How to Throw a Bowling Ball: Release Technique Explained

In the bowling shot, the moment you release the ball is crucial. This is because the smallest of movements of your hands or wrists can have a major effect on the trajectory of the ball. It often means the difference between a gutter and a strike! This article will teach you what you need to know about releasing a bowling ball.

Techniques for an Effective Bowling Release

It’s a common for bowlers to think about the release as a stand-alone motion, but this is a mistake. Instead, you should understand that a bowling release is closely connected to the rest of your stroke. From approach to delivery, the bowling swing needs to be one smooth, unified motion.

When making your approach (which means the steps you take up to the foul line) you want to swing your arm like a pendulum straight back and forth, not to either side.

Once you make your last step and start to slide with your foot, the ball should be at its lowest point near your leg. Make sure to keep your toes pointed straight ahead towards the target spot.

At this point, it’s time to actually release the ball.

The first step is to remove your thumb from its hole. Just about a split-second later, you release your middle and ring fingers.

You must be sure to keep your wrist and arm straight when you release the ball, they should not move to either side. Also be sure to keep your shoulders aimed straight ahead.

The swing isn’t done when our fingers come out, though, as the follow-through is also very important. Once you have sent the ball down the lane, stay in balance and let your arm continue to swing. It should finish aimed directly at your target, with your shoulder remaining square.

The Importance of Timing

It’s crucial to understand that you need to release the bowling ball at the correct moment during your armswing. Many common problems are because of this, such as dropping the ball too early which results in a lack of control and power.

Bowling Release When You Throw a Hook

Although the techniques of a smooth stroke and proper timing are the same no matter what bowling style you use, a hook bowler will have a slightly different motion when releasing the ball.

After removing the thumb from the thumb-hole, a hook bowler should rotate his or her forearm slightly, instead of keeping it completely straight.

When removing the middle and ring fingers from the ball, you should lift them up and to the side of the bowling ball. In a hook bowling follow through, you should look like you are giving someone a handshake.

This motion should be counter-clockwise for right-handers and clockwise for lefties. This lift action puts the right type of spin on the ball so that it travels down the lane straight at first before curving inside to hit the pocket.

As with any aspect of bowling, practice is key to success. If you work on making your bowling release as smooth as can be, your scores can really start to improve.