The Coach To The Pro Bowlers In Competition – PBA Tour Rep

Tour Reps Are Another Set Of Eyes For The Pros

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If you follow the PBA or PWBA Tours you may have heard the term tour rep or ball rep. Maybe watching one of the telecasts from the respective tours, you may see a player on the telecast talking to someone. Especially if they are struggling on the show!

What is a tour rep anyway? A tour rep is a person hired by a bowling manufacturer to assist their respective staff players while at a professional bowling tournament. Those duties are but are not limited to, assisting a staff player with anything while that player is bowling. It can start weeks before the tournament has even started. If a player feels like they are struggling or there is some new equipment that has been released, the player may contact the tour rep for some assistance on what the new balls are designed for and what might be the best layout for that individual player.

A Lot Of Info Comes From The Practice Session

Usually, the assistance starts just prior to the practice session. A tour rep may talk to someone in the bowling center or pro shop and ask some questions about the characteristics of the bowling center. Does one end hook more than the other. Are there certain pairs in the center that just aren’t very good? Once the practice session starts, the tour rep will assist the player with watching ball motion as the ball goes down the lane. And not just that player but all players. This way the tour rep can relay any information that he may see back to the player to dial in a game plan for the following day when the tournament starts. Players like Chris Barnes eat up all the information. Chris even makes his own notes on his phone of EVERY pair he bowls on. What ball, surface, layout, speed, rotation, and rev rate he used and then what, if any, differences there were between each lane on the pair. Chris has years of information on his phone. This way if he goes back to that center, which many times the tour does, he can compare previous years information with what he currently sees at that tournament.

Tour Reps Job When The Tournament Starts

The next day when the tournament starts for score, the ball rep will arrive at least one hour early to make sure all their players are prepared with a game plan. The most important part of that 15 minutes of warm-up for the ball rep is to make sure the player feels comfortable and to make sure their ball surfaces are dialed in correctly. Every day and every round will play differently from practice and from the previous round of bowling. Yes, EVERY round will play differently.

Once the tournament has started for score, the ball rep will then usually scout other pairs. Especially on the PBA Tour. The rev rates are so high on the PBA Tour that the lane can change dramatically in a very short time. From the time practice starts to the middle of the first game, it is not uncommon for a player on the PBA Tour to have to move several boards or change balls. How the lane will play will be completely different if your following Walter Ray Williams Jr. or Norm Duke compared to following Jason Belmonte or Kyle Troup. You must pay attention to where they are playing and how much surface they are using. And especially if they are following someone that uses urethane.
Once you can get a player settled in, the tour rep will roam around the center just watching. Paying attention to who is bowling well and who is not. There are times when it is easy because your player is bowling well and lined up. And there are times when you feel helpless as a tour rep because with all our knowledge between the player and the rep, it sometimes just doesn’t work. And it can be very frustrating for all.
I will be doing some tour rep work for 900 Global for the 2018 season on both the PBA and PWBA Tours. I will get to work with players like Chris Barnes and Daria Pajak this season. It all starts this week, April 9-15, 2018 in Syracuse, NY at the USBC Masters. Very fortunate to get to work with the best players in the world. I will be writing a blog throughout the week as to what went on. I will provide insight directly from the 900 Global staff on balls, layouts, and lane play. I will also, when time permits, be doing some Facebook interviews with 900 Global staff. These will be done directly through the 900 Global Facebook page and through my John Gaines Bowlers Mart Coaching Corner page. Please go on Facebook and like both pages so you do not miss any of the live videos or reports.

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