Did you know the position of your hand determines how the energy of your bowling swing transfers through the ball? If your hand is directly behind the bowling ball, all of your swing’s energy goes directly through the ball. Offsetting the hand will redirect some of your swing’s energy around the ball, which creates a torque motion. When you do this, it causes the ball to move down the lane and spin on its axis.
A bowler can release the ball in a variety of ways to have a great game of bowling! To break down the main hand positions, we will break them down into 4 general categories: straight, passive hook, active hook, and the backup ball.
In a straight release, the fingers are aligned in a 12 and 6 hand position. So your thumb and fingers line up directly behind the ball which produces a little bit of a side roll. The direction of the ball rotation is the same or just about the same as the direction it is thrown.
This is when your hand is positioned in a hook at the beginning of the swing in the 10 and 4 position and keeping it there throughout the swing. There is little to no motion at the release. Your hand position is set at the beginning and you just swing through the position.
In this release, the thumb may point toward 1 or 2 when the ball clears the thumb which puts the finger in a 7 and 8 position. As the swing continues, the weight of the ball transfers to the fingers and the turn of the forearm rotates the fingers to 4.
This is when the ball slides off the thumb near the bottom of the swing. As the ball passes the drive face of the swing, while your finger maintains their offset position on the ball. As the ball rotates to the inside of your hand, the swing continues towards your target.
Next time you bowl with us at Richmond 40, take a second to see how you naturally keep your hands while bowling and what kind of release you do!