USBC develops new way to measure timing

    07/15/08

    USBC Equipment Specifications and Certification

    System will be another tool to help bowling coaches teach the sport

    USBCLogoRed_small.jpg Continuing to advance the sport of bowling through better coaching techniques, the United States Bowling Congress is developing a more modern and flexible system of measuring timing for bowlers. Timing is the relationship between the bowling ball's location during the swing and a bowler's steps during the approach and delivery.

    Devised by the USBC Coaching staff, the new method will more precisely than ever measure and classify the positions of a bowling ball during the swing relative to the bowler's footsteps. Those new categories will replace terminology that many believe is inaccurate and outdated for contemporary bowler styles.

    Eventually the measurement formula will be incorporated into USBC Coaching certification courses. The idea is that USBC coaches will use the new system to better teach bowlers how to play the game.

    USBCRodRossITCHeadCoach.jpg "This new system of measuring and organizing timing points during the approach will enable bowling coaches to create better leverage for their athletes at the foul line, especially those who use a more modern, powerful style," said Junior Team USA head coach and USBC Gold coach Rod Ross.

    For decades, timing for bowlers generally has been classified into three categories: 'early' timing (the ball arrives at the foul line before the slide foot stops), 'late' timing (the ball arrives at the foul line after the slide foot stops) and 'perfect' timing (the slide foot and ball arrive together at the foul line).

    The new USBC system includes terms such as 'leverage timing' (formerly late timing) to describe a bowler who releases the ball after the slide foot has come to a complete stop and 'roller timing' (formerly early timing) to portray a bowler who releases the ball onto the lane in a smoother fashion. The new system categorizes the locations of a bowling ball and feet in a series of zones depending on the location of the ball in the swing during each step. The terms also emphasize the fact that correct timing may be different for each bowler.

    DavidGarber.jpg "Describing a bowler as having 'early' or 'late' timing carries negative connotations," said Co-Director of USBC Coaching David Garber. "It implies that the timing is bad and needs to be corrected. That is not necessarily the case. When looking at other factors in a bowler's delivery, the timing may be right for that person."

    Power is an essential element in the games of many of today's top bowlers. But those players may generate that power using different types of timing. For example, Denny's PBA Tour stars Tommy Jones and Jason Couch find that the best way to create maximum revs, ball speed and entry angle is by using 'leverage' (formerly late) timing. Conversely, PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber generates tremendous revs and hitting power with 'roller' (formerly early) timing.

    "In the sport of bowling, good timing, leverage and repeating your shots are keys to success," said Ross, who recently was named head coach of the USBC International Training Center, which will be built in Arlington, Texas. "Bowlers must achieve a balanced leverage position at the foul line to deliver a bowling ball with consistent speed, rotation and accuracy. That requires bowlers to have proper timing to coordinate their steps with the ball swing during the approach. Proper timing will vary from bowler to bowler."

    "This system represents how the scientific side of coaching in bowling helps coaches teach their students more effectively," Ross said.

    "USBC believes this system better reflects today's bowlers and the modern form of the sport," Ross said. "This is another tool that USBC coaches will have in their toolboxes when giving lessons. Coaches will have more specific data to work with when trying to teach their students to improve their bowling skills. The ultimate goal is to have more bowlers enjoying the sport and bowling better. That helps grow bowling. "