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Ball Review



2 New Patterns and 2 Previews

of July Bowlin Ball Releases TWO NEW PATTERNS and two new balls are on tap this month, as we were able to test on both 2015 USBC Open Championships patterns for the first time and review two new releases from 900 Global. The 900 Global balls — the Dream Big and the Respect Pearl — actually won’t be

released until July 6, but the company is excited about them and gave us the oppor- tunity to test them early.

As for the patterns in El Paso — measuring 38 feet in the Team event and 39 feet for Singles and

Doubles — they are definitely on the flat side. We believe the keys to tackling them successfully are using the right equipment at the right time to control the breakpoint, and keeping the ball in the pocket. Also, when the pattern is flatter and the strikes are fewer, it doesn’t hurt to cover your spares, either. Although some of the balls we’ll be testing in the coming months will likely be too aggressive for these

patterns, with our standard drillings, the reviews should still provide plenty of insight to help you make wise buying decisions for your league bowling, as well as local and state tournaments.

THE TESTING:We once again tapped the talents of Terrance Reeves (a.k.a. “T”), a PBA Tour exempt player during the 2008-09 season, who had already bowled in El Paso. We use CATS on each shot to track and keep records of our ball paths, and we do all of our testing at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., home of the flattest lanes on Earth. We also use the Jayhawk ball scanner, which pro- vides the surface roughness (RA) of a ball and the surface’s average true original finish out of the box after the factory process.


METHODOLOGY The Bowlers Journal International Ball Motion Potential chart is designed to help bowlers un- derstand which lane conditions are best suited for the most recently introduced bowling balls in the marketplace. Placement positions on the chart are based on the “out of box” surface from the manufacturer. Surface adjustments can im- pact a ball’s performance and, thus, its position on the chart. The chart’s horizontal axis displays a ball’s

approximate total hook in the presence of oil. While some coverstocks may have similar maximum, dry lane, or coefficient-of-friction measurements, their ability to traction in oil can vary significantly.

Balls with minimal hook potential are placed on the far left side of the chart. Balls offering a moderate degree of hook are placed in the chart’s middle section. Balls with the greatest hook potential in heavy oil are placed on the right side of the chart. The chart’s vertical axis displays a ball’s

breakpoint shape. Balls offering more skip/snap reaction are placed higher on the chart. Balls offering a smoother, more arcing motion are placed lower on the chart. Chart placements are based on testing by BJI

ball reviewer Vernon Peterson, selected bowlers with varying release styles, CATS results, PBA player input, and discussions with ball company representatives.

HOOK POTENTIAL 35-45: Balls with lower total hook ranges, best suited for lighter oil concentrations. Players with slower speeds or higher rev rates may also prefer balls in this range for medium oil applications. 45-51: Balls with medium hook ability, best

From the May issue of Bowlers Journal International.

suited for the vast majority of “typical house shots” and some lower-volume Sport patterns. This hook range should be represented by the “centerpiece” ball in most arsenals.

51-60+: Balls with greater total hook, de- signed for heavier oil volumes. Players with higher speeds or lower rev rates, who need added lane traction, may also prefer balls in this range.

LENGTH RATINGS 8-12: Earlier rolling balls that read the lane sooner. These products generally come facto- ry-sanded with lower grit surfaces, and match up well with speed-dominant styles and those bowling on longer patterns. 12-15: Medium-length balls that produce easier length through the midlane. Good for most house shots and medium-volume Sport patterns. 15-19+: Balls offering extra length for those

bowling on lighter oil concentrations. Also beneficial for slower speed players, or those with higher rev rates needing added push downlane.

BREAKPOINT SHAPE 10-13: Slower-response balls that read the friction areas more gradually. This range may include balls with a urethane or mild reactive cover, designed for a smooth arc to the pocket. Can also help those with higher rev rates con- trol motion and also can match up well from outside angles of attack. 13-15: Balls rated for slightly stronger and quicker reactions when encountering friction areas (as when the ball leaves the oil pattern). This range offers a balance of control and back- end angularity. 15-18+: Balls that respond more quickly and

aggressively to friction areas. This range can help those with less hand action create more angularity near the pocket. Also preferred when playing deeper inside angles, which gen- erally require more entry angle for above-aver- age pin carry.

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