Throwing A Hook Ball in Bowling

Hook Bowling

Straight balls are great if you’re a beginner but they can limit your scores to the 160 – 180 range. When you’re constantly throwing straight balls, you have to focus more on bowling perfectly the first time. The way to truly raise your scores is to change that straight ball of yours into a hook ball.

The Definition Of A Hook Ball

A hook ball unlike a straight ball, curves after delivery. The bowlers hand comes from behind the ball rounding the side that makes the ball rotate sideways. The sideways rotation makes the ball go to the left or the right. There are three types of hook: the cranker, the stroker and the helicopter. Here they are:

  • The Stroker. The bowler’s sliding foot stops just before the bowling ball gets to the bottom of the swing, creating moderate leverage for a controllable ball reaction. The shoulders have to be very square at the release point. I like the stroker because it plays straighter up the outside of the lane which allows the ball to gently hook into the pocket.
  • The Cranker. The cranker is different, using this technique, the ball reaches maximum revolution. This way more power is produced. The bowler stands with their feet to left hand side of the approach and then swings the ball out to the left hand of the approach. The cranker technique uses late timing (this means getting to the foul line before the ball). They plant their foot and then pull their arm through, bending the elbow in order to keep the hand behind and under the ball and leaving the shoulders open for the maximum leverage. Because of all these moves the cranker can cause muscle injury.
  • The Helicopter. This is a very popular form of bowling in Asia. This technique originated in Taiwan where the lanes generally were in poor condition. When using this technique it is best to use a ball weighing between 10 – 12 lbs. Bring the fingers all the way round the top of the ball, as opposed to the hook where you bring the fingers round the sides. The ball travels straight down the lane but it spins like helicopter propellers as it travels. Once you master this technique, believe me when I say that you’ll love it.