Understanding Bowling Ball Motion

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USBC Gold Coach Lou Marquez and USBC Director of Coaching Stephen Padilla increase our understanding of bowling ball motion and provide pointers on how to make your game stronger.

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28 Comments on “Understanding Bowling Ball Motion”

  1. This is about the best video I’ve seen, for explaining and demonstrating axis of rotation. Seeing the circle follow the axis tape as the ball progresses down the lane makes the concept very clear. Thanks!

  2. Very informative. I’m a newbie so I am just learning about oil, skid, ball motion, and different parts of the lane. I have lot’s more to learn. Thanks a lot!

  3. really good video. Some of the terms don’t jive with their physics definitions, but that’s a minor point.

  4. Kudos to the producers. A suggestion if I may, apologies if already covered. Please consider adding illustrations of early and late transitions. Also, to use compare and contrast principles, add a side by side split or overlay display.Using a SOLID color ball might also help discerning the PAP but your software circle around the PAP was EXCELLENT.If you can dig up a “clear” ball with a weight block, that would also be a great teaching tool.Also, consider CGI illustrations, Ball companies might also consider this.Again if this has already been done, great! I’ve been away from the sport for a long time …This video is a good example of what the USBC can do to educate bowlers.Cheers!

    1. The clear ball idea is neat, but that is kinda impossible or hard to do with modern resin material. It can be done with plastic but you won’t see as much hook as with a resin coverstock.

  5. In Sacramento there usta be an alley called Alhambra Lanes. Not only could you drop kick the ball between the 4 and 12 board and hit the pocket,but the PINS were 3.2.Also,the side boards were made of the springiest wood there is.I hit 8 300’s there. None of ’em counted. Fun for the ego,however.

  6. I really enjoy bowling and developed a high level of skill at one time but now it’s so hard to get lane time around here … with all the leagues and glow and laser bowling all the time. We had 2 facilities here up until a few years back but now we only have 1 …the sad thing is the better of the 2 shut down.

  7. I’m an EXTREMELY casual bowler. I’ve bowled a few games before when I was like , but those were YEARS ago. I’ve started bowling every weekend with my family at our local bowling alley (about to get a pro shop), sadly I haven’t been able to get my own equipment since I’m saving up for other things. However, my dad had bowling balls of his own from 10 or so years ago in great condition that he used when he was in a league team with my grandparents and others. Fits my hand pretty good. I think the highest he got was in the 250s. To my memory and knowledge, I’ve gone up to 120 or 130. I plan to bowl consistently 2-3 games every week starting last week and have just bowled my first 100 in a while on my sixth game, so I think I’m doing pretty good for my first time bowling in years. I’m 16 right now and I’m considering getting a league team started with some of friends or family, and also joining my high school’s bowling team. I’m VERY basic with my style, though. I’ve tried spinning once, and it worked pretty well. Got a spare out of it. Normally I just go straight on so I can try to get as many spares as possible and get a feel for my accuracy and flexibility. I’m thinking next time I go to the bowling alley that I will try to do some extra stuff for at least one game, maybe two. I’m pretty sure my average is about 87, so nothing to boast, but I’m proud of myself and hope to get better throughout the year and maybe even years. So far, I’ve bowled 6 games in the past week. My scores range from 76 to 100, 76 being my lowest and 100 being my highest as of when I made this comment.

    If you read this, let me know if I should keep continuing to bowl straight on instead of trying to go for the pocket (I’m right handed, so right side of the #1 pin). I think that spares are more important to focus on as a beginner than strikes. You can still get pretty high scores, especially for me, just by going for spares. My accuracy is fairly good I’d say, and I try not to go too light on the in-house balls or too heavy. I want that balance of control and power, but more focus on control. This a fun sport to play not just casually, but competitively. I’m surprised I never thought about bowling until now because it intrigues me so much now. I’m hoping I will end up bowling around 120-150 by the end of next month in August or some time in September..

  8. One thing they didn’t mention is that the bowlers in the video were probably using finger grips and not standard drilled holes for their ring and middle fingers. I have the standard holes and it’s harder to hook the ball. I’m working on it though. It’s about the release. When using a standard ball your fingers are deeper in the ball and it changes the way it rolls off your hand. I think it can be done with the standard ball too, I just need to practice at it. I should have gotten the finger tips but I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to grip the ball as well. Maybe next time.

    1. The fingertip is a much more natural grip on the ball and allows a cleaner more powerful release to get the ball into the hook and roll phases. I switches my kids to fingertip at 8 yrs old…they loved it.

  9. After thirty odd years of hacking for fun with house balls I finally decided to get serious and have a ball drilled reactive to suit me. Wow!! I had to learn all over again. Amazing how difficult it has been to get my swing and steps right. At this stage I don’t think about strikes at all, but learning to hook the ball where I want it to go. Very satisfying even if I get just two good bowls out of ten frames!

    1. It really does take a while, Iโ€™ve been bowling that way for almost 10 years & I still havent learned how to be consistent lol I got some great tips this year so Iโ€™m still hoping for my 1st 300

  10. Great video…I have learned so much from you guys. I am going to buy the best used Asymmetrical ball from my pro, and ask him to drill this ball the most violent that he can. After this, I’m going to buy an Asymmetrical ball that is new. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you again ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  11. The editing at 7:54 with the yellow, green, and pink rings showing the ball flaring and transitioning to rolling is brilliant!

  12. Well yeah this is just about the one thing that you always want to keep in mind here in the process of lane play

  13. I throw 2 handed very slow but have an insane amount of hook
    Legit gotta do what the pros do to even get to the left side from the right

  14. I do want to understand ball motion and when some people say in early roll and late roll, I’m guessing an early roll would be it starts to roll in the center of the hooking phase not at the end of the hook and phase and certain people want a ball with early role and late and late role would be probably like one foot after the hooking phase where it’s supposed to roll but it rolls like two or three seconds late. It’s interesting because this can determine where to move on the lane move over and shoot in between one and two 15 and 20 board because I’m a right-hander. I hope I can find a video of that can explain adjustments that people can make if the ball is rolling early or late

    1. Great question! The โ€˜Ask an Expertโ€™ section is currently for members of our online community. I would be happy to send your question off to the experts. To get started, please send the email associated with your paid membership account. Thanks!

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