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Bowling Ball Motion

Understanding bowling ball motion will help you make a good decision in purchasing your next bowling ball. First, the coverstock makeup of a bowling ball will determine the gripping power of a given bowling ball on the lane surface. Next, the core design will help determine the ball motion or shape of ball reaction while the given ball is rolling down the lane. Bowling ball motion is simply the description of the overall path a bowling ball takes while traveling down the lane and is derived from research and development factors planned by engineers in the ball construction process.

The core of any given bowling ball is important in determining the levels of mass distribution inside a bowling ball. A key component in ball motion is flare potential which is described as the maximum amount a bowling ball can migrate while traveling down the lane. Flare potential can be used as an indicator for which ball motion is best suited, as example, to oily lane conditions (high flare) and which ball motion works best for dry lane conditions (low flare).

The radius of gyration (RG) is an account of the location of the mass inside a given bowling ball and relates whether the ball mass is concentrated toward the center of the ball (low RG), toward the coverstock of the ball (high RG), or between the two points (medium RG). Typically, low RG balls will also have low flare potential ratings unless the differential of RG is a high rating. High differential ratings influence or control the amount of hook or flare potential a ball possesses as it travels down the lane.

The flare pattern on the surface of the ball becomes a noticeable “bow-tie” effect on high differential rated bowling balls and can flare as much as six inches in the ball track area. A good strategy before purchasing a new bowling ball is to determine the level of flare potential a given ball is rated at so you will know how sharply the ball will hook on the back end of the lane?

As an example, if the lane conditions you regularly encounter have a high volume of oil on the front end of the lane, then a low RG ball with short skid-length potential coupled with high differential and high flare potential ratings is a smart choice. If lane conditions have medium oil, then choosing a ball with medium flare potential will match well and, as you might expect, dry lanes which have little oil on the front end and tend to encourage an earlier hooking motion than desired require a low flare potential to avoid an over-dramatic hooking motion on the back end of the lane. In summary, it can be said that bowling ball motion is a result of flare potential ratings and these ratings are the chief factors in governing the hook potential a given ball possesses while traveling down the lane.

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