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Similarities And Differences Between The One And Two-Handed Release

By: bowlingball.com 10/11/2016

Maybe one of the biggest unknowns about two-hand (no thumb) bowlers is that we actually release the ball one-handed. If you watch ANY two-handed bowler these days (Belmo, Osku or even myself), you will see that at the point of release, the left hand comes off the ball and we follow through with just our primary hand.

Having said that, there are even more similarities between the one- and two-handed bowler. Each can change hand and wrist position to make the ball come off as a full roll, or more off the side to create side tilt - as well as several other positions in between. Both bowlers must have a mechanically sound release of the ball as their fingers come out of the ball - giving it its rotation. The fingers are key in the release of the ball for both one- and two-handers. The feel should be smooth and free from pressure on your fingers. Check with your local pro-shop to make sure your grips are properly sized for your release.

If you spin the ball, then you have a higher axis of rotation than if you roll the ball more up-the-back and come up around it. This is also the same for one- and two-handers. You will want to have a comfortable hold of the ball as you release. Having too high of a side axis tilt can be tricky, as you could over spin the ball thus not hitting your mark and furthermore not hitting the pins as hard as the ball is capable.

When I was a one-handed bowler, I was taught to release the ball somewhere in between shaking hands with my thumb at about 10-11 o’clock. While now as a two-hander, I have a much higher rev rate. So in contrast, I am wanting to stay further behind the ball at release and come up and around the ball so as to not have poor ball reaction.

The two-handed bowler does have one other main advantage, as we generally do not put our thumb in the ball. This alleviates one of the worst issues a one-handed bowler could face - and that is grabbing the ball at the bottom. If the ball is grabbed as released, the shot will be pulled to their opposite hand side, therefore missing the target on the lane. Not only can grabbing (or squeezing) the ball cause a one-handed bowler to miss his target, but it can reduce rotation and can also cause stress on the thumb – leading to blisters and/or thumb and hand injuries. When you don’t have your thumb in the ball, you don’t have to worry about these issues.

Whether you are one-handed or two-handed, practice your craft diligently and watch how the ball reacts as you try different release points. And most of all, have fun and enjoy the sport of bowling!



Hello everyone and greetings from the Bowling Mecca of the World, also known as Las Vegas! My name is Nick Pollak. I am 18 years old and I’m a two-handed bowler as well as a USBC Bronze level coach. I am thankful to have been invited to join the bowlingball.comteam to write about the sport I love. I look forward to sharing many articles with you and hope to interact with many of you to get feedback and topic ideas you would like to see.

Did I mention I am a two hander? I wasn't always but that all changed in January of 2015 when my one-handed mechanics became a tremendous liability. For each and every one of my fellow two-handers, it should be noted that we are all different in our styles of approach, rev rate, speed and release. I look forward to sharing my perspective of the sport I love, as a competitive bowler and as a two-hander.

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