Fingertip Grip Spans On Bowling Balls By MDM Bowling Coaching

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How To Know If Your Span On Your Bowling Ball Is Correct

In order to measure your hand correctly for a bowling ball, there are a number of key points that a Pro Shop Operator needs to look at. Span and Pitch are the two main components that create your grip. Simply put: span is the distance between the gripping edge of your finger holes and the gripping edge of your thumbhole. When your span is not fit correctly, it can slow your hand down while it’s coming out of the ball. Quick-release increases rev rate and ball speed without over muscling the ball, allowing you to create more natural momentum with significantly less strain on your body.

A Relaxed Fingertip Grip In Your Bowling Ball

Everybody’s hand is different and the recommended span for drilling a bowling ball has changed in the last 10 years. Today, pro shops should fit your hand to a relaxed span. A lot of pro shops were trained to fit a bowling ball with an extended, aka stretched, span. The purpose of this stretch was to allow you to make the ball hook vs letting the ball do its job, as bowling balls didn’t use to be as reactive. Problems with an overly long span and too much reverse pitch (an associated problem we’ll go into next week) include over gripping, over grabbing, and injuries from minor things like blisters on the thumb to severe wrist injuries. I’ve worked with people who have experienced injuries that even led to surgery or sport injury treatment. Overall, extended spans are generally improper techniques for today’s bowling. Drilling a ball with a span that is too short also has its downsides. Short spans can cause over gripping, thumb and fingers coming out at the same time, dropping the ball, and general inconsistency. The goal is to find that sweet spot between something too short and too long.

How To Test Your Fingertip Grip Span In Your Bowling Ball

In order to test your span: put your thumb in the thumbhole. If your first knuckle is not in the middle of the finger holes and it is more towards the front of the hole, your span is stretched. If your fingers are going to the back of the holes or beyond the holes, your span is short. I’m demonstrating a relaxed fit in the pictures.

Exceptions To The Rule For Fingertip Grip Spans

There’s an exception to every rule and the span is no different. Recommended span is very personal and your PSO should consider your physical characteristics and injuries in fitting your hand. In my experience, people who are double-jointed need a more stretched out span. Vice versa, arthritic bowlers need a shorter span to avoid pain while bowling. These examples really are the exception: 80% of bowlers who throw a hook ball should have a ball drilled with a relaxed span. Feel free to come by to discuss your ball fit! #protipfriday #mdmcoaching



2 thoughts on “Fingertip Grip Spans On Bowling Balls By MDM Bowling Coaching

  1. David W Kendall says:

    My fingertips do not enter the finger holes all the way to the first crease in my fingers. My fingers ache terribly after just a few throws of the bowling ball.. I am trying to curve the ball a fair amount. I have the new “incite” by Storm. What is the correct depth for my fingertips into the ball? Should I maybe go to a traditional format to the second knuckle rather than a fingertip grip the proshops are selling me on??

    • Joe says:

      Your fingertips should go in to your first knuckle. If you’re stretching it your span is way too big. A conventional grip your fingers go into the holes at the second knuckle.

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