How to throw a bowling ball is an intriguing question that many people have debated for centuries. Though the question has yet to be answered conclusively, some theories do make sense and bolster logic. With this article, we’re going to explore the finer points of how a bowler should go about throwing a ball down to have an enjoyable time in the alley. 

The Art of Throwing a Bowling Ball

When throwing a bowling ball, we need to make the most effective and least effort for accuracy. But to ensure that, there are a few things that you need to consider. If you’re going to be throwing a ball that has the potential of striking down several pins, it is of utmost importance that you have a strong arm. You also need to make sure that you and your bowling ball are higher up to reduce the amount of time spent in the air. 

Throwing the bowling ball broils down to some essential points that include body maneuvering, bowling parameters and practicing.

Body Movements and Alignment 

Observe the Line You Will Take Across the Alley

This is one of the most primary factors in delivering a good ball down the line. One needs to take a step on the left after assuring upon which line he or she will bowl at. Once you get familiar with your hook, you can adjust your line as necessary. The lines have been stroked with oil in the middle part, whereas the edges and adjacent areas remain dry.

It is essential to keep the feet close together to maintain alignment and the proper trajectory of the ball.

Stand Several Inches Away From the Foul Line

This gives you ample space for your hook. You can now align your feet and set your shoulders in place. This will provide you with a better idea of the distance between the foul line. The approach made away from the line should be calculated in steps as it would cater precision while throwing the ball. The aim should be made by viewing the arrows or the dots on the lane.

Swing the arm ‘n’ ball 

This is the very first step that you should take. As you shift your weight forwards, you can feel your elbow ‘n’ wrist swing over. A 4-step approach is recommended that entails the following steps:

Step 1: Push the ball back with the help of the other hand to increase power and movement.

Step 2: Make the ball aligned with the ankle and bend your knees

Step 3: Be in a forward, slant motion with your complete backswing

Step 4: Aim towards the arrows or dots and release the ball at the end of your swing

N.B. The arm should be straight from the backswing until the ball is thrown towards the pins.
Although there are several styles of throwing the ball (broadening the shoulders or bending at the waist), working on the basics is a better option.

Efficient release of the ball 

The release of the ball should be as precise as possible. Multiple angles and trajectories are needed to ensure a good release. It is recommended that you have your head in line with the ball as it’s going past you. A smooth roll at the end of the swing produces a well-aimed ball for the pins.

N.B. The hand should be 6 inches away from the body when going for a perfect throw.


This is where the ball goes into motion and achieves its full speed in a straight line. There are different types of follow-throughs depending on the type of ball you’re throwing. The arm should take an outward stretch onto the lane rather than going in an upward direction.
Minor amendments in the footwork. 

There are times when a slight adjustment in the stance will influence the movement of the ball. For instance, if you are in search of a quicker ball, as you go for your swing, you can turn your feet to face your target. This helps ensure that the ball will bounce on the pins after its release.

Bowling Parameters

Adapting With the Ball / Equipment

Each ball has its unique way of reacting. It’s the job of the bowler to grasp the concept. Bowling balls come in different categories including plastic, urethane, reactive resin and polyester balls. Every ball behaves differently and a bowler needs to understand their game well enough before going into action. The hardness of the ball and the lane’s surface are some factors that determine how a ball will react. 

Apart from the ball selection, one needs to have the right sneakers on the feet for making adequate traction with the ground and deliver a strong throw. The use of the shoes depends upon the bowler’s choice of arm, whether he/she is left-handed or right-handed. Apart from these, universal, rental, athletic, performance and adjustable slide shoes are also common.


Always use an under-handed grip when throwing the ball accurately down your lane, guaranteeing a high degree of accuracy. A 4-finger grip is considered to be the most accurate, especially if you’re a left-handed bowler. The wrist should constantly be gripping the ball on the sides. If you’re a right-handed bowler, take hold of your ball with your middle and ring finger.

Drilling of the Bowling Ball 

The drilling can be defined as making a hole in the ball to place a rubber ring inside. This rubber ring helps grip the ball and also gives it an inimitable weight. Some of the most popular drilling systems are the finger hole system, ring hole ball, thumb hole ball and thumb scalloping.


Why We Should Practice

Maintaining proper form while throwing a bowling ball is the key to having a successful game, especially on the professional level. To succeed in that sport, you must have proper form during your bowling game. Having good form helps maintain accuracy to strike your target and minimize or prevent incoming bowlers from touching your throw. 

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Bowling is a sport that involves physical activity. A lot of sports require physical activity, especially for the younger generation. Bowling provides more than training, and it also provides a great opportunity to have fun while playing. Throwing a bowling ball requires precision, calculation and a strong throwing arm with a smooth hooking skill to ensure a spare or a strike. Some of the best throwers in the game included Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams, Earl Anthony, Norm Duke and others.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Which is the most lightweight bowling ball?

A. If you’re a beginner and want something that will help you get used to throwing, then the bowling ball for beginners is a good option. However, if you want something with more weight and speed and can strike your target pretty fast, then the 10-12 pound bowling ball may be of help.

Q. What is the perfect size of a bowling ball?

A. A professional player using a bowling ball may want to try different sizes. Between 8-15 square inches of area are mostly covered when holding a ball with 16 pounds or weight of it. Although professional players may also use balls with less weight but higher speed and strength, beginners are encouraged to try the 12 pound balls as they provide more stability.

Q. What is the best way to hold a bowling ball when throwing it?

A. The standard way of holding and tossing a ball while you play is to keep your arm straight from your shoulder to your wrist.

Q. How long do bowling balls last?

A. Based on its quality and maintenance, a bowling ball can last anywhere from 2 years to 10. For example, if you have a good quality ball and it is kept in good condition, it could last for more than five years. The key is to keep the bowling ball clean and free of any sticking or grime. This will prevent the ball from smelling foul or rotting.

Q. How many types of bowling games are there?

A. There are several types of bowling games including duckpin bowling, tenpin bowling, candlepin bowling, league bowling, mini-bowling and many more.