How can your shoulders or ball position affect your bowling?


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared a little about employing the use of video to help with a bowler’s practice regiment and more specifically, about observing how a bowler sets up prior to his delivery.

To continue on this avenue, I’d suggest that the next thing to focus on are the bowler’s shoulders. By this, I mean are the shoulders open or closed. Open shoulders means the shoulders are facing the direction of the bowling arm, while closed shoulders are facing the opposite direction.

Opening the shoulders allows the bowler to keep his hand under the ball in the backswing and come around the ball a little more, resulting in a more powerful shot. An open shoulder can also aid in increasing your backswing, if that’s your goal.

How about where he positions the ball: high, low, or at his midsection? Holding the ball a little higher can serve two purposes. First, it will help if your timing is a little fast, meaning the ball gets to the foul line before your slide foot. Of course, the opposite of all this will give you the opposite reaction. Holding the ball lower can help slow it down and help with the issue of slow timing.

In local league action last week, Jevon Simpson struck early and often in leading Fellowship League with a 243-684. Trailing only Simpson was Mark Tarkington’s 243-660, followed by Lee Owen’s 239-626.

Chris Farrell (222-612) and Mathew Brunoehler (214-609) also cracked the 600 barrier in leading the men of Fellowship.

The list of 600-plus sets didn’t end with the men though. Kaytee Simpson topped all the ladies with a 222-600, followed by Brittney Gaumond’s 170-470 and Bobbi Jo Tarkington’s 167-457.

The Martin Luther King league was the site of John Greer’s league leading 234-639 and DC James’ sweet 243 game last Thursday. Starley Darnell tossed a 226-568 to close out the men’s leaders from MLK.

On the ladies’ side, Debbie Winslow fired a 223-565, followed by Brenda Cowand’s 167-479 and Stephanie Winslow’s 191-477.

Rondell Christian shredded the pins for an opening 260 game, then cruised to a 623 series, scoring the lone 600-plus set during Monday Night Mixed. William Swinson added a 209-594 while Denwood Williams closed out the men’s leaders with a 215-556.

Top games for the ladies came from Leonora Vactor (215), Amie Wallace (200), and Debbie Winslow (193). The ladies also recorded some amazing high handicap series numbers as well from Vactor (713), Wallace (696), Patsy Sanders (669) and Linda Barrett (669).

The top ladies’-only league scores came from Thursday morning’s All American Ladies league, more specifically, Stella Miller (210-501), Patsy Sanders (186-493), and Maria Madonia (177 game).

Sylvia Holley (156-434) turned in the top series during Albemarle Rollers’ ladies league, followed by Sharon Hunt’s 175-415, and Pamela Griffin’s 160-403. Sharon Hoffler added a 165 game along the way.

The youth league witnessed Bryce Hawkins produce a new season-high game for the guys with an opening 237 and go on to finish with a 572 series. Bryce raised his average three pins to match his brother, Ben with a 162. Speaking of Ben Hawkins, he trailed only Bryce for the week with a 200-546. The youth league has now produced five 200 games (from five different bowlers) over the past three weeks, and was nearly five, as Christopher Vinson added a 199 as part of his 506 series.

Elizabeth Scaff topped all the young ladies last weekend with a nice 140-394, just ahead of Violet Olds’ 124-327 and Lindsay Porter’s 122-322. Kaylee Winslow bagged an impressive 122 game as well.

Tristan Hardison topped the bumper league kids with a high game of 101.

Albemarle Lanes hosted the local Chamber of Commerce last week for their Seventh Annual Reindeer Games. The Biggs Candy Cane team took top honors in the two-game event, followed by The Prancing Pepsi team and the Piedmont Lane Deer. Congrats and thanks to all of this year’s participants!

Christmas is a great time to build upon your bowling ball arsenal and the good news is there’s still time to get in your orders to have them by Christmas. I’ve been told that orders received at Albemarle Lanes by Monday, December 17, should arrive by the Friday prior to the big day. Don’t forget about shoes and other accessories as well as gift certificates for stocking stuffers.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling.