Friday, May 31, 2013

beginner bowling tips and basics


learn beginner bowling tips

Bowling is something that just about anyone can play and learn with just a little bit of practice and instruction. You do not have to a professional and understand all the technical terms and rules to have a great time.

If you aspire to move to the professional or competitive level than at that point you will want to learn a bit more about the game. Here are some compiled bowling tips and techniques and useful info for you to become a better bowler...

Bowling Basics

Hitting the Pocket

Bowling is an indoor sport in which an individual rolls a ball down a wooden floor in an attempt to knock over as many of the ten pins as possible.

If you look closely at the wooden floor you will notice that the individual boards are different. This is because they are a measured distance apart to help with the aiming and picking up spares; this becomes a great aid in more serious games and it is quite helpful if you just understand the system.

The lane is made up of 39 boards that are 42 inches wide. The closest pin to the front is known as the head pin and carries the number 1. The goal of the game of course is to knock down as many pins as possible on your two attempts at rolling the ball.

A good angle to take is what is known as the "pocket".

The pocket method for right-handed people is when the ball is aimed to roll between the #1 and #3 pins (or just to the right of the head pin). If you are left-handed however, the ball is aimed to roll between the #1 and the #2 pins (or just to the left of the head pin).

The illustration above shows the direction and numbering of the bowling pins in a ten-pin bowling set up. If you hit the #1 pin directly in the middle, you will probably end up with some pins standing.

To avoid that, you need to move slightly to the side that you are aiming for so that the pocket angle can be widened a bit. For example, if you were right handed you would want to move a bit to the right hand side (opposite for left-handers).

The ball must come in contact with at least 4 pins for bowling a strike. For a right-handed bowler, a strike would need to hit the #1, #3, #5 and #9 pins (#1, #2, #5 and #8 pins for left-handers). Those pins will then take care of the rest.

How to Play Bowling

If you're a newbie bowler, sometimes hitting the alley can be a little intimidating. It can seem like everyone has been bowling longer than you have. Also, in many places, the bowling alley has its own little community talking its own language and lingo that may sound like Greek when you're the new kid on the block.

So can you start to fit in?

Take a little time to learn some common bowling terms, and soon no one will be able to tell you didn't know your break point from your foul line a few weeks ago.

There are several bowling rules a bowler should know as well as information of technique that can make your bowling experience more enjoyable and successful.

The most important rules in bowling have to do with scorekeeping. All games have rules, and bowling is not an exception. There are several restrictions and guidelines that need to be followed if you want to be a bowler.

The bowling rules of scorekeeping should be followed exactly especially if you are learning to become a competitive bowler. They are also essential to the game of bowling. It would not seem that keeping score is the most relevant and important part of bowling, but in fact, knowledge of how the score is kept as well as what is going on, may change how you play the game.

Three strikes in a row are known as a Turkey, and additional strikes after that are known as a four-bagger or five-bagger. A perfect game is 300 points and indicates that the bowler has bowled 12 strikes in a row.

Each pin has a number associated with it to indicate where it is placed in the configuration. For example, the most difficult configuration to knock down is a 7/10 split. This represents the two outer most pins remaining after the first throw.

Another one of the most important bowling rules is to use the proper technique for bowling. Primarily, there are a couple of simple moves that will improve your bowling skills. They are bowling rules of posture, pressure and release and by perfecting your technique you can improve your skills as well as protect your body from injury.

Perhaps it sounds ridiculous, but concentration on your bowling can really help when you are trying to get that high score. Re-think the physical bowling rules, and then envision your ball rolling down the lane towards a perfect strike. If you're a beginner, or still feel like a beginner even after many years of bowling, you may find this bowling guide helpful.

Bowling Balls

Why you should own one...

If you are just beginning, it is likely that you do not have your own bowling ball. The bowling alley has a variety of balls to choose from that range in size and weight.

When in the bowling alley you will hear the term "house ball". The house ball simply refers to bowling balls that are provided by the alley. The balls on the racks are color coded by weight, which ranges from 6 to 16 pounds.

Most bowling alleys have what is called a smart ball that allows you to determine the size and weight of bowling ball that will best suit you. The smart ball functions as a guide and has a series of holes for you to try out.

After giving the smart ball a try, the clerk can assist you in getting the appropriate ball. Most players will try different weights of bowling balls until they find one that they are most comfortable with.

Most bowling balls have a series of three holes drilled in them. This is for the thumb, ring finger and middle finger to grip the ball appropriately. This grip will allow you to have a good solid hold on the ball.

After you have become comfortable with the sport, you may decide to buy your own bowling ball to ensure a good start every time.

Bowling balls come in a variety of colors and most can be personalized with whatever you like. Some bowlers that play on teams or in leagues will have their initials monogrammed on the ball or some type of identifying logo.

If you will be bowling frequently, it is recommended that you purchase your own bowling ball. You can get advice from experts or do research online on choosing a bowling ball for yourself. This way you can get comfortable with one ball and not worry about getting a different ball every time you visit the alley.

You might want to try out a few different weights to see how you do with them. To do this, a player should lift the ball and if it is a struggle, try a lighter weight. If the ball is too heavy, a person risks injury or strain. Make sure that the ball is comfortable and you can get a good grip and roll away.

Take Care of Your Bowling Ball

...and the ball will take care of your game!

The conditions of the lane can wear on your bowling ball after a while. In order for you to be able to perform well consistently, your ball must be in good condition. There are a couple of ways to do this.

First, you should store your bowling ball in a container that keeps it safe and free of damage. Secondly, a ball spinner is a good investment. The spinners can assist you in cleaning, sanding and polishing your bowling ball. Spinners run anywhere from $300 up to $2000 dollars, just whatever your pocket book can afford.

Keeping your bowling ball clean can reduce the need for sanding. If you keep the dirt and oil removed, you can keep the ball from becoming scratched and giving unpredictable results. When the ball is dirty, it can reduce friction and cause undesired consequences.

The reason for sanding your bowling ball is to remove imbedded dirt and scratches that occur over time. When the bowling ball rolls down the lane, it picks up oil and dirt, which can scratch the surface and reduce performance. Also if the ball is scratched it can lead to an inconsistent game. As with anything else it is important to take care of your equipment.

Polishing your bowling ball will help with the skid on lane conditions that are drier. Plus it makes the ball shiny and new looking! Aside from the aesthetic value though, polishing really does increase the performance of the ball and is recommended.

There are a number of cleaners sold on the market that can help you keep your ball free of dirt and oil. It is recommended that you clean your ball after every time of use. While it may seem excessive to clean the ball after your game, it is well worth it.

Your bowling ball is a performance piece of equipment and does not come cheap. So the best way to improve your game is to maintain your equipment properly. If you are unsure of which product to use, the best method is to ask someone from the bowling alley or an avid bowler.

Bowling Shoes

Why you need to wear them...

Bowling shoes are perhaps not what you want your first date to see you in. There seems to be something about these shoes that is just not flattering to most people, especially the recreational bowler.

Many people express concern about wearing shoes that others have worn before them. There is of course nothing to fear, the bowling alley disinfects the shoes after every use, and to be on the safe side; giving them a spray of your own before you put them on is not such a bad idea.

Bowling shoes are made with a leather sole that allows you to slide when you are releasing the ball. This is very important to your release and builds the momentum of the ball. Without these sliding soles, your normal shoes would catch on the floor, and either mess up or shot or pitch you right over on your face.

The bowling shoes also help preserve the bowling lanes and keep them in working order. The soles on the shoes do not scuff up the lanes the way normal shoes would; if normal shoes were allowed, the lanes would eventually have grooves and digs in them that would disrupt the way the balls roll.

One of the keys to bowling is the ability to slide and to allow the ball to release and naturally flow. If you are unable to slide or loose your footing, you will not roll a good ball.

Many people wish to bowl in their socks, which is not allowed in most bowling alleys due to safety issues. The approach areas are sometimes slippery and it is best to wear the recommended shoes.

If you don't want to use the shoes provided in the bowling alley, you can click here for tips on buying and using your own bowling shoes.

Do You Need to Practice Your Bowling?

Of Course! Just A Reminder For You. :-)

Everyone has heard the old saying, "practice makes perfect". This saying is just as true for bowling as for anything else. The more you practice, the more you will experience the different aspects of the game and learn tricks to bowl a better game.

Practice will allow you to learn from your mistakes. Many times players must experiment with a variety of balls, grips and approaches before they are comfortable. It takes a little while to find what is most comfortable and works best for each individual.

Bowling is no different than any other sport in that you learn from your mistakes and discover what works well through experiencing and encountering different situations.

Therefore you should practice as much as possible. If you want to become a better bowler, you should hit the bowling alley every chance you get. It is best to join a league and stay involved. You cannot expect to get good at bowling if you never go!

Do not fall into a rut and only use one shot. A good bowling game will consist of not only delivering the ball in different manners, but also by means of different approaches. If you only roll straight balls, it will be very difficult to have a good score.

Most people are not naturally good at every shot that there is in bowling, but with practice you can improve. If you can learn to use a combination of shots, you will improve your score greatly.

How to practice bowling?

Bowling's Most Difficult Shots to Make

Picking Up Spares / Splits

Of the many different combinations of pins that can make up a bowling shot, some are more difficult than others, and there are a few that strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned bowlers.

Bowling shots are commonly referred to by the pin numbers of the pins that are standing when the bowler is attempting his shot.

For example, a 1-3 is when the bowler is attempting to knock down the front pin and the one behind it on the right, and a 1-2-4-7 is when the leftmost pins on each row are standing in a line.

One shot that is a relatively difficult one to make is a 10 for a left-handed person, or a 7 for a right handed person. As this shot consists of a single pin on the same side as the bowler's throwing hand, it allows for very little leeway in the shot due to the close proximity of the pin to the gutter. The ball should be thrown in a straight line across the alley to hit the pin.

When a bowler is attempting a second shot, and there is a gap between some of the pins, this is known as a "split". While no split is easy, there are some that are extremely difficult even for top professional bowlers.

In fact, there are two splits that are considered the most difficult shots in bowling, one of which is the 3-6-7-10 split. In a nutshell, this shot consists of three pins lined up on the right, and a single pin in the back left corner. The best way to attempt this shot is to hit between the 3 and 6, and hope that one of them will travel across the lane and pick up the 7 pin, while either the 6 pin or the ball knocks down the number 10.

But the granddaddy of them all, the 7-10 split, is when the two back corners are left standing, and it is considered a rare treat when a split like this is picked up. Some bowlers have a favorite technique that they try when faced with a situation like this, but most people just try to hit one of the pins really hard in an attempt to cause it to bounce across the lane and hit the other pin.

The most difficult shots in bowling can be frustrating, but with some practice, one can become adept at making them from time to time. It is shots like these that keep the game challenging and interesting and if bowling was too easy, then it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Knowing how to pick up splits/spares will improve your bowling score greatly. If you want diagrams and video tutorials, here is a spare-shooting guide that shows you how to convert spares.

Bowling Magazines

Stay informed

A good way to stay up on the sport and new products is to subscribe to a bowling magazine. There are many magazines to choose from and most are relatively inexpensive.

Not only do the magazines offer new product information, but also information on tournaments and charity events. And there are numerous articles and tips to help improve your game.

One of the best methods for learning something new is listening to someone that has experience. The best way to find someone at a professional level is through magazines. Most of us will not have a chance to walk up to a professional and ask a question, so the magazine is as close as we can get.

Here is a list of good bowling magazines:

· Bowling Journal International
· Bowling This Month
· Bowling World
· Bowling Digest

Quick Tip: Try Inserts

Improving Your Performance!

Inserts are placed in the finger holes of the bowling ball to improve the grip and your ability to hold the ball. Inserts come in a variety of styles and colors and can improve your comfort level while bowling.

The advantages of inserts are increased comfort level as well as increased grip on the ball. If you put inserts in all of your bowling balls, they will have the same feel, thus assisting you with some level of consistency when you switch between balls.

Inserts are not for everyone; some bowlers complain that they feel like their fingers sometimes hang. If this happens, you can try a different style of insert, or simply not use them at all. As with any other bowling equipment, you may need to try different styles until you find the one that is most suited for you.

Earnings for Professional Bowlers

Most of the professionals have a love for the game and therefore spend most of their time either practicing or following the tour. At the professional level, there is considerable competition and many of the players make their living by bowling.

When it comes time for the tournament, they are all work and no play. They bowl just like others present themselves in a professional manner for work on a daily basis.

As reported by the PBA tour's site, earnings for professional bowlers ranged from $131,000 to $1800. Professional bowlers can make a very decent living by putting their skills to work on the lanes.

Museum of Bowling History

The International Bowling Museum is an excellent place to learn a bit about the history of bowling and some of the people that helped the sport along.

The museum is located in St. Louis MO. and is a 50,000 square foot building. There are displays from bowling found in ancient times to the more recent past. Bowling equipment and apparel are also on display. There are tributes to many bowlers that have helped shape the game that we know and understand today.

This is a great way to study the history of bowling and really get a good look at how the sport has evolved over the years. It is a good educational opportunity for the entire family. There is something for everyone in the museum and you are guaranteed to learn something.

Bowling Fun and Knowledge

Did you know?

  • Bowling pins were originally made of hard rock, maple and pine.
  • The height and circumference of the bowling pin is the same, they are both 15 inches.
  • The #5 pin is referred to as the "king pin", because it is protected by the king and all of his men.
  • When the #7 and #10 pin is split, it is referred to as a goal posts or bedposts.
  • 11 balls are needed to complete a game of 10 pins. This includes 9 strikes and an open ball going into the 10th frame.
  • There are 60 feet from the foul line to the head pin, and 63 feet to the pit.
  • In 1998 a new gold colored pin was introduced. This pin was heavier and thought to decrease the number of strikes.
  • The largest bowling center in the world is in Japan. It has 141 lanes.
  • In 1936 bowling was introduced into the Olympic games in Germany.
  • Snoopy from the cartoon Peanuts used "Joe Sandbagger" for his bowling name.
  • The Waterbufflo's was the name of the team that Fred and Barney bowled on in the cartoon "The Flintstones".
  • King Henry VIII outlawed bowling, citing: it was gambling, too much time was spent on bowling and bowling was only a privilege of the upper classmen.
  • There is a man featured in "Ripley's Believe or Not" that can balance a bowling ball on his chin.
  • The highest that bowling balls can be stacked on top of one another is 11 high. This is featured in "Ripley's Believe it or Not".

Quick Tip: Think Positive

The game is 90% mental

What you tell yourself has a great impact on how you play and even on how you feel. "Self talk" is very important in how you see yourself.

If you carry yourself as unconfident and keep your head down, others will likely view you in the same light, therefore treating you in that manner. If you are confident and have a positive attitude, you will likely succeed.

When you miss a pin or do not make a strike, do not tell yourself how stupid you are. Otherwise, you will eventually believe what you are telling yourself.

Realize and understand that it is impossible for anyone to be perfect. Everyone has days in which they perform better than others. So don't be so hard on yourself, tell yourself that you are a good sport and are doing your best.

You will be surprised that how much better you feel when you pump yourself up rather than beating your head on the wall. So, strengthening your mental game can help improve your bowling game.

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