What Are the Four Basic Shots in Bowling and How to execute them 1

What Are the Four Basic Shots in Bowling and How to execute them

Bowling is an exciting, refreshing, and thrilling game. If you are a beginner or a newcomer to the sport of bowling, you must be unaware of the different types of bowling shots that are being utilized during the game. There are various types of shorts that you need to master and have command on them accurately.

Getting to know about all sorts of bowling shots can assist you in making a precise decision about the useful shot to utilize in any of the given circumstances.

There are different sorts of four basic shots in ten-pin bowling that should not be misinterpreted with the four basic shots in lawn bowling, and those are the yard on shot, the draw shot, the drive, and the running shot.

In this writing, we will talk about what are the four basic shots in bowling, the perfect approach, and the exact time to utilize them.

What Are the Four Basic Shots in Bowling Ball

The four basic shots in bowling ball sport are basically the straight shot (also known as the easiest shot as compared to the other shots in bowling), the hook shot, the curve shot, and the last one is the backup ball (which generally rolls in the opposite direction).

On the other hand, the curve and hook shots transmit spin to the ball, consequently making it strike more pins at a higher degree, and the backup shot is normally utilized in rare cases as a result of its unusual techniques.

Let’s discuss these 4 basic shots in bowling ball with a little bit of detail, including how and when to execute them precisely.

Straight Shot

A straight ball or shot is one of the easiest and most highly effective kinds of shots in the bowling game. As the name of this shot shows, the short is ideally straight, and the bowling ball does not get any rotation or spun before the ball is released.

The straight shot is one of the simplest moves to get proficient at and is the most straightforward compared to the other sorts of bowling shots.

It doesn’t mean that you have to release the ball in the middle of the bowling lane every time. But it depends on the ball’s movement at the time of its throw.

It can be a good option for the amateurs and best for the players trying to pick up a spare, including a single pin or two.

How to Perform a Straight Shot

To carry out an ideally straight shot or ball, you are required to ensure that you are holding the ball accurately, just like any plastic ball, and that your fingers are precisely situated inside the holes of the ball to avoid any error.

With the purpose of a straight shot, you must make sure that you are standing in the correct position to deliver or throw the ball; your controlling foot should be positioned in front when you roll the ball.

If you are a right-handed bowler, your controlling foot should be the left one, and for left-handed bowlers, the controlling foot is the right one.

Now, it’s time to deliver a ball while taking a few steps and keeping you at a relatively straight angle. Don’t make your wrist bend on any side except the straight one to avoid spin.

Hook Shot

Another type is the hook shot, the most effective shot in a bowling game. It might look like a standard shot if you are a beginner or don’t know much about the shot, but professionals can spot it from far away. It literally curves abruptly towards the bowling pins.

This shot is normally used by professional bowlers, and if executed rightly, it is more fun to watch. It is comparatively different from that of the straight shot because the ball goes in a curved path rather than a straight line.

If carried out precisely, the ball might strike the pins with a relatively higher speed and force, and the spin in it can even make it hit other pins not straightly in its way.

How to Accomplish a Hook Shot

It needs a little more ideal approach to carry out a hook shot or a ball. However, attaining a perfect hook is not at all an easy task. It ultimately requires a sensitive balance of approach and skills. You are required to hold the ball using your fingertips so that the ring and the middle fingers are holding the fort only up to the first knuckle. However, the thumb is completely locked inside the hole of the bowling ball.

In order to execute the shot, you are required to take your thumb out of the hole first after taking your last step toward the bowling lane. Then, you should take your fingers out of the holes while applying a spin on the bowling ball before throwing it.

If you are a right-handed bowler, you are required to spin the ball to the left side, and if you are a left-handed bowler, you are required to spin the ball to the right side.

Bowling balls normally hook in a different way depending on the manufacturing of bowling balls, like a reactive bowling ball. Practicing repeatedly can assist you in achieving your target.

Curve Shot

Now comes the curve shot or ball, which is slightly harder to understand as compared to those straight and hook balls, specifically for amateurs. This kind of shot is quite identical to the hook shot. In it, the ball must curve slightly as it moves down across the lane.

Firstly, with a curve ball which is most likely a urethane ball, you are needed to initiate with your feet and shoulder extended apart, and your weight should be properly distributed. If you are utilizing your right hand to deliver the ball, take a step ahead with your left foot.

How to Accomplish a Curve Shot

In order to carry out the curve shot, the steps, and approach are pretty similar to those for the hook ball. Take your stance, hold the ball while utilizing your knuckle grip, and make the ball spin before throwing it.

The spin imparted on the ball to execute a curve shot is not done by the wrist but is alternatively generated by the shift in your arm position.

Backup Shot

The backup shot is one of the shots in bowling that hardly utilizes in games. This kind of shot is pretty unusual in view of the fact that it spins or hooks the ball in the opposing direction of a standard hook ball. Accordingly, if the bowler is right-handed, they would turn the ball from left to right rather than carrying it out the other way around.

The shot usually comes naturally for many bowlers, but some bowlers require a lot of practice to get this shot. Many bowlers proficiently review this skill as bad because it might twist your wrist in an unusual position, which can forcefully result in injuries.

How to Accomplish a Backup Shot

A proper way to carry out the backup shot in a successful manner is to utilize the same potential as you would with your standard hook ball, however, to twist your wrist in an opposing position. This might be difficult whether you are an amateur or a standard bowler.

In the same way, initiate by placing your feet with your shoulder extended apart. Before releasing, twist your wrist in an opposing position and throw the ball when it’s all natural while giving it a spin. The crucial part is to maintain your wrist firm but not too hard to move your hand when releasing a ball.

Which Shot Should be Utilized Initially

Now you are all familiar with the four basic shots in bowling ball, and you must be thinking about which shot is correct for you. The answer to it generally depends on the bowling approach and preferences that you are utilizing in your game.

A bowler should stick to the straight ball if it’s the first time bowling. After getting proficient, you can now choose your bowling shot. Generally, curve and hook balls are ideal in order to get strikes.

Final Considerations

Alley bowling and the bowling shots are all different from other kinds of bowling. Behind all these shots, the main concept is to roll down the ball across the lane to get maximum strikes and as many pins as possible by utilizing different bowling shots. I hope this piece of writing will help you choose the right shot with accuracy in your next bowling game.


A straight bowling shot does not curve. The short is ideally straight, and the bowling ball does not get any rotation or spun before the ball is released.

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