Bowling in your local league is one thing, but competing in a competition is quite another.
In addition to the high level of competition, tournament participation also entails a significant financial risk because there is only one opportunity to succeed (in contrast to a protracted league season where a bad day here and there is typical and even expected).
However, a tournament is the obvious next step for your game if you’ve reached the stage where you’ve established a respectable bowling average in league play.
There are a few things you should do to get ready for competition if you have made the decision to enter a bowling tournament. Making sure your mental preparation is strong can help you maintain your focus, optimism, and readiness. But there’s additional query you should ask yourself regarding your tools. Should you specifically alter or take into account the bowling balls you use for tournament play in comparison to your usual sessions?
Preparing Your Bowling Equipment for Tournament Play
The first step in choosing the ball(s) to utilise in a bowling competition is to take into account your unique context. This entails evaluating your personal bowling style as well as the expected requirements and format of the competition. In general, you want to avoid having a lot of balls with identical features and functionalities by making sure that any balls you use complement one another and provide you with a specific benefit.
So how does this actually appear?
On the other end of the scale, if you’re a bowler who like to keep things straightforward and doesn’t frequently switch balls, you can construct a simple two-ball setup using a more reactive ball for hook and a polyester ball for straight shots and spares. This would be ideal for a novice trying their luck in a nearby competition primarily for enjoyment and to gauge their performance.
However, the majority of bowlers who compete in tournaments will want to have a wider variety of bowling balls in their arsenal so they can adapt more effectively to varying lane conditions and time constraints.
The four main categories of ball motion are helpful in achieving this objective. Each of these will match a specific ball. The four different motions are continuous (which hooks later and drives through the pins), angular (which starts straight and hooks hard at the end), and the previously described straight shot. Traction is a motion in which the ball hooks early and then travels relatively straight.
Other seasoned bowlers organise their ball selection into categories with specific names, such as the benchmark ball (the ball you begin using in practise to get a feel for the pattern), the “ball up” option (a stronger ball used when the lane starts to break down), a late hook ball (ideal when your lane has transitioned more, like angular motion above), and a burn ball (the weakest ball played closest to the pocket).
Whatever name you give them, you should have a variety of coverstocks and RGs available to you.
You can choose the models (ball motion and types) that are best applicable to your game and circumstance, which could produce anywhere between 3-6 balls.
Also keep in mind that how you maintain and sand the balls is just as important as which balls you choose. To guarantee that your balls are prepared to perform at the level you require of them, work on providing them with various surfaces at the proper grit levels.
We hope that this article has given you some food for thought regarding the bowling balls you should use when competing in tournaments.
Whether you’re a bowler who has participated in competitions, please tell us how you’ve chosen your balls in the past and if you’ve ever had to adjust your strategy.