What is the best bowling arm (for you)?
Interesting summary from Col Griffin of Jindalee, Q’ld.
The first thing worth remembering is you cannot push a bowl with a bowling arm so if you have been a “pusher ” bowler you will need to become a “swinger”.
So try before you buy may not be the best advice depending on your disability and experience.
The most important thing is to get the right length arm to suit you.
Most people talk about the different release mechanisms but for me the “how we have to hold the bowl in place before the release” is at least as important as the release itself.
Bowlers with all registered bowling arms can learn to get “touch” and play great games.
Subject to marketing, the cheapest is the Dart Release, then the Bowling Arm (or equivalent) and around the same price is the Bionic Arm and then the most expensive is the arm that looks like a hacksaw (aka DHB)
All the arms have quirks that the players “sort out” as they learn to use them.
But at the end of the day, how you deal with the quirks just becomes part of your game.
The Bionic Arm is well suited to players who want a spring to hold their bowl in the arm. the release is a light trigger or thumb pressure. The Bionic arm is reverse acting to hand bowling, it is squeeze to release, whereas hand bowling is open your hand to release the bowl.
The other brands have no bowl holding spring so those bowlers who want the feel of gripping their bowl, albeit remotely, might prefer other brands (not Bionic)
The hacksaw is ultra lightweight, I have only played one game with a hacksaw and I still do not know if lightweight is an advantage because the others are not particularly heavy. The Hacksaw has a lot of trigger movement to provide a soft clamping tension (compared to the bowling arm and the Dart Release)
The Dart Release requires a firm grip to hold the bowl in place, but you do not have to be a muscle man or work out in a gym, it is just firm compared to the Hacksaw. Col
This still has the main essentials with some additions for helping clubs overcome problems associated with damage to greens by “Bumpers, Dumpers and Thumpers”.
To be included in forthcoming editions will be important advice on playing on significantly heavy greens, on-shots and drives.
This will include insuring that the left hand is held more firmly against the thigh preventing any rotation of the shoulders above the waist and subsequent loss of intended direction.
Those using the “Hacksaw” type arm should only use your finger tips on the trigger bar. Wrapping your fingers tightly will cause a delay in delivery release and the bowl will elevate.
To download the guide click on the link above. This paper has been written and produced by Bowls Victoria – as an aide to Victorian bowlers using an Arm Device. A wonderful “how too”, must read document for all Armed Bowlers.
Brian Ing – Victoria
Brian was probably the first “arm exponent” and traveled all over Vic. teaching Coach’s how to Coach the “ARM” My hero, wish I’d met him.
If anyone would like to share stories of or about Brian, I’d love to see them here.
Col Griffin (AKA Mango Chutney and Artwombat) – Queensland.
Jack Unmack – Victoria.
- Bowlers Arm Tips – by Jack Unmack (Vic.)
- Mental Toughness – by Jack Unmack (Vic.)
- Persistence – Jack Unmack (Vic.)
- How to Re-Focus – Jack Unmack (Vic.)
- Why Visualization Works – And How To Use It To Dominate – Jack Unmack (Vic.)
Neil Crisp – Victoria.
Neville Rodda – New Zealand.
I’m very impressed with Neville’s thinking, not for the armed bowler …specifically, but for me, using his techniques has improved “my” armed game. (Ed.)
A breathe of fresh air is rippling through bowls at the moment as Nev Rodda throws away the conventional coaching manual in favour of what can be seen as “logic waiting to be discovered”. Some tall players, and perhaps those with small feet (should I have said that!), that I have Coached had instant success with his “Shooters Stance”, in fact as an armed bowler I have found it also has merit! His YouTube video’s explain all and so far are:
- The Shooter Stance.
- How to aim with the opposite foot.
- What is the role of the Leader.
- How to hold the bowl.
Pamela Bryant – Victoria.
Pam’s Quick Tips
- Ensure bowl is housed so that it will travel on the centre running surface.
- From the mat, visualize aiming line, jack high.
- Visualize half way between jack high and mat. (Helps with weight/shoulder)
- Find a point of focus 8-10 out.
- Check your feet, place weight on the balls of your feet, 80% on the stationary, 20% on the stepping out foot, knees relaxed.
- Stabilize your non-bowling hand.
- Do a practice swing or two, to feel the weight of the bowl, with arm & wrist firm but not tight.
- Hold the bowl with the minimum of stress.
- Taking a SHORT step, release the bowl at 6 o’clock, on the exhale, beside your stepping out foot. Heal on step no further than a few inches in front of mat.
- Make sure you remain upright, no slouched shoulder, looking at your point of focus.
- Stationary foot to remain on mat, roll up to toe.
- Coaching Session – by Pamela Bryant (Vic.)
- Pennant, a team sport – by Pamela Bryant (Vic.)
- Seeing & Hearing – by Pamela Bryant (Vic.)
- Getting the Jump- avoiding the Slump – by Pamela Bryant (Vic.)
Rodney Egge – South Australia
- Click here to see the “Coaching Players With Bowling Arms” booklet from Bowls S. A. written with assistance from Rodney Egge.
This booklet will provide Coaches with the knowledge needed to coach players with the uptake of the Bowling Arm, from their stance to using and choosing the correct Bowling Arm for them.
Share these tips with your bowling friends and family
5 thoughts on “Coaching Tips”
- Colin Griffin
New arm bowlers and digging into the green with the arm is an issue but by stepping forward with your “wrong foot” is a solution.
“Wrong foot forward” has the arm and your leg traveling side by side making it harder to accidentally lean over and dig the arm into the green.
Bowling “wrong foot forward” is not new, it is the convention for bowling in Bocce (the oldest bowls game in the world)
Rob Parella represented Australia in Bocce and Lawn Bowls.
I have seen Rob Parella draw bowl left foot forward then drive right foot forward so the Italian wrong foot forward does work in Australia I have also played Bocce “Rules” the international game and bowling “wrong foot forward” is their convention.
The “shooters stance” is the same as the South African 1/2 step and it is a shame he foot faults in the video.
I found the easy way for me was
A) setting up as if I was doing the shooters stance (see Shooters Stance video) (I am right handed)
B) doing some pendulum swings to get happy with the grass and weight
C) then a delivery stroke stepping forward with the “wrong foot.” and transferring my weight onto my “wrong foot.” for a follow through effect.
Getting within range for extreme weights.
I can preset the range by my stance – by how far my “wrong foot” is behind my other foot. Hence a bigger step for heavy greens and long ends and vice versa.
I am an experienced bowler and taken up the bionic arm because of progressive T2 diabetes nerve damage to fingers and feet.
I have won Cunningham Districts 4s, 1st div pennant, and Champion of Champs 4s been and I have playing for 30 years.
I have had my bionic arm for 4 months done a lot of practice and tried all sorts of techniques and played 4 games with modest success.
I hope this info helps someone battling with an arm.
I’m indeed thrilled Colin, that you have shared this gem with us, one I’ve seen in operation from NSW Armed Bowlers some years ago. If you would like to expand on this, and your experience we’d love to hear more, as every bowler responds to “some” of what they’ve heard in differing ways. We pick up what we need or what suits OUR GAME. The
Shooter’s Stance is also a good for diabetics and those with peripheral neuropathies.
- Col Griffin
We should be thinking what is best for arm bowling and forget hand bowling.
The problems I see with arm bowling starts with trying to emulate hand bowling instead of working out what needs to be done from scratch.
1) The first thing you need is a REGISTER/TRIGGER POINT so you know when to release the bowl.
2) The second thing you need is a height above the ground control so it always releases at the same height above the ground.
3) The third thing you need is direction via body/arm movement
4) The fourth thing you need is a weight correction technique.
During delivery 1,2,3 above should be a given, the concentration for actual delivery should be all about the weight.
Everything else should be pre decided and taken care of by technique.
We should be thinking what is best for arm bowling and forget hand bowling.
BYE BYE hand bowling none of it is a must do anymore.
Advice from hand bowlers is about as relevant as hand ball is to tennis.
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You are also breathe of fresh air. There is no wrong or right at the mo. Please email me. Cheers Pamela
- Col Griffin
I prefer to write up newly learned stuff.
“Old hand” stuff is good but some newly learned stuff seems better sometimes.
Anyway as I progress with my arm I might write some more.
I do art and I have done some videos and slide show videos, so I might attempt one of those on this subject.
Thanks for the Shooters stance tip.