There are basically three types of Bowling Styles that a bowler may have-Cranker, Stroker, or Tweener. Today I''ll be discussing the "Cranker". Lately there is a new style where bowlers do NOT insert their fingers into the ball. They throw the ball with both hands and get a tremendous amount of Revs on the ball. This style is very hard to master though and I don't really recommend it, and it is difficult to maintain accuracy that is needed to convert spares.
Have you ever seen a bowler that throws a very large hook, and then when their ball hits the pins, they look like they are dancing around all over the pin deck or just exploding off the pin deck? These are the big power players who are labeled as "Crankers". It's very interesting to watch someone with this style because they need to be very flexible, and have to be quite athletic. Cranking requires a lot of strength and skill to be able to get more revolutions on the ball which does give a higher chance of achieving a strike. A stronger releasing action helps the fingers quickly rotate the ball about 45-70 degrees giving a greater Axis Tilt and a much larger hook.Axis Tilt is the spin that is put on the ball by the way a player throws it. A lower axis tilt creates a smaller more gradual hook that is easier to control. A higher axis tilt gets the ball farther down the lane before it begins to hook which creates a larger hook. It's difficult to control a large hook and there is a higher chance of cutting into the pins in such a way that the bowler may leave some nasty splits because of the larger angle the ball is coming in at.
Steps a Cranker Takes:
1st- For a four step approach, the first step begins with the right foot (for a right handed bowler) going straight out in
front of the body.
2nd- Left foot actually steps 4-5" to the left of the body (not walking in a straight line).
3rd- The third step is slightly to the right and towards the center of the body, opening up the shoulders with a very high
back swing (the shoulders are turned slightly to the right and Not square to the target).
4th-The last step has very little slide and the left foot is planted very solidly and the ball is pulled upward on the
release.The left foot arrives at the foul line before the ball, giving the body a solid foundation to assist in the
stronger releasing action.
Wrist and Hand Positions:
1. Some Crankers don't insert the thumb into the ball and may also hold the ball up higher at the stance for extra
2. Some may over rotate the thumb to the 5:00 position at the stance to help get extra revs on the ball at the release.
3. Crankers keep the wrist under the ball in a cupped position and move the elbow out slightly from the body.
4. Keep a tilted wrist position just before the release.
5. Rotate the fingers quickly to rotate the ball and the thumb finishes straight up.
To feel what it's like, at your next practice session, try bowling without your thumb in the hole. It forces you to keep your hand under the ball so you don't drop it.
If you think you may want to give this style a chance, I recommend taking lessons from a pro who specializes in it so he can give you the best advice in developing it properly.
Join me in 2 weeks when I'll be discussing the "Stroker" Bowling style.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
This is a continuation of my Blog Post from 12/20/21:
When lofting the ball, you need to land it onto the lane smoothly like landing an airplane, and in the same area on the lane. If you don't use much loft, you may get a "FOUL" because your release was too close to the foul line. If you loft only a little, the ball will have more lane to travel on and hook too much by the time it reaches the pins causing the ball to come up high on the headpin. If you loft the ball out more the next time, the ball will have less lane to travel on and you'll come up short missing the pocket area. Doing this routinely will cause you to be inconsistent! You need to loft the ball out about 6-10 feet in order for the ball to get onto the oil that is applied on the lane so it can skid first and then be able to roll effectively once it reaches the breakpoint (area where there is no more oil and the ball begins to hook).
In practice, you can put a piece of painters tape on the lane (it doesn't leave a stick residue on the lane) and practice lofting the ball out to that spot each time. The lanes are slippery, so ask if you can do it and if the mechanic isn't busy, he may be able to do it for you. You can also put an old washcloth on the lane instead. Doing this exercise often will help you get a FEEL of how far to loft the ball out and onto the lane. Over time, your muscle memory will just do it without you having to think about it.
If you notice that you are holding onto the ball too long and lofting the ball out too far, your bowling grip may be the problem. The fingers need to fit into the ball just right. The opposite also holds true, if your grip is too loose, you may drop the ball short. Go to the pro shop and have him check your grip for you.
7. STANDING IN THE WRONG PLACE:
You may know from your practice time before the league bowling begins, where you should stand for the strike shot on the pair of lanes you are bowling on and you stick with this until the lanes begin to change a bit. If you are standing on the wrong board, you may not get the strike that you were getting when you were on the correct board! You will be coming in at a different angle. But what if you forget what board or dot you need to stand on, or what if you are in a deep conversation with another bowler and you rush to the lane because it's your turn? All these things can affect our focus and concentration, so if you are new to the game, I suggest writing down (on a piece of paper or in your notebook) which board you are standing on and what arrow or board you are aiming for. As you make adjustments to your game, don't forget to change the info on that piece of paper.
8. OVERTURNING THE HAND:
This can happen to many bowlers. "Topping the Ball" means you did NOT finish with your fingers in that 12:00 position I spoke about in an earlier blog post. You have turned it too much to the left (for right handed bowlers) and finished with your thumb in the 8 or 9:00 position instead of the 10 or 11:00 position. It can also happen if you turn your entire arm instead of just the wrist. Overturning will cause a low AXIS TILT which leads to a poor delivery and loss of ball power by the time it reaches the pins. On the backswing your hand should be flat, so the thumb is in the 3 o'clock position so as you begin the downswing, you can rotate the hand to the 10 or 11:00 position on the release. Some bowlers will turn the hand even more to get more revs. It's crucial to have the thumb leave the ball first so the fingers can lift toward the palm and rotate the ball properly so it can hook.
Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing "Bowling Styles".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Hello!! I'm not a professional bowler, but I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.