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Ergonomic Ball Lifts


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  • Ergonomic Ball Lifts

    My wife (the love of my life and the best darn biscuit and gravy maker in eastern Kentucky) had back surgery two years ago (herniated disc) but has returned to bowling using a lighter ball and a special technique (knee squat and all) to get her ball off the return table.
    In our "home" house this is okay since the "floor" is a few inches down and there is a four-inch step up to the approach. She can stand in the bowler's area, squat a bit, and pick up her ball just fine. However, when we go other places, a lot of houses have no step up to the approach. This forces her to bend lower and really becomes a problem during an average set.
    Maybe I'm a little bit more attuned to back problems because of my wife but I am increasingly aware of people complaining that their back "hurts" after a bowling session. Since we are seeing a "graying" of the league bowler... I don't know about your house but at our center the "average" league bowler is getting older... I feel we need to address this problem.
    Don't know if this is the right forum but... here's my question...
    Is there a way to elevate the ball lift and table (can't spell that thing that means where the ball waits until the bowler picks it up!)? Seems we would be doing the bowler a great service by making the table higher so they can pick the ball up easier and not have so much wear and tear and their backs.
    I would be interested to know if any of you have made such a conversion and how did you do it?

  • #2
    Re: Ergonomic Ball Lifts

    I am sure there is a way out there but you have to realize that the track and the power lift are connected and you can't raise one without the other and still make them work. Since the power lift releases the ball to the ball tray I don't see how it can roll uphill if you was to raise the tray. Most bowlers that have back problems are from the approach being too sticky,poor timing, equipment too heavy or dryer lanes with the execption of a few. I myself was run over by a semi while on a motorcycle and after spending 6 months in the hospital and told that I would more than likely not walk again have no problems. I throw 16 pounds and have too much speed on the ball and to this day have no back problems at all.
    I hope your wife continues to love the sport and enjoy it to the fullest.
    Have fun!

    David Bolt
    Champaign, IL
    USBC Silver Coach
    IBPSIA Advanced
    Technical Certified
    Pro Shops


    • #3
      Re: Ergonomic Ball Lifts


      AMF makes a lift that's about a foot higher than the traditional "S" lifts, to accommodate the "lower" spare ball rack. However, it does use non-standard tracks and wheels, which was one of the reasons I shied away from it.

      The problem with raising the existing hardware, in my opinion, would be that you'd have to cut away too much of the cribbing under the key for it to be supported safely. After all, the old magic circles had those wooden up-sweeps under the approach that worked (somewhat), so pitching the track a couple inches upward gradually wouldn't be that tough, but you'd run into the bottom of the approach in most installations.



      • #4
        Re: Ergonomic Ball Lifts

        I just bought 20 used AMF spectrum returns for spare parts for my center. The other place is taking them out and replacing with Brunswick Frameworks ball returns. Was there tonight looking around and saw the two returns side by side. The Brunswick looks like the tray is down around your ankles compaired to the spectrum returns. Having a bad back myself and knowing senior bowlers like I do, man am I glad I dont work there!


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