How Do You Throw A Bowling Ball Properly?

how do you throw a bowling ball properly

There are many different aspects that go into throwing a bowling ball properly. The first important factor is the weight of the ball. The next key factor is the grip of the bowling ball and the material it is made out of. On top of these crucial elements, there is a proper form to throw a bowling ball the right way. Combining these elements and techniques will result in an accurate throw, knocking down almost pins consistently.

Preparing the Shot

When preparing your shot, hold the ball in front of your abdomen with both hands. Make sure to grip the ball properly with your dominant hand, while the other hand can be used for assistance. Begin with your feet together around 4 to 5 ft away from the foul line of the lane. Line yourself up with the middle of the lane. Always keep your head up and shoulders back. Mainly focus on the three most centered pins, as hitting the ball in this area allows the pins to fall backward. 

Start off by taking one step with your dominant foot while also moving the ball out in front of you with both hands. Next, take a second step with your other foot, moving the ball straight down, only holding it with your dominant hand. Then take another step with your dominant foot and swing your arm back as far as you can with the ball in hand. Finally, take a fourth step with the other foot and release the ball low in front of you. This four-step motion should flow nicely and look consistent with practice.

How to Throw the Bowling Ball

bowling grips

After you have the proper foot technique, you must master the ball’s release point. Let's have a look at what happens throughout the release. The release begins with the thumb leaving the ball, followed by a wrist rotation and the other two fingers releasing from their holes. This may appear straightforward, but the challenge to creating your release is understanding how rapidly this occurs (less than one second) and how to plan for change when necessary.

There are three different types of releases:

  • Relaxed
  • Firm
  • Strong hand position

For a relaxed release, hold the ball with your thumb pointing straight down. Follow through to end with your palm facing up. The relaxed release provides a straight ball path with little to no hook and fewer revolutions. Revolutions represent the number of spins while gliding along the waxed wooden floor.

For a firm release, hold the ball with your thumb pointing at the pins rather than straight down. The firm release has a somewhat arching ball path in addition to a medium hook and medium revolutions.

Finally, the strong release features your thumb pointed slightly upward, with a more angular path featuring a large hook and more revolutions. The firm release and strong release go hand and hand; they are both ideal for strikes, given the powerful momentum.

Utilizing all three release positionings at different times will make you a more dynamic bowler.


How do you throw a bowling ball?

To throw the bowling ball, start your shot sequence by stepping forward with your dominant foot and the ball in both hands in front of your body. Then, take a step with your other foot and start to swing the ball down and back with your dominant hand. Take another step with your dominant foot and swing the ball back behind your body. Finally, take a step with your non-dominant foot and release the ball forward.