When you're bowling, it's very important to learn how to release the ball properly. If you let go of the ball at the wrong time, the resulting shot will not be smooth, your body will be off-balance, and it will be very hard to control the shot.

Here are some of the basics that you'll want to know.

For Straight Bowlers

Most bowlers throw a straight ball; that means they do not hook or spin the ball. If you find yourself in this category, it is not too hard to learn the proper release technique.

First, you need to get down your timing. You should be releasing the ball in the middle of your foot's slide, just before you reach the foul line. By doing this, you ensure that your body will be in  the right position to apply your momentum to the shot.

Wait until your arm has come down enough in its forward swing. At the release point, your forearm and palm should be facing up.

Many bowlers release the ball too early when their arm is still behind their body and coming forward. This will result in a ball that will almost always veer of course. The ball should not fly into the air and hit the lane hard. Instead, it should smoothly leave your hand and start rolling down the lane.

Finally, be sure to keep your wrist and arm straight upon release. Your shoulders should be square to the target.

For Hook Bowlers

If you are an intermediate or advanced bowler, you likely bowl with a hook. With this technique, the same principles apply for the release, but things get a little more complicated.

Your arm still comes forward and you want to start your release at the same time, but instead of keeping your palm straight forward, you will tilt it slightly sideways. The motion should be counter-clockwise if you are right handed.

First, you remove your thumb from the ball, but at the same time, your other two fingers need to start to twist to the side in a rapid motion. One good way to think about it is how you would throw a football underhand. After all your fingers are out and you release the ball, your hand on the follow through should be pointing towards your target.


Although there are a lot of different ways to bowl, they all value timing, control and a smooth release.

If you seriously want to improve your game, it will take a lot of practice. As you do, work on your footwork, be it four or five step, and start to get that in sync with your arm's motion.

Although they look fancy, there's no reason that you need to throw the bowling ball with a huge curve. What you do need, however, is a properly timed release.