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In this episode we discuss the parts of a bowling ball and the symbols on the surface.
Starting with the Coverstock (The surface of the bowling ball), you will find 2 or 3 symbols. The Pin, Center of Gravity (CG), and if the core (also known as the weight block) is assymmetrical there will be a Mass Bias symbol.
The Pin is a circle created with colored plug material and designates the top of the core. During manufacturing the core is suspended in the bowling ball by a hanger pin. Once removed there is a void in the bowling ball. Manufacturers used to fill the hole with the same color as the ball so that you didn’t know where it was. As ball drilling became more of a science, it was necessary to “see” where the core was. Filling the hanger pin hole with a different color allowed ball drillers to essentially “see” inside the bowling ball.
The CG is the point on the ball where all four quadrants are in balance. As you move the CG mark left, right, up, and down, you start creating imbalances in the static weight of the ball. The USBC limits the amount of imbalance to 1 ounce left or right of the center line and 1 ounce up or down from the midline.
The Mass Bias is only noted on assymmetrical cores. This point denotes where the core is closest to the cover stock. It is the second most important piece of information used when laying out your bowling ball.
Information that is not listed on the bowling ball itself is the Radius of Gyration(RG). The RG determines how fast or slow the ball will be able to spin. A great example is that of an ice skater. When they do a spin and hold their arms out, they are create a higher RG and spin slower. As they bring their hands in towards their body, they create a lower RG and spin faster. The RG of bowling balls do not change, as if the ice skater’s arms were in a cast.
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