The Fingertip Bowling Ball Release – What You Need To Know!

The Fingertip Bowling Ball Release is the best and most natural way to release your bowling ball with nice revs and plenty of power and drive to the pocket and through the pins. I am not talking about trying to lift your bowling ball or increasing your revs by helping the ball.

What I am talking about is a “less is more” approach. I have had this discussion with other bowlers, and get a lot of agreement. Todays release is changing a bit. Follow along as I give you my best ideas on the Fingertip Bowling Ball Release.

The Fingertip Bowling Ball Release – An Overview

We all know that the proper release in bowling is important. The fingertip bowling ball release is ultimately how we get those revs on the ball.  Most people will agree that a smooth release will improve you accuracy, your revs on the, as well as your scores.

The difference is how we get there. When we achieve a good release, it happens without us giving it much thought. But we all have had those days when for some unknown reason (or so we think) a good release on the bowling ball is just elusive and we bowl mediocre at best.

It is no wonder at all, because the good release in bowling happens so damn quickly, like lightning fast. So fast that we (almost) can’t figure out the difference between a good release and a not so good release. We recognize the release after the fact, whenever we held onto the ball too long, or when the ball falls off our hand too soon.

So how can we simplify the release somehow to make it a bit more automatic. Not perfect, but just a bit easier to find whenever we are really struggling. Because, those days when we “have it” it is just a fun day at bowling when we watch the pins fly. And Let’s face it, striking is more fun and easier than throwing spare after spare.

Well, that’s my whole purpose of researching and writing this article. After gaining some insite from unlikely sources, I think I may have some pointers, you have probably heard before, but we will look at them in a bit of a different light. Maybe it will help you, and I hope you enjoy the journey.

What Is The Perfect Bowling Ball Release?

What happens in a perfect fingertip release? That is pretty simple. The ball leave our hand, at the perfect spot, with our thumb long gone and the fingers exiting the ball. They have succeeded in imparting the perfect amount of revs to the ball.

The ball continues it’s path downlane to reach that 6 degree angle to the pocket, that results in a powerful pin smashing strike! So, how does that happen sometimes and other times it is AWOL and can’t be found anywhere?

To put the blame on the actual cause, we have to point our accusing fingers at the thumb! It has wrecked more havoc with our releases than anything else. This is exactly why the thumbless bowlers have so much more hooking power.

And you can also see the effect of thumbless bowlers watching the “two handed bowling technique” create a ton of revs! When they throw strikes, the thumb is not in the ball. The new USBC rules require that if they have a thumbhole, they have to have their thumb in it. So, I am sure all the two handed bowlers will have a ball drilled without a thumb hole.

The two handed bowlers have taken the bowling world by storm with many new and younger two-handed bowlers capturing PBA titles at a very young age.

Related: Two Handed Bowling Tips And Young PBA Stars

What Is The Fingertip Bowling Ball Release Secret

So, if you are paying attention, you already know part of the secret already. And like I said earlier, these are things you have heard before, but never really thought about how important they are. Yes, the thumb is an important part of it.

Whenever you release the bowling ball, the faster you get the thumb out of the ball, the cleaner your release is going to be. That is a fact. You probably know that already. Why? because if you get the thumb out of your ball on the down swing at the right time, you are shifting the weight of the ball onto your fingers. If you follow through cleanly, you can’t help but get nice leverage on the ball.

But the secret is, doing this at the right time and getting out of the ball cleanly. The way I accomplish this is rather simple, and it works for me. I am sure it could work for you as well. What I try to do, is get a little loft on the ball, and get it slightly out on the lane. Why?

Because this allows my thumb time to get out cleanly, and keeps me holding it just a slight millisecond longer! This allows my fingers to grab a nice feel of leverage on the ball and get a smooth rev rate applied to the ball. If you don’t do this already, just try it the next time you practice.

Try Something Different

Again, this works for me, and it will work for you. But you have to practice for a good feel for the ball to notice the perfect spot to get that good leverage on the ball. Ok, so try this at your next practice session, or in league competition, whatever works for you.

I use the dots on the lane before the arrows. So, If I am not getting a good release on the ball, I try to look past my mark with my eyes, and try to loft the ball slightly out toward that spot with my eyes fixed on it.

I watch to make sure the ball goes over the mark, and then look down the lane to my target rangefinder board near the pins. It is actually where the normal house shot oil pattern ends, and your ball will begin to break. You have seen them, those long brown boards near the pins. Most alleys have them nowadays.

Related: Improving Your Bowling Targeting

My Three Point Targeting System

I watch to see where the ball has to roll to get it to the pocket properly. This is my three point targeting system. I look at my mark#1(the dot), take my steps and look out 6 inches farther with my eyes#2, then when the ball has rolled over that mark, I glance down the lane to be sure my ball is in the right place near the rangefinder boards

This varies with the lane conditions on any given night. Some nights it has to be outside on the 8 board before my ball breaks to the pocket. Other nights it has to roll over the 10 board or maybe a bit inside over the 11 or 12 board. That is THE variable that you as the bowler has to adjust to.

All things related to a good shot come into play. A Good Bowling Arm Swing, A Quiet Eye for targeting, and a relaxed, confident attitude. Most Importantly delivering a confident release and a good shot. If you are timid on your swing, you will have a weak result. But, if you practice what I am telling you here, you will get better.

Related: Bowling Tips And Tricks

The Fingertip Bowling Ball Release Practice Exercises

So what do you need to do to practice for the feel on your fingertips? It is quite simply a softball and some very easy exercises. All you want to do is train your fingers to “feel” the motion necessary to put nice smooth pressure at that perfect spot to get those perfect revs on the ball. This video explains how to train your hand and fingertips.

This is a different style nowadays, just a subtle change helps to create that great bowling ball release we are looking for. These exercises will make you more aware of where your fingers should be when you release the ball.

Practice until you get a good feel for how the release should feel. Both on the side of the ball, as well as when you come up through the ball.

If you are having trouble with a consistent release, you should try some of the tips that these videos have shown here. It will make a difference in your game, believe me it works! it’s really one thing that will make a huge difference in your game.

Practice Good Bowling Ball Maintenance

Keeping your bowling ball in great condition by keeping it clean. Try using a shammy between shots to keep the house oil off your ball. Keeping the ball resurfaced when it is required will also help your game. The new balls are great, but they do need resurfaced every 30 to 50 games. It is a pain in the butt, but it makes a big difference in the performance of your ball.

Use a good quality ball cleaner like Monster tac, or Powerhouse Energizer Cleaner. Wipe the cleaner off with a good microfiber bowling cloth.

Some bowling balls require a surface touch up after only twenty games. Do it. Get the maintenance requirements for your ball and follow them for the best results. Use the recommended surface treatment for your ball, and get good results every time.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.


To keep you ball investment in top condition, you have to keep it clean. Wiping the ball before every pitch with a good clean Microfiber Towel, helps to remove oil and  keep the pores open.

Keeping the ball clean, keeps the reaction consistent. After a three game series, the ball should be cleaned with a good ball cleaner. Click here to find all your favorite ball cleaners and polishes. 

However, if you bowl 3  or more times a week, you may need some extra help. The pro shop will offer to rejuvenate your ball with a through cleaning for about $25. They do this using either heat or a hot water bath to clean the ball. Now you can do this at home.

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