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Lee Owen: Do you really need a spare ball? Is it necessary?

By Lee Owen

The Daily Advance

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For a beginner, the idea of needing more than one ball to bowl with may sound ridiculous.

What could you possibly need more than one ball for, since all you are doing is throwing it down the lane the same way each time?

When that bowler decides it is time to move to a reactive ball, the need for a spare ball becomes apparent.

The best way to shoot almost any spare is straight on.

The problem is your strike ball is reactive and probably designed to hook slightly. Even if it isn’t designed to hook a lot, a slight break in the ball could cause you to miss even the easiest spare.

This is where having a second ball to shoot your spares can come in handy.

A spare ball should be a plastic ball, with no weight block, drilled to not hook at all. This is going to ensure that even if you do put rotation on the ball, it will not hook and will go directly to the position you throw it at. Getting used to throwing at spares straight can take a while to master, if you are not used to it, but it can make a big impact in your score, ensuring that you can pick up spares on any lane condition.

I know from experience how hard it can be to make the change, as I threw my strike ball at spares for most of my life.

A few years back, I decided to make the move to a plastic spare ball and saw a 15 pin increase in my average, almost immediately.

Now, I rarely miss a spare, and have seen that my spare shooting ability has aided me in most of my tournaments on difficult sport patterns.

Spare balls range from about $75 for a low end, nothing special, plastic ball (which I use for my spares and do perfectly fine with), to about $150 for a unique clear ball with special designs on the inside.

No matter your choice, they are going to do the exact same thing, which is go straight and improve your average substantially.

For the youth bowlers, the next two weeks are the final qualifying rounds for the Pepsi Regional Tournament being held in Raleigh in a couple of months. Good luck to them!


Fellowship Memorial League

Another tough night of bowling, thanks to no humidity and ice cold temps, prevented the normal high scoring pace to the league, but Adam Meads found his mark to lead with a 265/629, followed by a 626 from Rick Brakefield.

A few bowlers did manage one good game on the night, like Mark Tarkington with a 241 and Len Riehle and Joey Winslow with 234.

For the ladies, Beth Marshall topped the board with her 177 game, followed by a 176 from Michelle Pearson and a 172 from Crystal Owen.


Albemarle Rollers

Patsy Sanders had a big night, tossing a nice 203 to lead the ladies, followed by a 194 from Susie Thomas and a 161 from Mary Beasley.


Martin Luther King League

Rebounding from a sub-par performance on Tuesday night, Joey Winslow fired a huge 278/724 to lead the league, followed by a 220 from Roy Smith and a 219 from Scott Palmer.

Debbie Winslow followed suit, leading the ladies with her 209 game, while Leonora Vactor and Mildred Williams added 159 apiece.


All-American Ladies

Myrna Duncan led the ladies this week with her 190 game, followed by a 181 from Mary Beasley and a 175 from Ocie Manos.


Youth Bumpers

Kaylee Winslow tossed a really nice 117 game this week to lead the bumpers, followed by a 89 from Colby Judge and duplicate 78 games from Shane Owen.


Youth Bowlers

Christopher Vinson found himself atop the boys leaderboard this week, rolling a nice 175 game, followed by Thomas Adams and his 171, as well as the 152 from Eric Votava.

The girls saw Morgan Brothers continue her season of domination, rolling a 164, followed by a 128 from Emily Brewer and a 123 from Tori Owen.