Coach, I’ve Got a Question! – October 2022


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!

In the last of three games [of a tournament], one of my teammates kept hooking his ball high into the headpin. This went on for about five or six frames. Then he struck out the rest of the game. I asked him what he changed and he didn’t change anything. Can you explain this?

This is perhaps the best example of how quickly lanes can change, and how sometimes all we need is a bit of patience to let the lanes come to us. Without knowing anything else about the pattern or equipment being thrown, I can still try to give an explanation of what likely happened.

The ball was likely hooking high due to being overresponsive to the friction at the back ends. This often happens with quicker-response bowling balls such as polished pearls being used too early in transition on medium to lighter oil, or when changing lanes during a tournament.

On heavier or longer oil, these balls tend to over-skid and the sharp back end motion is lost. However, with a bit less oil on the lanes, these balls can be very responsive and overreact when the back ends are strong. It doesn’t have to be a polished pearl, but any ball that is strong on the back end can create this kind of overreaction downlane. It often happens on fresher conditions, but it can happen later in blocks as well. With nothing else being changed, one ...

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.