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irishpogi

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Which sport or challenge patterns have you guys faced in either league or tournament play? You guys and gals have a favorite? If so, which pattern? How do you attack this pattern?
avabob

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I have bowled on many different tournament patterns.   It really all gets down to the length of the pattern.  Long patterns like Paris (47), Don Carter (50), and Badger ( 52) play similar to me.  Short patterns likewise.  Medium length patterns ( 38-42 ) can be the trickiest because the transitions can be so influenced by how guys attack them.   
mrbowling300

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbowling300
Michigan Scratch Bowling series is a great organization:  http://www.scratchbowling.com

Tom Smallwood won the tournament last night.  EJ Tacket also bowled in it.  

They put out a different sport pattern each tournament.

I usually try to figure out what to do during practice based on the tournament oil pattern graph that's posted.  
irishpogi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by avabob
I have bowled on many different tournament patterns.   It really all gets down to the length of the pattern.  Long patterns like Paris (47), Don Carter (50), and Badger ( 52) play similar to me.  Short patterns likewise.  Medium length patterns ( 38-42 ) can be the trickiest because the transitions can be so influenced by how guys attack them.   


This is true.  This is why I opt to play them directly and use as little head belly as possible.  
avabob

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Reply with quote  #5 
When you really think about it, very long patterns wont let you hook the ball a lot, and very short patterns are often unplayable if you try to hook the lane.  That leaves you with the medium length patterns, and they are the most likely to kill you in transition if you find some free hook out of the gate.  Best release for all patterns is a high rev rate, low axis rotation with some speed on the medium and shorter patterns.  Bottom line straighter is indeed greater. 
BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #6 

It had been over 30 years since the last time I'd bowled regularly when I got back in almost four years ago.  But for some odd reason, the first league I joined was a PBA Experience league, in which we bowled on the original five PBA animal patterns, Chameleon, Cheetah, Scorpion, Shark and Viper.  It was a Summer league, and I've come back and bowled in that Summer PBA Experience league each summer since, for a total of four times.  I've also bowled in quite a number of tournaments that have used a number of different Kegel and WTBA sport patterns.  And since I've been coaching the kids on Saturdays (and starting this season, becoming the Junior Director of our youth leagues at my local bowling center), I've helped the kids prepare for their monthly Junior Gold qualifiers which are always bowled on various sport patterns (usually WTBA patterns).  I certainly haven't bowled on all sport patterns, but I've bowled on enough different ones to get a pretty good idea of how to play most of them.

Can't say that I have a "favorite" one.  But I can say that over time, some patterns that I absolutely could not figure out how to play have become somewhat less of a mystery, and some that I bowled really well on at first have flummoxed me subsequently.  In the end, I think it comes down to being in stroke and being loose and confident.  If you are, you can bowl well on most anything.  If you're not, then you're in for a very long day.

One thing is certain:  As long as you fight the pattern, you won't have much success.  Just like a good offense in football "takes what the defense gives them," the smart bowler takes what the lane gives him and doesn't try to go against the grain of what's there.

I've won tournaments on short oil (Sunset Strip) playing out by the edge, and I've won tournaments on long oil (Badger) playing about 1 board of break, going straight up 16.  I can tell you that I'm more comfortable on short oil, and I absolutely love playing the gutter.  But I've learned that there's a mindset you must adopt when playing on any difficult pattern, a mindset of patience that informs you not to panic when things don't go well because you know that others will struggle, too.  It's a mindset that allows you to play for the occasional double, knowing that spares are at a premium, and doubles will help you get healthy in a hurry, and one good game can leapfrog you past a whole lot of players.

Patience might just be the single most important asset a player can have when bowling on a sport pattern.

irishpogi

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowlingOldies

It had been over 30 years since the last time I'd bowled regularly when I got back in almost four years ago.  But for some odd reason, the first league I joined was a PBA Experience league, in which we bowled on the original five PBA animal patterns, Chameleon, Cheetah, Scorpion, Shark and Viper.  It was a Summer league, and I've come back and bowled in that Summer PBA Experience league each summer since, for a total of four times.  I've also bowled in quite a number of tournaments that have used a number of different Kegel and WTBA sport patterns.  And since I've been coaching the kids on Saturdays (and starting this season, becoming the Junior Director of our youth leagues at my local bowling center), I've helped the kids prepare for their monthly Junior Gold qualifiers which are always bowled on various sport patterns (usually WTBA patterns).  I certainly haven't bowled on all sport patterns, but I've bowled on enough different ones to get a pretty good idea of how to play most of them.

Can't say that I have a "favorite" one.  But I can say that over time, some patterns that I absolutely could not figure out how to play have become somewhat less of a mystery, and some that I bowled really well on at first have flummoxed me subsequently.  In the end, I think it comes down to being in stroke and being loose and confident.  If you are, you can bowl well on most anything.  If you're not, then you're in for a very long day.

One thing is certain:  As long as you fight the pattern, you won't have much success.  Just like a good offense in football "takes what the defense gives them," the smart bowler takes what the lane gives him and doesn't try to go against the grain of what's there.

I've won tournaments on short oil (Sunset Strip) playing out by the edge, and I've won tournaments on long oil (Badger) playing about 1 board of break, going straight up 16.  I can tell you that I'm more comfortable on short oil, and I absolutely love playing the gutter.  But I've learned that there's a mindset you must adopt when playing on any difficult pattern, a mindset of patience that informs you not to panic when things don't go well because you know that others will struggle, too.  It's a mindset that allows you to play for the occasional double, knowing that spares are at a premium, and doubles will help you get healthy in a hurry, and one good game can leapfrog you past a whole lot of players.

Patience might just be the single most important asset a player can have when bowling on a sport pattern.



You raise some great points here Randy as far as playing where the lane is telling you. You hear people state that there's a preferred place to play on different sport patterns.  You also hear folks state that the rule of 31 meaning you'd need to subtract 31 from the length of the pattern to determine where the ball should be at the end of the pattern or breakpoint.  Some times we forget that lane topography influences how we should attack a pattern.  If there's a cliff on the outside boards, they can create a hang spot.  What do you do in the case of a short sport pattern with funky topography?
BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #8 

Even the people that discovered and first articulated the "Rule of 31," i.e., Kegel, will tell you that it is only a guide that's intended to get you pointed in the right direction.  Indeed, lane topography (another area in which Kegel has been one of the leading pioneers in researching) and other factors (such as temperature, humidity, type of oil used, etc.) can all influence ball motion.  But the basic "Rule of 31" is a good starting point.  From there, any player is going to have to tweak his line.  Further, as bowling is very much an environmental sport, a player's line can often be greatly influenced not only by where the oil was first laid down (fresh oil), but by the traffic on the lane (how the oil has been displaced by players before him on the lane).  WHERE players have played on the lane (and hence, picked up some of the oil) can greatly influence ball motion; even more so, WHO has played (and their rev rate and amount of surface they're using on their ball) can also profoundly influence the amount of oil that gets displaced.

Quote:
irishpogi wrote:  What do you do in the case of a short sport pattern with funky topography?

Generally speaking, a short pattern is going to demand an outside line.  This often seems counter-intuitive given how much the ball wants to hook.  But the truth about short oil is this:  Let's take a 35 foot pattern.  35-31=4, so the Rule of 31 says you want the ball around board 4 at the 35 foot mark.  That's out there near the edge.  But when you encounter a situation like the one you've described with the hang spot, it might seem like if you miss to the right a board, the ball wants to hang and it never recovers to make the corner.  Indeed, very few bowlers will have the cajones to play out by the mote like that, so you're frequently not going to get the traffic out there that you might get if the shot was around the 2nd arrow, where most players are comfortable playing.  Indeed, most players are going to play around the 2nd arrow regardless of where the shot actually is.  Without the traffic to burn up a track out by the ditch, it's easy to perceive a little "hang spot" out there.  You really have to be careful with speed and loft or you'll throw it through the break, like hitting a breaking putt in golf too hard so that the ball doesn't take the break.  Same difference.

The temptation is to move left with your feet and get away from that hang area.  The problem with doing this on short oil is that the farther left you move, the less margin for error you give yourself.  On a 35 foot pattern, the ball is going to start breaking at 35 feet, whether it's on the 4 board or the 14 board.  And it's going to hook roughly the same number of boards in the last 25 feet, whether the hook begins at 4 or 14.  Now, the amount it hooks may be dictated by a number of factors, from rev rate to hand position to speed to loft to axis rotation and...well, you get the picture.  The player can affect the amount of hook he gets by physical intervention and ball selection.  But make no mistake, on short oil, the ball is going to have more lane on which it reads friction, more lane on which to hook.  So when you move inside with your feet and eyes and have the ball exit the pattern farther and farther toward the middle of the lane instead of out by the edge, you're really asking for trouble.  On a 35 foot pattern, the ball is going to start hooking 25 feet from the pins whether you've given it enough room to hook or not.  If there aren't enough boards between the ball and the pocket when the ball exits the pattern, the ball is going to miss the pocket to the left (for a right-hander).  There's just no margin for error.

Think of it this way:  In golf, when a player misses a breaking putt on the low side, he's said to have missed it on "the amateur side," while if he misses it on the high side, he's said to have missed it on "the professional side."  Why do they say this?  Because as long as the ball is on the high side of the hole, it still has a chance to break toward the hole.  But once the ball has broken to the low side of the hole, gravity is no longer your friend.  The ball is not going to break uphill to the hole.  It has no chance.  Similarly in bowling, once the ball has broken past the pocket toward the nose or Brooklyn, it ain't coming back.  But if the ball is still breaking toward the pocket, you still have a chance to tick the head pin and get a light shaker strike.  Generally speaking, it's better to miss right (for a right-hander) where the ball still has a chance to get there than to miss high or left, where the ball has already passed its intended destination.  It ain't comin' back.

Personally, I've found that the smarter play is to just go straighter with a soft "no grab" release, playing more with the boards rather than bellying the ball out to the right.  This way you minimize, to the extent you can, the risk of throwing it out to the hang spot, while at the same time reducing the tendency to overhook.  Two schools of thought here.  I usually go with weak equipment.  I have a ball specifically drilled for this condition.  It's a Ride (pretty weak cover and weight block), drilled pin down so it doesn't flip too hard on the back.  But there are others who prefer to go with a lot of surface when playing short oil.  Surface tends to smooth out the over/under when going from wet to dry.  I've found this effective at times as well.

Bottom line is, regardless of one's equipment choices, bowling on sport patterns comes down to execution.  If you can't hit what you're looking at, and if you can't make a consistent release time after time, you're in for a very long day at the bowling alley.

mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #9 
The most success I've had on sport patterns, besides taking what the lane gives you, is making your spares.  I've seen so many players who end up shooting sub 160 scores on sport because they simply can't make spares.  Sometimes, all it takes is 190 to make a cut, even when there's professional caliber bowlers in the field, as is the case in many of these scratch tournaments in the Detroit area. 

This Saturday will be my first senior bowling tournament.  They will be using a 41' pattern, C-Tower of Pisa  http://www.kegel.net/v3/PatternLibraryPattern.aspx?ID=841

This is the website for the organization:  http://www.ssopen.org/


Fordman

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have tried sports patterns in summers leagues 2-3 times.  Spares are harder than strikes.  Unless you are used to throwing straight at all of them.
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mystrsyko

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Reply with quote  #11 
I've played on pretty much all of Kegel's patterns and the WTBA patterns from around 2010-2012. Out of all of them, I've only been able to figure one out, the 47' Paris pattern. For me at least, most sport patterns play really "light", as in volume, even with the longer length. For example, my strategy on Paris is to use my weakest resin ball which is set up to skid-snap. I play around 3rd to 4th arrow, and alternate making 1-1 and 1-2 moves left every 4 frames like clockwork. That's because after a half game or so, the same line will begin to over hook for me as the oil breaks down, and for some reason I can just move left and keep my break point where it is and it works. I don't really know why that works, because it's basically just a house pattern strategy, but it works for me, and during my summer sport leagues, practically everyone else in the league would struggle greatly so I was usually in the top 5 bowlers on those nights.

As for vague, general advice you can apply to all patterns, I have to constantly remind myself to play where the oil is. It's so easy to over hook through the nose trying to avoid the out-of-bounds strip on the outer boards, so it's usually a disadvantage to use aggressive equipment. I often find myself needing to take my urethane gear with so I'll have something I can play somewhat straighter with in case the resin stuff won't match up well in the oil.

Also, Fordman is absolutely right about spares. You cannot at all try to make spares in the same manner as you would on house patterns or you will miss a great deal of them. There is a reason nearly every pro throws arrow straight at their spares with either a plastic or urethane ball. It's already hard enough trying to figure the oil out on your first ball, there's no reason to make yourself have to do the same for your spares as well. Plus, throwing plastic hard and straight has almost no affect on the way the pattern breaks down, unlike trying to curve a reactive at them.

Another comment about spares: most bowlers have no idea how often they actually miss their spares. On a house pattern, you can expect to shoot at 3-5 spares per game, but on sport conditions that can be 6-9 per game. Making 75% of your spares on house conditions is easy to ignore, but when your non-strike count doubles that's an additional 1 or 2 open frames per game. In the wrong places, missed spares will turn a house shot 220 into a sport shot 170. Spares are absolutely critical on sport conditions, and the bowlers who score well will be the ones who cover their spares the best.
avabob

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Reply with quote  #12 
Randy gives some very good advice.  Biggest problem I see is that there is another issue to playing outside for most bowlers who aren't old codgers like Randy and me.  Most modern players have head belly built in to their release.  However the best guys outside are able to square up quite a bit.  Like Randy I have had great luck on both really short and really long patterns.  I suspect it is because we both can control our arms swings in terms of out angle.  Unlike most young guys I build in a little right drift in my approach when I get inside, and my real comfort zone is often inside 3rd arrow.  People around here think my best game is outside ( Norm Duke type of corner shot ), but 80% of the tournaments I have won, and the best bowling I have done over the last 3 years has been between 3rd and 4th arrow.
Chipper

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Reply with quote  #13 
Sport shots are tough.  This past summer I got back into humbling myself with sport patterns when coaching teens.  My hardest part was simply getting the ball to read the lane, and I had the "best" look (if you can call it that) on the US Open pattern.  The other Kegel patterns I couldn't hit at all (if I remember right, "Middle of the Road", "Winding Road" and some other ones).  There's a reason these "serious" bowlers drag like six balls to tournaments.  When you only have or bring one or two, you better hope one is the correct one and you can get your body to line up or forget it.  It just shows how good the pros REALLY are. [smile]
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irishpogi

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordman
I have tried sports patterns in summers leagues 2-3 times.  Spares are harder than strikes.  Unless you are used to throwing straight at all of them.


I have found spare shooting on house shots more difficult especially those of the 2-4-5 variety.  If anyone has seen me bowl, I am a stroker who doesn't hook it much.  That puddle of oil we see in house shots make left hand spares very difficult.  I always found spare shooting easier on sport patterns due to their flatter ratio.  The 3-6-9 rule applies. 
irishpogi

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by avabob
Randy gives some very good advice.  Biggest problem I see is that there is another issue to playing outside for most bowlers who aren't old codgers like Randy and me.  .


I'm not too far behind you guys.  Some think I'm an old codger too.  That's what my aching body tells me.
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