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Thread: Bowls' dynamics

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    Default Bowls' dynamics


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    Can anyone please give me a very (very!) simple answer to the following: which is easier to bowl further - a lighter or a heavier wood? It makes sense to me that if I can throw a tennis ball further than a cricket ball because the tennis ball is lighter, then a lighter wood would travel further. While many bowlers tell me this is not the case, and that a heavier wood will travel further than a lighter one, surely this is because they have had to use more initial force to set the wood in motion? (Please be kind to me on this one - and certainly don't confuse me even further by introducing too many formulae - let alone different densities/materials! — John

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    The short answer would be: Not me.

    I prefer to use a larger bowl, where it makes sense, because I find that the larger bowl tends to roll more with the same degree of force, whilst better fitting my hand : momentum = mass x velocity, at the risk of failing your simplicity test.

    However, I've found there are other factors to take into account: a heavy/soft green can create extra drag that slows down the heavy bowl, requiring extra force, especially at the start of the season on grass, where I tend to use a lighter bowl.

    I'm sure that the bowlers personal style of delivery will affect matters, too.

    Finally, I'm not sure that I could throw a tennis ball further than a cricket bowl, despite the the weight disparity. To an extent, it would depend on what the length to be compared is - the distance through the air, as in a shot-put, or the total distance to it coming to a halt - as well as the surface involved.

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    Default Friction?


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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfrancismoss View Post
    Can anyone please give me a very (very!) simple answer to the following: which is easier to bowl further - a lighter or a heavier wood? It makes sense to me that if I can throw a tennis ball further than a cricket ball because the tennis ball is lighter, then a lighter wood would travel further. While many bowlers tell me this is not the case, and that a heavier wood will travel further than a lighter one, surely this is because they have had to use more initial force to set the wood in motion? (Please be kind to me on this one - and certainly don't confuse me even further by introducing too many formulae - let alone different densities/materials! John
    You need to consider the friction between the bowl and the green. In general a heavier bowl will create more friction than a lighter bowl thus it will stop quicker than the lighter bowl given the same initial delivery force. As greens get faster and harder the friction is reduced and the lighter bowl will travel further than heavier bowl. Always been interested in when this reversal occurs but have never had the time to really have a good look. I believe this is why you see a range of bowls weights in countries with very slow to slow greens and only heavy weight to extra heavy weight bowls in countries with fast to very fast greens like Australia and New Zealand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    You need to consider the friction between the bowl and the green. In general a heavier bowl will create more friction than a lighter bowl thus it will stop quicker than the lighter bowl given the same initial delivery force. As greens get faster and harder the friction is reduced and the lighter bowl will travel further than heavier bowl. Always been interested in when this reversal occurs but have never had the time to really have a good look. I believe this is why you see a range of bowls weights in countries with very slow to slow greens and only heavy weight to extra heavy weight bowls in countries with fast to very fast greens like Australia and New Zealand.
    With the increasing use of coloured bowls, how many makers if any produce them in anything but Heavy?
    No Grey Areas

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