Every bowler has a unique style and approach to bowling. However, generally, bowlers are categorized into three main categories depending on how they deliver the ball. These are known as stroker, cranker, and tweener.
A tweener in bowling is a bowler who is in between the stroker and the cranker. These players have characteristics of both medium-arm bowling and may use cupped wrists for extra revs.
The goal is to be as versatile as possible to use the best features of all bowling styles and successfully throw consistent shots. Generally, it is believed that straight ball bowlers and strokers tend to be more consistent; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a cranker or a tweener.
If you want more information on these bowling styles to decide which one to practice more, keep reading on.
Difference between Stroker, Cranker, and Tweener Style Bowlers
Stroker’s bowl on the right side of the lane and throw straighter deliveries with skill and accuracy. They generally have low rev rates and keep their shoulders square while releasing the ball. The hook on their ball is very noticeable.
Crankers, on the other hand, tend to have high revs on their ball. They play the lane by starting from the far left side and hooking the ball to the pocket. Their ball travels down the lane with great speed, and if they manage to have the best entry angle, nothing can stop them from exploding the pins off the deck.
However, crankers also have a few disadvantages. First, their spin can sometimes make the ball go off course. This is because the ball hooks more, and it can be difficult to control where it goes. Regardless of how they do it, the ultimate goal of a cranker is to get a lot of revs, which is not always possible.
And while strokers generally throw consistent strikes, they have less turn on the ball and rely on the accuracy of their shot instead of power and speed.
If the lane conditions change or the pins are set up differently, strokers may have trouble making the necessary changes to their game. Strokers can be more susceptible to nerves. Because they rely on consistent delivery, any nerves or tension can throw off their game.
And now, coming to the third type, known as a tweener, which lies somewhere between a cranker and a stroker. These players tend to combine the characteristics of both strokers and crankers by sometimes having a high backswing and more power and, at other times, having more revs on the ball but a lower backswing.
Read more on backswing here: What is Backswing in Bowling?
Since tweeners are more versatile, they have a higher chance of winning. They practice both stroker and cranker styles and can have higher arm swings than strokers, which is great. They are also skillful in cupping their wrists for those extra revs on the ball.
It is recommended to use a tweener style when there are fewer pins on the lane. Since these players can control their ball’s speed, they are more likely to knock the pins down. To bowl like a tweener, you first have to learn the cranker style of bowling. Once you have mastered the cranker technique, you can easily bowl like a tweener.
However, this style is sometimes challenging for beginners. When you’re learning how to bowl effectively, starting with a stroker style is recommended. With a low rev rate, you can easily control the direction and speed of your ball. Once you master this style, you can slowly increase your rev rate and become a power stroker.
The power stroker technique is quite similar to the tweener style. If you master this skill, you can easily work your way up to become a tweener. It is possible to master at least two techniques, so you can use their best features based on the lane conditions and to overcome poor form. They can help you find the correct bowling rhythm and score high points.
How to Identify a Tweener?
If you want to spot a tweener, keep an eye on their rev rate. If it lies between 300 and 370 rpm, it indicates a tweener. Crankers, on the other hand, usually have a high rev rate of 350 and higher. And strokers bowl at rates less than 300 rpm.
There is also a fourth type of bowling style termed power stroker style, and these bowlers are known for generating high revs and using high backswings for more speed. This style is usually considered best because it produces a more powerful hook and tends to be more consistent in its accuracy.
Tweeners are sometimes also referred to as power tweeners. These players are known for creating moderate revs on their ball with a modest axis tilt, created by pulling out the thumb first, followed by the fingers. Their backswing is usually about shoulder-high with medium to high ball speeds.
Another way to identify a tweener is to look at its launch velocity, which is about 20 miles per hour with 16 mph at impact with the pins. A tweener delivery is very effective overall as it is controllable and produces more consistent outcomes.
What is the Best Bowling Style?
Power bowling, or power stroker style, is popular for many bowlers as most prefer a high backswing and excessive side rotation for hooking the ball into the pocket. Moreover, strokers tend to have more accurate shots, so they can combine this skill with an aggressive hook to throw more strikes.
However, it is also seen that crankers and spinners usually have a higher average score than other bowlers because their spin makes it easier to hit the pins. Nevertheless, straighter is always considered better because it allows the bowler to deliver more consistently.
Ultimately, it depends on what you like the best and feels most comfortable with. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages, and you also have to consider the lane conditions, the type of ball available, and your skill level.