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Bowling Hand Release Techniques — 10 Comments

  1. I will chime in on this one. This is a point I never new about. The gentleman who was coaching me never told me about this. I can see where more revs on dry surface makes the ball react crazy. I can also see where the less revs you get on dry lines, the shot tends to be more consistent when the hand position is changed.

    What I find during league is that you really don’t get enough warm ups to see what your bowling ball is doing on a set lane condition. Most of the time, two or maybe three balls is all you get. I am sure this is a problem in most four or five person team leagues.

    This article is very helpful and I will refer to it when I start having trouble figuring out the lanes. Of course, your ball speed must be constant and consistent when bowling.

    • Hi Richard,
      First, consistency is the key! You must be hitting the same line all the time, before changing anything else.
      Some people totally disagree with me on changing hand position, so take it with a grain of salt. I call it softening my hand, and do it slightly! If you make too much of a drastic change you lose the angle and dilute pin carry. Practice this first, and see if it works for you!
      I may try it and it will go into the pocket with too straight. Now, if I am on a really dry shot, this may still work with a target or foot move on my next shot. I all depends on the conditions, for me! I may just relax the amount I am cupping my wrist, and it is all I need.
      But, remember you have to follow thru with the same amount of finger,to keep rotation on the ball. Regardless of where I position my fingers at the start of my throw, I make sure I release it at the same point correctly! And ball speed is key to any adjustment you make!
      Thanks for the comment, and please stop back!

  2. Think this would really help, but need to understand more clearly. I’m left handed so trying to reverse your instructions. Also, I bowl on Tues. morning Senior league & have a 170 Av., but on Wed. Senior League I am lucky to have 159 Av., because ball reacts so odd on the lanes. Tues. the Alley is open from 10 am – 11 pm. It seems as if the lanes aren’t cleaned after all that bowling because my ball not only has the circle of oil around it, but “splatters” of oil as if it was dropped into a puddle. It doesn’t open on Wed. until our league at 1 pm. I only have a speed of about 11 rpm, but thinking I have to slow it even more. Any advice would be helpful.

    • HI Isabel,
      Your theory on the lanes not being dressed with fresh oil is likely correct. Splatters of oil may indicate some problems with the lane machine not oiling the lanes properly. Anyway,you can try moving over a few boards to your left, and bowl on the outer boards. They are most time drier outside the second arrow from the gutter. That will help you ball hook more if you throw a hook, or get you outside the oil pattern that is messed up from the night before. My bowling alley is guilty of not dressing the senior lanes from the night before. They are not sanctioned so they don’t worry about dressing the lanes. Hope that helps? Good luck!

  3. I ran into the 5,6,7 thumb positions a couple of months ago, but it didn’t inform me as to which created a better or lesser hook. This article give me the information I need. Thank you for a very useful and helpful article.

    • HI Lisle,
      Great to hear it helped you out! You are welcome! I hope it makes your bowling more enjoyable!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. Great article! This has really taught me how to release a bowling ball specifically. I never knew the techniques and how easy it could be. Without this article I would probably still be terrible at bowling. I will make sure to use these techniques when bowling with my family again. Thank you!

    • Hi Diego,

      I am glad you found the article helpful. These techniques are more for the league bowler, where you are dealing with the conditions changing during the game. When you bowl with the family, on open bowling conditions, the lanes will be mostly dry and the pattern can be destroyed. Fresh oil is helpful for aiding the ball control to the pocket, or creating a line for bowlers. You can read more here in my article Dry Lane Bowling.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment


  5. So, I actually and secretly LOVE bowling but it is a secret because i pretty much suck at it when you think about it in terms of scoring. Its weird because there are times when i actually do pretty good through out an entire game and not so good the next 3, lol. I thought this was a very comprehensive guide to understanding the fundamentals of bowling while gaining much insight on the particulars that can make anyone an expert! I’d love to see how these techniques translates to a video game (of no particular kind) involving simulated bowling. What do you think?

    • I don’t play the video games much, but I could envision the possibilities. They may already have the video game somewhere. It would be a way to control the amount of hook you impart to the ball, just by the position of your hand. 


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