Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Bowling Analysis Code

Technology #5686

Researchers from the University of Michigan Mechanical Engineering Department have developed a code and associated technology that determines important metrics of bowling ball motion. The technology can be used as a training tool for bowlers, an analysis tool for designing bowling balls, and a tool for fitting balls to players. The code takes information about the bowling ball via wireless communication with an imbedded inertial measurement unit. This information is then processed to determine metrics such as ball rev rate, axis tilt and rotation, hook potential, and many more. This code provides the user with a wealth of information that isn’t generated with other bowling analysis methods. The code has been tested and shown to yield highly accurate results.

Bowling Analysis Bowling is a very widely played game, with 71M Americans playing each year, 2.1M of them playing competitively. Whether a player is looking to develop their skills or select the right ball, a detailed understanding of how a player handles the ball and the corresponding forces and motion throughout the travel of the ball are essential. While some attempts have been made to understand the acceleration or rotation of a bowling ball, and some visual tracking solutions have been proposed, they have not been able to provide enough information, nor very useful information. With a 72K bowling leagues, and a bowling market of $3B, there is a huge opportunity for a code and associated technology that can provide detailed useful information about bowler skill and bowling ball performance.

Applications • Player training and development • Fitting balls to players • Bowling ball analysis and design

Advantages • Detailed, comprehensive information • Easy to understand outputs • Wireless