Design of an instrumented bowling ball and its application to performance analysis in tenpin bowling

Authors

  • Franz Konstantin Fuss

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Australia
    • School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, Vic 3083 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract

An instrumented tenpin bowling ball was designed, by replacing the thumb and finger holes by tubes connected to 6D transducers, which in turn were connected to the shell of the ball. The transducers measured the forces and moments applied by the thumb and fingers to the tubes and thus to the ball. The ball was tested in weaker and better bowlers for each of the three basic types of shots (straight, hook, and spin). The performance parameters were identified based on the correlation with the average score. Better bowlers applied larger forces to the ball during the forward swing and thus moved and accelerated faster. Additionally, better bowlers had larger ratios of pinch force, period, and impulse of forward swing to backswing, and impart larger moments to the ball. The forces and moments were graphically represented in 4D vector diagrams. The moment vector shortly before release of the ball was predominantly horizontal in the straight shot, inclined left- and backwards in the hook shot, and predominantly vertical in the spin shot. © 2009 John Wiley and Sons Asia Pte Ltd

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