Conventional Grip - Bowling With Security
The conventional grip has advantages and
disadvantages. The conventional grip is
the most common among beginning bowlers because
it provides more secure gripping control over
the ball. This serves as a good way to get
the feel for how to throw a ball for beginners
or those having physical challenges. For
these athletes, the conventional grip feels very
secure and stable.
A conventional grip provides a
good way to develop a good physical game. The downside is that the
conventional grip minimizes hooking and revs
capabilities that effectively limits the full
use of ball dynamics. The conventional
grip provides less control, and is more difficult to generate hook on the
To check a ball for a
proper conventional grip fit, place the
thumb all the way into the thumb hole.
Lay the hand flat around the ball so the
middle and ring fingers lie over the finger
holes (without placing the fingers in the
holes). The second crease of both
fingers should be about 3/8" past the leading
edge of their respective gripping holes.
With the conventional grip, place the middle and
ring fingers into the finger holes all the way
to the second finger joint, and then rotate the thumb all the way into the thumb hole, and
then so that it feels comfortable.
A bowler can bowl a curve ball using a
conventional grip, but it is physically less effective or
controllable as a fingertip grip, and provides much less curve
Once a bowler is able to
gain the basic feel for how to bowl a ball, they
should transition into a fingertip grip if they
wish to develop their bowling skill and scores.
Fingertip Grip - Bowling With Control
As a bowler develops their
skill, they will want to gain the ability to
hook or curve the ball into the pins in order to
increase pin carry. The best way to create
ball hook is through the use of a fingertip
The fingertip grip is
typically utilized by bowlers who have gained
the basic feel for delivering the ball.
The fingertip bowling grip is used by the
majority of higher average bowlers. This
grip allows the most control for delivery of the
ball. Adopting this grip is recommended
for those having gained the basic feel for how
is important to have a ball drilled specifically
to a bowler's unique hand to properly and safely deliver the
The fingertip ball is
fitted so the bowler can fully insert their thumb all
the way in the thumbhole, and when the middle
and ring fingers are extended out across their
respective gripping holes, the crease of the
first joint should lie midway across the
The middle and ring fingers
are normally comfortably placed in up to the
crease of the first
knuckle, and then the thumb is fully rotated
into the thumbhole.
As you might guess, this finger placement,
allows the pad of the fingers to make contact
with, and pressure the ball in a turning action
as the ball is released. This turning
action causes increased hooking action due to
greater lift and more revolutions. This,
in turn, leads to increased pin carry.
Placing the middle and
ring finger gripping holes in
between where the conventional and fingertip
grips would ordinarily be placed, the
semi-fingertip grip takes advantage of the best
from both types of grips, but ball control
remains less effective than a fingertip ball.
When laying out the
ball, the thumb is fully placed into the
thumbhole, and when the fingers are laid out
across the finger holes, the crease of the
second joint should lay across the front edge of
the gripping holes.
The semi-fingertip ball
is fitted so you can fully insert the middle
and ring fingers midway between the first and
second finger crease, and then rotate the thumb
fully into the thumbhole. This
creates added holding security and accuracy than
the conventional grip and slightly more
hooking action than found with the conventional
grip, but less than the fingertip grip.
This gripping technique
is not as controllable as the fingertip grip,
and not commonly recommended except for advanced
bowlers wanting to tame their ball action or for
those having physical issues.
Sarge Easter grip is a fairly uncommon grip.
This grip is a combination of conventional and
fingertip grip. The thumb and index finger
holes are laid out as a fingertip grip, and the
ring finger is laid out as a conventional grip.
The objective of this
grip is to reduce the rotation of the ball and
give it more forward roll, giving the ball less
hook. It also reduces stress on the ring finger.
Which Grip Is
Right for Me?
Well, it depends.
When using a house ball, then you should use the
conventional grip. When you want to
improve the effectiveness of your delivery and
scores, it is time to advance to a finger-tip
Graduating from a
conventional to a finger-tip drilling,
you may initially find the need for additional
training and practice, specifically on
targeting. Even miracles take time.
Virtually all advanced
bowlers bowl using the fingertip grip, but a
distinct few use the Sarge Easter grip. A
fully certified IBPSIA pro shop operator can
help in the determination which grip
may be right for you.