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Your Bowling Roll And Turn Gripping Fingers

For you lower average bowlers just now taking your game seriously, let’s address the differences between your bowling roll and turn gripping fingers. The middle gripping finger on your bowling hand is referred to as your “roll” finger while the ring finger is referred to as your “turn” finger.

Your bowling roll and turn gripping fingers have specific functions when releasing a fingertip grip bowling ball.

The roll finger (your middle finger, when positioned directly behind your bowling ball at the moment your hand reaches the delivery zone) should remain behind the ball during your delivery and follow through motion. The middle or "roll" finger applies the forward roll to the ball.

This type of forward rolling action is known today as a low axis tilt delivery. This type of delivery keeps your bowling ball traveling on line a very long time before the dynamics of the ball cause the ball to hook on the back end of the lane.

The turn finger (your ring finger, when positioned directly behind your bowling ball, and then rotates the ball slightly at the moment your hand reaches the delivery zone) will help you gain increased axis tilt and see more of a spinning motion as the ball travels down the lane.

This type of higher axis tilt developed by turning or rotating the bowling ball on a lower spinning axis will increase the skid length and conserve energy for a sharp hook on the back end of the lane.

The turn finger needs only a modest turn from behind the ball, about two or three inches of turn, toward the outside of the ball in order to gain the increased axis tilt and pick up your rev-rate while doing so.

Over the years, Pro Shop professionals have used select drilling techniques to accommodate either a pronounced turn delivery or a pronounced roll delivery. By changing the pitch angles of the gripping holes in a bowling ball, the fingers will either promote a roll or a turning motion.


Also, changing the span and finger pitch angles on the ball promotes specific finger action to either add turn or add roll to the ball. For example, dropping the span of the turn finger and using toward-palm pitches in the gripping holes encourages the turning motion to spin the ball and achieve a high axis tilt.

Lengthening the span on both fingers, or more specifically the ring finger, and using away-from-palm pitch angles in the finger gripping holes promotes a good rolling motion delivery with low axis tilt.

Next time you are ready to drill a new bowling ball, we at bowlingball.com recommend you discuss which type of delivery you seek with your pro shop professional. Discuss whether it is to be a rolling motion or a spinning motion, so the ball can be drilled to compliment your intended release technique.

There is little question that your bowling roll and turn gripping fingers make all the difference in gaining a consistent and effective delivery.

Thanks for visiting bowlingball.com.