I'm certain about the sequence of events being skid, hook, and roll; but when it comes to getting into the minutiae of "roll,: I have a few questions. I submitted my question to "Ask Mo" in BTM many months ago, and it initiated a sequence of emails between me and Jim King , BTM's editor. What I wanted to know is--what, physically, happens at the moment of roll out that differentiates roll out from roll? Roll is supposed to mean that the ball is in firm physical contact with the lane and has a rotational motion and translational motion in the same direction. This is supposed to be when you want the ball to hit the pins because it has more resistance to deflection than when it is still hook/skidding. On the other hand, we are told, you want the ball to hit the pins before it "rolls out," because after roll out, the ball is once again prone to excessive deflection. This is supposedly a split second window of time. Mr. King didn't really quite get my question at first and was just explaining "roll" to me, which is a concept I feel I have pretty well in command. When I finally clarified that what I wanted to know about was "roll out," his emails stopped and I have yet to see the question dealt with in the magazine either.
Here's my theory, and this is something I have come up with on my own, so it may not be correct, but it makes sense to me. I think this will deal also with the point that T-GOD is making. I think that when the ball first starts to roll, for most bowlers it is still tilted a bit on it's axis from the tilt that the bowler originally puts on the ball. That is, it is not rolling on the widest part of it's circumference. Since it isn't rolling on it's widest part, it can't yet be rolling straight. Any sphere that is rolling on less than it's widest circumference will still be describing an arc--a sharp arc if it is rolling on a small circumference, or a wide, perhaps barely noticeable arc if it rolling on a circumference just less than it's widest circumference. This latter is what I think is happening when the ball first starts to roll. Therefore, it still is turning, or "hooking" a bit into the pocket and is more resistant to deflection. Because of the increased friction experienced by the ball when it has slowed down and has started to roll, it very, very quickly "tips over" onto it's widest circumference--the full 27 inches. At this point it really is rolling straight and has "rolled out"--the unfavorable condition of being a "dead" ball and with little resistance to deflection. As I said before, this is my theory and may not be correct. I feel that some kind of explanation is necessary to deal with the question of what differentiates roll from roll out. I think this does it, and also explains why a ball that is rolling also appears (very briefly) to still be hooking.
To stretch my point even further, perhaps this also has something to do with the elusive concept of "carry." If I am correct about the difference between roll and roll out, the time the ball is rolling before it rolls out would be practically negligible. Perhaps most of the time--even the vast majority of time--we hit the pins while the ball is either still hook/skidding or after it has rolled out. Maybe it is when we are hitting it just right and actually hitting the pins with a rolling but unrolled out ball that we get the kind of good carry that forgives small mistakes and leads to good scores. This last addendum is not something I'm particularly sure of or would care to defend, I'm just throwing it out there. The first part--dealing with what is the difference between roll and roll out--I'm fairly happy with. Again, it may be wrong, but it deals effectively with a couple of questions. Since I can't seem to get any of the industry "experts" to deal with the question (I've asked others besides Jim King) I had to come up with something on my own.
I'll be interested to hear what y'all think.
Listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desk top
Edited on 8/25/2003 3:04 PM