July 24, 2012

Week 10/Shark Recap

Game 1: 192
Game 2: 159
Game 3: 149
Game 4: 125
Series: 625
Week Avg: 156
Shark Avg: 156
Season Avg: 176

Take a 15lb ball 8.5" in diameter and try to roll it on a 1" wide board for a length of about 45'. Sounds pretty tough, right? Then try to do that anywhere from forty to forty-eight times in a row, all in the span of about one hour. It is pretty close to impossible, but that is the challenge I issued myself on Thursday night and I failed spectacularly.

The pattern performed exactly as advertised. Anything outside the 10 board had no chance of coming back to the pocket and missing a mark by as much as a board could result in disaster. It took some time in practice to find a line and get used to playing so far inside, but by the time practice was over I was standing at the 27 1/2 board and throwing at the 15 board, right over the third arrow from the right (see diagram).

I did pretty well for the first game, hitting the pocket every frame and, with the exception of a 7-pin in the sixth, making all of my spares. I finished that game with a 192 and a bit of confidence that maybe this pattern wouldn't be so bad. Then it began . . .

The second game brought some difficulty in hitting the pocket well. I wasn't striking as much and then I started missing my mark on top of that. I opened on the 1-2-4-5 in the sixth frame, the 2-4-5 from a light hit in the ninth frame, and the 5-7 split in the tenth frame. I finished the second game with a 159.

For the third game I tried making small adjustments, but could not find a better line to the pocket than what I started with. I started the game by chopping the 6-9 in the first and the 2-4-5 in the third. I completely missed another 7-pin in the fourth frame by missing my spare mark to the right. I managed to clean up my game slightly, making easy spares and even throwing a strike or two, but opened in the tenth again by missing the 1-8. I finished with a 149.

The last game was full of frustration, which devolved into more bad bowling. I opened on the 2-4-5-7 in the first, 3-10 split in the fourth, 3-9-10 split in the sixth, 2-4-5-8 in the seventh, 4-6 split in the eighth, and 1-5-9 in the tenth. It was awful. I was rushing my shots. I was at a loss for how to adjust, so I just did nothing. What could I do? If I moved right the ball would find the oil and not come back to the headpin. If I moved left the ball would travel through the dry area and into the oil. So I did nothing and got no results. It was as disappointing as a 125 could be.

I think my biggest error was trying to throw such a narrow line all night. The lane was playing tight and it worked for me for the first game, but after that I should have moved my body and target left. I'm not sure if the ball would have straightened enough to give me a strike, but it would have been worth a shot. Another potential move would be to stand at about the 25 board and throwing around the 12 board,which is the first board to the right that has the longest lighter oil. This would give me a little more angle into the pocket and a little more room for error. If I miss right the ball is still heading toward the headpin rather than the 3-pin and if I miss left the drier oil should bring the ball Brooklyn.

Once again I think that my equipment is not quite right for the pattern. A duller or more reactive ball would allow for some more options. I think I might try dulling my old Boss Titanium to see what type of reaction I get, but I will also be sure to clean the Python before next week.

It's gotta get better, it sure can't get any worse . . . can it?


  1. The Shark sounds brutal. By the sounds of it, you may have had more success with a plastic ball fired straight at the 1-3 pocket from the right gutter but that would defeat the purpose of joining a PBA Experience league. I don't know if I could take this kind of punishment week in, week out. Good on you for staying the course, Zach.

  2. Thanks Matt. Using the plastic crossed my mind earlier this week, but you're right, it goes against what I am trying to do in the PBA Experience League.

    Right now I am averaging exactly what my adjusted average should be from the end of the fall league, so I'm really not too far off course. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a learning experience and the scores don't really matter, especially because the league isn't sanctioned and my team has a pretty good lock on last place.