Bowling Terminology You Need to Know

Whether you are preparing to purchase your own bowling bowl or just want to look more like a professional bowler than you really are, knowing some of the appropriate terminology will help you achieve your goal. The bowling ball is one of the most important pieces of bowling equipment any bowler uses. Sometimes bowlers find that the ball and the shoes are the parts of the bowling center equipment that simply don’t come up to their standards, especially in older bowling alleys where the equipment has not been maintained or upgraded. Although this is just a sampling of the bowling terminology used, learning it will help you appear more professional and make a better choice when you purchase your own bowling ball.

  • Ball Speed – If the score board at the bowling alley where you bowl doesn’t tell you your ball speed, you can determine it yourself. Count the number of seconds it takes for the ball to get from the foul line to the pins, and divide that number by 40.91. This will give you the speed in M.P.H. Males bowl an average of 16 to 20 M.P.H., while female bowlers usually reach speeds between 14 and 18 m.p.h.
  • Blue Hammer – A type of bowling ball with a urethane coverstock and a light bulb shaped weight block. It is one of the most famous bowling balls made and is recognized by name by most bowling pros.
  • Weight Block – The area of the bowling ball that contains the largest portion of weight and which makes it easier to roll. The part of the ball determines how the ball reacts, depending on the density and its position.
  • Hook Potential – The scale which shows various amounts of hook achievable with bowling balls with an equally applied force.
  • Length – the distance the bowling ball will travel before beginning to hook. A higher number refers to a longer distance down the lane. This term is also used to describe the point where the ball transitions from skid to hook, also known as breakpoint.
  • Track Flare – The migration of the ball from the time it is released until it strikes the pins. Throwing a ball with no track flare results in its rolling on oily surface rather than the clean coverstock. A ball with a lot of track flare touches the lane through every rotation.
  • Stroker – A bowler who throws the ball with finesse. They are always smooth and never out of balance.

Learning the language of bowling can be fun and interesting for bowlers of any level. To learn more about bowling equipment and construction, call Murrey Bowling at 310-532-6091.

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