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Squeezing Your Bowling Ball Gripping Holes

If you are a bowler who drops the ball behind the foul line or one with a weak grip on the ball, then squeezing the gripping holes might serve your best interest.

Bowlers have been taught for years to not squeeze their bowling balls but rather use a light gripping pressure in the fingers and thumb holes. If you are a strong bowler, then it is certainly important to not apply too much gripping pressure on the ball, so you can achieve a consistent and effective release.

Although not squeezing the ball is the best course of action for those of you with a properly fitting bowling ball, there are times when given bowlers can benefit by increased gripping pressure, by squeezing the ball, with their bowling fingers and thumb to get desired results.

It will surprise you how many bowlers have a weak grip and lose the ball early, not getting the ball over the foul line. Sometimes a weak wrist or a weak physical grip of the bowling ball causes a poor release technique.

A weak wrist is more common with women bowlers than men, particularly among senior bowlers. Young ladies might discover that their hand gripping pressure is not nearly as strong as the boys. Holding firmly onto the bowling ball throughout the swing cycle might help them gain favorable ball speed and not lose the ball off of their hands early.

If you are a bowler with a weak grip and lose the ball behind the foul line consistently, then try adding increased gripping pressure when placing your hand into your bowling ball and preparing to bowl.

The trick here is to make sure you retain this “squeezing effect” on the bowling ball throughout your swing cycle and until the very moment you release the ball over the foul line.

Avoid opening your hand and allowing the ball to fall onto the approach floor by delaying your release until your bowling thumb reaches the laces of your sliding bowling shoe, where momentum built from your approach and forward swing will propel your ball over the foul line.

By definition, release means “let go.” A bowler must first hold the bowling ball firmly before being able to “let go.”

In bowling, we are trying to deliver a heavy 14 or 15 pound bowling ball over the foul line at about an average speed of 16 or 17 miles per hour, apply a rotational force to the ball in order to gain an effective hook motion, hit a one inch sighting target on the lane, and accurately impact the pocket 60 feet away while smashing down about 36 pounds of lumber. There are certainly easier things to do.


The point here is to make sure you have a firm of enough grip on the ball so you can control the moment you release the ball and so you apply effective finger rotation on the ball to achieve your intended overall ball motion while avoiding dropping the ball behind the foul line.

Golfers are taught to hold the club handle very lightly, as though a small bird is held in their hand and no harm will come to the bird. The purpose of this light gripping pressure on the club handle is to allow the club to swing freely with little hand control and to maximize club head speed upon impact with the golf ball.

A golf club does not weigh 15 pounds. A bowling ball does, or nearly does weigh 15 pounds. To hurl a ball at 17 mph and to make a good delivery, a certain amount of gripping pressure is required.

If you are having problems losing the ball behind the foul line, opening your bowling fingers and dropping your ball, try adding more gripping pressure and following through in an accelerated forward swing motion to propel the ball over the foul line. Don’t be afraid to attack the pins by using a strong grip and an accelerating arm swing.