Quick Tips: Falling Victim to Stomp and Spray


I originally heard the term while watching some PBA Xtra Frame, and though I’m not sure who coined the term, the Bowling Doctor Jeff Mark referred to the typical house bowler style as “stomp and spray.”  I thought this was a great way of describing the bowler who has bastardized his game to conform to one lane condition at one particular center.  The best part is this bowler will actually gloat about how they carry an average equal to the players on tour and not realize how meaningless his 200+ average actually is.

Area Bowling.  This is simply when a bowler decides he isn’t going to target anything and is just going to throw the ball to the right and watch the dry boards pick up the ball and hope that it carries the ball back to the pocket.  This method has been popularized over the past few decades with the induction of modern bowling equipment and walled up house oil patterns (i.e. easy, high scoring patterns).

Spraying the Ball. Spraying the ball refers to the bowler that has a lot of area and could roll a 230 game with 7 boards of area at the breakpoint.  To determine how badly you are spraying the ball you need to watch the path of the ball after you release it.  Watch the ball as it rolls through your target (or not if you failed to hit it) and then follow the ball path with your eyes to the break point to see how consistently you are hitting the breakpoint*.

So if you are an area bowler I first want you to be aware of it and second I want you to really work on honing your skills and hitting your targets and breakpoints(also important is the exit point of the oil pattern, but that is a discussion for a different time and day).  Relying on the oil pattern to carry your ball back to the pocket isn’t going to get you anywhere when you encounter a tournament condition or finally make that trip out to nationals.

The reality is I’ve seen many stomp and spray bowlers get a rude awakening when they finally try a sport condition for the first time.  A 200+ bowler could easily struggle to maintain a 160 average in a sport league.  I’ve seen it time and time again.

*Breakpoint – The point at which the ball begins to change directions and head back towards the pocket.

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Categories : Bowling 101

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