Selecting a Tournament Arsenal - Junior Gold Series

Posted by CtD Staffing on

By Dustin Zehner, 2016 U20 Junior Gold Runner-Up

One of the hardest decisions any Junior Gold bowler has to make is what bowling balls to bring after the practice sessions. There are a number of different components that need to be taken into account when choosing your arsenal. So let's talk about the different types of ball motion, how different surface prep can affect ball motion, and finally building your final arsenal for the tournament.

The 4 Types of Ball Motion in Bowling

The first step in building your arsenal is understanding the different balls on the market.  With the large variety of bowling balls available, we need to break them down into the 4 types ball motions.

  • Traction
    • Bowling ball hooks early and is fairly straight down lane
  • Continuous
    • Ideal ball motion
    • Ball starts to hook later than a traction bowling ball and continues to drive through the pins.
  • Angular
    • Latest hooking out of the 4 types of ball motion
    • Ball goes very long down the lane and makes a hard change in direction.
  • Straight
    • Everyone should have in their bag because it is very important to shoot straight at your spares!

Here is a visual of the 4 types of ball motions


We created a ball motion chart to help you determine the motion for all bowling balls.  The chart can be found here: BALL MOTION CHART The motions listed on the chart represent the out of box finish. If you have questions about a ball that isn’t mentioned here you can email us at

How does surface prep affect ball motion?

There are many different variables which can affect overall ball motion. The one that affects it the most is the surface on your bowling ball. We initially discussed the ball motion based on how the ball comes out of box.  However, we can also achieve the 4 types of ball motion by changing the surface on the bowling ball. Check out this video where we recreate the 4 types of ball motion on the same ball by only changing the surface with TruCut Sanding Pads.

When determining what grits will be good for your bowling balls, remember that a lower number is a more aggressive surface. A more aggressive surface equals earlier hook. With sanding pads, 500 grit would be the earliest hooking (traction) and P5000D would be the latest hooking (angular).  TruCut Hand Applied Polish Powered by Turtle Wax is also a great tool to have in your bag because you can achieve a 5500 grit finish by hand! We created the Junior Gold Surface Kit to specifically tackle the whole range of surface.  You can purchase it here:

How to build your Junior Gold arsenal

If you are able, you should take 6-9 bowling balls to your practice sessions. After the practice sessions are finished, you need to narrow those bowling balls down to five. Here are a few items to make sure you have in your bag:

    • Different core/coverstock combinations
    • Different surface prep on similar ball motions
    • Have a spare ball! (urethane or polyester)

After reviewing your arsenal and removing any duplicate balls, you can now begin to build your 5 ball arsenal. Below is an example of an arsenal that could be a possibility going into your first day of competition.

 Ball Motion Ball Surface
Traction 1000 grit
Continuous 2000 grit
Continuous 3000 grit
Angular 5500 grit (TruCut Hand Applied Polish Powered by Turtle Wax)
Straight 5500 grit - This is your spare ball
*Urethane *500 grit - Optional for an additional reactive ball

After we have the 4 types of ball motion in our arsenal, we have to determine what we want the last ball to be. This ball should be either your favorite ball motion OR the ball you have the most confidence in.  As long as you have all four motions, you will be able to have at least one ball that should work.

Deciding on your arsenal can often be a difficult task; but use this guide to help yourself build your 5 ball arsenal. Remember that TruCut Sanding Pads and TruCut Hand Applied Polish Powered by Turtle Wax are very important to have in your bag throughout the week because these products can be used to fine tune your ball motion. You can only change your surface before you start bowling. This can allow you to have a ball that will work specifically on the environment you are bowling on. The Junior Gold Surface Kit is available now and use the code JRGOLDPICKUP to save $5 by picking it up at our booth in Detroit!


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