How to Throw a Curveball in Bowling

How To Throw A Curveball In Bowling

Whether you’re a bowling aficionado or just starting out, hitting a strike in one shot can be a real challenge. But if you’re honing your skills, maybe it’s time to dive into how to throw a curveball in bowling and explore new techniques.

While beginners often opt for a straightforward approach, seasoned players favor the curveball. But what makes the curveball so appealing?

A curveball significantly increases the chance of hitting the 5-middle pin in the third row. Plus, it offers better control, allowing you to angle the ball towards the pins, increasing the odds of striking. Any pins left standing after your curveball throw become much easier to knock down.

To nail the art of the curveball follow these steps:

Step 1: Opt for a Lighter Ball

Opt for a lighter ball than your usual choice. When learning the curve technique, a lighter ball lowers the risk of injury. If you’re planning your own bowling center, consider stocking lighter balls for beginners.

Step 2: Secure Your Grip

Position yourself in the lane with your feet close together and grip the ball by inserting your fingers into the holes while ensuring a secure hold with your thumb.

Step 3: Align Your Hands

Focus on the pins and align your hands at a 90-degree angle to the ground. Instead of twisting your arm for a hook, aim for a direct hit. Keep a firm grip on the ball with your free hand and maintain a straight wrist.

Step 4: Aim for Lane Arrows

Instead of fixating on the pins, target the arrows on the lane. If you’re a left-hander, aim for the second arrow from the left; for right-handers, focus on the second inward arrow from the right side.

Step 5: Lean and Prepare

Lean your body forward while keeping the ball held back. Maintain a straight wrist and hand as you prepare to release the ball.

Step 6: Position Your Stance

Plant your left foot on the foul line, swing your arm forward, and lift your right foot.

Step 7: Execute the Release

Release the ball, allowing it to slide off your thumb while keeping your fingers high and straight. The correct positioning of your hand, wrist, and finger movement guides the ball into a curved trajectory, hitting your target.


Now that you’ve mastered the technique, put these steps into action and perfect your bowling curveball throw.

For bowling beginners, here are some basic rules:

  • Knock down all ten pins in a frame.
  • A game consists of ten frames, with two extra balls in the tenth frame.
  • Scores are based on the number of pins knocked down.
  • Avoid bowling in street shoes.
  • A spare is marked as a slash (‘/’) and a strike as an ‘X.’

Keep these tips in mind and become a pro at throwing a curveball in bowling!

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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