Proper Bowling Stance for Beginners
We show you the proper bowling stances for beginners.
Your bowling stance is the first step to bowling better and having better control of your ball. Correct stance is the first step to bowling a 300 game (a perfect game), or at least consistently bowling in the 200s. The first thing you should do is become consistent in your form. You should have a defined way you address and deliver the bowling ball. This can be very hard to come by when you are trying to concentrate on where your ball is going. Most people will argue that a good game of bowling is more mental than physical. The hard part is to sync the two into a killer game of mind over matter.
While having good form, the ball should always be held in the same place in reverence to your body. Both of these should come together comfortably for you after practicing stance and ball position. When you are comfortable, you will find that the weight of the ball rolls off of your fingertips like an extension of the arm. Even once you have mastered your beginners bowling stance you will have to learn to be calm and concentrate. You will be nervous there is no doubt, that’s what learning is all about but that feeling only lasts until you start to do well.
Assuming you are a four step bowler, go to the foul line, turn around so that your heels are about four inches from the line and take four normal steps (heel to toe) away from the lane. Then take a half-step to allow for slide. Turn around and face the lane and pins. Look down at your feet. Where they are is your “point of origin“ and shouldn’t vary no matter when or where you are bowling. The distance from the foul line should consequently be determined, depending on what you are bowling for, strikes or spares. Because of ball returns, change in surroundings from one alley to another, we suggest that you pace from this distance at the foul line before taking your stance. If you are a three-step bowler or five steps, pace off the same way. Now you are in position to take your stance.
If you are right-handed your left foot should be a 3 to 4 inches ahead of your right. This will make your stance more comfortable. As a beginner your left foot should either be in line with the center of the lane or a little to the right of the center. Shoulders should always be parallel to the foul line. Now you're ready to consider what stance you should use.
There are three basic types of stances:
- The ball is held up slightly in front of the face, leaving enough room for the eyes so you can see what you are doing.
- Has the ball is held so that the base is even with your waist this is called “shotgun”.
- Has the ball held lower and just at arm's length. As far as the position of the body is concerned, comfort is the key. Some bowlers find it a little more comfortable to stand straight up and others bend slightly and others even lean way over.
Whatever you choose they are all acceptable and should be tried equally to see what feels more natural for you.
Each stance has advantages and disadvantages that you will find when trying them. A slight bend at the waist is preferential by most serious bowlers. Beginners are usually inclined to stand straight up. There is nothing wrong with straight up, but don't strain yourself to do it. Try each of the other styles and decide which is the most natural for you and produces the highest scores and amount of fallen pins, and of course strikes.
In the past few years serious bowlers have brought a new style into being and it has a few variations. These lead bowlers hold the ball over to their right side (for right-handed). The bowlers claim that this stance allows them to follow through their swing with much superior ease. You should choose the most natural of these stances for you and maybe play around with the others for certain different techniques that will come with practicing your stance.
The Ultimate Bowling Guide goes into a lot more detail about these advanced bowling stances if you are interested. It is only after mastering these advanced stances will you find yourself bowling consistently above 200.
Most importantly stick with what works for you and, good luck in your game!
A bowling center in Japan has 141 lanes. The Tokyo World Lanes Center had 252 lanes, but is now closed.