I bowled for the first time in long time the other day. I still tend to bowl and have my ball thrown to more straight up and down the lane. As in, i'll bowl in the middle of the lane and have it roll as straight as possible.

When you see experienced professionals competing on television they tend to use use the style to hook or spin spin the ball.

Is there any advantage to hooking or curving the ball as opposed to hitting the pins straight on?

2 Answers 2


Studies have shown that the best strike percentage happens when the ball hits the pins on the 17th board at a 6 degree angle. That can only be done by hooking the ball.

The main problem with throwing a straight ball is hitting the headpin to the side enough to not split, which still being able to knock down the 5 pin. A properly thrown hook ball will cause the pin action shown below.

Pin Action


The curve knocks the pins in different directions, increasing the chance you pick up the pins on the far ends of the pattern.

  • How does this compare with the chance you pick up pins when bowling a straight ball?
    – user527
    Mar 3, 2014 at 23:31
  • Well if you hit the pin dead on, its gonna go straight back.
    – Oldcat
    Mar 4, 2014 at 0:29

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