How to Release the Thumb When Throwing a Bowling Ball

    Choose the proper bowling ball for your style of bowling. Select a ball that is the proper weight. For example, if you throw a straight ball, you can go with a slightly heavier ball than someone who throws a hook. Choose a ball that has comfortable finger and thumb hole placement as well. This will help ensure proper thumb release when you throw the ball.

    Work on your footwork and body motion. Practice taking the same steps and making the same motions with your body and arms. This will help maintain the proper release point for your thumb.

    Release your thumb on the down stroke as you approach the foul line. For straight bowlers, the thumb will release and should come up at a slight angle while your index finger, middle finger and ring finger form a "W" that points directly at the pins. For hook bowlers, your thumb will release and rotate your fingers two inches like you are making a handshake motion, with your thumb pointing straight up to finish the throw.


  • Remember that your thumb release from the bowling ball should happen while your fingers are still inside their finger holes. The fingers push the ball down the lane, not the thumb.

About the Author

Based in Virginia Beach, Mark S. Baker has been working in editorial for more than 20 years. He has served as a writer and editor for publications such as the "Houston Post," "Boca Raton News" and "Interactive Week," among others. Baker also has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and has his own catering business.