Bowling Tips for Beginners
If you have been considering taking up a new hobby or wonder how to spice up your Saturday evenings, bowling may be just the right answer.
While there isn’t much at stake if your performance doesn’t come up to professional standards, you may still want to entertain your friends with some impressive techniques and obtain a remarkable score.
Our team set out on a journey to gather and put together the most important bowling tips for beginners so that you can succeed as a novice bowling player.
Pick the right ball for you
Finding the perfect bowling ball may take some trial and error, but this is one of the prerequisites of a good bowling game. It is of paramount importance that you can comfortably handle the ball’s weight and that it fits your fingers.
Unless you suffer from back pain or other issues which may lead to complications due to lifting weights, it is usually preferable to go for a slightly heavier ball rather than lighter, in order to maximize your momentum just before throwing.
When it comes to the finger holes, your thumb needs to fit inside the hole comfortably enough so that you feel it touching the ball on all sides, but still be able to rotate it inside without hurting your skin. The bottom line is if you can hang onto the ball without squeezing your thumb and if you can remove it without it getting stuck inside the whole, then you have a match.
As for the rest of your fingers, the holes are usually proportional to the thumb hole. Check that the span is right by stretching your middle and ring finger all the way to the other holes. The same rules apply as for your thumb.
While you can always go to a bowling alley and use one of the balls made available to occasional players, if you’re planning to delve deeper into this very rewarding sport it is definitely worth investing in your own ball, customized to your weight and finger size.
Ask for information in any pro shop at your bowling alley and they should be able to assist you with details on how to get started, as well as give feedback on your game. If you want your acquisition to yield the most value in the long term, pick a fingertip grip ball which will help you increase your average once you gain experience.
Any successful bowling game starts with the way you hold the ball. Start out by placing the fingers of your hitting hand inside the holes, making sure you don’t allow them to bend. Use the other hand to support the ball from the top, balancing its weight, and removing it at the moment of the throw.
Once you properly got hold of the ball, take your position in front of the foul line. Your back should be held straight, aligning yourself with the center of the lane and keeping your knees slightly bent. Visualize the path you want your ball to follow and arm yourself with the patience it takes to master the technique.
To release the ball, swing your dominant arm far behind to create momentum then bring it as far forward as possible. In order to impart a rotation movement to the ball, remove your thumb first followed by the rest of your fingers.
What most bowling players with slight experience attempt to achieve is a “hook”, in other words, to throw the ball in a curved trajectory rather than a straight line. This technique enables the ball to hit the pins with more force, increasing your chances of scoring a strike.
While the likelihood of making the ball hook highly depends on the quality of the ball you’re using, there are some tricks to help you even if you’re playing with a plastic ball.
In case you can’t afford professional equipment and rely on house balls, what you can do is try to use fewer fingers to hold the ball, cup your hand more than you would for a straight strike and raise your hand as high as possible just before throwing the ball.
Don’t forget about etiquette
Whether you decide to take up bowling as a fun hobby or go all the way into professional playing, there are some etiquette rules which you should always observe for other players’ sake and for your own. First and foremost, always read the rules of the bowling alley and do your best to abide by them.
It may seem common sense to step away from the platform as soon as you bowl and wait for your turn to bowl elsewhere, so as not to hinder other participants. However, it’s very common for novice players to get carried away by the game and linger on the “approach”, in bowling lingo. Remember to retreat to the seat area whenever it isn’t your turn to throw the ball.
As you’re playing with other people, take your time and wait for your turn to bowl before approaching the lane. Don’t skip the row and allow the next person in line to step onto the approach as soon as your ball has hit the pins.
Even if you’re bowling for entertainment alone and there is nothing at stake other than perhaps a pint of beer that the loser owes to the group of friends, never forget that fair-play can take you a long way. Always stay behind the foul line, making sure not to step on it.
Protect the infrastructure at the bowling alley and don’t disturb the other players. As a prevention measure to avoid doing any damage to the lane, don’t throw it towards the floor. Make it roll instead, releasing it as close to the lane as you can.
Last but not least, ask for permission before using another bowler’s personal ball if it’s the case. Don’t distract other people by shouting things and stay alert when your turn is coming up so that you don’t keep the others waiting.