HomeBowling TechniquesHow To Spin A Bowling Ball (Overview: All You Need To Know)

How To Spin A Bowling Ball (Overview: All You Need To Know)

How To Spin A Bowling Ball?

How do you put a spin on a bowling ball?

What are the essential elements you should know!

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 Spin A Bowling Ball

How do you spoon a bowling ball to increase your chance of a strike?

When you watch professional bowlers on television or in competitive games, you have probably noticed how they put a particular spin on the bowling ball to get it to steer into the pins at the right angle for a strike.

The term “spin” refers to how the bowling ball turns along its tilt axis once it is delivered.

Depending on your release technique, the ball will either go straight or spin.

In bowling jargon, we call that the “hook”.

The more a ball spins, the more there is a hook on the ball.

Typically, the ball will be given a certain spin around the axis and as it rolls down the lane, its tilt will slowly move upwards reducing the angle of the tilt.

This movement is called the “migration” and has a direct result on the hooking motion of the ball.

In this article, we will go over the technique you need to learn to “spin” the ball.

It will take time, patience, and practice to learn how to properly put the right spin on the ball but you will learn.

Initial Considerations

Let’s look at the different steps you need to take to learn how to spin your bowling ball.

Ball Grip

The first step is to find the ball with the proper grip.

It’s important to have a good grip on the ball so you can properly control the spin or revolutions necessary for the strike.

Typically, your fingers should slide in the holes without too much pressure and they should not remain stuck.

Your thumb should be inserted all the way in the thumb hole while your ring and middle finger should be inserted into the second knuckle for a conventional grip.

There are two types of grips, the conventional grip and the fingertip grip.

With the conventional grip, you insert your thumb all the way in the thumb hole while you insert your middle and ring fingers all the way to the second knuckle.

With the fingertip grip, you insert your thumb all the way through while you insert your middle and ring fingers only to the first knuckle.

The fingertip grip is best to spin the ball in bowling.

Ball Core

The second aspect you should consider is the type of ball you are using for the spin.

Not all bowling balls are made equal.

Some balls are designed for a straight shot while others are designed for the “hook” or to be spun around.

Depending on the core of the ball (the weight block inside the ball), the ball will react differently on the bowling alley.

A bowling ball will either have a symmetrical or asymmetrical weight distribution in its interior.

If the bowling ball has one “pin”, then it has a symmetric weight block (weight is equally distributed in the ball) whereas if it has two pins (or a pin and an indicator) then the ball is asymmetric and does not have an equal weight distribution.


The coverstock is the material used on the outer shell of the bowling ball.

There are different types of material, such as:

  • Plastic (or polyester)
  • Urethane
  • Reactive resin (solid, pearl, or hybrid)

Depending on the type of coverstock you have, the ball will grip the surface of the lane differently. 

For example, a plastic ball is more smooth and will generate less friction on the surface of the bowling alley.

As a result, these balls are more adequate for straight shots.

If you need a ball with more grip or friction on oily surfaces, you may want to go with a urethane coverstock or reactive resin.

Balls that give you the most hook potential are made of urethane or reactive resin.

Ball Weight

The next element to consider is the weight of your bowling ball.

Make sure you select a ball that has a weight you can comfortably control.

The average male bowler will use bowling balls between 13 to 16 lbs while the average female will use between 10 to 14 lbs.

If your ball is too light, you may give it more spin than desired.

If your ball is too heavy, you may not be able to give it as many revolutions as needed for the strike.

The ball has to be the right weight for you.

Lane Conditions

The lane condition is another factor that should be considered when practicing how to bowl a spin.

The spin (or hook) will be dependent on the bowling lane conditions.

The more oil is applied on the lane, the more your ball will need grip or friction to produce a hook.

Generally speaking, it’s easier to throw a hook on dryer lane conditions having little oil applied.

It will be more difficult to achieve a bowling spin in oily conditions.

Bowling Spin Technique

Once you have identified the ball with the right grip for your hand, selected the right ball type, and ball weight, let’s look at the bowling techniques to spin the ball.

Pocket Aim

You are now on the bowling approach and staring down the bowling lane.

Visualize where the “pocket” is located.

The pocket is the space between the headpin (Pin 1) and Pin 2 or Pin 3.

Right-handed bowlers will aim for the pocket between Pin 1 and Pin 3.

Left-handed bowlers will aim for the pocket between Pin 1 and Pin 2.

Gripping The Ball

You are looking at the pocket.

Now, you need to grip the ball.

The way you will grip the ball will have an impact on the spin and the angle at which the ball will enter the pocket.

Your gripping style will also have a direct result on the intensity of the “spin” or the “hook”.

If you use a relaxed grip, you are likely to generate a more straight shot.

With a strong grip, your hand will bend forward and your thumb will have a 90 degrees angle with your forearm when you are in your backswing.

This type of grip will produce the most revolutions on the ball.

A firm grip will result in a moderate level of spin on the ball.

Foot Alignment

As you take your steps towards the foul line, you should be mindful of where you want to have your sliding foot to go.

With a relaxed grip, your sliding foot should align with the outside right of the lane or outside left.

With a strong grip, your sliding foot should align with the middle of the lane.

With a moderate grip, your sliding foot should align on the outside left or outside right.

Four Step Approach

In most cases, bowlers tend to use a “four step approach”.

This means that they will take four steps as they swing the bowling ball until it is released.

Stand up at the back of the approach area by holding the bowling ball from underneath with your bowling hand while supporting the ball with your non-bowling hand.

With your first step, bring the ball forward over that foot.

With your second step, lower the ball so it comes down to the level of your knee.

With your third step, the ball should reach its highest point in your backswing. 

With your fourth and final step, the ball should come back forward for the release and your sliding leg slides towards the designed alignment.

Spin Bowling Ball on Delivery

As you are about to release the ball, you should keep your arm and wrist straight while at the same time you release your thumb from the thumb hole, keeping your middle and ring finger still in place.

While your middle and ring finger are still in place, you can achieve a spin on the ball by giving the ball a finger rotation.

You can increase the “hooking action” if you also slightly rotate your wrist at the moment of the release to give the ball the desired spin.

Follow Through

Just like in any other sports, once you are done with your delivery, follow through with your arm.

Move your arm forward aiming at the pocket.


How to make a bowling ball spin?

Looking for some bowling spin tips?

The best tip that we can give you is practice, practice, and practice.

There are many things you can read and videos to watch, but in the end, you can only get better at the game by practicing shots.

Here are some tips for an effective spin:

  • Focus on the pocket where you intend to throw the ball as you are standing straight on the approach area
  • Grip the ball in your fingers
  • Using the fingertip grip is more effective for spinning the ball as opposed to the conventional grip
  • As you are about to release the ball, release your thumb first out of the ball 
  • Give the ball a spin with your middle and ring fingers
  • Slowly release your fingers 
  • Follow through with your delivery aiming at the pocket 


How to bowl with spin?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings on how to put a spin on bowling ball.

How To Spin A Bowling Ball:

  • Spinning the ball is a good technique to learn to improve your performance and score in bowling
  • The spin (or hook) is achieved by selecting the right ball and using the right delivery technique
  • You should aim for the pocket, take a four step approach towards the foul line, release your thumb right before delivery and give the ball the desired rotation using your middle and ring finger
  • A strong hook requires a faster and larger rotation of the fingers during the release while a moderate hook will require less 
Approach area
Bowling ball 
Bowling finger grip 
Bowling grips
Bowling hooks
Bowling lane 
Bowling score 
Conventional grip 
Fingertip grip
House ball
Clean a bowling ball
Hold a bowling ball 
How to bowl 
How to hook a bowling ball 
What is cosmic bowling
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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