Article Contents

  • 1. When is the best time to throw shiny pearl balls? Using these balls on high friction...
    • 1.1. Response time
    • 1.2. Lane conditions also have a response time
    • 1.3. The over/under dilemma
    • 1.4. When to use polished pearls
  • 2. Here in Michigan, a new oil pattern is being used for the 2023-2024 regional and...
    • 2.1. Pattern length
    • 2.2. Pattern taper
    • 2.3. Reverse brush drop
    • 2.4. What do we really know?
    • 2.5. The oil itself
    • 2.6. The lanes
    • 2.7. Answering the question

In this recurring feature, I answer questions from Bowling This Month readers. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below so I can address them in a future installment of Coach, I’ve Got a Question!

When is the best time to throw shiny pearl balls? Using these balls on high friction lanes or even in transition can result in an extremely flippy ball motion that is difficult to control, despite the fact that these balls are advertised as being better at handling friction. So, what is the specific scenario in which these balls may come into play?

It’s worth examining this question by stepping away from the “shiny pearl” terminology. Oftentimes, these balls are marketed for drier lanes because they tend to hook less, and that’s especially true for lower-end performance balls with weaker core and coverstock combinations. But this does not take into account the full reaction characteristics of the bowling ball.

Response time

Instead, let’s look at this in terms of “response time.” I was introduced to this concept by Rick Benoit, and it put words to things I’d been seeing in ball motion that I wasn’t sure how to describe. Aside from ranking them by how much hook they produce, bowling balls can be classified by their response time to friction, with more angular balls being “quicker” off the dry and smoother shapes being the result of a “slower” response to friction. In BTM’s ball reviews, the torque rating is a measure of how angular the ball is at the breakpoint.

All other things equal, sanded balls tend to have a slower response to friction, but more traction in oil, which gives them a more rounded shape than balls that are less dull or polished. The same ball sanded at 1000 grit ...

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Tyrel Rose

About Tyrel Rose

Tyrel Rose is Bowling This Month's Director of Content. He is also currently the Head Coach for Team Canada, with over 20 years of experience coaching bowlers of all levels. Tyrel is an NCCP Competition Development level and USBC Bronze Certified coach, and a former Canadian national champion.