How to Properly Throw a Bowling Ball – 8 Simple Techniques

Taking a pot shot at all ten pins on the lane in a single stroke means exhausting all the possibilities. But do you know how to properly throw a bowling ball? Dexterity and the ability to capitalize on everything not only increase your score but also ensure you’ve got a whale of a time.

Throw your bowling skills to new heights to strike more pins and romp home to victory. At the outset, get bowling straight down to a fine art before you can start to improvise.

Most proficient bowlers hook balls to roll slightly off center while curving back into the midpoint of the pins. Roll up your sleeves to take your game to the next level under your own steam.

A young male throwing a bowling ball while three of his friends are watching and supporting him - Title picture for How To Properly Throw a Bowling Ball

How to Throw a Bowling Ball: 8 Things to Consider

1. How to Hold a Bowling Ball

Insert your middle finger and third digit in the side by side holes and the thumb in the remaining. This grip provides better control and diminishes the possibility of sustaining a freak injury. Ensure your fingers penetrate snugly into the holes.

A vast majority of house balls come with generous finger holes to accommodate any operator. Start by placing your thumb comfortably into the designated hole. Put the middle and ring fingers above the holes.

Once your second knuckle joint from the top lies above the center of the holes, it’s a comfortable grip. The bowling ball should feel secure in your hand. Use both hands for extra support to diminish you the strain exerted.

2. How to Release

  • Pacing up and down from the line, let the ball bounce back, and then walking at a snail’s pace towards the line, use the natural energy of the ball, oscillate it forward all along the imaginary line.
  • Keep it low and slow, let go the ball gradually as it emerges from the swing. Don’t rock it high or drop it, but let it skid along smoothly.
  • Try to turn your knees naturally. If the ball thuds, then go for a less aggressive swing.
  • Try to steer clear of wrist movement for the ball to go straight. Some wiggles veer the ball off course.
  • Keep your wrist in the rear of the ball from start to finish.

3. More Rapid Throws

  • Do not bowl too aggressively as a beginner as it throws you off balance when you fling faster.
  • Try a straight trajectory first and then focus on proper delivery. If you do this, the ball goes at a rate of knots.
  • Hone your skills by rolling near the floor and discharging it easily and seamlessly. Don’t hang on to the bowling ball rather than letting it go, this slows it down.
  • Once skilled, you can start to quicken. But don’t put the cart before the horse.
  • Stretch out your swing arc to impart more speed. Let the ball gain impetus with the swing without forcing it.

4. Perfecting Your Hook

To attain higher scores, you’ll need to master hooking the ball. It increases your likelihood of hitting more pins in your fling. Transiting from polyester to a hook ball requires you to know how to grip it to experience breathtaking pin fall.

A fingertip grip has your digits inserted to only the first joint. Fitting your hand this way ensures a great hook. You’ll need to drop by a pro shop, explain to them you want to know how to hook the bowling ball. Take the same poise and start posture like your normal release.

Line your bowl while shouldering up with your target, change gradually as you improve your expertise. During the discharge, just rotate your fingers around the ball’s side.

5. Nonstop Flexibility

Versatility and the knack of adapting for consistent bowling strikes allow you to handle different lane conditions. Alleys contain minimal, medium to heavy oil rubbed on the surface making the games very different. Similarly, the oil pattern on the alley can vary throughout the match.

Variations in oil quantity and pattern cause the ball to break in a different way. You have to keep adjusting your approach.

Consistent strikes require you to arc the ball into the pocket. For bowl strikes, ensure the pins smash each other without scattering in the air. Pick one an arrow in the center of the lane and let the ball roll over it.

6. Line Up Your Approach

There are three rows of dots in front of the foul line that parallel the alley. One row lies next to the foul line while the other two slightly further.

Use any of the rows to straighten the trajectory to the foul line. Right-handed bowlers typically place the left foot near the middle dot.

Left-handed ones have the right foot positioned on the left of the middle dot. If you take a take a pot shot at the pocket, you’ll hit the spot. Maintain your approach from that point. If you miss on the left or right side, move slightly to perfect the approach.

7. Release Right & Curve It

  • Release the bowling ball at the base of your descending swing to get it right. Timing plays an instrumental role to prevent loss of velocity or bouncing.
  • To bowl strikes, ensure the ball hits the pocket with sledge hammer impact by curving it.
  • Right-handed bowlers should rotate the thumb to the 10 o’clock position when releasing the ball. For left-handed ones, rotate the thumb to the 2 o’clock.
  • It gives the ball a certain degree of spin as it races towards the pins.
  • After discharging the ball, let your arm sway in the pendulum action until your hand lies above your head.

8. Additional Tips & Considerations

  • An overly tight grip prevents your thumb from quickly releasing while it affects the precision of your throw.
  • To prevent injury if you throw frequently, you should definitely look at bowling ball comparison charts and choose the right bowling ball with custom-fit holes.
  • Go slow with a smooth approach during delivery even when you get confused.
  • Most lanes have oil in the midpoint, throwing it on the outside generates better traction down the lane.
  • Follow through by swinging your arm forward or towards the target.
  • A perfect balance, control and even delivery ensures higher scores.
  • Start with smaller curves before attempting more challenging hooks.


If you master how to properly throw a bowling ball, you can easily twist your fingers as the ball breaks loose for high-precision motion. Remember a hook ball depends on lane surface conditions. Medium, heavy oil or dry surfaces will influence your hook.

Bowling buffs jettison straight bowling balls after their first strike with the ball hooked right into the pocket. Take up your position and dive in with both feet and give those pins a real pounding.

You should brim with confidence to develop your expertise. Despite the complications, the hook ball warms the cockles of your heart with some practice.

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