What is a Benchmark Ball?

What’s a benchmark ball? 

We hear this term thrown around, but seldom with much explanation.  With the impending release of the MOTIV® Pride™ bowling ball, we felt that now is the time to explain what we mean when we call it a perfect benchmark ball for so many bowlers.   

Put simply, a benchmark ball is a bowling ball around which you can build an arsenal.  The ball you use as a benchmark is the cornerstone of your bag, and serves some critical purposes.  Out of necessity, a benchmark ball fits in the “middle” of your bowling ball selections.  What this means is that a benchmark is never the strongest or the weakest ball in your bag.  Likewise, it is never the most angular or the smoothest ball.  To follow the requirements of a benchmark a bit further, the core should also be moderate in its measurable metrics.  This means a moderate radius of gyration, differential, and low intermediate differential or symmetrical core.  The cover of a benchmark ball is something moderately smooth and can be easily adjusted to suit environments. The combination of a moderate cover and core should provide the bowler with a predictable and versatile ball motion.   

One main purpose of having a reliable benchmark ball is for reading lanes.  The benchmark is the first ball out of the bag at a tournament, on a new pattern, or in a new bowling center when the bowler needs a good “read” of the environment.  While the benchmark ball may not always be the best option, it will tell you what’s out there; if it’s too smooth and you can go to a more angular ball, too weak means grab a big ball, too angular and you need a smooth selection. 

Another use for a benchmark is to have a versatile ball in your arsenal.  Due to the versatility of both core and cover, a benchmark ball can often be used on medium-dry to medium heavy oil patterns.  The cover versatility mentioned before is crucial because a benchmark that easily takes surface changes can be used on even heavier and lighter oil conditions.  So often, when traveling to tournaments bowlers are limited in the number of balls they can take.  Having a benchmark ball that can be scuffed to use on heavy volumes or shined to create more angle gives the bowler more options at the tournament to which they’re traveling.   

Introducing the PRIDE™.

At this point, we turn our attention to the MOTIV® Pride™, which was built from the ground up to be exactly what I have described above in a benchmark ball.  We started from scratch with this piece; building a new core and cover specifically for the purpose of making a versatile, ideal benchmark for as many bowlers as possible.   

At the center of the Pride™ is the asymmetric Dominion core.  The moderate RG of 2.50 is stable without being so low that there is a danger of the core spinning too fast in the front and “burning up.”  The differential of .042 is a step up from the Venom Shock.  Many people have discussed that the Venom Shock is their benchmark ball, but ultimately, the differential on the Shock is a touch lower than what we would see on an ideal benchmark ball, especially in a competitive environment where strategic extra holes have been eliminated.  Along those same lines, a low intermediate differential (asymmetry) of .010 was added to the Dominion core.  Without weight holes, many bowlers need help getting their balls to read the lane early enough or to get forward through the pins.  A low intermediate differential makes the Pride™ feel stable without being too strong.  The 4:1 diff to intermediate diff ratio in our experience is ideal for driller friendly asymmetrical bowling balls. Asymmetrical balls allow for many different shapes.  Ball drillers can customise the ball for their customer with more precision on asymmetrical balls.  Additionally, a bowler who likes to carry more than one of their favorite model will have no problem creating multiple shapes with the Pride if they drill more than one.   

The cover of the Pride™ is the latest Coercion cover.  Typically, the Coercion cover system has been used for heavier volumes of oil.  However, with the versatility we have seen over the years from the Jackal Ghost and the incredible continuation from the Forge Flare, the time seemed right to develop a medium oil Coercion coverstock.  Through a multitude of tests, the Forge Flare Coercion MXC cover was the shell modified to create the Pride™ Coercion UCS cover.  This shell is a cleaner and slightly more angular tweak of what is on the Forge Flare.  Making the shell cleaner naturally made it slightly more angular, then some minor adjustments were made to it to give a bit more angle and continuation.  The end result is a shell that can easily be tweaked with shine or scuff to cover most conditions a bowler encounters. 

If you are rebuilding an arsenal for league or tournaments this year, a benchmark is the starting point.  If you are struggling to pinpoint what your benchmark is in your current lineup, you don’t have one.  If you are a moderately rev dominant, balanced, or moderately speed dominant bowler, the MOTIV® Pride™ can easily fit into the benchmark slot.   

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