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How to Bowl - Bowling Tips and Techniques to Improve Performance

How to Bowl - Bowling Tips and Techniques
Understanding and mastering the basics of bowling are essential for improving one's performance in the bowling alley. You can definitely build a solid bowling base by adhering to a few apt bowling techniques, and by using certain tips.
Abhay Burande
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2018
Bowling is a very popular indoor sporting activity. There exist a myriad of leagues and competitions for dexterous bowlers to demonstrate their expertise. When a bowler knocks down all the pins, it is called a 'strike'. If all the pins are knocked down on the second try, it is termed as a 'spare'.
How to Bowl
The first step is to observe the actions and techniques used by other bowlers. Each one of them has a different style, which enables them to come up with differing results. One should try to correlate between the styles and results, and analyze and find out what works and what doesn't.
One of the most crucial aspects of bowling is the stance. The person must stand nearly one and a half meters away from the foul line, facing the pins directly and in a straight line. The ball must be held at waist height.
From among the seven pins, the middle one should never be aimed at. Instead, right-handed bowlers must aim for the right arrow, and left-handed people for the left arrow. The following procedure is for right-handed bowlers. Left-handed bowlers can use the same by simply replacing right with left, and vice versa.
  • Step forward with the right foot, and push the ball out and down simultaneously. Let the ball swing down to the side.
  • Extend your left hand outwards to maintain balance.
  • Now swing your right arm, moving the ball backwards as far as you can, but not more than shoulder-height. Your hand should be kept straight, that is, the elbow should not be bent.
  • Bent your left knee, slide forward using the left foot, and allow the ball to naturally roll off your hand.
Importantly, in the follow-through, the swing of the arm must continue to point towards the aimed pin. The left arm must remain extended for balance, and the hips as well as shoulders must be kept parallel to the pins. While the ball is being released, the fingers must be in a grip position, and not in an opened one. After release, observe how the ball goes over the mark. This will enable you to make adjustments and correct your actions in subsequent throws.
Bowling Techniques
There are mainly three different types of bowlers, differing according to their unique bowling technique. They can be described as following:
  • The Crankers use late timing. They reach the foul line before the ball. The elbow is bent to place the hand behind and below the ball. Their technique involves a considerable amount of body strength.
  • The Stroker's technique usually involves sliding feet movement, that ceases just before the ball gets to the line. This allows them to use the momentum of their body to release the ball during the final slide.
  • The Spinners purposely bring their fingers around the top of the ball prior to releasing it. Due to this, a small portion of the ball remains in contact with the lane. The ball moves straight with the lane, irrespective of the oiling pattern used on it.
Bowling Tips
The following are a few important bowling tips. Again, if you are left-handed, replace right with left, and vice versa.
  • Line-up towards the left of and close to the center dot.
  • The knees have to be kept slightly bent, and the ball must be held upwards.

  • For a straight throw, the thumb has to point towards 12 O'clock, and the other fingers have to be straight.
  • For a curve or hook, the thumb must be at the 10 O'clock position.
  • Take a step forward with the left foot, then the right foot, and again the left foot. Further, the right foot must be placed behind the left foot, and moved towards the left.
  • When the ball is brought backwards, the body has to be straight, and should not be between the ball and arrows.
  • The follow-through of the arm must move towards the 12 O'clock position.
  • If the first arrow and the one that is to its immediate left are aimed at, there is a better chance of getting a strike.
It can be really helpful to have a good pair of bowling shoes. The size ought to be such that they snugly fit your feet. The shoes available for rent in bowling alleys usually get stretched a little as a result of so many people using them. As such, it is advisable to try out a smaller size than your regular one, until you find one that fits.
Purchase a suitable bowling ball. It should not be very heavy or very light. It is a better not to borrow or rent one. When a person practices with his/her own ball, it allows him to become familiar with it. He can then learn how to use it to his advantage in a game.
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