How to Play 10-Pin Bowling – Part 2

There are two main ways a player can achieve a hook. One way sees the player relax their thumb before doing the same with their ring finger and middle finger while beginning to release the ball. This enables the necessary spin required for the perfect hook.

With a right-handed player, the best time to relax the thumb is at a 10 o’clock position. In English, that means for the perfect hook, the player should move his hand in a 12 to 10 position when releasing the ball. A left-hand bowler would do the same, with a 2 o’clock position being the only difference. The positioning of the thumb and the various techniques used in attempting a hook vary from player to player. Another way is to hold the ball without the thumb in the thumb hole, where a player typically uses two fingers to score a hook.

Granny style

For physically handicapped or extremely young players, they can hold the ball in both hands and swing it between their legs. With this style of release, players need to release the ball near the foul line. This is known as granny style. The shovel-style hook release is becoming more popular due to its constant evolution, as well as the speed required to knock down the pins.

Bounce pass

A bounce pass is a technique where players throw the ball in the direction of the pins from their chest. Some bowling communities don’t allow this as it results in damage to both the pins and the lane.

Backup style

Backup is another bowling style where bowlers offer a flick of the wrist either clockwise (for left-handed direction) or clockwise (for right-handed direction). This is similar in style to a hook release, as the ball moves in a curved path as opposed to a straight line. A right-handed backup takes the conventional path of a left-hander, while a left-handed backup takes the conventional path of a right-hander. Newcomers tend to struggle with this particular trick. Further, it’s been known to result in wrist injuries where heavier balls are in play.


A bowling ball typically rolls vertically. If the finger and thumb holes are drilled where they should be, the ball hooks in perfect fashion. In Asia, where exists poor lane maintenance and harsh oil conditions, it’s difficult to hook the ball on the lane. In such places, a variation known as a spinner UFO release is popular. With a spinner release, the ball always slides on the line rather than rolling vertically, regardless of the lane’s oil conditions. The ball mainly travels through the pins in an unconventional manner, which creates a domino effect while knocking down each pin.

A spinner release is achieved by rotating the ball anti-clockwise until the hand is sat on top of the ball. Upon release, each finger is released. Spinning is tricky and can cause injury if not correctly performed. Players from Hong Kong and Taiwan have been mainly known to follow this style of release.