Rolling styles

There are many techniques used when rolling the ball. While some will be more conducive to strikes than others, there is no correct way to bowl, and players who are learning the game should use whichever technique they feel most comfortable with.

Broken wrist – A relaxed wrist position that allows the player to release the ball with minimal spin. Useful for dry lanes where spin would result in too large of a hook and spare shooting, i.e. knocking down remaining pins on the second ball in a frame.

Cranker – A shot imparting maximum power on the ball at the expense of accuracy. This type of release also maximises the rotational spin on the ball, allowing for large and quick hooks. Crankers release the ball towards the end of their slide (“late timing”) with a bent elbow to allow for a higher backswing. This technique is often called a “plant and throw” because a player’s body will be firmly planted at the end of the slide by the time they release, allowing them to transfer more power into their upper body and arm to whip the ball through the release. This is considered by many as the ideal release.

Finger-tip – A type of grip where the player only inserts their fingers as far as the first joint. The release will contain more spin as the ball is flicked from the wrist.

Roller – A roller will begin the release of the ball before completing the slide (“early timing”) and implement a short follow through to ensure that rolls are extremely accurate. Rolling in this way results in less hook and power, as the player is not swinging their arm as far forwards during the release. Because of its accuracy and small hook, this type of shot is useful for spare shooting.

Spinner – A type of roll that has become incredibly popular in Asian countries such as China, Taiwan and Malaysia, due to lane conditions that are often poor. Players roll very light weight balls (10-12lb) with a high degree of horizontal spin. The ball will skid in a straight line, regardless of most oiling patterns, as it has no vertical rotation so only a small area of the ball comes into contact with the lane. However, the large axis-tilt and number of revs on the ball mean that it will deflect drastically after hitting the first pin and travel through the rest of the pin deck. This technique is often referred to as a “helicopter” or “UFO” shot.

Stroker – The classic bowling technique, which can be used to attain consistent results. Players will stop their sliding foot just before the ball gets to the foul line so that the ball will travel with moderate power and spin. Unlike crank and roller shots, the player should swing the ball in time with the slide (“perfect timing”). Players that use a combination of crank and stroke shots are often referred to as “croakers”.