My goodness gracious, this week's edition of PRODIGY sent me off on a wild goose chase for an explanation to some rules specifics that I probably never would have bothered to go to the trouble to find out about if it weren't for one of our viewers on YouTube posing a most interesting question.
I will quote what I wrote on YouTube in the comments:
Someone posting under the name *2TON* left a comment, which sent me off on a long journey to get an answer. But now, I can't find his comment anywhere. He apparently took it down. So let me quote him here. He wrote:
"Hey Randy, at 32:38 you said that throwing the ball with 2 hands placed on the ball while being thrown from the side would mean the shot wouldn't count, I was wondering if you could show where it says that in the rules..."
After reading his comment, I went looking for it in the rules and didn't have much more success than he did in finding it. It's kind of hidden in the rules. In fact, it isn't in the Playing Rules under "Legal Delivery." It's in the Equipment Specifications and requires a bit of mental gymnastics to unravel the meaning of a "Two-Handed Delivery" versus a "Two-Handed Approach." (They are different.)
So rather than trying to figure out what they meant, I got hold of someone in the Rules Department at USBC for the answer.
First of all, I didn't say such a delivery "wouldn't count." I said "it would not be a legal delivery." Which is true. Here's why:
Just like you can't switch from right-handed to left-handed in the same game (you have to establish a separate average with each hand for handicap purposes), you also can't switch from a Two-Handed Approach to a Two-Handed Delivery in the same game.
To understand why, you first have to know the difference between them.
According to USBC nomenclature, a "Two Handed Approach" is what Jason Belmonte does. It's what all the two-handers we know and love are doing. It's what little Josh Greenberg and Hunter Moffitt and Rowan Sautner are doing on PRODIGY. By definition, a "Two Handed Approach" is where the player has both hands on the ball through the approach, but then the non-dominant hand comes off the ball just before the player releases the ball with his dominant hand. The "Two-Handed Approach" is a ONE-HANDED RELEASE.
Then there is the "Two Handed Delivery." This is something altogether different. It's where a player releases the ball with both hands on it at release. It is a TWO-HANDED RELEASE. Where we see this most often is when a player rocks the ball between their legs with both hands and releases it from between their legs. In some cases, we see player release the ball from their chest, pushing the ball out on to the lane like a basketball pass. In most cases, a player does the "Two Handed Delivery" from the center of their body, from between their legs or from their chest. These two distinctly different styles are defined in the USBC's "Equipment Specifications" manual.
I noticed while doing the play-by-play (and before that while editing the video) that Josh occasionally gets his right hand so far around the side of the ball and doesn't release it until well into his follow-thru (upswing) that his left hand is still on it when his right hand releases it. By definition, when both hands come off the ball at the same time, it is a "Two Handed Delivery" (two-handed release).
And just like you can't switch from a right-handed to a left-handed delivery in the same game, you also can't switch from a one-handed release (Two Handed APPROACH) and a two-handed release (Two Handed DELIVERY) in the same game. It is a violation of the rules.
That's what I was trying to convey in my comment in the play-by-play that 2TON was asking about. It was a fair question, and I've spent the better part of the day chasing down this rather complicated answer. I wish he'd left his comment up so I could respond to it.
But hopefully he'll see it here.
When doing play-by-play, it's often very difficult to explain complex things, because the action is happening so fast, and you want to describe what's happening right now. This was one of those things that might have been better left unsaid, as my comment likely raised more questions than it answered. But at least it did give me the opportunity to chase down the answer in great detail and share it here.
Hopefully someone will find it interesting.
Anyway, here's this week's episode: