Article Contents

  • 1. How carrydown affects your shot
  • 2. How to deal with transition
  • 3. Overcoming a tired ball
  • 4. How to play inside
  • 5. Adjusting grip pressure
  • 6. Tips for handling transition

According to Webster’s Dictionary, transition is described as passage from one place, state, stage of development, type, etc. to another. The advent of Sport Bowling has brought transition into sharper focus than ever. Because Sport Bowling always starts with a freshly cleaned and oiled surface, there is no residue from previous play which could either help guide the ball toward the pocket or affect how it rolls in the back end.

Before proceeding any further, let me say that the term “transition” NEVER existed on shellac and lacquer finishes. On those finishes, hard rubber balls and yes, even polyester balls, were the vogue. Transition became a prominent word when urethane lane finishes replaced these softer finishes…a maneuver that proprietors found far less expensive to maintain in the long run.

Additionally, sophisticated lane machines were introduced that mechanically dressed and coated lanes with the mere touch of a button. Proprietors were able to place any amount of oil on any part of the lane, from side to side and front to back. The only thing necessary for lane maintenance personnel to do was set the machine for the oil distribution, plug in the cord, and let the machine do the rest. Prior to the introduction of these machines, lane maintenance personnel had to work half the night to ready the lanes for morning leagues. In today’s environment, the same amount of work can be done in only a few hours.

We are all aware of the ridiculously high scores posted during the past 15-20 years. This is primarily due to the doctoring of lanes that permitted average bowlers to post record-setting averages, 800 series, and worse yet, a rash of 900 series. Let’s not forget that on shellac finishes, scoring records were being established in St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, New Jersey, and other areas of the country.

Shellac permitted bowlers to groove tracks on the lanes. For example, when the famous Budweiser team of Don Carter, Ray Bluth, Pat Patterson, Tom Hennessey, and Dick Weber posted a team series in excess of 3800, the opposition shot over 3600 with several other ...

John Jowdy

About John Jowdy

John Jowdy has been a bowler, author, instructor, and speaker over the last 60 years. He was coach to some of the most successful bowlers on tour. John’s awards and accomplishments include: Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame, ABC and PBA Halls of Fame, International Bowling Coach of the Year. He was a contributing writer for Bowling This Month for 13 years. John Jowdy passed away in 2013 at age 93.