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The Importance of Proper Bowling Ball Fit

With all of today's equipment there is a big emphasis on ball reaction and as the years go by we see the equipment getting stronger and stronger. What people don't realize is as the years pass your hand can change as much as bowling ball technology. Making sure you have a proper fitted bowling ball is just as important as having a bowling ball that fits your style.

Over the years, the practice of fitting hands has changed drastically. A lot of pro shop operators and coaches now lean towards a more relaxed span with less reverse pitch, where back 20 years ago everyone was stretching their hand out as far as they could on the ball and using more reverse pitch so they could clear the ball. You could presently ask 10 pro shop operators how a bowling ball should fit and get 10 different answers. However, the one thing that is certain is that the ball should not hurt your hand. I am constantly talking with bowlers who have blisters on their hands, from the thumb to the fingers to the web of the hand. All of these have an effect on how well the ball comes off your hand and how consistent it is. Some bowlers have been using a bad fit for years and don't know it, others have had good fits but over time their hand has changed due to a injury or age and their fit is no longer correct. I like to refit a customers hand every year just to make sure that nothing has changed over the past year.

There are multiple signs of having a bad fit. If a certain part of your hand starts hurting after a few games this is a good sign that you need to have your fit looked at. A lot of bowlers throw this off as not bowling in a while or “my hand just isn't used to it”. You should not have pain when throwing a bowling ball, and your hand should not have to adjust to bowling ball fit. If you notice blisters on the back of your thumb this can indicated that you are using too much reverse pitch or the thumb is too big making you grab or knuckle the ball. If blisters form on the side of your thumb this can mean that your lateral thumb pitch needs to be adjusted. If you are hurting in the web or the base of your thumb there is a good chance your span is too long. Blisters or pain the fingers can mean your finger pitches don't match your flexibility. These are just a few of the many examples of problems that indicate a bad fit.

Choosing the correct bowling ball for yourself is very important. However, a great bowling ball with a poor fit can create bad results. I recommend finding a reputable pro shop if you feel that your fit is not as good as it should be. Once you have a good fit then learning this great sport of ours is easier and much more fun.
Jimmy Martin Staff
Storm/Roto Grip Staff

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