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Glossary of Bowling Terms

  

Arrows

A triangular marking on the lane used by the bowler to target when delivering the bowling ball. These are in the head area of the lane and are usually 5 boards apart and are located approximately 12 to 15 foot down the lane.

Asymmetrical Core

Inner portion of a bowling ball that has a predetermined preferred spin axis designed to help ball motion. This type core will have a different shape when rotated around the top of the core.

Axis of Rotation

The measurement of which the ball is rotating as it proceeds down the lane. A bowling ball rolling at zero degrees of axis rotation will have minimal to no hook potential because the ball is parallel to the lane. A 90 degrees of axis rotation will have maximum hook potential because the bowling ball is rolling perpendicular to the lane. This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Axis Point

This will be either positive or negative marking the point of the axis rotation. (Also see positive axis point, PAP, negative axis point, and NAP) This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Axis Tilt

Angle that the axis point is tilted to the horizontal plane of the ball. This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Backend

The portion of the lane approximately 20 feet in front of the head pin.

Backup Ball

Type of hook that goes from left to right for a right hander and right to left for a left hander.

Balance Hole

Extra hole drilled into a ball to bring it into USBC specifications for static balance, or to fine tune ball reactions. This hole can increase, decrease, or keep the same ball reaction based on where it is placed. Also called Weight Hole.

Ball Motion

A bowling ball goes through 3 phases once it is thrown. Skid, Hook, and then Roll.

Ball Track

The portion of the bowling ball that touches the lane. This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Ball Reaction

The movement of the bowling ball as it proceeds down the lane.

Bevel

The rounding of the top of the holes that are drilled into a bowling ball.

Boards

Individual strips of the lane or approach mostly used for targeting. For right handed bowlers board one is next to the right gutter and counted left. For left handed bowlers board one is next to the left gutter and counted right.

Bottom Weight

This is the half of the ball that is opposite the center of the grip. Based on ball weight there are different limitations. This is a measurement required by USBC specifications.

Break Point

Portion of the lane where the bowling ball makes its greatest change of direction towards the pins.

Bridge

Distance between the finger holes of a drilled bowling ball.

Carry Down

Lane oil that is moved to the back portion of the lane by the bowling ball.

Center Line

Vertical line that runs from between the fingers to the center of the thumb hole. This is used as a reference when drilling a bowling ball.

Center of Gravity

Marking on a bowling ball that shows where the static balance is going to read zero in all directions.

Conventional Grip

Type of grip used to hold a bowling ball. This type grip requires the bowler to put their middle two fingers in the ball to the second joint. Normal results from using this type of grip would be fewer revolutions imparted on the ball than using a fingertip grip.

Core

The inner mass of a bowling ball. These are usually different shapes designed to enhance the bowling ball reaction once it is rolled. There are two types of cores used, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical. Also called a weight block.

Coverstock

The outer shell of a bowling ball. The types of materials that have been used are Rubber, Polyester (plastic), Urethane, Reactive Urethane, and Reactive Urethane with particles. The type of coverstock on a bowling ball determines how fast the ball loses speed and assists in creating hook.

Cranker

A bowler who creates a high number of revolutions on a bowling ball at release.

Deflection

When a bowling ball changes direction once it has made contact with the pins.

Differential

The difference between the high RG axis and the low RG axis of a bowling ball prior to drilling. The higher the number the more potential track flare that a bowling ball could have. The shifting of these axis at drilling the ball will determine what the final track flare capabilities are.

Dots

Markings on the approach and lane used for targeting.

Dull Finish

The surface texture of a bowling ball. Dull surfaces are used to increased contact with the lane surface to help create earlier hooking capabilities.

Durometer

A devise used to measure the hardness of the coverstock of a bowling ball. USBC rules specifications require all bowling balls to reach a minimum hardness. This is regulated by the bowling ball manufacturers during construction of the bowling balls. Altering the hardness of a bowling ball is not permitted.

Finger Weight

When the half of the bowling ball where the fingers are drilled is heavier than the half where the thumb is drilled. Based on bowling ball weight there are different limitations.

Flare

The movement of the ball track as it proceeds down the lane. This can be traced by looking at the oil rings on the bowling ball. This is determined mainly by the type of bowling ball core, the layout chosen to drill the bowling ball, and the bowlers’ release.

Forward Pitch

The angle of a gripping hole if it is drilled towards the center of the grip.

Friction

The surface of the bowling ball contacting the lane will create friction to help the ball slow down so that it may hook.

Full Roller

Type of bowler that has their track flare go in between the finger holes and the thumb hole. This is created by the bowlers’ release.

Heads

The portion of the bowling lane from the foul line to approximately 20 feet. On wood lanes it is the portion from the foul line to where the wood is spliced together.

Helicopter

Type of bowler that has an extremely small ball track usually near the bottom of the bowling ball. The axis of rotation of the bowling ball is vertical to the lane.

High Track

A ball track that is close to the finger and thumb holes.

Hook

The movement of the bowling ball as it rolls down the lane. This is the second phase of ball motion. This happens once the bowling ball stops skidding and starts to curve. Once the ball stops curving it will be in the roll phase and be rolling in a straight line again.

Hook Potential

What the design of an undrilled bowling is capable of doing.

Inside Line

The angle that a bowler is playing when they are targeting the center portion of the lane when throwing their first ball of a frame.

Lane Conditioner

Also called lane oil. A substance that is placed on the lane to protect the surface. There are different types made by manufacturers. The type and areas on the lane that it is applied to effects the reaction of the bowling ball.

Lateral Pitches

The angle of the holes that are drilled into a bowling ball left or right of the center of the grip.

Layout

The positioning of the core or weight block in relation to the gripping holes. This is decided before drilling the bowling ball to reach the desired ball reaction.

Line

The path that a bowler is intended to have their bowling ball take as it proceeds down the lane.

Loft

When a bowling ball is released on an upward angle.

Low Track

A ball track that is at least 2 inches away from the finger and thumb holes.

Maple

On a wood lane surface, the type of wood used in the heads and also on the pin deck.

Mark

A strike or spare when scoring. Also a place on the lane that a bowler is targeting for the bowling ball to roll over.

Mass Bias

Position in a bowling ball where the mass of the core is closest to the outside of the ball.

Midlane

The 20 foot of the lane that is between the heads and backend.

Midline

The reference line placed on a bowling ball by the bowling ball driller that marks the halfway point of the grip.

Negative Axis Point

The point that the ball rotates off of the bowlers hand opposite of the positive axis point (PAP). This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Oil Patterns

The way the oil is distributed on the lanes.

PAP

The point that the ball rotates off of the bowlers hand. (Also known as the positive axis point.) This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Particle

Small amounts of material added to the shell of a bowling ball during manufacturing.

Pin

Not just something that we try to knock down. A small circle on a bowling ball that marks the top and center of the core. It is used as a reference for the ball driller in determining a layout of what the cores reaction will be once the ball is rolled down the lane.

Pin Deck

The portion of the lane where the pins are placed. Typically they have markings where the pins are to be placed.

Pine

On a wood lane surface, the type of wood used from the end of the heads to the pin deck.

Pitch

The angle at which a hole is drilled into a bowling ball.

Polyester

Coverstock of a bowling ball comprised of plastic. It is the coverstock with the least amount of hook potential.

Positive Axis Point

The point that the ball rotates off of the bowlers’ hand. (Also known as the PAP)

Preferred Spin Axis

The axis which a bowling ball wants to rotate around. (Also known as PSA)

PSA

The axis which a bowling ball wants to rotate around. (Also known as Preferred Spin Axis)

Radius of Gyration

A measurement that shows whether the mass inside the bowling ball is more towards the center of the ball or the outside.

Reactive Resin

Coverstock of a bowling ball. Also known as Reactive Urethane. It has a higher hook potential than polyester or all urethane.

Reactive Urethane

Coverstock of a bowling ball comprised of materials used to make a urethane coverstock with different additives to help the bowling ball adhere to the lane. Also known as Reactive Resin.

Release Point

The point at which the ball leaves the bowlers’ hand.

Resurface

A process done to remove an extremely small portion of the coverstock. This is done to get the worn down track out of a bowling ball so that the bowling ball will make better contact with the lane.

Reverse Pitch

The angle of a gripping hole that is drilled away from the center of the grip.

Revolutions

The number of times the weight block or core makes a full rotation around the axis line from the positive to negative axis point. This is determined by the bowlers’ release.

Roll

The third phase of ball motion. This phase begins when the bowling ball stops hooking and is rolling straight. When the bowling ball reaches this phase pin carry increases.

Shell

The outer surface of the bowling ball. Also called coverstock.

Side Weight

The difference in ball weight from the right half to the left half of the center of the grip. This is a measurement required by USBC specifications.

Skid

The first phase of ball motion. This phase begins as the ball is released off of the hand and the bowling ball will proceed on a straight line. Once the ball starts to turn it will be in the hook phase.

Span

The distance from the front edge of the thumb hole to the front edge of the finger holes.

Spinner

A bowler who has a type of release that the ball track covers only a small portion of the surface of the bowling ball.

Static Weight

The weight difference in the bowling ball. This is measured from the top to the bottom, the left side to the right side, and the finger to the thumb with the center of the grip used to measure from. This is a measurement required by USBC specifications.

Stroker

A bowler who has a smooth release with less bowling ball revolutions than a cranker or a tweener.

Surface

The shell of a bowling ball. Also could be talking about the type of lanes being bowled on. (Synthetic or Wood)

Surface Management

Adjusting the surface of a bowling ball to help with ball reaction. This can be done by using different grits of sanding pads, different types of bowling ball polishes, or a combination of both.

Synthetic Lanes

Type of bowling lane. This surface is harder than wood. There are different types made that are different hardness.

Symmetrical Core

Inner portion of a bowling ball designed to help ball motion. Also called a weight block. This type of core looks the same when rotated around the top of the core.

Tapered

When a drilled hole is worked out at the top more than at the bottom. Usually done to shape the hole to fit the thumb properly.

Target

What a bowler is looking at on the lane to roll the ball over.

Targeting

When a bowler sets their feet in a specific spot on the approach and looks at the lane to determine the path in which they want the bowling ball to roll. Most lanes have dots on the approach to help set your feet in the same place. The bowling lane has dots and arrows, some lanes even have dark ‘marker’ boards down the lane to help find a target.

Three Piece Ball

A bowling ball manufactured with a coverstock, a core, and a filler material between the coverstock and core.

Thumb Weight

When the half of the bowling ball where the thumb is drilled is heavier than where the fingers are drilled. Based on bowling ball weight there are different limitations. This is a measurement required by USBC specifications.

Top Weight

This is the half of the bowling ball where the grip is drilled. Based on bowling ball weight there are different limitations. This is a measurement required by USBC specifications.

Track

The place of the bowling ball that touches the lane. This is determined by the bowlers’ release. This can be found by looking for the rings of oil after the bowling ball has been thrown and returned back to the bowler.

Track Flare

The movement of the ball track as it proceeds down the lane. This is determined by the type of bowling ball core, the layout chosen to drill the bowling ball, and the bowlers release.

Tweener

A bowler who generates medium revolutions and hooks the ball more than a stroker but less than a cranker.

Two Piece Ball

A bowling ball that is manufactured with a coverstock and a core.

Weight Block

The inner mass of a bowling ball. These are usually different shapes designed to enhance bowling ball reaction once it has been rolled. There are two types of weight blocks used, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical. These are also called cores.

Weight Hole

Extra hole drilled into a bowling ball to bring it into USBC specifications for static balance, or to fine tune ball reaction. This hole can increase, decrease, or keep the same ball reaction based on where it is placed. Also called Balance Hole.

Wood Lanes

Type of bowling lane. Wood lanes are made of maple and pine wood. This surface is usually softer than a synthetic lane surface.