Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

November 18, 2013

Yates brothers top scores for week

A little sibling rivalry led to very nice scoring for Dave and Derek Yates this week. Dave shot 802 with a 287 game at the Bowler while Derek had 755 featuring a 277 game at Rainbow Lanes.

Jason Deal was next for the week with a 744 set that had a high game of 278.

Becky Torrington once again led area ladies with 676 while Crystal Uhl rolled 642 and Vivian Helsley had 631. Among the Juniors, Dylan Bean led the scoring with 706. Carter Nave had 656, Andrew Smith had 653 and Randy Cubbage had 647.

How and why does a bowling ball hook? Let’s start with “why”. In order to throw strikes, the ball (for a right-hander) should hit the 1-3-5 and 9 pins. Due to the weight of the pins, the ball will deflect away from the 5 pin, if the ball isn’t curving into the pocket. A heavier bowling ball can certainly help this, but hooking the ball, even slightly, is more important.

How to hook a bowling ball can seem pretty complicated, but it’s basically fairly straightforward. When the fingers leave the ball, if they are off to the side, they can create sidespin which will allow the ball to curve as it goes down the lane. If the fingers are straight behind the ball, the ball will roll end over end so to speak, and go straight. How much the ball hooks is the difficult part. The more lane conditioner, the less the ball will hook. The harder a bowling ball is, the less it will hook. In general, plastic balls (including most house balls) hook the least. Urethane balls hook more and reactive resin balls hook the most.

Getting the ball down the lane before it hooks involves ball speed as well. The harder you throw the less or later it will hook. One of the reasons that two-handed bowling has become popular is that it enables a bowler to impart a tremendous amount of revolutions on the ball while throwing it very hard. The later the ball hooks into the pocket the more it can impact the 5 pin and hopefully create more strikes.

So, to summarize, in order to throw more strikes, you need the ball to hook into the pocket. In order to have it hit the pocket, you need to match your speed, your amount of revolutions and the type of bowling ball you are using to the amount of lane conditioner on the lane. Now add in that lane conditioner is a liquid and will move through the course of a league or tournament. As you can see, there is a lot more to bowling well than meets the eye.

Joe Mullenax is the Cumberland Times-News bowling columnist. Write to him at

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