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Bowling For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-60159-4
340 pages
July 2010
Bowling For Dummies (0470601590) cover image
The fast and easy way to perfect your bowling game

Bowling is an inexpensive date, an affordable night out for the whole family, and a fun hangout activity for kids of all ages. Bowling For Dummies reveals the tips, tricks, and rules of play for this iconic American sport.

While not every player can hope to bowl 300, you can improve your average and show off for friends, family, and bowling league teammates. Bowling For Dummies provides easy-to-understand instructions for improving your bowling game. The expert tips and advice take you through every step of the game, from selecting the right shoes to the proper way to yell, "Strike!"

  • Packed with photos and line drawings
  • Step-by-step instructions and illustrations included for all techniques
  • Covers beginner through more advanced techniques

Whether you're a casual bowler or on a bowling league, the practical, friendly advice in Bowling For Dummies will have you itching to hit the lanes to try out your new skills.

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Introduction.

Part I: The Opening Frame.

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Bowling.

Chapter 2: Getting Down to the Basics of the Game.

Chapter 3: Heading to the Center.

Chapter 4: Buying Your Own Ball, Shoes, and Accessories.

Part II: Body Basics: Throwing Yourself into the Game.

Chapter 5: Finding Your Form and Style.

Chapter 6: Positioning Yourself for a Smooth Approach.

Chapter 7: Throwing the Ball.

Chapter 8: Correcting Common Approach Problems.

Part III: Time to Get Rolling: Making Your Shot.

Chapter 9: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Hook Shots.

Chapter 10: Knocking ’Em All Down: The Secrets to Bowling Strikes.

Chapter 11: Picking Up Spares.

Chapter 12: Conquering Classic Splits.

Part IV: Staying on Your Game.

Chapter 13: Understanding the Ins and Outs of Oil on the Lanes.

Chapter 14: Staying in the Game, Physically and Mentally.

Chapter 15: Improving Your Game on Your Own or with a Coach's Help.

Chapter 16: Bowling When You Have Special Health Conditions.

Part V: Joining Others at the Center.

Chapter 17: Taking the Kids Bowling.

Chapter 18: Playing in Leagues and Tournaments.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Add 10 Points (Or More) to Your Score.

Chapter 20: Ten Tricks to Throwing a Great Hook.

Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Make Bowling More Fun.

Glossary.

Index.

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A.J. Forrest is a former ranked amateur bowler and was a bowling coach at the high school and college levels for more than a decade.

As a professional writer, Lisa Iannucci has had articles published in USA Weekend, Shape, Parenting, the Los Angeles Times Travel Section, and many more.

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July 26, 2010
You’ve Got Game: Ten Simple Ways You Can Add Ten Points (Or More!) to Your Bowling Score

Everybody loves bowling. Every year, millions of people go bowling with their family and friends. It’s a sport that anyone can play, can be enjoyed year-round, and is easy to learn. And since it doesn’t cost a lot to play (and there’s no expensive equipment to buy to get involved, either), and there are bowling centers in nearly every town, you can get started right away. What’s not to love?

“Whether you are a casual player who enjoys a weekly game with friends or a more serious competitor who’s been in a league for years, everyone enjoys being a winner,” says A.J. Forrest, coauthor along with Lisa Iannucci of Bowling For Dummies® (Wiley Publishing, Inc., July 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-60159-4, $19.99). “And working to improve your overall score will also help you to learn about different facets of the game, honing you into a better player overall.”

And hey, let’s be honest—what bowler doesn’t like to see his score go higher and higher? Read on for ten simple tips for adding ten (count ’em, TEN) points to your bowling score:

Practice, practice, practice. The best way to get better at something, including bowling, is to practice, practice, practice. In addition to any weekly fun or league play that you do, go to the bowling alley at least once a week for the sole purpose of brushing up on your skills. You can practice by yourself or with friends. Just remember to focus on things such as fine-tuning your form, improving your strike ball, or making certain spares. If you’re not into solo bowling practice, find a friend who wants to practice his bowling too so you can help each other remain committed to regular practice sessions and goals. Or consider joining a league. Bowling in a league can push you to do better because you know your team is counting on you to do well.

Improve your approach. kKep these pointers in mind to ensure a perfect approach: keep your arm swing loose; make sure you release the ball at the right time—down by your ankles as you near the foul line; if you’re a hook bowler, make sure your hand comes up, following through in the handshake position; and if you’re a straight bowler, make sure your hand comes up, following through with your palm facing up toward the ceiling.

Analyze your hook. If you throw a hook and your score isn’t improving, analyze what you may be doing wrong. By simply making some adjustments to your hook, you can hit the pocket more frequently and bump up your score. You may find that throwing your ball from a different starting point and aiming at a different target arrow causes you to hit the pocket more often than you were before, boosting your score and giving you more control.

Choose the right ball. House bowling balls aren’t one-size-fits-all and may have dings or chips that will prevent the ball from rolling properly. If you want to boost your bowling score, you need to make sure you have the right equipment, that it is in good working order, and that it’s right for you. Your local pro shop can help you choose a ball that is the right weight, grip, and fit for you.

Move around. Occasionally, the conditions of the lane may change, which means your starting point may not always work for any given lane. Practice throwing from different starting points so you can be better prepared to adjust your positioning when you need to during a real game.

Understand the oil. Just because a lane is oiled one way at your local center doesn’t mean the lanes at another center are going to be oiled the same way. Different patents may be used, and the lane conditions at different centers can vary. Lane conditions can even vary in the same center depending on the time of day you bowl! For example, if you head to the center right when it opens, the newly oiled lanes may be much slicker than if you bowl after a day’s worth of bowlers have broken down the oil. Good bowlers know how to read the lanes and adjust where they start and how they throw.

Consistently hit your target. Hit the target, get a strike! Sure, it sounds like something someone might shout out at a carnival game, but it’s the truth. If you’re hitting your target (the pocket) on your first throw, you should see a strike. If you don’t get a strike on the first throw, hitting the target with your second throw gives you a spare, which equals much-needed points.

 Adjust for spares. To improve your chances of picking up spares, you need to be able to adjust your approach depending on what you left behind. If you stand in the same spot that you did when you threw your first ball, you run the risk of missing your spare. You can stay in the same spot to pick up headpin spares, but these are exceptions.

Take care of your body and your mind. Believe it or not, your mental and physical well-being contributes greatly to your bowling score. If your mind and body aren’t into the game, your score is going to suffer. In order to bring your A-game to the center each and every time, it’s best if you are well-rested, you stretch before every game, you take frequent breaks, and you think positively.

Stay calm, relax, and have fun. For the vast majority of people, bowling is primarily a way of having fun. No one enjoys losing, but getting all tense about how your game is going isn’t going to change your score for the better. Stay calm, relax, and have fun—if you do, your score will rise before you know it.

“Keep in mind, if you’re bowling only once a month, your score may not improve as quickly as someone who’s bowling a few times a week,” Forrest concludes. “Like any new skill, bowling takes dedication and persistence. If you take the time to concentrate on the techniques and improve your skill set, you’ll be bowling like a pro in no time!”

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