November 14, 2021
Written by Lincoln Miller, Montview Recreation Manager
From the young child who is coming for their first time with their family to the old man who has been with his club longer than he can remember, bowling is a sport for everyone. It is not just for those who like to compete against others — it is also a sport built to compete against oneself. An important aspect of competitive bowling is to understand how and why to add spin to your ball, so let’s learn more!
There are different preferences within the sport of bowling. The balls can be light or heavy, supplied by the facility or a personal ball, and have different sizes for your fingers to sit in. Likewise, everyone’s approach to bowling can be different. Some bowlers walk up to the lane and try to aim as straight as possible and hit directly down the center. Others will give up on aiming and decide that the most important thing is to see how fast the ball can be thrown. While the most important thing is to find the form that fits your comfort best, a bowler should consider making the switch to spinning their ball. The spot most bowlers should aim for is on the outer side of the headpin (pin 1) and the inside of the pin next to it (pin 3). This allows the ball to push the pins apart perfectly and knock down all ten pins — a strike.
Spinning is a practice that is not easy to master. I have been working on my form for around a year now with the intent of improving my game daily. To start, you want to learn how to spin with two or three fingers in the ball. Three fingers in the ball are the usual choice for pro bowlers who spin, but it is a lot harder to pick up. For the casual bowler, it is recommended to first learn how to bowl with two fingers in the ball. To do this, put your middle and ring finger in the two holes next to each other. Rest the ball on your wrist and forearm, allowing the ball to sit there while you bring your arm back behind you then forward to release. Try to imagine that as your hand comes up and past your hip, the ball should lift out of your fingers, as you shake an imaginary hand. This should allow for the perfect spin.
The spin takes time and practice to perfect — don’t be discouraged if spinning doesn’t come naturally at first. It rarely does. Take time to make your style your own. Play around to determine if you like to spin with two or three fingers in the ball more. Ask the people around you for any tips on how you can spin the ball better/. After all, bowling is a sport with a surprising amount of community behind it. If you take the time to talk about something as simple as how someone else puts a spin on their ball, you might find that you have an unexpected friend.