This week’s blog will take on a bit of a different focus. With about a month left in the season and my team in a dogfight for the league championship, I want to spend a bit more time on some of the team components of league play. This week, we faced off against the team that is leading the second half, with my team in second place. They are also the team right behind mine for the overall lead, so there was about as much on the line as possible for a league night in March.

Bowling on the same pair as the week before, which sometimes happens in a position round, I felt comfortable on the pair getting started. Still, there would inevitably be some different transition compared to last week. With more bowlers playing inside the track area, I could expect the middle of the lane to get more chewed up. Of course, this affected everyone, which we saw in a seesaw battle between our two teams.

How’d it go?

I had about as consistent of a night as possible, shooting games of 237, 236, and 237. Despite the scoring consistency, there were a few challenges and adjustments that were key, and the two teams certainly had a lot of ups and downs.

Game one

I wish I could get the first couple of frames back in this one. Bowling on lanes 59 and 60, the left lane traditionally hooks at least a board or two more than the right lane, and I felt pretty good about being one board left with my feet at the end of practice. A light hit and a flat 10 had me second-guessing this strategy. Coupled with some light hits from other bowlers on the left lane, I moved a board right to play both lanes the same and struck out until the tenth frame to save the game.

Unfortunately, it was too little too late to win my point. However, my team managed to grind out a winning match, winning three points out of a possible five. Momentum felt like it was on our side, but when facing off with a team that likes to cover boards, it wouldn’t take long for things to shift back into their favor as the lanes continued to break down.

Game two

Starting the game lined up, I began to see some signs that it would soon be time to move. My Paragon was doing a great job of controlling the breakpoint, but I could see the ball creeping higher and higher in the pocket. I tried to eke out one more frame without moving, but an inevitable 9 pin told me it was time to move. A simple one-board adjustment got me back in the right part of the pocket, but the angle wasn’t quite right. With four single pins in the last six frames, I felt close, but I knew it wasn’t quite there.

From a team perspective, this was the kind of game that can really dictate the rest of the night. My team lost 4 to 1, and we were very much feeling the effects of transition. Our leadoff bowler was a bit lost as the middle of the lane got chewed up, and their bowlers had found plenty of strikes. They won big, putting us at a big disadvantage for the grand total.

Game three

The start of the third game put me in the most trouble I’ve seen with the Paragon. The right lane saw my ball jumping through the nose for a 3/10 and a 3/6/10 on back-to-back shots. The single pins I was leaving in game two had turned into more difficult spares, and this was a sign that I needed a more drastic adjustment. I made the rare adjustment of a 2-and-0 move to find more oil and open up my angles, along with increasing my axis rotation to help create the back end motion I needed to carry.

By halfway through the game, you could feel the momentum shift. Things were tight, but you could sense this next phase of transition causing some confusion for the other team. It was similar to the confusion my team felt in the second game. If we could maintain the pressure and get a few more strikes, we’d be in a great position for a strong finish. Just like an individual can see their confidence ebb and flow, so too can an entire team’s confidence.

Like any good match, it came down to the tenth frame, and while we came out on top for the match, we didn’t catch up for grand total and ended up splitting the night 10 points to 10. This result is kind of what you’d expect from the two teams chasing each other for the top two spots in the league.


This was an interesting night. From a personal point of view, I continue to be impressed with the Paragon’s versatility and its ability to make adjustments easy for me. From a team point of view, I look back and wonder if I could have done more. I’ve learned from experience that spending too much time coaching takes me out of my own game, so it’s always a matter of finding that balance.

As the middle of the lane started breaking down, our leadoff bowler struggled in the second game. I definitely could have been more attentive to his ball reaction and helped him more before our chat in the tenth frame of the game. The same could be said of our lefty. After a great first game, his own carrydown was affecting his angle, and he couldn’t quite get the right shape. Both are solid bowlers and don’t need much help, but looking back, I feel like I could have done more.

On the other hand, I felt that my interactions with our second bowler were what they needed to be. He’s our straightest player, and he’s also a spinner who benefits most as the lanes break down. His reaction in the second game was very close to being excellent, and so my job was to keep him calm and patient. That patience paid off in the last game.

In the end, I was proud of my team, and I was excited to have had such a fun match against another team that we’re battling for the top spot in the league. It’s been a while since my team has been in this position, so it’s nice to see the resilience and finish with a strong last game after getting crushed in game two.

Key takeaways

  • You can adjust off of strikes if you are paying attention. Make a move as soon as you know you need one.
  • Changing to steeper launch angles usually also requires an increase in axis rotation, or a ball with a quicker response to friction.
  • Pay attention to team energy and momentum, do what you can to keep good energy, and provide support instead of criticism when a teammate struggles.

Final scores: 237 – 236 – 237


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.