How to Bowl a Straight Ball Consistently

Master the art of sending your ball straight down the lane.
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Straight ball bowling is an approach where players don't aim to create hooks or curves with their rolls. Instead, they control the trajectory of the ball so it glides toward the pins in a smooth, perfectly straight line. The move may look effortless, but a few key steps are required to pull off bowling a straight ball.


    Hold your bowling arm at a right angle to your chest. Position your ball so your bowling hand will remain at a 90-degree angle to your bowling shoulder once you release the ball and follow through on your roll. Align your toes to point toward the area of the pins known as "the pocket." For right-handed bowlers, the pocket is between pins one and three. For left-handed bowlers, it's between pins one and two. Orient your shoulders and hips in the same direction. Your bowling shoulder should now be tilted slightly toward the pocket.


    Pick a specific spot to focus on throughout your approach. This will be the place where you want the ball to land on the lane, not the pins themselves. Lock your eyes to this spot. A clear visual focus will help your brain signal your hand to control the release. Since you're aiming for a straight roll, focus on a spot that's directly in line with the pins you wish to target. Most lanes place the most lane oil in the middle of the lane, so aiming for your ball to land in this area can help the ball pick up speed.


    The approach for releasing the bowling ball is actually just as important as the release itself. Once you set yourself in motion, you should deliver your roll in one elegant, smooth motion. As you approach the foul line, swing your bowling arm straight back and forth, aiming down the lane and directly behind you. This will help get your muscles oriented for a straight delivery. When you're on your last step, release the ball when it's at a point closest to the floor. Keep your feet pointed directly at your target, and keep them parallel to each other if possible.


    To maintain control of the ball's trajectory, keep your wrist and arm as straight as possible when you send the ball down the lane. Once the ball is out of your hand, practice a follow-through where you remain balanced, with your shoulders still pointing straight ahead. Keep your bowling arm in motion, letting your hand swing upward toward your shoulder in a straight movement. Steady release will help guide your ball on a straight path, and keep slight movements or twists from curving the ball's momentum.

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