Entry Angle Assessment

Low-tech and high-tech solutions

Entry Angle Assessment

In modern bowling, a player’s success depends on the implementation of numerous components: throw execution, ability to measure the characteristics of ball motion, mental and psychological preparedness, and much more. In this article, I want to share my experience in teaching the skill of determining the bowling ball’s entry angle. Mastering this skill allows the player to quantitatively assess one of the major characteristics of ball motion and enables deliberate correction of numerous game components.

In this skill, as well as the line-of-sight construction skill (described in my previous article), visual and spatial thinking are critical. We have to pay the most attention to these types of thinking when learning and using both line-of-sight construction and entry angle assessment skills. When testing players at different levels, most players, including advanced ones, could not determine the value of their ball’s entry angle. In the majority of cases, they could provide only a simple and ambiguous description, such as small, large, insufficient, bad, too much, etc.

This is not surprising, since very few players have had the opportunity to assess this parameter using the currently-available technical feedback systems that provide entry angle data (such as CATS and others). In practice, the skill of entry angle determination is almost always developed over many years of training and long tournament practice. On the other hand, applying the training methods described below, it is possible to obtain improved results in significantly less time, wherein players, using their spatial and visual thinking and memory, are able to determine the entry angle quantitatively using a range from 3 to 6 degrees.

When we evaluate trajectory accuracy characteristics, the lane markings (counting of boards and/or targets) allow us to see and quantitatively assess the ball’s lateral position in different parts of the lane (target area, breakpoint area, position of the ball at pin contact, etc.). This allows us to literally name the number of a board on which the ball is positioned ...

Alexander Gurkov

About Alexander Gurkov

Alexander Gurkov is a USBC-certified Silver and ETBF-certified Level 2 bowling coach. He is currently a member of the coaching staff at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Florida. He was a professor at the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth, and Tourism, where he authored the Program of Education of Bowling Sport in High Education. Alexander has competed as a member of Russia's national bowling team and was the head coach of Russia's youth national team, winning numerous medals in international competition as a coach. His coaching methods have been successfully used for 12+ years on youth, adult, and deaf bowlers of all skill levels. Alexander also owns and operates BowlLab, a popular bowling school in Moscow. He has both a Master's degree in Coaching and a Master's degree in Optical and Optical-Electronic Systems.