Improve your bowling without buying equipment

While owning your own bowling ball and shoes are almost a requirement to compete in bowling professionally, a person can still get pretty darn good at bowling without spending $200+ on a bowling ball and $100+ for shoes. This article will give you some simple and basic tips that, with practice, should give you an edge against most of your friends!

Before I give you tips, though, I think it will be helpful to know a few things about the bowling lane. A bowling lane is 60ft long, however the front pin is about 55ft away from the foul line. There are 39 boards on a lane, with the board closes to the gutter on your side being the 1 board, the center of the lane being the 20 board, and the board next to the gutter on the opposite side being the 39 board. There are arrows on the lane and these are 15 feet from the foul line. The foul line is the black line that you are instructed not to cross. If you cross it in competitive play you get a zero for that shot. You also don’t want to cross it during recreation play because there is oil on the lane (to protect the lane surface from the impact of bowling balls) and this oil can cause you to slip. The bowling pins are numbered as follows:

7  8  9  10

4  5  6

2  3


Other than what shoe size to choose, your first decision is what bowling ball to use off of the rack. Continue reading

Memorable Matches: Duke vs. Hoskins

The championship match of the 1998 Greater Rochester Open came down to Norm Duke, the top seed, and Steve Hoskins, the #2 seed. Hoskins, a powerful cranker, had thrown a lot of strikes in the semi-final match against Tim Criss, shooting 224, and appeared to be locked-in. Hoskins was the defending champion of the event, and he actually bowled a 300 in the same bowling alley on the TV finals of another bowling event that year. So, during the 1998 Greater Rochester Open, whenever Hoskins started a game with a strike, there was electricity in the air with the possibility Hoskins would attain perfection in consecutive years. The crowd was going nuts whenever Hoskins threw the ball, especially so if he struck.

Dressed all in black, Hoskins started the final match with the first 3 strikes in a row and it seemed as though it was going to be his day, Continue reading

Belmonte wins his 4th Masters title

Jason Belmonte, from New South Wales, Australia, defeated Michael Tang, from San Francisco, CA, 279 – 212 Sunday, February 26, 2017 to win his 4th USBC Masters title.

Both bowlers started the championship match with 2 straight strikes, but the third frame would prove to be a telling sign for how the match would play out. Continue reading

A Humble Suggestion

With the pros averaging in the 240s on a weekly basis, and with all of the 900 series being shot, I think it’s safe to assume that all bowlers consider this trend the most problematic facing our great sport. Everywhere you look, people are throwing strike after strike, even if they just learned how to bowl a few weeks prior. It’s gotten to a crisis point where strikes are much more common than spares and splits.

There have been many proposals about how to combat the scoring pace, including going back to older equipment, making the lane conditions more challenging, and even making the pins heavier. With all due respect to those ideas, I believe I am about to suggest an idea that is vastly superior to all that came before it. My idea, which I now humbly present to you, dear readers, is as follows. Continue reading

Chapter 3

I was now bowling any chance I could get. I loved going down to Sea Bowl and seeing if I could beat my high score. I used a seven-pound house ball and I threw it straight down the middle of the lane. One night I was doing really well, picking up a lot of spares, and I ended up bowling a 146 game, and that was my high score for a while.

As I was bowling one afternoon, my mom walked into the pro shop inside Sea Bowl, which was called Bowlers Connection, and asked the woman working inside if she offered lessons. She said she did, so my mom explained to her how I really loved bowling and wanted to be a pro bowler and my mom asked if she would be willing to watch me bowl and say whether or not I had a chance to be good. The woman said sure and followed my mom out to the lanes where I was bowling, and the woman instantly cringed. What she saw was a little kid who ran up to the lane and slid on his knees instead of his foot!

“So, what do you think?” my mom said. “Can he be good?”

“Only if he starts getting lessons now,” the woman replied.

The woman’s name was Teresa Fletcher (now Ross), and I started having lessons once a week with her, in addition to bowling in two leagues. The first order of business was not sliding on my knees, and this proved to be fairly difficult. I seem to recall believing that sliding on my knees allowed me to throw the ball faster, and staying on my feet didn’t feel as natural. But Teresa pointed to the bruises that were forming on my knees and that was proof enough that things needed to change.