Our fans have been submitting hundreds of questions for our LIVE Q&A sessions from Storm HQ.

While we don’t have time to answer all the questions during our Facebook Live shows, we decided to answer some of the questions in different ways. If you have a question that you’d like to submit, send it to us here. 

Each week, some of the members of our Team Storm Tour Reps will be sharing some insight about a question that was submitted. They each have a little different perspective and will help you learn about what the representatives look for in our PBA & PWBA Players bags.

When the ball reps are at the tournaments and watching the staffers how do they figure out which ball is going to fit best for each players?

-Shane Conners

JIM CALLAHAN

Storm PBA Tour Manager

I have a bit of a system I use to determine the right ball for each player.

  1. I look at the shape of the pattern on the lane.
  2. I determine whether I need an asymmetrical or symmetrical ball
  3. I determine how much flare I will need.
  4. I determine how much core I need.
  5. Then I determine the correct cover I need.
  6. After that, I determine the layout we need.

After answering all those questions and determine the new ball, we then have to match the surface to the particular pattern.

I would say in order of importance.

1) Cover stock

2) Core

3) Layout

That is my formula of how I figure out the ball for each player.


DEL BALLARD

Storm PWBA & PBA50 Tour Manager

I watch practice first and start from there. I work front to back. I look to see how much friction there is in the front to determine the strongest ball I can use. That way I don’t have to use so much surface at the beginning.

In addition, I try to watch what type of release works best. I mean that as in keeping your hand up the back of the ball or having a little more axis rotation. Generally, I like for those bowlers who stay up the back of the ball to choose quicker balls and bowlers who have a little more axis rotation to use balls that are slower off the spot.

Scoring pace comes into play when I’m helping players select their arsenal. I might go with a ball that is on the bigger, slower side to keep it in play if the scoring pace is low. If it is higher, I generally will go with balls that might be a little quicker to increase entry angle. Depending on axis rotation, rev rate, and ball speed, I try to see step downs in the arsenal selection.

With the lane always changing, it is hard to make a black and white solution. You make the best decision you can depending on what you see and the tools each player has to work with.


MATT MCNIEL

Storm Tour Representative

That’s a bit of a loaded question. The playing environment in constantly changing lane to lane, pair to pair, different areas of the bowling center have different tendencies so once we put all of that together and understand what the lanes are asking for, we can apply that knowledge to the individual player and their individual style. At Storm, we do the best at creating a catalog that offers a multitude of ball reactions for our bowlers. We are the bowlers company, so we understand the need to have a diverse catalog that helps anyone who uses our products have the best arsenal in the building. Think of golf clubs in a golf bag, every club is used for different situations and creates different reactions. Our team knows what our players have in their arsenals and then uses the information of what we are seeing on the lanes and translates that into what ball the player will need and when.

Watching ball reaction is very much operating in the gray, understanding what makes good ball motion is very difficult and takes a lot of experience / practice. When watching players bowl, I generally ask these questions in my head:

Is the ball reading the lane too soon?

Is the ball responding too quickly or too slowly?

Is the ball getting behind the headpin and not reading the lane soon enough?

Is the player using too much speed, launch angle through the fronts, rotation, roll?

Answering these questions generally points us in a direction that allows for us to zero in on a ball that will allow the players to “see” it. That is, they will be able to see what the lanes are asking for and they can really start making some great shots.


SHAWN RYAN

Storm Tour Representative

While at a tournament what I like to do is step back and watch during the practice session. This gives me an idea of where the players are migrating to on the lane. Once I see this, I watch the front part of the lane a lot next, meaning where the ball gets set down at from the players. The front part of the lane is hard for the players to see since generally they are looking further downlane. If the fronts are hooking this will determine that cleaner bowling balls are required, if the bowling ball gets through the fronts easier than stronger earlier bowling balls will be required. Once all of this information is gathered, determining what players should use becomes more of an educated pick instead of what I like to call “I think this might work” guess. Not every player will use the same ball, but they will use  a similar motion based on ball speed, RPM, axis rotation, etc. Generally if the type of ball they need isn’t in their bag we will go down to the truck and drill the player something that falls in that category.