Friday, March 26, 2010

The Fresh Shot

Occasionally, people ask me,"How much is there really to write about bowling?" I tell them there is one billion. Honestly, there are times when I feel like I am running out of things to say, but then something, like a weird pin fall, sparks a long chain of thought that extends for months. I mention this for a couple of reasons. I have posted 39 things this month. This will be #40, and this month still has plenty of residual utility. It is easily my most prolific month ever with respect to bowling words. Soon, though, I will go into hibernation. When the league ends, the blog largely sleeps, only to awake as the northern hemisphere tilts back away from the star at the center of our existence.

Anyway, I don't have much time night now, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about oil. The Bernaski Memorial League has strange oil conditions. If I understand it correctly, the lanes are oiled prior to the league before ours. Then, 12 games are played on each. Then, it's our turn. By the time we get there, the oil is pretty well broken down. Last week, many of us were having trouble keeping the ball on the right side of the lane. There were a lot of brooklyn hits and splits.

I bowled last sunday on a fresh shot in the Bud Light League. In Game 1, I had a nine strike game. I don't see this as coincidental. A really good bowler about a month about said "anybody should be able to average 230 on a fresh shot". I'm not sure what he meant by "anybody", but I think i am starting to understand the point. The fresh shot seems to be extremely forgiving, truly funneling the ball toward the pocket.

Oil conditions are something of greater relevance as one progresses in ability, and I think I am finally to the point where I am capable of determining conditions quickly and reacting to them (but not as quickly). It is my experience that some people do better with slick lanes while others like 'em dry.

I do not have a set of eight bowling balls from which I can choose to match the oil, so I have to do it by feel, position, and speed. I am not very good at it. It has been an interesting dimension to add to the game.


  1. I am with you, with regard to having to gauge oil layouts only by speed and position - I use two balls, and one of those is specifically just for corner shots.

  2. I have two, as well, but can't seem to learn how to use them... :)

    (Sorry JL, just couldn't resist.)

  3. No problem! I teach high school boys for a living, so I am used to it, lol.

  4. I bowl in 2 leagues; both of them have fresh oil laid down before we start. I would agree that a fresh shot is easier to bowl on but only with the right equipment. I used to struggle mightily until I bought a medium to heavy oil ball.

  5. It seems like every time I bowl, the oil is different. I still haven't decided whether it is best to adjust speed, starting position, or target. I think I settling on starting position, but sometimes I feel very schizo in changing up my strike throw.

  6. Hey, Josh! I used to live "somewhere between Washington and Baltimore" (Ft. Meade) and am very familiar with the area. My first bowling league was at the base bowling center there (though I didn't really know it was sanctioned at the time, I was just getting together with some Army and Navy buddies to drink beer). I also teach high school (not parochial). I see from your website that you're a theology major-- think of the chats we could have (I'm about to finish LCMS seminary) about, at least, bowling, or M*A*S*H (I'm a purist, my favorite episodes are in the first year, with Spearchucker Jones, Ugly John, the Radar O'Reilly from the movie that wasn't whiny and naive, and of course, my favorite character Henry Blake) or God-- and how all three are connected...


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