle, speed, etc. Saved me a ton of money over the years.


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Buckeye_Nut

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Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 1,385
Reply with quote  #6 
I own 2 balls............LOL
mrbowling300

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Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 9,601
Reply with quote  #7 
I bring 4 to tournaments and league.  Spare ball, and others with different surface, and layouts.  
brian1969

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1,238
Reply with quote  #8 

I always had two "primary" balls...newer ones that I liked and could use. I seemed to always have at least two "reserve" balls, older ones that I had replaced as time went on and they got older and obsolete.

 

For example, in my urethane days I always had a new(er) black Rhino and a white dot in the bag. I could play oil with the Rhino but if they were medium to drier, I could still use it by changing wrist positions, speed, etc. When they got extreme, I'd go to the white dot (if they were drier than I was used to, I'd also use it to shoot spares, but not too often).

 

When I got into the reactive years, I would carry a new(er) Beast and the same ol' white dot (mostly for spares). As the years went by, the Beast became the secondary ball because it had become obsolete, but there were situations where it was the ball to use. My primary ball eventually became the higher-end reactives, like the Zone Pro Active and such (that's dating me a bit, isn't it? lol).

 

I always felt that I never needed more than two balls, but as I went to more and more tournaments in many different houses (I did bowl quite a few), I gained experience. If I was going to bowl at a house that I'd bowled at in the past, and I'd had problems with it, I may change a ball out (maybe drop the seconday ball and go with one of the reserve balls) just in case I ran into a similar situation the next visit, or I might just take another bag of two balls. Rare, though, that I would do either of those. I may struggle in practice or even part of the first game, but I was always quick to find the right adjustment and get it going. Now, that's not to say I was shooting the lights out, dominating a tourney, or even winning tons of money, etc., but overall I gave as good as I got, and that's all I ever asked for.

 

It's possible that the game has changed so much that my "old school philosophy" no longer applies. As I've said before, I quit in 2001 due to a broken leg, never went back (I want to, but we'll have to see), so I could be just full of crap when it comes to the modern game, lol. Maybe you do need to haul a dozen balls around with you, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea.


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mystrsyko

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Registered: 10/10/11
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Reply with quote  #9 
For the last six years or so I've carried 5 with me (3 in the roller bag, two over the shoulder). Usually, I try to bring with me the largest range of reactions I can, because the shot can vary so much with the sport patterns I bowl on now. Before that, it was more or less unnecessary unless I was bowling in a tournament or high school match at a different center. It is comforting, though, that whatever the condition and however it changes, I have a ball I can use for it, on just about any line I want to throw.

My current bag(s), from least to most reactive is: Columbia 300 White Dot, Hammer Red Pearl Urethane, Ebonite Element Ice, Roto Grip Pluto, Circle Voltage. Before I got my Voltage resurfaced, it was a Brunswick Ultimate Inferno in that spot.

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str8drvr

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Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 885
Reply with quote  #10 

I carry 2 or 3 balls to league. Took 5 to nationals. Usually take 3 or 4 to tournaments.


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froggiemlm

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Registered: 04/24/12
Posts: 50
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1969

I haven't bowled league or tournaments since 2001, but up to my ending days I never took more than two balls with me anywhere. Maybe once or twice I took another bag of two, but that was very, very rare.

 

I had one ball that I could hook and one that I could play down and in with if need be. I was always more of the philosophy that you can make a ball do what you want by changing hand positions, angle, speed, etc. Saved me a ton of money over the years.



Nope but i bowl in a lot of serious tournaments and having the right arsenal is a major need.

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brian1969

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1,238
Reply with quote  #12 

I did at the time, too. I never saw the need to own a dozen or more balls, much less carry them with me to every tournament or league I went to. I will agree that having the right ball for the right condition makes it easier on you, but I just could never bring myself to spending that kind of money on equipment that I wasn't making a living with. And I got along just fine without doing so. As I said earlier, I'm probably "old school" in my philosophy, and maybe that's not the way it is today. I wouldn't have any idea, being away from the game for 11 years. If that is the way it is, then the sport is in more trouble than I thought. Because honestly, who can afford to spend $150-$200 per ball, and buy that many of them, especially when they wear out so darn quick? It's insane.


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Brian
brian1969

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1,238
Reply with quote  #13 

Just so we're clear, I'm not knocking anyone for carrying a bunch of equipment, etc. If that's what works for you, great, I have zero problem with it. All I'm saying is that for me, personally, I couldn't -- and never could -- bring myself to do it. Even if I were still bowling today, I know I wouldn't have more than two or three balls, if that, in my arsenal.


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Brian
Bucketofslawski

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 278
Reply with quote  #14 

It has been at least 10 years since I felt comfortable bringing in "only" 3 balls. I generally bring in 6, but have more in the car just in case.

 

Why so many bowling balls? Because modern bowling balls are nothing like the old ones we used in the 1970s. The combination of reactive coverstocks and advanced weight blocks have changed the adjustments a bowler needs to make. With a nonreactive ball and the old pancake weight block your ball options were limited. While bowlers did play around with finger and side weight this had a minor effect on ball reaction. The amount of friction was important, but those old bowling balls did not hook as abruptly as modern reactive coverstocks do. So, if the weight block had a minor effect and the coverstocks were weaker then the bowler's release and ball speed were more important then than now.

 

Modern reactive coverstocks create greater friction when the ball encounters a dry spot, be it the stripped back end of the lane, or a dried out track area, or the "free hook" that the typical house shot gives on the outer portion of the lane. The amount of friction can be "tuned" by the use of abrasives or polishing compounds, although it is illegal to do so during competition so the ball surface must be prepared in advance. With a reactive ball the difference between highly polished and 320-grit is enormous. Certainly much larger than applying the same treatment to polyester or rubber or even nonreactive urethane.

 

Modern weight block design (or the "core" of a modern ball) exerts a much larger influence on ball reaction than the old 3-piece standard ball design. The ball can skid less, hook sooner, and go into a roll earlier. Asymmetric core shapes  can roll very early. When bowlers are looking for more length/skid they move away from the most advanced core shapes and return to something featuring the old pancake weight block, usually modified with an extra "flip block" elsewhere in the ball.

 

To summarize, modern bowling balls offer a wider variety of reactions than equipment from the "old days". If you want to be competitive across different lane conditions you must learn how to adjust with equipment. There certainly is a need to make small adjustments with your delivery, but changing balls gives you more options. You change friction by using different coverstocks, and you change the shape of your hook by using different core designs and drilling layouts. Taken together, this creates a much wider range of ball reactions than you can generate with your delivery alone.

 

By the way, the typical house shot tends to reduce the impact of a ball change. Often the middle has such a puddle of oil that virtually every ball skids, and the outsides are so dry that even weak surfaces can read some friction. Under those conditions it is definitely possible to average quite high with minimal equipment changes. However, as the conditions become flatter and more challenging it becomes more important to have a ball that hooks in the correct part of the lane (not too early or too late), and one with controlled back end movement instead of maximum skid/flip.

brian1969

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1,238
Reply with quote  #15 

Quote:
By the way, the typical house shot tends to reduce the impact of a ball change. Often the middle has such a puddle of oil that virtually every ball skids, and the outsides are so dry that even weak surfaces can read some friction. Under those conditions it is definitely possible to average quite high with minimal equipment changes. However, as the conditions become flatter and more challenging it becomes more important to have a ball that hooks in the correct part of the lane (not too early or too late), and one with controlled back end movement instead of maximum skid/flip.

 

Our house never put out a THS. The guy that owned the place always put out a rather flat pattern, gutter to gutter. You had to hit your spot to do well. The only time he relaxed that was during the summer leagues. When the new owner took over, he continued that practice, at least he did when I was still bowling (I suspect he has changed, because of the honor scores I see in the paper, from people I used to bowl with...unless they got a helluva lot better, he's putting out a wall shot). And when I went to tournaments, they were either regionals or scratch tournaments, and except for one that I vividly recall, none of them had anything close to a house shot on them.

 

I've mentioned it before, but the old owner's philosophy was that by putting down a more challenging shot, he made us into better bowlers. And he did. When we went somewhere else to bowl, we usually blew them away. But I didn't have a lot of money as a high school kid/recent graduate, and so I taught myself to change hand positions, speed, etc. When I got older and could afford it, I still couldn't bring myself to spend a wad of money on bowling balls. I mean, it'd be one thing if I was making a living at it, but I wasn't, so I couldn't justify it.

 

In any case, thanks for explaining the reasoning. I think when I left the game (Feb 2001), we hadn't yet begun to see what you're talking about. We had the reactive coverstocks and they were just starting to get into the new weight block designs (they had been tinkering with them for a few years, but I don't think they had it down to a science yet).


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