Ted Thompson



Changing Lanes - By Ted Thompson

Republished courtesy of The Inside Line (June 23, 2016)

2016ChangingLanes5_small2.jpg With the invention of the Kegel LaneMapper, came a study about bowling lane topography like no other in the history of the game. Truth be told, when lanes were made of wood, and resurfaced in a timely manner and taken care of by craftsmen, topography was not really an issue. But with the proliferation of synthetic lanes and overlays, along with lanes getting minimal attention today, topography is much different and more influential than in past times – and the Kegel LaneMapper has been able to show it.



Product Maintenance in the High Tech Era

By Ted Thompson - Republished courtesy of The Inside Line (April 1, 2016)

2016KegelTedThompson_small.jpg Just about everyone involved in the game of bowling on a sport level has learned that today's high tech bowling balls need more maintenance than the bowling balls in the "low tech" era. In the 'good ole days' all one had to do is resurface their ball every year or two, and your ball performed as good as new. But the high tech bowling balls of today need a lot more "tender loving care" in order to maintain high performance levels. Not only do the bowling balls of today need simple resurfacing from time to time, they are much more porous.



Five must-know things about Oil Pattern Taper

By Ted Thompson - Republished courtesy of The Inside Line (Jan. 20, 2016)

2016KegelTedThompson_small.jpg Oil pattern taper, the amount of lane conditioner in the front part of an oil pattern versus how much is at the end of the oil pattern, has had to change significantly as bowling ball technology has changed. Lane conditioner (lane oil) has two main functions; to protect the lane surface, and to provide smooth predictable ball motion for as many styles as possible. Front-to-back oil taper with balanced balls is very different than what is needed with modern high flaring balls, which have multiple oil rings on them.



The Truth about Tournament Oil Patterns and Conversions

Republished courtesy of The Inside Line - A Kegel Publication (August 6, 2015)

2013KegelTedThompson_small.jpgAt Kegel we get many requests for converting oil patterns to and from different lane machine technologies. Sometimes it can be for a specific tournament pattern or it may be a named oil pattern. Although we fully realize the intent, we also know that there are many factors other than the oil pattern that determine ball motion, and how easy or difficult lanes play. One technical reason some oil patterns cannot be converted is simply because some lane machines do not have the capability to apply an oil pattern exactly like the machine it was made for.



Who do you follow? We're not talking about Twitter...By Ted Thompson

Republished courtesy of Kegel's The Inside Line (November 25, 2013)

2013KegelTedThompson_small.jpg In previous Inside Line articles, we showed how oil pattern breakdown happens with today's high flaring bowling balls and how different styles of play can affect an oil pattern in different ways. In this article, we will show how different groups of players with similar styles can greatly affect an oil pattern by strategically "managing the oil pattern" during practice time and the first game, and the resulting scoring pace for all those that follow these skillful "pattern managers." The scene was the Men's Team event second block during the 2013 WTBA World Championships.



Breakdown and Carrydown - By The Numbers

By Ted Thompson

2010MWCTedThompson_small.jpg In our last Inside Line feature article, Breakdown and Carrydown - Then and Now, we discussed the reasons why breakdown and carrydown are different today. For this edition's feature article, we will add some data and visuals to support the previous article. The data was taken from the recently concluded European Bowling Tour Masters in Munich, Germany and it shows the same thing we often see in bowling tournaments today.



Breakdown and Carrydown – Then and Now By Ted Thompson


We hear it all the time; "the heads are hooking", "carrydown is happening quickly today", "time to move again", "my ball's burning up – grab the fire extinguisher!" - ok maybe not the last one. But with the amount of oil needed in today's environment in order to protect the lane surface, and keep the modern ball from hooking into the gutter at the arrows, rapid and chaotic change is often the result. Even the best of players can be confused for a time during a block of games.



Kegel's revolutionary Slope Graphs By Ted Thompson

2011KegelLogo_small.jpg The deletion of resurfacing requirement rule in 1964 created a huge asymmetric lane wear issue, which culminated with the PBA creating a lane maintenance division, and implementing their own lane surface policies for PBA Tour events. But today, with the large number of synthetic lanes, we have not only asymmetric wear issues, we found bowling lanes can also have severe asymmetric levelness issues. For Kegel and the LaneMapper project, our next challenge was to find a way to easily show the affects gravity had on a bowling ball on any one lane at any specific distance.



Contributions to the Game - John Davis

By Ted Thompson

JohnDavisCEOKegel_small.jpg"I have no special gift - I am only passionately curious". Albert Einstein
Some refer to John Davis (pictured) as a genius in the field of lane maintenance and bowling. Davis however will tell you the same as Einstein; it was his fervent curiosity that led him to his inventions and a successful career in the bowling industry. His curiosity is even ingrained into his company's mission statement – "we research the sport of bowling to find solutions, create products, and provide systems to enhance the sport of bowling."



Are today's two-handed bowler yesterday's Dodo bowler? By Ted Thompson

ColumnistTedThompson2_small.jpgWhen reading about USBC's recent quest to coach the two-handed style of bowling, I could not help but think back to some articles that were shared about the early days of the ABC and how the leaders of the time governed the game. In those very early times of governance, when the game was still being defined at a rapid pace, a new crop of hotshot bowlers came into vogue because some of the more ingenious players figured out how to make exotic bowling balls and use them to their advantage. Those early high tech balls were known then as 'dodo balls' and the players that used them were called 'dodo bowlers.'



Is Bowling a Test or a Contest?

By Ted Thompson

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpgThere are many debates on what makes up the game of bowling on bowling forums and in bowling circles. These discussions usually revolve around scoring pace, high tech balls, blocked lanes and even styles of players. But it seems to me, everyone, including sportswriters, tournament organizers, proprietors and even the leaders of bowling are confusing the issues when the real question we need to be asking and answering is, "What is bowling supposed to be, a test or a contest?"



Bowling Bedlam Part II - The Oil

By Ted Thompson

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpg The playing environment of bowling today may be as complex, unpredictable and chaotic as any time in the history of the game. We're not talking about the weekly league or club game where the participants just want to have fun. We're talking about professionally maintained and controlled tournament environments where bowling sports people compete. This is the second in a series of articles that will try to shed some light on many of the variables in the current game of bowling.



2008 European Youth Championships - When everything comes together

By Ted Thompson

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpg The 2008 ETBF European Youth Championships at famed Tali Bowl in Helsinki Finland showed what can happen in the modern bowling environment when all parts of the scoring environment are predictable and at a high level. During the Championships, 12 of 15 girls scoring records were broken and 11 of 15 boys scoring records were broken. There were also five 300 games during the Championships. However, the closer you look and dissect the possible reasons why those records were broken and scores were achieved, the less anyone should be surprised.



Bowling Bedlam Part I - The Lane

By Ted Thompson

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpg The playing environment of bowling today may be as complex, unpredictable and chaotic as any time in the history of the game. We're not talking about the recreational league or club game where the participants just want to have fun and the conditions are designed as such. We're talking about professionally maintained and controlled tournament environments where bowling sports people compete.



I've been thinking too... By Ted Thompson

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpg While surfing the World Wide Web recently, I came across a March 2007 Golf Digest Feature article by golfing great Jack Nicklaus and his "state of the game" thoughts about golf.
Although many in the world of bowling may be tiring of the constant golf to bowling comparisons, while reading Nicklaus' commentary I could not help but realize the similarities and challenges the two activities have in common.

Preparing for WTBA Championship Events


The Short By Ted Thompson

Without this ball motion knowledge and awareness in today’s bowling environment, a technical bowling coach is only half a coach.

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpg Federations, coaches and players throughout the world continually practice for WTBA championship events but are they preparing correctly?
In August of 2007, the WTBA Women’s World Championship will be held in Mexico and in this article we will try to shed some light on some of the challenges slower ball speed players face and suggest an “outside of the box” approach to prepare for the short oil conditions.



The "Long and the Short of It" is now reality - is it also the future? By Ted Thompson

Edited and updated with two video clips from Tilburg

ColumnistTedThompson_small.jpg An ultramodern proprietor, Ronald Dol of Bowling Dolfijn, along with avant-garde event organizer Luc Jensen of The Netherlands, and the forward thinking European Bowling Tour (EBT) have just completed a major bowling tour event which employed lane conditions like never before, at least on purpose.



Pattern play and ball choices for Long and Short Oil Patterns

By Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson.jpg At various high level events the last five years, dual conditions have become more common. These lane patterns are categorized as long and short or could also be referred to as "inside" and "outside". The long pattern normally ranges from 42 to 44 feet in length and the short pattern ranges from 32 to 35 feet in length with both of these lengths having very similar required ball motion characteristics.

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