Defining the Game Through Biomechanics

Dissecting the physical game of Amleto Monacelli

Defining the Game Through Biomechanics

This month, I want to introduce biomechanical terminology to readers and describe Amleto Monacelli’s physical game with these terms. Amleto, who has won 19 PBA titles (ranking 14th) and was named PBA Player of the Year twice, recently trained with us at the Kegel Training Center in preparation for the Pan American Games. Bowling has been an official Pan Am Games sport since 1991.

Since Amleto’s visit, I have reflected on how the use of biomechanical definitions could more accurately articulate the movements and positions of the physical game. Biomechanical terminology can provide coaches and players with a more extensive professional language. Specifically, with the standardization of terms, coaches and players can achieve a shared language to describe the physical movement of all bowlers, from beginners to elite players. Moreover, with the use of biomechanical concepts, coaches can more accurately test movement relationships and performance outcomes.

To begin, I present a number of important biomechanical definitions to help readers learn the appropriate language. After this introduction, I discuss Amleto Monacelli’s physical game utilizing these terms to help coaches and players understand the implementation of the expressions.

Biomechanical terms

Forearm supination  / pronation

The neutral position for the forearm is the thumbs up position. When the hand and forearm face the ceiling, the forearm is rotated to approximately 90 degrees of supination. Conversely, when the forearm faces down, it is in approximately 90 degrees of pronation. According to both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the normal range of motion (ROM) for both forearm supination and pronation is 80 degrees.

Wrist flexion / extension

The neutral (0 degree) position of the wrist is the fingers straight and the hand aligned with the forearm. Flexion at the wrist involves movement of the palm of the hand toward the palm side of the forearm. In colloquial bowling speak, this has historically been referred to as cupping the ball. Wrist extension is moving the fingers and palm away from the palm side of the forearm. Extension is ...

Joe Slowinski

About Joe Slowinski

Joe Slowinski, a USBC Gold Coach, is a freelance bowling coach who works with bowlers around the globe. He is currently on assignment with the Philippines. Slowinski is the former Director of Bowling at Lincoln Memorial University, where he served as Program Administrator and Head USBC Collegiate Men’s and NCAA Women’s Coach. The Portland, Maine native has served as the Administrative and Men's Head Coach at Webber International University and served for four years as a Master Teaching Professional at the Kegel Training Center. Slowinski is also the former Director of Coaching and Coach Certification for the National Sports Council of Malaysia. He has coached international teams at the World Championships, Pan American Games, South American Games, and European Championships, helping Belgium win a Gold medal at the 2022 EBF Championship of Champions and coaching Brazil to Gold medals at the 2015 Pam American Games and the 2014 South American Games. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.