RealTalk Discussion #1 (to know or not to know?)

Every week my brother and I will start a new discussion. We deal with a lot of issues and conversations around bowling and the bowling arena. We call this RealTalk. These will be everyday bowling situations that all of us or some of us deal with. I want to know what you think and what is on your mind. Stay tuned. :)

The first discussion is:
Which is better going into a tournament knowing the shot or not knowing the shot? Why?

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wether you know the shot or not it doesn't mean you know how it's going to play.
Good afternoon everyone,

I think that not knowing the shot is better, if you are a competitor. Like Keith had mention, it puts the challenge back into the sport and also it will tell you what you need as a bowler what you need to work on if it is practicing on the type of shot or to get your equipment for it. Either way you still will have to practice on itso that you won't have a problem with the shot next time.
I think it would be better to know what condition has been put down so that recreational bowler can research and/or practice on the shot. If you leave a house shot down the local bowlers would have a better chance of competing with the regional professionals. If you put up PBA experience shots they would be recognized faster by the regional players and they would know how to play the lanes and would be able to choose the correct equipment. One of the advantages of the professional is equipment, having it and knowing which ball to use is important. example: I recently got feedback from Roto Grip on playing the various PBA experience shots, one condition calls for standing around 12 and rolling the ball outside of 5 using a ball with the pin below the finger, preferably a cell pearl or an illusion. It also says to try and get a hook stop reaction, and beware of carrydown. If you didn't know what shot it was would you be playing out there? Probably not, and watching others on your pair is not really going to help because the other bowlers around you won't be striking enough for you to follow them. By the way the condition is not the cheetah, its the viper. I'm done.
Hello, I am inclined to agree with both Tameka and Theo on the fact that sometimes advising players of the shot is not always and good idea, especially if their first thought is I can't play that shot "not about to waste my money". We all know that if we as bowlers feel that we cant hit a particular shot then that tournament will not have the pleasure of our company.
Theo made an excellent point, everyone has not been afford the opportuntiy of having balls drilled for certain oil patterns and therefore for the common bowlers ;(no insult intended) this would be a disadvantage to them.
We have bowlers that have ball sponsors, we have bowlers that buy a ball everytime one comes out and I applaud you for this, but everyone, especially the new comers are not about to go this route. Believe it or not, it takes handicap bowlers as well as scratch bowlers to make a tournament and/or league successful. I think walking into a tournament with both the higher average, medium average and those who are just beginning not knowing is fair play.
What gets me is no matter what you do, someone is going to complain; you will never make everyone happy so just do what's fair and let the whinners whin. Knowing that you have placed a shot out there competitive to all left, right, crankers, strokers, full rollers or what have you that is what's important. Sometimes trying to please certain crowds make others feel like you are catering to specific group of people and that's one impression as a tournament director you would not want to give. Why cant we just bowl, enjoy the game, and have a competitive spirit, hand outs are not always the solution; making an effort, showing your talents and just being plain competitive is what makes you a bowler. Especially when you put in the time and effort to work on your game.
i think not knowing the makes it more of a challenge and in the end makes u a beter bowler.
from a tournament director standpoint, i use to have on my flyers that a tournament condition will be used and posted at check in the day of the tournament. that way they really have no excuse not to show up. it kind of cover both sides. as a participant, and having been a scratch bowler for almost 15 years now, i grew up not knowing what pattern i was bowling on untill they started the named patterns on tour. then everybody started posting their patterns. people freak the heck out over trying to decipher the patterns lol. if its posted, normally im only concerned with length of the pattern, and if available the volume. that gives me a general area to start in and maybe a ball choice or two. nothing is etched in stone though. ive seen patterns on paper i told myself there is no way i can play up 5 and sure enough in practice up 5 was where i needed to be. my point is learn to read lane conditions based on your ball reaction, not a piece of paper folks. use posted patterns as a guideline not a how to book.

F.O.X said:
Tameka Jackson said:
Not trying to speak for Tim, but I think his point was just that: other professional sports don't broadcast what is to be expected. Why should bowling? Just because USBC and others inform the bowler of the pattern doesn't necessarily mean they should. One thing I would like to know if anyone could answer is why do they let the bowlers know what kind of pattern is out there?

NOW, that's an interesting question?

Are you saying that things should go back to the way it USED to be? When one went to a regional or pba event, there was no cheetah, scorpion, shark, viper or chameleon. It USED to be pattern A,B,C,D & E. Then, the shots or patterns were never posted. It was up to the bowlers knowledge and skill level to figure out what you were bowling on.

These days everyone wants an advantage or an edge. The playing field is not level. So, what happenes? The people that had more experience in dealing with the patterns got lined up faster than the ones that did not. NOW, the ones that can't line up faster cry that it's unfair to bowl against these "seasoned" guys and get beat. We all know the one's in the "know" are the minority. The clueless are the "majority". What was that saying, "majority rules"? BAM!! The shot is now posted to please the majority.

They STILL don't have a chance unless they are taking lessons and putting in the time to learn how to score on the condition they are on. With the condition posted, you might come close, but in the long haul you will lose to the one that has been "seasoned".

Everyone wants to win, but it comes at a price. Time, practice, dedication and sacrifice are going to play major roles in one's outcome. If you think you're going to play weekend warrior, against someone that is bowling on tough conditions the majority of the time and beat him. You have better chances at lotto.

you can please some of the people, some of the time. you can't please all of the people, all of the time.
Im not sure I know how to answer this question either. But in the example Tim gave, I will argue this point. That in the sports he talked about, the opponent is the other team not an inanimate object like the lane we are battling in bowling. So of course they arnt going to tell you their next move, their goal is to HIDE their next move to trick their opponent They are battling each other. But they DO know what kind of surface they are playing on, whether its grass or turf, etc... Same thing in race care driving, they do know what surface they are racing on, and they equip their cars with proper tires to give them the best traction. Same in tennis, they, they know if its clay or grass, same in track and field, etc.... you get the point im trying to make. The equivalent in bowling, I guess, would be in knowing the pattern you are bowling on.

Now I can't remember who said it in the discussion above, but even knowing that info, still most bowlers won't know what to do with it, even myself most times because every alley plays different and when you add to it people playing the shots wrong, it wont break down in the manner it was designed to. So Im not sure how much it matters to tell people. BUT, for those that are skilled enough to know what to do with the info, I think it may be better to announce it, so that they people that have educated themselves enough in the art of equipment selection can use that skill in choosing what to bring.

In todays game, we have so many balls in our arsenal, that when you add the expense of having to ship or fly balls to a tournament, the only winners seem to be the airlines or FedEx. Knowing what to bring and leaving the others home certainly cuts back on shipping costs for the bowler. I don't think bowling should have to be a guessing game.

Tameka Jackson said:
Not trying to speak for Tim, but I think his point was just that: other professional sports don't broadcast what is to be expected. Why should bowling? Just because USBC and others inform the bowler of the pattern doesn't necessarily mean they should. One thing I would like to know if anyone could answer is why do they let the bowlers know what kind of pattern is out there?
Isom, i guess the point i was trying to make with other sports is at the end of the day you still have to line up and play. Bowlers complain more than any other sport......i go on the PBA forum boards and all you hear is whining and complaining and they announce their patterns. The bottom line is you still have to execute no matter what......what's wrong with things being a little challenging. I feel that one of the biggest challenges to bowling is finding the most effective path to the pocket that will give you the best chance to strike on a consistent basis......also transitioning as the lanes break down. Somebody telling you where to play on the lanes before you bowl in a quote on quote competitive tournament sounds weak to me. Thats my golf, the golfer and his caddy has to figure out whats the best club to use in said situation. Each sport is different and ultimately i want bowling to be a sport where it dont seem like the governing bodies have to hold your hand to keep you from complaining and quitting. Bowling dont get the big endorsement deals as other sports because the perceptions is that any "Joe Blow" off the street can do what we do. One of the ways to counter that perceptions is eliminate all the crutches we use in our sport to make it easier on a competitive level. Bowling dont have to be a guessing game.....but whats wrong with having to analyze a situations and attack it with your skills and ability. The bowling equipment thats used today should pretty much eliminate any excuses we have on the lanes.
Ok Theo. I can't hold it in any longer. I'm responding. My personal opinion is turn the lanes on, give me some practice and let me figure it out. Excellent points mades on both sides of the issue. I love my buddy FOX. FOX said it best about the USBC tournament. USBC tells you what they're going to put down, give you graphs about it (which the average bowler does not understand), allows you to bring as many legal balls as you want(Isom shipping 1000 balls is very expensive), a few minutes of practice (use to be 2 balls on each starting lane) and then, Good luck, now hit it. Bowlers from all over the country with high averages on house conditions and the low to cash score in the Singles event is around 570-590. A 190-196 average and its a struggle to cash? So, why do you need to know what the condition is? Just a personal thought.
It is definitely better to not disclose the shot. It starts everyone off on a level playing field. So, you have to bring six bowling balls instead of your favorite three.
There are several comments about letting people research and practice on the condition before the tournament. Since you have been using PBA patterns, anyone can practice by joining a PBA Experience league, or talking to the staff at their bowling alley about setting up the conditions occasionally. To become a better, more competitive bowler, you need to practice on all the conditions you may run in to.

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