How to Bowl Step by Step (Detailed Guide and Useful Bowling tips)

How to Bowl Step by Step (Detailed Guide and Useful Bowling tips)

bowling infographic(new)

Do you love playing with balls? Do you look forward to get those targets down? Do you want to make your weekends enthusiastic with bowling? If your gaming spirit is far above the ground and you look for safer games, the game of bowling is for you.

Why bowling is so popular?

Earlier, the professional bowlers gained as much as the NFL stars and often earned international recognition and fat salaries for their sporty skill.

Gradually, this most sought after sport acquired the face of pastime adventure as mall-games. Malls represent the ultra-modern culture; people coming there look for having fun and escapade. They find these desire of theirs getting fulfilled with bowling.

Bowling has various benefits for your health as well. Check out what the game has for your fitness:

  1. The sporting activity may act a calorie burner making you lose out those extra pounds
  2. Full use of your muscles can make more flexible
  3. Say goodbye with stronger joints and ligaments
  4. Well-suited for elderly people
  5. It has certain psychological benefits as well
  6. It strengthens the bonding with friends and family


The game being an interactive one helps you become more social. People having in proper touch of the game are said to have gained a greater number of friends with similar disposition. A large friend circle undoubtedly helps in building a strong support system for us.

Whether you’re a casual bowler or you’re gearing up for league play, you want to see higher numbers on your score sheet each time your hit the lanes. Improving your games involves a little more than simply showing up to your local bowling alley, grabbing a ball and throwing two or three games. With a little work and a steady routine, you can begin to see a great improvement in your bowling game every time out. We have six tips for you that are sure to have you seeing better results whenever you bowl.

What should you do before bowling?

1. Prepare a comfortable bowling ball


First of all, It is important to have a ball that is properly weighted and has finger holes that are drilled to fit your hand. The grip is an important part of controlling your throw. If your finger holes are too loose the ball may slip out prematurely, and if they are too tight, you may release the ball late causing it to have less momentum and too much arc at the time of release.

It is also necessary to have the holes drilled the right distance apart. Not every bowler’s fingers are the same length, so your ball should be tailored to your hand. We also suggest that you purchase your new ball from your local pro shop. A bowling professional will be able to assess the appropriate ball weight and drill finger holes that are perfect for your personal grip.

2. Good bowling shoes are important

bowling shoes

Baseball players don’t stroll into the dugout and search for a mitt that fits, and hockey players don’t rent a different pair of skates for each game, so why should serious bowlers use rental shoes and alley balls? If you’re serious about improving your bowling game, owning your own ball and shoes can go a long way into adding more points to your average.

You have several choices of bowling shoes based on the amount of slip you prefer in your bowling stride. Some players prefer that their shoes have very little grip, while others like their shoes to be a little sticky. This is where rental shoes can take points off of your bowling score. If you are sliding too much or too little during your follow through, the power and aim of your ball will be off. Discuss your bowling technique with an experienced bowling professional, and they can help you decide which style of shoe is your best fit.

3. Relax yourself before bowling

It is important for you to keep relaxed when bowling. As we know, if you put too much emotion when doing something, you usually cannot get a good result. It is same in bowling, you won’t do your best if you are overeager and tense.

Don’t think too much when bowling. Try to relax yourself first and focus on your every move. Completing all of the action smoothly will always bring the best results.

4. Hold your bowling ball properly


Before starting bowling, it is a very important lesson for you to learn how to hold your bowling ball properly. First, Place both your hands on the ball. Then carefully place your bowling fingers, into the holes generally the middle two fingers of your bowling hands.

Make sure your fingers are comfortable in the holes and come out without sticking. It is wrong to squeeze your fingers to keep your ball on your hand, just hold it in a comfortable way. So that’s why I ask you to buy a proper bowling ball before.

5. Find the right mark on the lane for you


Search for your right mark on the lane. Usually, one should ball from either left or right of the center. There are seven arrows on the lane. Do not aim for the middle, as it usually leads to a split. If you are left hander, play from the left of the center. Place your foot on the mark. When you throw the ball, it will hit the target. Mostly, the first one and the one next to it falls down with the hit from this position. This is known as the ‘pocket’.

6.  Perfect Your Stance

Once you have been fitted with shoes and your own designer bowling ball, it’s time to hit the lanes. The best way to throw more strikes is to perfect your technique from beginning to end, and with bowling how you stand before you even stride towards the lane is very important. Many casual bowlers simply pick up their ball, head to the lane, stride and throw.

To get consistent results, your starting stance should be the same each time you prepare for a frame. There is no one perfect stance that fits every bowler, but to begin finding yours, you should hold your ball comfortably between your chest and your stomach and extend it slightly in front of you. Your grip on the ball should be relaxed, and none of your hand or arm muscles should be tense.

If you’re right handed, you should place your left foot on the center dot in the lane. As for the rest of your body, your knees should be slightly bent and your posture should be upright, but relaxed. The most important part of your stance is to be in position for your stride towards the lane, and you should remember not to tense up while preparing to bowl your frame.


Now Start bowling (Bowling Tips and Tricks)

1. For Beginners, Learn the 4-step approach Well

The 4-step approach is the classic move for beginners. In order to finish this move perfectly, the key is that your right hand and right foot need to move at the same time and the same distance.

Want detailed 4-step approach? Keep reading.

The Stance


In the starting part, you should hold the ball with your right shoulder which is in line with your imaginary line with the shoulder, target spot and pins. The ball should be at the side of your body, not the center. Your shoulders relaxed and knees are slightly bent. The body weight should be kept on the foot away from the ball.

The Push Away


For right handed bowlers, right hand and right leg moves together at the same distance. At the same time, push the ball forward a moderate distance. Ball speed can be changed by varying the height of the push away and the backswing. Decrease speed by using a lower push away and shortening or reducing the height of the backswing. This will help bowlers control the ball and hit the “spot”/target area.

The Downswing


Let the ball fall into swing. At this point, the ball will be somewhere between your left ankle, and about 16 inches behind it. The weight of the ball will cause the elbow to straighten as the left arm is extended for balance.

The Backswing


The ball should be at the top of the back swing. You should let the ball swing naturally without any extra effort. It may cause inconsistency if you force the ball back or higher, or bringing it back farther.

This step will be a little shorter because you will gather up and push into your long slide.

The Release



The releaseand follow through. Your release will be in somewhere from the edge of your ankle to 12 inches pass it. At this point, you release the ball by passing your planted leg at the lowest point. When the ball leaves, flick your fingers and wrist up towards your head.

The Follow Through


Make sure that the follow through is in line with your target. After you release the ball, your bowling arm should come up higher than your shoulder from the waist. This move will protect you from any hurt.

Check out the Video below if you still have some confusion.


2. How to increase your hits and strikes in the game?

1). Focus on your balance

For many beginners, they cannot keep their balance very well when bowling. If you are off balance, you will throw the wrong shot and get a bad result. I also know some beginners fall to the right after or while he is releasing the ball which throws off his shot and he end up throwing the ball left.

In my opinion, swing it and roll it as you normally do, but don’t waste any focus on it right now. What you should focus on is that second to last step in your approach and setting up your balance at that step so your body is prepared to be balanced on that last step. That second to last step should be shorter then the others. As your body gets used to feeling balanced at the line, you can then focus more on your ball, Execution, release whatever. But in order to learn balance, your body has to recognize what it feels like to be balanced at the line.

2). Use different bowling technique depending on the lane conditions

Pro Bowlers use a straight approach with a small hook at the end or at the pocket, and a sweeping curve other times. Either straight, hook, or curve can be used depending on the lane conditions and the drive of the bowling ball. That is, what separates the good bowlers. They can recognize the maximum bowling ball drive to use during the game, and adjust it with the changing lane conditions.

Here are 3 article about how to bowl a straight bowl, hook, or curve

  1. how to bowl a straight bowling ball
  2. how to bowl a hook bowling ball
  3. how to bowl a curve bowling ball
3).Develop a Confident Stride

Once you’re in your stance and ready to go, you should lead with your right foot and take comfortable, even strides towards the lane. Staggering or tiptoeing may leave your shoulders uneven when it comes time to throw your ball, and an uneven stride can lead to throwing the ball too early or crossing the line on your follow through, resulting in a fault.

4).Throwing the Ball for the Best Results

It is important to remember that the best results come from throwing your bowling ball rather than rolling it. This will give each shot more power. As you being your stride towards the lane, you should push your ball forward and prepare for the throwing motion. On your approach towards the lane, swing the ball back behind you comfortably.

Attempt to bring the ball all the way back to just below shoulder height. Much like a golfer’s backswing, this will build momentum allow you to throw with more force. Finally, bring the ball back down as you plant your foot at the end of your stride towards the lane. Your release should be smooth and you should continue to follow through with your arm after you have thrown the ball. Making sure that you use the same consistent throwing motion on each bowl will produce stronger results as you get comfortable with this repetition.

5). Adjust your starting position according to different spare

We cannot throw a strike every time. So picking up spares is a necessary part for you to learn. I will share a simple method to you that you only need to adjust your starting position. And You will keep the same speed as your first shot, and aim at the same target.

Depending on what pins you leave, you’ll move left or right, four boards at a time. This is because of where the pins are placed on the lane. I will show you 3 examples below.

a. The 3 and 6 pins

Move four boards to your left. The ball will hook earlier and take out the 3 and 6 pins.

b. The 1,2,5 and 9 pins

Use the same starting position as your first ball. You may have missed your mark the first time, but if you throw the ball as if you’re trying for a strike, you will pick up these pins.

c. The 10 pin

Move eight boards to your left. The ball will hook into the 10 pin. Eight boards is a big move, and especially for beginners, you might find yourself uncomfortably in line with the gutter or even farther to the left.

If this makes you nervous or uncomfortable, you can reduce your move to, for example, five boards, and choose a target a little bit to the right of your usual target. For instance, if you usually aim at the second arrow from the left, you’d want to aim between the second and third arrows from the left.

6).Know Where to Aim Your Throw

Now that we have the basic throwing technique down, we need to know exactly where to aim the ball. Keep in mind that to achieve the best results the ball should hit the pocket between the one and three pin or the one and two pin if you’re left handed. Hitting the head pin squarely will rarely lead to a strike and will commonly lead to a hard to pick up split. As you are standing in your pre-throw stance, you should locate arrows on the lane and plan to aim for the arrow just to the right of the center if you are right handed or to the left of center if you are left handed.

This will give you the best chance of striking the pocket rather than squarely striking the head pin. Keep in mind that not all alleys are the same. All bowling lanes are oiled to allow the balls to move smoothly towards the pins. If your local bowling alley is a busy one, the oil pattern will change constantly. If you’re serious about improving your score each match, plan to adjust your aim during your game to account for how you throw the ball and the conditions of the lane.

7). Try to hit the most pins possible during a split

When you are picking up spares but you don’t have confident to hit all the pins. I suggest you to hit the most pins possible during a split. Getting the sure pins will help you to get a higher score.

Something you should know after bowling

1. Understand how to calculate your bowling score


There are several symbols used when keeping score: an “X” signifies a “strike” in which all ten pins have been knocked down by the first roll of the ball in a frame.

A “/” signifies a “spare” in which the remainder of the pins left standing after the first roll are knocked down on the second roll in a frame.

A “-” indicates that no pins were knocked down on that roll, called a “miss”.

An “F” indicates a “foul” where a part of the bowler’s body went past the foul line, which marks the boundry of the approach (the part of the lane where we walk and release the ball) and the lane itself, where the oil is placed and the ball rolls towards the pins.

So how to calculate your bowling score?

For the most part, you keep score by adding the number of pins knocked down in each frame. Special bonuses are awarded for strikes and spares. When a strike is bowled, the bowler is awarded the score of 10 (for knocking down all ten pins), plus he gets to add the total of his next two rolls to that frame. For a spare, the bowler gets the 10, plus the total number of pins knocked down on the next roll only.

If you want to practice calculating your bowling score, you can use this website

2. Work on just one or two details at a time

Especially for beginners, they are not very good at bowling but try to do everything perfectly. As a result, they may still get poor score. So when you are practicing, don’t need to keep every tips in your mind, just focus on one or two.

3. Practice and Adjust, practice makes perfect

practice makes perfect

Like any sport, bowling takes a long time to perfect. In order to gain experience and get better you must put in your time at the alley. Many alleys have open bowling during the day when there will be fewer distractions than on the weekends. Joining a bowling league is also a great idea to improve your game. Many leagues offer discounts on open bowling for league players and you will be around many other bowlers who are there to improve their game rather than bowl casually with their pals every once in a while. As you practice, you may find that you see inconsistencies in your game. Here are a few common issues bowlers have, and tips on how to prevent them:


  • If your ball begins to veer off track after a few games, you wrist may be getting tired. Wearing a wrist support will keep your throws from wandering off the mark as the game goes on. Another cause of this may be that your stride has become uneven causing your shoulder to dip as you throw.
  • If you consistently hit the pocket, but you’re still left with hard to pick up splits, you may be throwing your ball too fast. Slowing your throw will allow the pins to take other pins with them as they fall.
  • After you’ve gained more experience, you may find that your ball is beginning to move or hook much more than it used to. Now may be the time to consider switching to a heavier ball. Your good work on the lanes has built up your arm strength to the point where your current ball is too light. This may be a good time to borrow a ball of a heavier weight to see if that would be a better fit for your bowling style.


Our final tip for you is to remember to have fun. If you are so focused on improving your bowling scores that heading to the alley feels like a chore, you may want to take a break. Even professional athletes take time away from their sports to relax and regroup. Remember that consistency and practice will lead to improved results so that you can not only see higher scores but enjoy the game even more.




  • James K
    January 3, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Love This Article!

    Thanks Your Guide Is Help me to started playing a bowl , maybe you can add a video too.. 🙂

    James K

Post a Comment