Bowling does not seem to be losing its popularity despite the massive influx of computer games for youngsters to amuse themselves with in recent decades. The USA is the number one country in the world for people who like to bowl. Closely behind them is Japan were more than 20 million people visit their bowling alley more than once a month. The age group can range from children to pensioners and everybody seems to bring their bowling balls with them.
Most people go bowling as a hobby and for fun, yet there are many professional bowlers who like to leave nothing to chance when attempting to hit a strike in the bowling alley.
Swerving the ball is known as a hook, but why do people want to hook the ball in the first place? We spoke to a friend of ours who wears a professional bowler and he told us that the secret to making constant strikes lies in the spin of the ball.
Having recorded him and slow down the footage to almost frame by frame we began to see exactly what he meant. The 10 pins that are located at the end of the bowling alley have 91.4 cm sides, while the bowling ball itself is 21.8 cm wide. Because of this, it is actually possible to topple all of the pins in one go without either putting some spin on the ball or getting very lucky!
To score a strike you need to knock all of the pins down in one go. So we began to wonder if there is an exact science or an ideal path to scoring a strike. Rolling the ball along different route allowed us to begin the process of examining exactly how we would go about scoring this elusive technique that seemed to evade us.
As you would expect the first thing that we did was rolling straight into the very front head pin, and as you would expect it had the typical effect of knocking most, but not all pins down. Since the front pin smashed straight into the middle pin, the ones on the side seems to get ethical energy at all and remain standing giving us no opportunity of recording the elusive strike that we hope so bad for.
The next thing to do then was to attempt to hit each of the the bowling pins directly to the side of the main front one. When we rolled the ball towards this pain on the right-hand side it took down every other pin on the right, yet still left some standing on the left, and when we tried it on your side the reverse happened only this time there were pins left standing on the right hand side.
Now that we knew that a regular technique was not working, we were determined to figure out which was the best way to hit a strike in bowling. Our professional bowling friend began to tell us that the best way to do this was to roll the ball in at an angle and strike the front pin if possible.
This is easier said than done though since most bowling alleys have rails which can be lowered and raise underside of the alley stopping you from bouncing the ball off the side. So the only other thing we could do was try and master the art of putting curve and the bowling balls that we were throwing.
The secret we were told, was that if the ball can approach at and 3 degrees angle and strike believing pin, then you are almost guaranteed to make the strike. Three degrees is the ideal angle but you can go between three and six degrees and still hope to be successful. The angle refers to anything between the front pin which is pin number one and the pin just behind that which is pin number five. This area is known as the pocket and is the area that you should be aiming for always while ensuring that you have sufficient spin on the ball.
When we repeated the experiment but this time with a little spin applied and aiming to strike the pocket at the degrees we intended to, every time we did it we were now getting a strike. Conclusive evidence indeed that this approach is the best way to hit a strike in bowling!