There is a war in the 10-pin bowling world, which is how to end the era of left-handed dominance. The problem is the oil layer, covering over 2/3 of the length of each roll.
The case is under scrutiny at the AMF Bowling Center in Nottingham, which hosts the annual English Open. The center is also home to Britain’s No. 1 bowling player, Nick Froggatt, left-handed.
Why is this sport more favorable for lefties? Froggatt thought it was because there were too many right-handers to dry the oil on one side of the fairway. He said there are few left-handed people like us, so the puttings are not much affected on the left. The oil dries quickly on the right side, so it’s no surprise that the right hand player has more difficulty.
Each 10-pin roller is 18 meters long, but only the first 12 meters are oiled. The purpose is to protect the roller from wear and damage. However, the top players know how to turn that layer of oil to their advantage. Oil helps the ball roll in a straight line, but in the dry part, friction slows the ball down and hits the pin at an angle according to the pitch.
Oil sweeping is often quite complicated with many styles, and is done by the machine. Ron Garton, a mechanic at the Bowling Center in Nottingham, is seeking to address this instability. He said people who play hand often encounter difficulties while left-handed people are still carefree after 15 games.
Garton intends to find a way to disproportionately sweep the oil, that will make the right-hand players in the first place, before the oil runs out. Inspector of the 10-pin Bowling Association of England Paul Le Manquais said there were no regulations banning the use of different types of oil scanning. But if it does, it will only create more trouble.
According to Paul Le Manquais, the ways of sweeping oil still need to be balanced and the only solution is to treat the taxiways not affected by the ball. Such measures are being studied in the US.
Whatever the outcome, Nick Froggatt said, he always welcomes solutions to help right-hand players. He shared that if he wins, he wants it to come from my talent and play, not based on the disadvantages of others.