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Bowler Introductions

Let us know how long you’ve been bowling and what your bowling goals are!

We’ll answer every reply on this page, and we also encourage you to respond to another bowler’s introduction.

It’s always fun to talk to others who share your interests, but this type of interaction can really help your game. When you’re trying to learn a new skill like bowling, many different people tend to run into the same issues.

By engaging with a community of like-minded bowlers, you build a support system which makes it much easier to stay accountable, make the right adjustments and above all, succeed!

Just scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page to leave a reply.

56 Responses to Bowler Introductions
  1. A.J.
    October 20, 2011 | 1:13 pm

    Hi everyone! I’ve loved bowling since I was a little kid, but have only been serious about it for a year. I joined a league with friends from school, and now I want to get better. I sort of know how to hook the ball, but I can’t get much consistency. I’ve gotten some high scores, but what I’d really like is to get a decent average consistently!

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      November 3, 2011 | 7:25 am

      Welcome! Achieving consistency is definitely one of the toughest parts of bowling. It’s great that you are learning how to hook the ball. Are you using a three-finger grip (w/ thumb) or just two fingertips? I know I used to just put two fingers in to be able to hook a house ball, but while that’s pretty easy to learn, it is very hard to do consistently. I’d recommend checking this article about hooking the ball if you haven’t already done so:

      • William
        May 21, 2014 | 1:52 pm

        Hey everyone, I’ve been bowling off and on since I was 14. I’m 51 now. I’m entering the “on” stage again and want to get back into a league. My last league play was in 2008 in which I held a 185 avg.
        I sold all my balls just before moving out to the west side of Canada, and I’ve just gone bowling three days ago and used an ebonite tornado house ball. It was drilled for a fingertip grip too, unusual!
        Rolled a 191 and a 169. With a urethane house ball!! Promising.
        Anyway, I want to start getting back into bowling. I’m looking at buying an Ebonite Total NV. For starters.

        • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
          May 28, 2014 | 7:26 am


          Great that you’ve decided to take the next step for your bowling game! That is odd to find a house ball drilled for a fingertip grip, but that’s a very impressive performance! I’m sure you’ll take some huge steps forward once you get your own ball again and get back into a league. Best of luck.

  2. Alex
    October 22, 2011 | 1:06 pm

    I bowl every once in a while and really enjoy it. I have bowled in a recreational league in the past and had a blast. I have a few questions if you can help: I was wondering what are the benefits of using a spare ball and do you recommend it? I also have a tough time picking up that pesky ten pin, any tips? Thanks!

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      November 3, 2011 | 7:27 am

      I’d say that at you don’t really need a spare ball until you’re averaging about 180 or so. I think you can definitely get by with one ball while you’re getting up to that level.

      For the ten pin, many bowlers like to move all the way to the opposite side with their feet and bowl across the lane. So if you’re right handed, line up on the far left side of the lane.

  3. Justin
    October 22, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    I bowl occasionally with friends. I don’t like to go because i am not very good, so i don’t go much when ask to join my friends. The frustrating thing is that i can throw the ball the same consistently. Anyone have any tips first to bowl consistent.

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      November 3, 2011 | 7:28 am

      One great way to achieve more consistency is learning how to hook the ball correctly. If you’re a straight bowler, you will get more pin carry and strike more on your first ball, which is crucial for improving your average. You don’t necessarily need a big sweeping hook (even though that’s what often looks most impressive.) In fact, a modest hook will be easier to control and better for your consistency. Also be sure to consider lane conditions and how that will affect the hook of your ball.

  4. Parker
    October 24, 2011 | 9:35 am

    I bowl every once in awhile. I used to bowl a fair amount in college. I use a two finger spin technique. I think this is where my problem is. I am fairly consistent but I never seem to improve. I want my average to go up. Do you have tips on improving my two finger spin technique? Also a couple of my buddies have changed over to a three finger (two fingers and a thumb) technique which has really helped them improve and be more consistent. I have tried it but do not know how to spin the ball using this technique. Can you help me out?

  5. Curran
    November 3, 2011 | 8:00 am

    I don’t bowl very often, but I do really enjoy bowling with friends. My problem is that I’m reeeally bad at bowling. I get excited when I get a score over 100. What are some things I can work on to help me improve? Thanks!

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      September 12, 2013 | 8:38 pm

      Getting higher scores at the lanes can be tough, but there are several things you can do to improve. First, I’m curious where you look when you aim a shot. It’s natural to start by looking at the pins, but aiming at one of the arrows that you see about 15 feet down the lane is a much better bet. Assuming you bowl a relatively straight shot, you can aim at the middle arrow. But also be aware that hitting the head pin directly can easily lead to a split, and you’re better off aiming for the pocket, which is the space in between the 1 and 3 pins for a right-handed bowler. Aiming better and trying to hit the pocket are a great way to start improving those scores. Let us know if you have any more questions!

  6. Jacy
    November 19, 2012 | 3:59 pm

    I have bowled for 2 seasons I was given a bowling ball about 9 lbs her fingers are close to my size so it worked out …i have a 110 average and just recently stopped hitting the gutter so much , my question is what can I do to improve my average I also throw a straight ball

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      October 2, 2013 | 5:29 pm

      Hi Jacy,

      That’s great that you are starting to stay out of the gutter. Do you throw a straight ball? My advice would be to work on making sure you have consistency in your shot. Measure out your steps, be sure your arm swing is even and a good tempo, and start trying to hit a particular target on the lane instead of looking at the pins. If you have any more specific questions, we’d be glad to help further.

  7. Richard
    October 1, 2013 | 5:19 pm

    I started bowling back in 2007 in a seniors Citizen league up to 2010 stop bowling for two years, Started bowling again this year, I have an 140 average and I’m a righted Backup ball bowler which means I bowl like a left hand bowler, people tell me that they never seen a backup ball hook like mine and wants to know how I do it, I tell them it came natrual to me. I love to Bowl.

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      October 2, 2013 | 5:30 pm


      Once you start, it’s hard to stay away from the game, isn’t it! That’s a pretty solid average, and with more practice I don’t see why you can’t keep improving. I do know a few bowlers who throw with a “back up” ball style, and it certainly is a sight to see! Best of luck on the lanes and we hope you find our tips helpful.

      • barbara
        January 27, 2015 | 11:57 am

        What is a “back up ball”?

  8. bob yusof
    October 27, 2013 | 3:53 am

    Hi. Many thanks for the bowling tips articles which I find interesting.

    Presently, I conduct bowling classes for beginners and intermediate bowlers over the last couple of years. Your bowling tips is useful for me to use to teach my students. In this way, I’m able to know the latest technology and techniques of bowling available.

    I started bowling back in 1973 and presently employed in the bowling industry.



    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      October 29, 2013 | 2:47 pm


      Great; I’m glad you are enjoying our tips articles and that they are useful to you in your bowling teaching. And I’m sure your students are benefiting greatly from all of your experience in the world of bowling. Let us know if there’s anything specific you’d like us to cover here on the site, or if you have a tip you’d like to submit. Best,


  9. Ed
    January 6, 2014 | 1:38 pm

    I bowl in two evening leagues and hold averages of 169 and 173. I read one of you articles on basic bowling principles where you recommend an approach that starts and ends on the same board. I don’t do this. I walk in a line toward my aiming point. I realize that this messes up the mathematical relationship among the pins and spots as you shoot spares, but how important is it for this 71 yr old to reprogram himself to change my methodology? Yesterday I tried to do as you suggest and barely eked out a pair of 120 games. If I did that in out leagues I might get strangled by my teammates.


  10. Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
    January 6, 2014 | 7:08 pm


    I think you should stick with your regular approach.

    “Drifting” anywhere from 5-10 boards is often thought of as a bad thing, but that’s really only because it’s not intentional and highly variable (maybe 5 boards this frame, 10 boards next). In fact, many bowlers drift to the inside of the lane on purpose and argue that a drift towards the inside of the lane is favorable! We recommended the same board approach because it’s the simplest and most reliable. And while I wouldn’t recommend any drift for a beginning bowler, an intermediate one would be a different story. There are certainly plenty of types of approaches that can lead to good consistent scoring.

    I’d say that if you’re having success (and from your averages it certainly looks like this is the case!) then you shouldn’t do any major reprogramming. Especially since it seems like you’ve been bowling with this approach for quite a while.

    If you’re ever in a slump, though, it may be good to take note of what board you are ending on. Many bowlers can tell you which board they started on, but aren’t as aware of their finishing spot.

  11. Michael
    March 8, 2014 | 2:48 pm

    I’ve gotten back into bowling this year. Used to bowl 160-170 average in high school but dropped off playing. Now at 27 I’m hooked again, and played with my own ball for the first time again on Thursday.

    I’m working on a lot of things right now. I’m averaging around 120-130, but it’s largely due to consistency issues why not. My release isn’t always right, my foot often slides to the outside, causing me knew pain, and my aim is so bad right now. I don’t have specific questions right now, but am always looking for good resources.

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      March 13, 2014 | 9:15 pm


      Welcome aboard, and that’s great that you’ve come back to the game! I’m sure as you get more sessions under your belt you’ll start to regain the form that helped you get the higher averages when you were in high school. But of course, we all change in 10+ years, so there inevitably will be some challenges, as you mention here. But best of luck on the lanes and I hope you find our content helpful. Be sure to drop us a line if you have any other comments or questions!

  12. Eric
    March 15, 2014 | 11:00 am

    I joined my first league in September 2013 & I really enjoy it. I have learned to hook my ball which is a 14lb DV8 Brutal Nightmare. I line up on the 30th board & mark between the 8th & 10th board. I miss the pocket at times & hit the headpin far left or the 2 pin or 4 pin. I am experimenting with various hand grips from a little to a lot of cup as I hold the ball. I get a lot to a little hook I need help with being consistent.

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      March 25, 2014 | 8:51 pm


      Welcome to the site and I’m glad you are enjoying the league experience! Consistency is definitely hard to achieve, but it looks like you are trying all the right things. I’d encourage you to keep making minor adjustments and when your ball hooks unexpectedly (either more or less than you intended), really break down your shot process to see if you are doing anything differently. Sometimes the tiniest things can cause major issues, from the stance to the pushaway to the approach and delivery. If you haven’t already done so, I’d recommend reading over our bowling articles series, especially the ones in Part III and Part IV. If you have any specific questions about your game, don’t hesitate to let us know!

  13. Chris
    August 27, 2014 | 2:29 pm

    I just got serious about bowling – I believe I got the basics as far as stance. I want to work on my approach and delivery. I try to go out to the lanes about two days a week for practice. So I hope I can get some insights from this forum.

    • Joseph
      September 3, 2014 | 9:40 pm

      Chris, that’s great you feel confident with your stance. And getting out to the lanes two times a week is excellent: I’m sure you’ll start to feel more confident with your approach and delivery as time goes on. The Bowling Articles series we have linked at the top is a good starting point; be sure to let us know if you have any particular questions. Best of luck on the lanes!

  14. Frederick
    September 11, 2014 | 10:26 am

    I use to bowl when I was younger. Now, after 40 years of doing nothing I decided to pick up bowling again. I’m 75yrs old and I feel bowling is a good way to socialize and a good way to get some exercise in before any major issues arise.
    At the moment bowling is not going well. When I release the ball my thumb and fingers come out of the ball at the same time causing me to overturn my hand. You can see what results will be. How do I resolve this issue?

  15. chuck
    September 23, 2014 | 3:37 pm

    71 year old bowler for 3 years. Striving for consistency and higher scores. I’m right handed use the standard thumb and 2 finger grip.

    What is the proper position for the thumb just prior to release 10, 12 or 1?

    I use the 2,4,6 boards left of my target (the ten arrow) method with the same start board(the 17) for picking up spares on the left of the pocket and that seems to work pretty well. I struggle with finding a start board for my approach and target arrow that work for picking up spares on the right side when the target pin is the 6 or 10 pin? Suggestions please?

  16. Pat
    September 27, 2014 | 11:19 am

    I am a senior bowling and I have bowled for over twenty- five years. I am an inconsistent bowler and it is very frustrating. I have even taken a class to improve my bowling skills. I think most of my problem( and I am a lefty) is my release, reading the oil pattern and know when to move. I am new to your website and I look forward to trying some of your suggestions.
    Need help!!!

  17. Stefan
    November 3, 2014 | 1:25 pm

    Hi everyone! My name is Stefan and from Belgium. My first bowling experience is from around year 2000. I joined a league with some friends and at first it was really great fun. I joined a second league but after a few years the pleasure was gone and I quit bowling for a few years. 2 years ago I picked up where I left but now with more intrest in the mental aspect also of the game. Sometimes I participate in tournaments with rather good results. My average is about 175 and I want to improve this. I search often the internet for tips. I’m what they call a stroker with a slow speed. To improve I need to be more consistent and also I want to learn to play on heavy oil lanes with my style which is not so evident…so any suggestions and tips are more than welcome!

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      November 6, 2014 | 2:04 pm

      Stefan, welcome! I think the mental game is neglected by a lot of bowlers but it is truly a crucial part of improving. Working with heavy oil can certainly be a challenge. In practice you can try to adjust several things: moving a couple of boards over, altering your release slightly for less hook (a straighter shot). You could even experiment with a different ball with a coverstock ideally suited to heavy oil. This is a big topic and we can further explore this in a future post. Best of luck on the lanes!

  18. barbara
    January 27, 2015 | 12:58 pm

    After a few years away from bowling, I tried it again last week but it was a disaster. First game bad, second a little better. I’ve got a wicked hook (anyone jealous?) but it usually hooks at the last minute way off to the left (I’m right handed.) I thought it was because this new alley was too oiled? Also, on the second game after I was warmed up, I got a sharp pain in the front of my left thigh just at the second I released the ball. Now I have to wait awhile for it to get better before I bowl again. And the balls got slippery from the oil after awhile so it was hard to hold them. Any suggestions?

    This is a great web site!

  19. jean
    January 27, 2015 | 5:48 pm

    I Don’t understand why after my ball has been fitted there is a lot of space between the Palm and the ball. Why is that?
    What I’m going to do is have my ring finger to be offset away from the center of the grip center. My second question is if I offset my index finger by 1/2 inches from the grip center, will that improve my fit in the ball?

  20. John Harper
    February 12, 2015 | 9:22 am

    I need a lot of work with my bowling. I’m not happy not pick up my spare. My swing and lining up at the twelve board to bowl for a righthand bowler. I don’t a smooth pendular swing to roll the ball toward the pocket. I been bowling for six years in a league. Just not consistent enough and I get frustrated in not getting my average up in every game or series. I can not understand what I’m doing wrong.

  21. John Harper
    February 12, 2015 | 2:56 pm

    I need help all round in my bowling.

  22. Fred
    February 13, 2015 | 10:20 am

    I have a slow approach with a speed of 11.5 sometimes 12. I can get enough revolutions on the ball to make a good hook. I have a “Hysteria” bowling ball. Could you tell me if I increase my speed would I be able to get better lift on the bowling ball?

  23. lawrence
    August 10, 2015 | 11:57 am

    Lawrence I been bowling off and on for 20 years but never learn the game try to throw a hook with my wrist need to just learn the correct way to bowl a hook ball

  24. Hal allen
    October 3, 2015 | 10:20 am

    I have been bowling for what seems like an eternity,but i finally reach bowled a 300 game.Now my father and I have something in common. My biggest problem is keeping wrist from turning at release could you tell me how I can stop this,tried shaking hand release but did not work.

  25. Christine
    December 6, 2015 | 10:28 am

    Hi, I have been bowling in a social league for about 8 years, I was bowling with a 10lb plastic ball. I have recently just joined another two leagues and decided u want to improve my average. I have had some coaching and advice and have changed to fingertip and a 14lb ball. I have also gone to a 5 step approach. I have only done this in the last 6 weeks and surprisingly only dropped about 7 pins on my average. I am still struggling with the hook, but I am hoping with persistence and practice I can achieve higher scores.

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      January 20, 2016 | 7:05 pm

      Great attitude. Persistence definitely pays off, so keep at it! Any time you make a big change, it can take quite a while to get comfortable and get back to your previous level. Sounds like you barely dropped off at all, even with making several simultaneous changes, so you look to be in great shape. Keep it up and good luck!

  26. PBS
    December 11, 2015 | 3:47 pm

    My wife and have not bowled for 36 or so years ,and never were any good, and want to start again. I have gone to a couple bowling alleys and they just tell me we should practice but I would at least get started on the right foot. Any idea where I can get some instruction?

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      January 20, 2016 | 7:01 pm

      Do any of those alleys offer lessons? Getting a pro to look over your game, even if it’s just one or a few sessions, is a great idea. I’d be surprised if they didn’t accommodate a request for instruction, so I might ask again, but you could also search online for lessons in your area.

  27. Vern
    December 19, 2015 | 12:08 pm

    I started bowling when I was 20 now 52. Bowling the best I ever done this year so far.I almost had my first sanction 300 ended up with 298,already had two 700 game this year with 731 being my highest ever I am usually 185 bowler right now 204. I could always use improvements. Open to learn nights when I go into the alley I don’t had a clue where the shot is The ball I use is DV8 Nightmare, Misson, and 900 global Black ops Looking forward to working with you Happy Hoildays

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      January 20, 2016 | 6:51 pm

      Looks like you’ve had a nice career over the years so far, and it’s great you’re really stepping it up lately. Congrats on the 731. Also, looks like your attitude is spot on: we all can continue to improve and recognizing what we still need to work on is crucial for reaching the next level of play. Best of luck to you on the lanes this year!

  28. Anne
    January 16, 2016 | 9:58 am

    I have bold for many years I have had a few 200+ games,have taken lessons at different places 3 times. My main problem is getting games of around the same score.

    • Joseph (BBT Writing Staff)
      January 20, 2016 | 6:29 pm

      Nice that you’ve gotten up there for a few games. Consistency is tough to achieve for just about any bowler. Continuing to practice and work on the gaps in your game is the way to gradually get rid of those lower scores. Also, focusing on your mental game is a good way to keep and even keel when things start to get tough. Look out for more articles on that topic in the coming weeks.

  29. Melissa
    February 26, 2016 | 10:51 am

    Hello! I’ve been bowling a rather accurate straight ball for years. I want to switch to a hook for better pin action and hopefully higher scores. What should I look for in a good beginner hook ball? My worst day bowling is heaven to any good day at work!! Lol

  30. Chris F.
    June 1, 2016 | 10:50 am

    Hi everyone. I have always loved bowling socially. I have recently decided to get more serious about my bowling game. It seems no matter what I do, my balls drift left. I will not embarrass myself by letting you know how many balls end up in the gutter. Any tips on picking up more strikes would be appreciated. I feel like I have a good five step approach but do often have trouble with my wrist and my release (after throw).

  31. Barbara Jacquin
    June 7, 2016 | 2:17 pm

    I have the same
    Problem, which probably is true of many bowlers. I try to compenste by beginning my approach more from the left (I’m right handed). And I try to concentrate on holding my arm in the right position. I’m sure the experts will have better suggestions.

  32. Richard Ward
    February 10, 2017 | 9:28 am

    I just returned to bowling after a 38 year absence. My average is 116. Not great but I joined a senior league and my partners are giving me tips. I also watch carefully what they do. I’ll report back in a few weeks and hopefully my average will improve.

  33. karl constantino
    April 18, 2017 | 2:33 pm

    I have been bowling since 1963. I started in PAL in NY and as I got older continued to bowl. Worked as a pin chaser in local bowling house and carried a 190 average. The days of Manhattan rubber balls. Then I stopped. Just recently went to our local establishment and bowled with my little guy. I don’t have to tell you all how bad that was. I was so afraid of falling that I airlined the ball. Finally started to get a little loose and broke 100. I really miss bowling on a regular basis.

  34. Louise
    June 3, 2017 | 8:11 pm

    I have been bowling for almost a year now. I am currently on a senior summer league. My biggest problem is my follow through & maintaining consistency.

  35. Benjy
    September 9, 2017 | 9:00 pm

    Hey there, I am 54 years old been bowling since I was 6 years old, I just started back after not bowling for almost 20 years, before I stopped years ago I
    kept a league average in the 180’s. I decided to join a league this year and have struggled and only averaging in the 120’s..I invested in a new ball, but my struggles seems that I keep dropping my ball, and have a sharp pain in my wrist that runs up the bottom of my forearm,and I can’t keep control of the ball ,which affects hitting my mark,follow thru and I have no action when the pin hits the pins..any help,ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

  36. Mike T
    December 16, 2017 | 10:21 am

    I run a senior bowling league with about 100 members and growing! I am more than impressed when I watch 90+ year olds throwing a 200+ game! Bowling’s a great way to keep your joints limbered up!

    Question: Does anybody know anything about the outside boards on the pin deck next to the 7 and 10 pins. After someone who has been bowling for a long, long time mentioned that the boards by these two pins is somewhat narrower than the other boards, I went to see for myself at our local bowling alley. Sure enough, that’s what I saw. Yet I can’t find ANY relevent hits on the internet about this condition. Can anyone clarify my observation? Thanks!

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