Hand position and league choice!

With so many leagues around  how do you decide what best fit for you? Brian Gustafson Glendale, AZ

Josh Blanchard -The amount of leagues that are available for bowlers in the Valley is unbelievable. Sometimes we have to take a step back and look at how lucky we are to have this many options instead of being overwhelmed. For most bowlers they need to ask themselves one simple question when deciding on what league or leagues to bowl. “What am I trying to get out of league?” This question has many different answers and you must find the league that fits those needs. If you are looking to make good profit than look for the league with the highest payout. If you are looking for a league to have fun in with friends, find the league with the cheapest fees and have fun. If you are looking to challenge yourself with Sport Patterns than a league that offers those shots is where you need to go. 

Craig Spencer - That is a great question. It is very easy to get wrapped up bowling too many leagues or the wrong ones. We think about maybe a few positives, or we feel obligated and when the league starts, we don't mind, but once we get into the 20th week we realize we made a bad decision. I would say people choose leagues for 1 of 4 reasons, payout, self improvement/challenge, social interactions, and/or convenience. I would really start with this list of four things and order them based on importance for you. If you value convenience the highest, then find the closest center and find the league that works best with your schedule. If there are several, choose the one base don whatever you might prioritize 2nd. If you care about payout the most, determine what kind of payout do you want. Is it about receiving more money at the end of a league, or a certain experience or product? If you are looking for money, then ask for the lineage rates and weekly fees for the leagues you are considering. Typically the bigger the difference between the weekly rate and the lineage rate, the better the prize fund. If you are looking for experience or product, check out Vegas leagues, vacation leagues, cruise leagues or bowling ball leagues. If you are preferring self improvement, find out what the league average was for each league the prior season and try to join a league where your average is typically lower than the league average. If you average 210+, then I would recommend a sport pattern league to challenge yourself or improve. Lastly, if the goal is more about social interactions, then find those people you enjoy bowling with the most and find a center and league that works with all of their schedules. 
Do hand position's still matter? - Roger Buckley Mesa, AZ

Josh Blanchard - Roger this is a great question and he answer is 100% yes. It matters more for bowlers who are trying to diversify their equipment and take fewer balls to tournaments. Most bowlers can change their hand positions but, don’t know what hand positions do what so changing just confuses them more than helps.

Craig Spencer - In general, yes, but it depends what level of the sport you are talking about. Hand position changes matter a lot at the highest levels of our sport. Because there are so many bowling ball options out there, when you add hand position changes to that as well, you can really become and incredibly versatile player and always be in contention. On the other hand, at the league level, in the bowling centers that are well maintained and have very forgiving lane conditions, hand positions are pretty irrelevant. To help understand why, let's think about a plastic bowling ball being the "neutral" point of bowling ball technology. This kind of ball doesn't really impose much of an of outside force on the bowling ball to change it's reaction. As the cover stock becomes more aggressive and the core becomes bigger, the ball becomes more dynamic, which causes the reaction of the bowling ball to be influenced a lot more by something outside of your hand position at release. It's important to think of lane conditions the same exact way. When a pattern is perfectly flat, 1 to 1, the oil isn't imposing very much of any external force on the bowling ball's reaction. As the lane pattern gets further and further from 1 to 1, and ventures to the 8 to 1 or 12 to 1 which are commonly used for most house patterns, the lane pattern becomes more dynamic and imposes more of an outside force to change the balls reaction. When the ball and the lane together are both so influential and dynamic like they are in most league situations, they impact how a bowling ball performs so much, that hand position changes can't have a big enough impact on how the ball performs. Simply, the flatter the lane pattern, the more impact hand position changes can have.