This past weekend was my first foray onto a typical house pattern since I started the PBA Experience League. I wanted to see how the league has affected my performance before the start of the fall league and, overall, I was happy with what I saw.
I threw a 224 my first game with my only open occurring in the first frame. The pattern at this particular bowling center was a few feet shorter than my usual house, so the ball hooked earlier than what I will see this fall. Prior to the sport league, my first move would have been to shift my body left a few boards. But instead, recalling my experience on the shorter PBA patterns, I moved my body and mark further right and it worked great. If I missed my mark a couple boards right the ball would still come back to the pocket; however, if I missed left the ball would catch the heavier oil in the middle of the lane and hit the headpin head-on. This became a problem late in my second game into the third game before I finally made an adjustment to the left. I threw a 189 in both games.
I was happy with how I reacted to the lanes. I felt that I made better adjustments, but I am still just a bit too slow in implementing them. I still think that can be attributed to my inconsistently. If I throw a few bad balls in a row, by the time I am back on target the pattern has changed and I need to waste a few more frames relocating.
One feature of this bowling center that I did enjoy was that they listed the ball speed on the screen. I found out that my regular first ball speed is typically 15.6 mph and I can maintain that speed throughout the course of three games. I did notice that when I shoot corner pins, particularly the 10-pin, my speed jumps up to over 18 mph. This makes sense because I am usually trying to make sure the ball doesn't hook too much, so in addition to not rotating my wrist at release I will throw the ball a little faster. In retrospect, though, I wonder if this increased ball speed affects my accuracy so much that it causes me to occasionally miss my marks on spare shots.
Fall league starts one week from tonight and I'm excited to get started. New league. New competition. New skills. New knowledge. Same friends. Two of the guys from last year's team are sticking with me, my wife is coming back, and Joe, who bowled with my wife and I in a rec league a few years ago, is going to join us. Its going to be fun.
Here we go . . .