June 10, 2012

Week 4/Cheetah Recap

Game 1: 187
Game 2: 199
Game 3: 156
Game 4: 224
Series: 766
Week Avg: 191
Cheetah Avg: 191
Season Avg: 184

After doing my research I expected to have to play fairly close to the gutter for most of the evening; however, practice showed that the Cheetah pattern was playing very similar to the NCAA #3 pattern from the last few weeks. By the end of practice I was standing with my left foot at the 20 1/2 board and throwing at the 8 board (solid blue line in diagram).

I was hitting the pocket fairly consistently at the start of the first game, but left single pins for spares. I struck in the fifth frame, but then chopped the 6-10 in the sixth. I stayed clean the rest of the way, even converting the 1-2-10 in the tenth frame to avoid opening in the final frame, a problem that plagued me much of last week. I finished the game with a 187.

I was still having some problems taking out all ten pins on pocket hits, so I decided to try a new line. In the third frame I moved to the 19 board and threw at the 5 board (red line in diagram), but it proved to be a bit too inconsistent and I moved back to my original line by the sixth frame. I opened once during the game and finished with a 199.

The third game was quite difficult in that just about every ball hit high or light in the pocket. I tried increasing ball speed and moving up after hitting high and moving back and moving my mark closer toward the foul line when coming in light, but nothing was able to help me achieve a good pocket hit. I opened a couple of times after missing a 10-pin and missing a split. I finished the game with a 156.

After the third game I remembered what I had said in my Cheetah pattern post earlier in the week, that the line I would play would depend on how much hook my ball can generate on its own. So to start the last game I moved my left foot to the 20 board and threw at the 8 board (teal dotted line in diagram). I also changed my thumb position from the usual 3:30 position to about 2 o'clock at the beginning of my approach, thus taking some revs off of the ball and letting it do most of the work. This seemed to give me a bit more control in the backend and the ball was finding the pocket with ease. I doubled and turkeyed during the game and finished with a clean 224.

I shot the highest game and series of the four teams that were present, so I was pretty happy with my performance. That being said, there seems to always be one game that gets away from me. I have a better idea of what type of lines and adjustments work best on this pattern, so I am looking forward to staying in control for all four games next week. We bowled a team with a vacancy, which I matched up with every game, so I am not sure how many points I took this week.

Speaking with a few guys after we finished, there was some speculation as to whether or not this pattern was  the same Cheetah from the PBA. Some of us agreed that it played differently than expected and others who had taken advantage of the pattern practice session on Monday said that the center claimed the pattern was 37' rather than 35', which does make a difference. The league isn't sanctioned, which means their lanes and oil machines are not inspected and approved by the USBC for sport league patterns. I suspect that the center uses the same PDF documents to calibrate and program their machines that you can find online by Googling the pattern names.  While these may not be the exact patterns, I think they are close enough to serve the purposes I was aiming for when joining the league. But it would be nice to know for sure that I am bowling on the same patterns as the pros for comparison's sake.

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