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Spreading Your Bowling Index Finger

There are several methods of gripping your bowling ball and spreading your bowling index finger is one which encourages a strong delivery style.

Our articles in the “BowlVersity” section of bowlingball.com address a wide variety of instructional content. Bowlers are constantly interested and inquire about tips which promote a strong ball reaction and help them gain “revs.”

It all begins with knowing your options when gripping the bowling ball so your hand can do the job of providing you with increased power generated by a strong release action.

Bowlers who prefer to keep all fingers close to one another when gripping their bowling ball tend to stay behind the ball and produce a low axis tilt release which, in turn, produces a moderate or small hook motion on the back-end of the lane.

Spreading your bowling index finger opens new options in ball motion control. Because more of your hand spans the circumference of the bowling ball when your index finger is spread away from your middle finger, you can gain increased ability to turn the ball quickly and aggressively at the moment your release occurs.

By turning your bowling fingers quickly and in a snappy fashion, you generate a higher than normal axis tilt and increase your rev-rate. A high axis tilt and increased “revs” produce an increased bowling ball angle of entry into the pins.

Another advantage of spreading the index finger is to gain a well-balanced grip on the bowling ball. With your index finger spread wide, you can control the position of your hand staying behind the ball as your hand reaches the delivery zone on your forward swing.

By applying slightly more finger gripping pressure than normal, you will tend to influence your thumb to exit the ball more quickly than normal. A fast thumb exit from the ball encourages a lively finger action and a strong overall bowling ball motion.

In fact, when your index finger is spread wide and you bring the tip of the finger back toward your thumb slightly, perhaps ¼ to ½ an inch, and press down on the ball noticeably with the tip of your finger, you will promote a faster yet thumb exit from the ball and get maximum finger action when releasing the ball.


Add the fact that you can tuck your “pinky” finger (where the fingernail is in contact with the ball surface up to your first small knuckle joint) and press fairly hard the tip of your index finger on the ball surface, your thumb will exit the ball very quickly.

Power players typically spread the index finger to gain maximum releasing action to develop high revs and a low axis tilt which produce a large bowling ball hook motion and a strong angle of entry into the pins.

You do not have to be a power player to produce a strong delivery motion. Experiment with spreading your bowling index finger to gain balance, control of the ball, and pick up a few revs.

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