How Changing Hand Positions Affects Ball Roll
Bowling Hand Positions. - There are many different hand positions in bowling. I am only going to start out with a few of the basic ones. Cupped, Straight, and Broken are the 3 basic vertical hand positions. The 3 basic horizontal wrist positions which are at 12 o'clock, 10:30, and 9 o'clock. Using different combinations of these changing hand positions in bowling will affect the ball roll. This affect causes the bowling ball to have earlier roll or later roll. It can also cause different angles to the pocket and cause the ball to hook or roll at different spots on the bowling lane. At times it can substitute for bowling ball speed problems. These basic wrist combinations, along with different finger positions in gripping the bowling ball may be all that's needed. Try them before changing bowling lane lines, or even changing bowling equipment, or bowling ball layouts.
1. The Cupped Release - The cupped release is when your wrist is curled so that your fingers and hand are angled upward in a 45 degree angle. This causes the bowling ball to roll sooner. It also gives you an earlier break point. (Note: most crankers or high revolution bowlers like this wrist position).
2. The Straight Release - The straight release is when your wrist is straight. There is no break upward or downward. This release is a starting position. It is a release that should be used most of the time. You should then adjust from this point. This is a medium wrist position. (Note: most straight bowlers or strokers like this wrist position).
3. The Broken Wrist Release - The broken wrist position, or release, is when your hand and fingers are angle down toward the ground; also your wrist is broken. This release position is used when you want to delay the break point or if you want to get the ball down lane before it hooks. It is also used to get through the heads. (Note: the heads are the first part of the bowling lane). It can also substitute for ball speed or for drier lane conditions. I have seen famous professional like Norm Duke and Brian Voss use this release a lot.
4. The 12 o'clock Release - With the 12 o'clock, or 10 degree, release as you hold your ball your thumb comes straight up with no (or very little) side turn. Your hand and thumb will be at the 12 o'clock position as it is released. This release will give the bowling ball a lot of end over end roll. It causes the bowling ball to delay its break point. This release is used on dryer lanes and to help get the ball down the lane before it hooks. (Note: this is also called a 10 degree axis rotation).
5. The 10:30 Release - With the 10:30, or 45 degree, release as you hold your bowling ball your hand is turned horizontal and your thumb is pointed at 10:30 on a clock, or at a 45 degree angle. This release is the most common. It also should be used as a starting point. This release gives the bowling ball a slight inward turn toward the 7 pin. (Note: this is also called a 45 degree axis rotation).
6. The 9 o'clock Release - With the 9 o'clock, or 90 degree, release as you hold the bowling ball your hand is turned horizontally to the side facing 9 o'clock. This release causes the ball to have a lot of spin. It sometimes causes what we call a spinner. This means the bowling ball is spinning like a top. It also has very little ball to lane surface contact. This means the bowling ball will not have much hook or drive as it rolls down the bowling lane. When it hits the bowling pins it may hit dead with not much action. (Note: this is also called the 90 degree axis rotation).