How to Release a Bowling Ball to
Throw a Hook in Bowling
When you're trying to improve your bowling game,
especially if you are new to the game, you need to branch out
beyond the simple "point and throw" method of releasing the
Learning a little bit about the science behind throwing the
perfect shot will help you plan your shots better and improve
your game tremendously.
Understanding axis rotation and axis tilt is a great place
to start; identifying your own axis rotation and tilt will help
you choose the perfect bowling ball for you and adjust your
shooting techniques accordingly.
Axis rotation and axis tilt both describe the angle of
rotation of a bowling ball. Think of the rotation of a bowling
ball happening in two separate fields, one horizontal and one
Each of these fields of rotation, the axis rotation and axis
tilt, determine the angle of the ball. In turn, the angle of
the ball determines how soon the ball will reach the so-called
"breakpoint" – the point in the lane where the ball makes a
slight turn towards its intended target. If you can control
these factors, you can better control the movement of your
Axis tilt, which is also sometimes called "spin", describes
the rotation of the ball in the vertical field. Keeping your
axis tilt to a minimum is desirable.
The more spin your have the vertical field, the less able
you will be to hook your
ball close to the pins, and the more likely your ball will
be to skid away from your intended strike zone.
If you're wondering how much axis tilt you put on your shot,
look at your hand when you release the ball. Is your thumb near
the top of the ball? If so, you're putting a high amount of
axis tilt on your ball. For the best results, try and release
the ball with your thumb as close to the bottom of the ball as
possible. This will keep your axis tilt to a minimum.
Axis rotation refers to the amount of spin on the ball in
the horizontal field. Unlike axis tilt, you do not want to keep
the axis rotation on the ball as low as possible. Instead, you
want to find a happy medium.
If you have too little axis rotation on your ball, your ball
will only roll straight-forward; it will not hook and curve
towards its target.
Too much axis rotation, on the other hand, will mean too
large of a hook. When your ball hits the break point with too
much axis rotation, it will likely make a turn straight for the
You can also judge the axis rotation on your shots by
looking at where you hand is when it releases the ball.
To get a better handle on your axis rotation and axis tilt
habits, have a professional or experienced bowler watch you
throw a few shots. They should be able to give you a clear idea
of what you are doing and how you can improve.
In addition to making adjustments to your own game, you can
correct some of your axis tilt and rotation problems by using
the correct ball. Some balls will increase or decrease your
hook based on the materials they are made of, so look for one
that compliments your playing style.
Being conscious of these factors, plus using the right ball
for your style of play can dramatically improve your overall