How to Release a Bowling Ball: Straight Shots vs Hook Shots

Bowling is a sport that is normally practiced in completely enclosed areas. This activity’s main objective is to demolish a set of wooden elements called pins or skittles by throwing a ball.

The ball used for Bowling is spherical, and its weight ranges between 4 and 7 kilograms approximately. It comes with three holes in which the player must insert the fingers 1. Thumb 2. Index, and 3. Middle so that the ball can be grasped with a minimum of effort.

How to Release a Bowling Ball

The Bowling game consists of 10 games where the players can make two throws in each game. But if one of the players knocks down all the pins on the first throw, they do not need to throw a second time. The tenth game is of great importance because, depending on the previous game results, you will have the option of making an extra throw or two.

This game’s essence is to knock down as many pins as possible, thus achieving a good score. Bowling is considered an excellent game if you can knock down 200 or more pins. If it achieves 180 pins up, it is considered a normal game, but if it is below 180 pins, it is classified as a poor game.

This is a game of vision and technique to demolition the greatest number of bowling pins, so the essence is in how to Release a Bowling Ball. The balls’ launches are directly responsible for the trajectory that the ball takes when launched. Whether a ball goes straight or, hooks or spins will depend primarily on the ball’s delivery and release.

How to Release a Bowling Ball – Straight or Hook?

There are two types of throws that you can take while playing in a bowling alley. The first is called the direct throw, and the second is called the hook throw. As the name implies, direct throwing consists of throwing the ball straight onto the peg platform.

This throw has low revolutions and very little movement, unlike the hook throw. It is used to place spare pins in the corners. Instead, the hook throw provides a better pocket angle that generally greatly increases your chances of landing a strike or knockdown from all pins.

Hook shots generally feature greater power and pin movement action.

Releasing a Straight Shot

Here is a step-by-step of How to Release a Bowling Ball direct:

  1. With your dominant hand, keep the bowling ball at chest level while maintaining a relaxed grip on the plastic or polyester ball. The grip’s relaxation gives a great facility to achieve a straighter trajectory of the ball by discouraging the hook and slowing the ball’s revolutions.
  2. Focus completely on the target to shoot down
  3. Extend your arms to perform a backswing, ensuring that your hands are completely steady and straight during the backswing.
  4. When you release the ball, keep your concentration first to remove your thumb from the hole in the ball. Then withdraw your index and ring fingers by releasing the bowling ball when it is at your ankle when it has come from behind through the swing.
  5. Follow up correctly by keeping your arms straight and your hands up, making sure your palms face up while you follow up.

Releasing a Hook Shot

How to Release a Bowling Ball will be detailed below:

  1. Select a bowling ball that has good potential for a hook shot. Usually, you start with a urethane ball as they are much easier to control than balls with a reactive resin surface.
  2. It is recommended that the holes in the ball be sized according to your fingers’ size. If it does not have a proper fit, you may have a poor fit and a disappointing result.
  3. Have a strong and firm grip on the bowling ball to make it easier for you to get an arched path of the ball. That grip will allow you to generate a good hook and some decent revs. That will give you an angular trajectory.
  4. Hold the ball at chest level with your dominant hand as this will increase the distance of your swing arc. This will generate more power to your shots naturally and effortlessly.
  5. Your knees must be relaxed and somewhat bent while maintaining your body’s slightly inclined posture.
  6. Focus quickly so that you benefit from the momentum you will gain from the race.
  7. Release the bowling ball when it is at the ankle level.
  8. When you release the ball, remove your thumb first, then your index and middle fingers. As soon as you release the last two fingers, simultaneously turn your fingers counter-clockwise if it is right. But if you are left-handed, turn them clockwise.
  9. You must track properly to have good accuracy.

Useful Tips to Help You Release Better

Here are some tips for proper release:

  • Have a delivery routine

Have a consistent starting position and know where to stand when bowling. Many recommend taking 4-5 steps from the foul line to establish your starting position.

  • Avoid large strides

Don’t take big strides that ruin your flow and momentum. Practice regularly so you can perfect your movements

  • Aim for the marks

This will help you direct the ball directly into your pocket. This can generate many benefits for the players.


To learn how to Release a Bowling Ball, the right way is through constant practice. You must be responsible for complying with your training sessions, including practicing movements outside the bowling court.

The idea is that your body adapts to performing the movements correctly at the moment of release, generating muscle memory. So when you are in a tournament or competition, you will naturally perform the movements.

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James Alston

Sound engineer is my profession and bowling is a hobby, sport, and my great passion. Have plenty of memorable moments, experience, and frequently testing new bowling balls.

Sound engineer is my profession and bowling is a hobby, sport, and my great passion. Have plenty of memorable moments, experience, and frequently testing new bowling balls.

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