Why and How to Bowl a Straight Ball

The straight ball is meant to roll down the lane in a straight-line fashion. This shot is definitely the easiest shot in bowling, but not always the most effective shot for allowing a strike since it may not angle and hit the pocket, which is either on the right or left hand side of the head pin.

In order to hit the pocket, the straight ball needs to travel more in accordance with one of the arrows on either side of the middle arrow.

The straight ball is a good learning shot for beginners. Although sending the ball straight down the center of the lane may keep your ball out of the gutter, it is unlikely to end up giving you a strike and is more likely to split the pins in half.

Even if you do manage to grab yourself a spare on you second ball, relying on spares won't win you a game if you're playing with people who are throwing strikes. That's where the hook ball comes in.

You may wonder why you should learn the straight ball if you want to continue bowling and eventually switch over to a hook ball.

Well, the straight ball will not only help you get comfortable with your approach and release, but also allow you to have better scores easier and quicker in the beginning level. This will in turn increase your confidence, which is a very crucial factor in bowling as well as any other sport.

If you're just starting with straight bowling, you can practice hitting the head pin first. Your left foot should be placed in line with the middle of the lane (right foot for left-handers). Aim at the third arrow (on the 15th board from the right) and roll the ball over it.

Remember, your shoulder should be square to your target. So, if you want to aim at the third arrow, you must align your shoulder to the 15th board. Although walking a bit not perpendicularly to the foul line, you still have to walk in a straight line in the approach area.

When you release the ball, do not add any spin to it. Also, your bowling wrist or arm should not turn during the approach.

When you reach the stage of hitting the head pin consistently, you can move your feet slightly to the right (opposite for left-handers). You may also need to adjust your target slightly to the right. This will bring your ball a little closer to the pocket and thus improve your chances of getting a strike.