Sports 4 The Blind

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     The illustrations in the scoring chapter show that normally the more strikes an individual can roll in a game, the higher the score. This leads many bowlers to continually experiment with various deliveries, positions from which to deliver the ball and many other deviations from the basics. The entire effort is to score strikes consistently, therefore having higher scores.

     To better understand the theory of bowling for strikes, we should take a look at the action and reaction of the pins and ball when a perfect strike is rolled. It is called perfect because all ten pins react correctly ending in the pit with none left standing on the lane or lying in the gutter.

     In this strike, the ball will hit mid-way or evenly between the one and three pins (right handers). This will cause the headpin to fly at an angle, knocking down the two pin. The two pin will go into the four pin, sending it into the 7 pin, knocking down those four. The three pin knocks the six pin into the ten pin, thus clearing those three. The ball will deflect slightly to the right and continue through the pins. The ball will hit the five pin on the right hand side, sending it into and knocking down the eight pin. Again, the ball will deflect slightly and take the nine pin into the pit. thus, all ten pins end up in the pit. In attempting to score strikes in this manner, the bowler is aiming for a point approximately 1/2 inch wide midway between the 1 3 pins. Any slight deviation from this spot will not result in a perfect strike, although the element of luck will many times result in strikes when pins rebound from the kick-backs and other pins.

     For left handed bowlers, the procedure is reversed, with the ball hitting midway between the one and two pins, with the head pin being driven into the three and the ball sending the 2 pin into the four pin. The ball would then take out the eight pin instead of the nine, and the five pin would go into the nine pin.

     To give the blind bowler a tactile example of how the pins are arranged take ten pennies and arrange them as the pins are arranged.

7 8 9 10

  4 5 6

   2 3


     The student can readily see that hitting the correct spot for a perfect strike(called the pocket strike) requires great accuracy by the bowler which in turn calls for much practice and development of individual skills. While hitting the pocket is the most desirable method of scoring strikes consistently, the beginning bowler and in fact most average bowlers do not have the time or desire to develop the skills required. They do have other options to give them a better chance of scoring strikes however and should learn the alternatives.

     Beginning bowlers should learn to utilize the dimensions of the ball, pin and lane to assist them in scoring strikes. In other words, the bowler should try to hit the headpin with the first ball rather than the pocket. This procedure will enable to beginner to score more pins without requiring the accuracy of bowling for the pocket. Attempting to hit the headpin on either side allows the bowler a much larger area as an aiming point as well as utilizes more lane space in which to keep the ball.

     Rolling for the pocket keeps the ball in an area approximately 9 inches wide while hitting the headpin allows for almost 22 inches of lane space. In other words, a much easier task, especially for beginners. This method is called "AREA AIMING" and is used by many bowlers. The method allows the pins, ball and equipment to assist the bowler to the maximum. The pins will rebound from the side kickbacks and the ball will assist by hitting other pins and causing more pin action.

     Whichever method is chosen, the bowler should strive to hit the headpin consistently with the first ball thereby giving the greatest first ball pin fall and normally easier spares to make.


     The starting position for all bowlers will not be the same as physical appearance and capabilities will differ wideley among bowlers. Lane conditions encountered will also contribute to the variance in starting positions that can and will be utilized as the beginner advances through the stages of skill. The best method to use as a beginning is to position each bowler in the center of the lane, having them note the position of the arm and hand on the rail as well as the direction the body is pointed.

     The beginner should then attempt to walk straight ahead and roll the ball. Practice will develop consistency in the positioning and walking and the skill will allow the bowler to make slight adjustments in the starting position to accomodate the abilities of the individual..

     The instructor can assist the beginning blind bowler by placing the bowler in the proper position during the initial instructional and practice periods. In addition, the bowler should be instructed to take careful note of all aspects of the position in which they have been placed as well as notice all variations they take that deviate from the basic fundamentals previously taught.


     Changing where the ball hit on the pins without changing or modifying the basic fundamentals is a simple procedure. It involves one rule that should be emphasized to students. The rule is: MOVE THE BODY IN THE DIRECTION THE BALL IS HITTING AND FACING SLIGHTLY TOWARDS THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

     for example: The ball is consistently hitting to the left of the head pin from the or starting position. The student should move their body to the left and face slightly towards the right and walk to the right. This will change the path the ball takes on the lane and change the angle of delivery. The basic fundamentals are executed the same as before without trying to compensate for the path of the ball. In other words, THE BOWLER AIMS THE BODY, NOT THE BALL.

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