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What's the Rangefinder you ask?

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  • What's the Rangefinder you ask?

    Rangefinder system by Brunswick

    It was invented by Lowell Jackson back in the 1930's

    "Jackson's poor eyesight was responsible for his most lasting legacy.
    Because he could not see the pins well, he would often put a pencil dot
    on the approach to help line up. Eventually, a nitpicking official at a
    tournament cited the ABC rulebook and made him erase his mark.

    That got Jackson to thinking. Out on the lanes, bowlers had long used
    darker boards to help them aim their deliveries. Why not have a series
    of markers permanently inlaid on the approaches and lanes? Jackson took
    his idea to his bosses at Brunswick. The result was the now familiar
    rangefinder system, which the ABC approved in 1939, and which is still
    in use today. "
    for more info on Jackson

    The bowling lane and approach contain DOTS (dowels) and ARROWS which are
    visual aids to proper alignment for strikes and spares. These aids are
    positioned on numbered boards.

    There are three sets of seven dots on the approach. The first set
    located approximately 15 feet from the foul line; the second set is 12
    feet away; and the third set is approximately 3 inches away. In some
    centers, the outermost dots are missing at the 12- and 15-foot levels.
    The center dot in each set is larger than the rest. You use the first
    two sets to help you choose where to stand on the approach for strikes
    and spares -- your SETUP LOCATION. The third set will help you or an
    observer determine exactly where your ball touches down on the lane --

    . In order for all bowlers to communicate correctly, right-handed
    bowlers need to count from right to left, while left-handed bowlers need
    to count from left to right. For purposes of explaining strike targeting
    below, we will limit the number of playable boards at 20. Therefore, the
    sequence is 5, 10, 15, 20, 15, 10, and 5. We will change our
    illustration when we talk about spare shooting.

    How to use the RANGEFINDER targeting system
    There is a set of SEVEN ARROWS located approximately 15 feet from the
    foul line and a set of TEN DOTS located approximately six feet from the
    foul line. These are parts of the RANGEFINDER targeting system
    innovated by Brunswick during the second world war. Note that the
    approach dots and the lane arrows are in line with the pins, while the
    lane dots are not.

    The statement about the " arrows are in line with the pins" is incorrect.
    As are a lot of the diagrams in the books of the lanes and pins.

    While the 4th arrow lines up with the center of the headpin. As you move left or right from the center arrow, the arrows move off the pin centers and don't line directly up with them.

    Here's a diagram showing how they really lineup.
    Click here for Diagram
    The black arrows are the lane arrows and the red arrows show where the dots lineup with the pins.

    You may use either the arrows or the dots as your VISUAL TARGET -- the
    point where you fix your gaze. The following method uses BOTH -- the way
    the Rangefinder system was originally intended to be used.

    1. First, choose your intended target line starting from the
    approach dots at the foul line and ending with the arrows at 15 feet;
    your target line is approximately 15 feet long. Let's pick a 12-to-8
    target line; your ball touches down on board 12 and crosses board 8 at
    the arrows. walk toward your target.

    2. Next, extend this path in your mind's eye all the way back to
    your setup position on the approach. It crosses board 16 at the level of
    your setup. walk toward your target.

    3. Position your bowling shoulder and your ball directly over this
    extended target line. in this case, both would be over board 16, with
    your forearm in line with your target. walk toward your target.

    4. Square your shoulders so that they are 90 degrees to your
    forearm. walk toward your target.

    5. Square your feet perpendicular to your shoulders and parallel
    with your target line to ensure that you will walk parallel with your
    swing. walk toward your target.

    6. Since the lane dots at six feet are closer and easier to see,
    drop your gaze back to these and use them as your visual target during
    your delivery. Since these dots are closer to each other, you can more
    effectively "fine tune" where you place your ball along your target
    line. walk toward your target.

    7. When you start to move, make sure to push your ball toward your
    target and walk toward your target.
    Last edited by litefrozen; 10-27-2008, 03:39 PM.