This episode brought to you by VirtualTournaments.com and BrookStone.com.

Bowling as a sport has had it’s ups and downs over the years. We really need something to get it back into the spotlight. In steps Jason Belmonte, an Australian two-handed bowler that seems to have burst onto the scene. He has been all over the news lately and we give our opinions of his bowling style.

Two handed bowling has been popularized by PBA member Jason Belmonte. We give our take on his approach.

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  23 Responses to “Talk Bowling #20 – Opinions of the Two Handed Bowling Approach”

  1. Great show once again guys! I'm in agreement on the two handed style–not unfair, just different. If it can bring more attention to the sport I'm all for it too.

    Just a guess on the question of the week: approach, lane(?) and pindeck. ??

  2. If I understand the question correctly, the three parts of the lanes would be the front end (heads), the midlane, and the backends.

    I believe the length of each is: heads – 18 feet (to the tip of the center arrow), the backends are the last 15 feet before the head pin, and the midlane would be the area in between, which would be 27 feet. (Thanks bowlingball.com/info!!!) haha.

  3. i believe the two handed should not be allow it call integrity if you don t stand for something you will fall for anything secondly their should be a weight code the golfer was making fun of one of the over weight golfers saying he look like a bowler again integrity must come to the forfront

  4. My problem with the 2 handed style is that 2 handers don't always have to bowl 2 handed! It is illegal for a right hander to bowl left handed, and vice versa. But it is not illegal for a 2 hander to bowl 2 handed on a strike shot, then shoot a spare with one hand. If a person wants to shoot 2 handed, then every shot should have to be 2 handed, just like a right hander always has to bowl with their right hand, and a left hander has to always bowl with their left hand. Why do these guys get to do whatever they want?

    • well a one handed bowler can always switch to two hands if they choose. I am a two-handed bowler and i throw every shot two-handed. but other bowlers like Osku Palermaa that throw at single pin spares one handed, i do not see a problem with. Also, if you look at the style from the front of the bowler, they technically only use one hand.

  5. Two handed bowling should not be allowed. I saw one pro throw his ball like a right-hander would throw a backup ball. This indicates his used his left hand more than his right at release. Bowling does not allow changing of hands during a game or tournament, this must be designated (left/right) at the time of registration. Two hand can throw
    ANY HAND at will, depending on the spare condition. This two handed bowling style shound be OUTLAWED.

    • Outlawing would be very restrictive in a sport that has had declining membership for so many years. There should be rules that help level the playing field.

      However, I haven't given it too much thought, but why is there a restriction on what hand you can use? If I decide to practice with both my left and my right, why should I not be allowed to decide which will work better for a particular shot?

      I really want everyone's opinion. What are the reasons that you can't switch during competition. In football, the quarterback can change hands if it better suits the situation. And they have 300 pound men running at them.

      • And John, I'm sorry, but that old beaten horse of declining membership is just not an excuse to let anyone do whatever they want. The flip side of that argument is that you will tend to drive away older and/or more conservative bowlers by allowing people to do whatever they want, especially if the rules are set up to give 2 handers an advantage, as many of us feel they do. Please see the rules and questions from the USBC rule book I posted below.

    • I definitely disagree, because if you have ever thrown a back up ball, you can do so by NOT using your left hand. I bowl two handed every day and at every single shot. The left hand is there for support so the ball doesn't fall or go backwards. So the pro that you are talking about is Osku Palermaa, i think if you actually knew what you were talking about you would agree that two-handed bowling is actually fair.

  6. Jeff, I appreciated everything you had to say. I would just like to keep this a family friendly site. You can reply again, leaving off the last sentence if you would like.

  7. The rules say that a bowler cannot change delivery. The argument being made is that if a right handed bowler must always bowl right handed, and a left handed bowler must always bowlleft handed, then why does a two handed bowler not always have to use 2 hands? Here is the rule:

    118b. How Established

    Each league shall adopt a rule to determine the number of games required to establish an average in that league. The following applies when establishing an average:

    A right-handed bowler must always bowl right-handed. Similarly, a left-handed bowler must always bowl left-handed. Penalty: Forfeiture of game.

    No combination of scores bowled both right- and left-handed can be used to compute an average, except as stipulated in Rule 4c.____The league board of directors may, by majority vote, adjust a player’s average before the player bowls in the league or during the season due to injury or disability. Separate averages must be maintained.

    Youth leagues:

    A bowler using a two-handed delivery will establish an average with two hands. When the bowler changes to a one-handed delivery, they must establish a new average using that hand.____

  8. The following questions from the USBC rule book illustrate the problem. 118b/1 and 2 clearly says one cannot change delivery. Yet 118b 3,4, and 5 say it is fine for 2 handers.

    118b/1
    If a bowler uses his/her opposite hand to make a delivery during a game, what happens?

    If an individual does not have permission from the league board of directors, a league officer or the league board would then have the following options within the timelines as stated in Rule 119.

    Declare the individual’s game forfeited: The bowler would receive zero for the game. (Note: Scores bowled by the other team members not in violation stand as bowled.)

    Declare the team’s game forfeited: The team would receive zero for the game. (Note: The individual in violation would receive zero. However, scores bowled by the other team members counts toward their individual averages and league awards unless the league rules state otherwise.)

  9. 118b/2
    A bowler decides to throw at a spare by delivering their bowling ball between their legs. Would this be considered a change in delivery and a violation of Rule 118b?

    The bowler has changed or deviated from their normal delivery which is a violation of Rule 118b. This rule provides a penalty of forfeiture of the individual’s/team’s game in which this action occurred.

    • Per 118b/3, 4, and 5 below, this should be just fine, as long as the bowler used their same/dominant hand.

  10. 118b/3
    A bowler is using the two-handed approach. The bowler's dominate hand is the right hand. Can the bowler use the right hand for spares?

    Yes, since both deliveries are with the same dominate hand, the bowler did not change his delivery and therefore, is not in violation of any USBC rules.

    118b/4
    A player started league bowling right handed, but later decided to use a two handed approach. Is this a change of delivery and in violation of Rule 118b?

    No, as long as all deliveries are made with the right hand, this would not be a violation of Rule 118b.

    118b/5
    What are the requirements of a delivery for a two-handed approach?

    A two-handed bowler is required to use the same dominant hand during their delivery on both their first and second shots (this refers to the hand in which the bowling ball rests). They also have the option of utilizing a thumb hole or not—both are acceptable. However, only one set of gripping holes is allowed.

  11. "However, I haven't given it too much thought, but why is there a restriction on what hand you can use? If I decide to practice with both my left and my right, why should I not be allowed to decide which will work better for a particular shot?"

    The rulemaker feel it give the bowler an unfair advantage when it come to spare making. For a right-hander, the "standard" shot have the ball moving toward the left, so it's much easier to pick up the 7-pin (leftmost pin) than the 10-pin (right-most pin). So if one can switch to the left hand for the 10-pin and have the ball move toward the right, it's much easier to make.

  12. My personal opinion is that rule is rather silly. Is breaking one wrist to throw the ball straight an unfair advantage too? How about throwing a reverse hook? What about altering your ball speed? Rev rate? Adjusting where you start? How about throwing it backward (start with your back to the pin and have the face the pin as normal. Swing toward the pin as normal, the hand will natural rotate clockwise, imparting the spin like a left-hander)? To pick up your spare, you have to read the lane condition and then make your shot. How you do it, what difference does that make? You still have to make the shot. Just because you switch from right hand to left hand doesn't make the spare an automatic.

  13. "The flip side of that argument is that you will tend to drive away older and/or more conservative bowlers by allowing people to do whatever they want, especially if the rules are set up to give 2 handers an advantage, as many of us feel they do."

    Do older and/or more conservative bowler still using plastic ball? How do 2-handers gain advantage? The bowler still use the same ball, with the same restriction on the weight differential. They still throw over the same lane with the same oil condition with the same 10-pin.

    What advantage are you referring to? The ability to rev the ball? The ability to impart higher speed? The only true physics analysis (true as in done by a physicist providing the entire formula and calculation, not a bunch of guesswork) show that rev rate and speed doesn't make a whole lot of difference in the probability of get a strike. It got next to zero bearing with spare. You still have to find the line and then make your shot.

  14. "A two-handed bowler is required to use the same dominant hand during their delivery on both their first and second shots (this refers to the hand in which the bowling ball rests). They also have the option of utilizing a thumb hole or not—both are acceptable. However, only one set of gripping holes is allowed. "

    Hahahaha. This is a laugher, the "handedness" is determined by the hand the ball rests. Norm Duke, when he want to crank it up, will put his left hand at the front of the ball and actually hold it such that it rest on his LEFT hand.

    When I want to throw a reverse hook, the ball will start resting on my right hand (I'm righthanded), but during the backswing, I'll rotate such that my left hand is under the ball and will deliver the ball with a clockwise rotation (eg reverse hook). Lest you think it's an advantage only for 2-handed, I can do the same with one-hand.

  15. Really, what's the difference between a 2-handed bowler vs a 1-handed bowler? Both will start holding the ball with 2 hands. Both will push off using 2 hands. The stroker/tweener removes the left hand after the push-away. Some crankers keep the left hand on the ball during the backswing, letting go when the ball move pass the hip. The 2-handers keep the left hand on the ball throughout the backswing. So where's the advantage to the 2-handers?

    I use 2-hand sometime because I sweat a lot. Mix that with oil on the ball and the ball keep slipping out of my hand at the moment of release. The 2-hand allows me to maintain control of the ball despite my sweat and oil on the ball. But the cost is I lose the "gravity ball". With 1-hand, I can use the gravity ball (eg just let the ball swing with zero effort by my hand/arm). I carry a 242 average with 1-hand. With 2-hand, 210. You have to make the shot, repeatedly. One-hand, two-hand, don't matter. Stroker, tweener, cranker. Straight-ball. Reverse hook. Don't matter. You have to make the shot.

  16. The real problem comes into play when you start talking about sandbagging. I average 196 with my right hand. What I started the season off bowling left handed, got my average at 140ish, switch to right handed and then dominated with the handicap.

    Yes, it's true you can sandbag with just one hand as well. There are points I agree with on both sides.

    If I take the time to practice with both, I should be able to switch up. A quarterback is allowed to switch hands if needed. A golfer can turn around and swing opposite handed (takes a ton of practice).

    Again, you are mostly dealing with politics and rules that have been in place for a very long time. They were put into place because people were probably trying to scam the system (selfishly).

  17. I completely agree with you. I am a high school student on my bowling team and for some reason, my coaches absolutely disregard two-handing styles of bowling. I myself is a left-handed bowler but I'm more relax and fit two-handing it but whenever I do it, he makes up an excuse about why two-handing is wrong. You should be free to choose your style.

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