HomeBowling BallHow To Hold A Bowling Ball (All You Need To Know)

How To Hold A Bowling Ball (All You Need To Know)

How to hold a bowling ball?

What is the proper way to hold a bowling ball?

Looking for some tips?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our bowling knowledge!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

How To Hold A Bowling Ball

Learning how to hold a bowling ball is pretty important to fully maximize your enjoyment of the sport or hobby and avoid any injuries.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to hold a bowling ball properly when you are selecting your ball and when you are going to bowl.

Here are the steps to holding a 3-hole bowling ball:

  • Step 1: Use both hands to pick up the ball
  • Step 2: Insert your thumb finger in the bottom hole
  • Step 3: Insert your ring and middle finger in the side-by-side holes
  • Step 4: Use the other hand to keep the ball stable in your hands
  • Step 5: Grip the ball lightly 
  • Step 6: Make sure your fingers are not overstretched 

Let’s first start by discussing the most common type of finger placement on a bowling ball.

Finger Placement

The most common type of bowling ball is one with three holes.

Your bowling fingers are:

  • Your thumb
  • Your middle finger
  • Your ring finger 

Generally, two of the holes are placed side-by-side while the third one is located right below them.

Holding a bowling ball consists of you interesting your middle finger and your ring finger in the two side-by-side holes while placing your thumb on the third one below.

This type of finger placement provides for the most level of control over the bowling ball.

To ensure the best bowling grip, make sure you insert your fingers all the way through (or as much as they can go in the hole).

Holes With Best Fit

The bowling ball hole sizes should provide you with the right fit to play a better game.

In reality, the actual size of the holes does not matter.

What’s important is that the holes are not too big for you (too loose) or too tight for your fingers.

The distance of the holes in most cases should not be an issue but you should make sure that you are not putting unnatural pressure on your fingers.

To find the right fit, here is a tip:

  • Insert your thumb in the thumb hole
  • Lay your middle finger over the left hole 
  • Lay your ring finger over the right hole 
  • If your second knuckle from the top of your finger is over the middle of the holes, you are good to go

Hold the bowling ball for bowling

You’ve selected your bowling ball and now you are ready to go to the bowling lane.

How do you hold the bowling ball for bowling?

First, you’ll do the same thing that you did when you were selecting your ball.

Insert your thumb in the bottom hole.

Then, insert your middle and ring fingers into the other two holes above.

Your fingers should not be too loose or too tightly placed in the holes.

Make sure your fingers are inserted all the way through.

In the end, the bowling ball should be securely placed in your hand.

You should use your other hand to cradle the ball as it will allow you to remove some strain from the hand you use to bowl.

Fingers getting stuck in the ball 

For most bowlers, the sticking of the fingers happen for several reasons:

  • The thumb hole is too big for your thumb causing you to over grip the thumb hole in the arm swing 
  • The thumb hole is too small for your thumb causing your thumb to get stuck making it hard for it to exit 
  • In some situations, your thumb may swell during the game causing it to stick more than it should 
  • Another reason for thumbs sticking is that you do not release the bowling ball at the right angle 
  • Your thumb can also get stuck when your fingers release before your thumb 

If you are seeing that your thumb is constantly sticking into the thumb hole, you may have a hole that is too big for your hands.

Professional bowlers may install an interchangeable thumb slug to switch their thumb hole if they experience swelling during the game.

This way, they will always ensure to get the perfect fit.

Many recreational bowlers who start playing and don’t know why their fingers are stuck end up frustrated or even hurt their fingers.

It’s always a good idea to learn more about who to bowl properly to avoid such frustrating experiences.

Tips for holding the bowling ball

To play a consistent game and have consistent deliveries, you need to have the right bowling ball hand position and know how to hold a bowling ball.

For most, the correct way to hold a bowling ball is to insert your middle finger and your ring finger in the side-by-side holes and insert your thumb in the third hole.

With that being said, here are some tips to get you going:

  • Pick up your bowling ball
  • Hold the bowling ball with your non-bowling hand by cradling the ball arm to support its weight
  • Insert your fingers in bowling ball
  • Place your bowling fingers in the bowling ball holes
  • Insert your bowling ball fingers up to your second knuckle joint 
  • Insert your thumb into the thumb hole up to your second knuckle joint 
  • Put more gripping pressure on your finger pads than your thumb pad 
  • Don’t overgrip the ball 

Professional bowlers tend to experiment with the depth of their bowling finger insertion to put different spins on the ball as they release the ball from their hands.


So, how do you hold a bowling ball?

What is the proper form for holding a bowling ball in your hands?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

How to hold a bowling ball:

  • Use both hands to pick up the ball
  • Insert your thumb in the bottom hole and your middle and ring finger in the other two holes
  • Make sure your fingers go all the way through and your grip of the ball is not too loose or too firm
  • Use your other hand to balance the ball and remove some pressure from your bowling hand
2 hole bowling ball 
3 hole bowling ball
4 hole bowling ball 
5 hole bowling ball
Bowling grips 
Bowling hooking
Conventional grip
Fingertip grip 
Grip styles
No hole bowling ball 
Plastic bowling ball
Reactive ball 
Semi-fingertip grip 
Swing cycle
How many holes in a bowling ball
How to bowl a strike 
How to clean a bowling ball
How to drill a bowling ball
How to grip a bowling ball 
How to hook a bowling ball
How to spin a bowling ball
Editorial Staffhttps://bowling.zone
Hello Nation! My name is Amir! I started this blog to provide all you bowling fans and enthusiasts with useful content, information, and resources on bowling. No matter if you are doing this as a hobby or professionally, I hope you could find what you're looking for. Enjoy!


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