"Argh, not another gutter ball!" comes the mournful cry of many casual bowlers wishing they could defeat their friends.
Before your next big children's bowling party or casual AMF escapade, make sure to read through these tips and get practising before the big day!
Holding the ball
The correct finger position will get you off to a great bowling start. Insert your middle and ring finger into the twin holes, two knuckles deep, and then slot your thumb into the third hole. The holes shouldn't be too close or too far apart, so it should feel comfortable to hold.
Prepare to approach
As you prepare to bowl, George Frilingos recommends taking four average steps away from the foul line (the beginning of the lane). This will give you a natural space to approach the lane and release the ball.
Though some hold the ball in front of their bodies as they approach, this can actually make things harder, and reduce your accuracy. Make sure to hold your ball to the side of your body, so your swing goes straight back in a natural way.
Approach, slide, release
There is a basic rule of thumb for your arm position approaching the foul line.
- On your first step: Push the ball out in front of you, though still to the side of your body.
- On the second: Allow it to drop naturally from its position.
- On the third: Swing the ball out behind you, using gravity rather than force. Don't let it go above your shoulder height, and try not to bend your elbow.
- On the fourth: With the same foot in front, slide forwards and let the ball roll naturally from your hand. Follow through with your arm, keeping it pointing to your target. This will help aim the ball to your intended target.
To help you aim, make sure you use the helpful arrows painted at the start of each bowling lane. These arrows line up with the pins at the end, and can be used to square your ball on your intended target.