How to Hold a Bowling Ball!

Some people might think that bowling is a simple game. However, the truth is it is one of the most difficult sports to master. Like every professional sport, bowling also requires incredible skill and technique to perfect over time. One of the most important techniques to learn is the holding and the grip of the bowling ball.

A question might be popping into your mind, how do I hold a bowling ball to deliver effective throws? Well, you do not need to worry anymore because that is what I am here to tell you.

In this article, I will talk about how you can hold a bowling ball, the different types of grips you can use depending upon your level of skill, and how you can effectively release the ball to get the most points. So, make sure you read through the entire article.

How to hold a bowling ball!

Find the Right Bowling Ball

As a beginner, finding the right ball is crucial to holding the ball perfectly. You need to make sure the weight of the ball is comfortably heavy. At the same time, you also want the ball’s finger holes to be comfortable and perfect for your hand dimensions.

House balls usually have bigger finger holes than custom balls. You can opt for the ball that fits your fingers as close to perfect as it can if you are not using a custom-designed bowling ball, which would be perfect for your bowling sessions.

Holding the Bowling Ball

Once you have found the perfect bowling ball, the real problem arrives. How do you hold a bowling ball? Well, one major thing you should know is that you are going to grip the ball with your non-throwing hand first.

Once the ball is in your hand, you are going to utilize your thumb and middle and ring fingers. You will see two adjacent finger holes and a thumb hole a little further back. Insert your fingers into the appropriate holes.

There are different gripping techniques that players use. Here are some of the gripping techniques you can try to determine which one is the most comfortable.

1. Conventional Grip

The most used grip for beginners is the conventional grip. In this grip, you are going to insert your fingers and thumb as deep as you can. The limit will most likely be up to your second knuckle joint.

This grip is the strongest. Since more of your fingers will be inside the holes of the ball, you will be able to grip it tighter and harder. For straight-forward shots, this grip will be perfect.

You cannot expect this grip to provide the option of throwing a hook or a curve because of the stronger hold. So, use this grip at the beginning of your career as a starting grip and move to others as you progress with your game.

2. Single Knuckle Grip

The single knuckle grip is also known as the fingertip grip. It is the one where you insert the fingers and thumb only up to a single knuckle joint. Professionals and seasoned, experienced bowlers mostly prefer this grip.

The thing about this grip is that it allows the player to have a looser control on the ball. The ability to hook and curve the ball opens, and you can swing the ball much more freely.

However, there is less control on the ball, resulting in the shot being miscued if you are not professional enough. That is why you should not choose this grip right away and should slowly transition into it.

3. One and a Half Knuckle Grip

This grip is also known as the semi-fingertip grip. In this grip, you are going to put the fingers and thumb in, only to the middle point between the first knuckle joint and the second one.

This grip is perfect for both beginners and professionals. It allows a stronghold of the ball while providing control and a bit of hook capability freedom as well.

With this grip, you will be able to throw the ball to get spares uniformly, and at the same time, you are also opened to hook and curve the ball to get in a pocket for that perfect spare.

Tips for Throwing the Ball Effectively

Now that you know how to hold the ball, I believe it will help your bowling experience to let you know about some of the tips and tricks I have learned throughout my bowling career. Let us look at these tricks to help you throw the ball effectively to get maximum points.

After inserting your fingers into the ball, keep the ball’s weight in your non-throwing hand.
You need to make sure that your throwing hand up to the arm and the shoulder even is completely loose and tension-free. This will help in making a free-flowing throw instead of a forced one.

  • Wiggle your throwing elbow a bit to see if it is loose enough.
  • Bring yourself into a throwing position.
  • Keep the ball in the non-throwing hand if you possibly can.
  • You want to make sure that the grip is tight and full control over the ball.
  • Bring the ball next to your ankle and release it.
  • In doing so, make sure you release the thumb hole before the finger holes for a better hook capability.
  • When you have released the bowling ball, it is important that your throwing hand thumb is point towards the roof and the hand is in a handshake position.
  • These throwing tricks will ensure most strikes and spares, leading to higher scores.


Learning the proper way to hold the bowling ball is essential to score good points and win games. That is why I believe that these tips and guidelines will help you a lot.

I hope you learned a lot from this guide and that you will keep practicing becoming better at the sport. Make sure when you go to the bowling alley the next time, you implement the tricks you have learned so that you can have a great bowling experience.

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