Over the past few years, the two-handed bowling style has managed to divide opinion among bowling enthusiasts. Controversial to say the least, some have welcomed the technique with open arms while others have vehemently deemed it cheating.
Those who have mastered the technique have benefitted tremendously, leading single-handed bowlers to question its legality.
The technique first appeared in the American bowling community in the late 2000s. The Australian bowler, Jason Belmonte, is often credited as the innovator of this bowling style.
Unlike the single-handed bowling technique, the two-handed bowling style requires more practice. If it were easy, everyone would adopt the technique to their advantage.
This begs the question—is the two-handed style a shortcut to bowling better or do two-handed bowlers simply bowl well because of countless hours of practice?
Extensive research points out that a two-handed bowling style doesn’t necessarily generate more power. However, it does aid bowlers to accomplish more balanced deliveries and smoother transitions between forms.
As I mentioned earlier, learning this style is not a cakewalk.
If you want to see results, you will need to practice a lot and pack loads of patience. You might also want to consider getting bowling balls that are great for two-handed bowling.
What is the two-handed bowling style?
As its name suggests, the two-handed bowling style uses both hands to release the ball.
The non-dominant hand of a bowler is used to secure and support the ball while the dominant hand releases the ball. Basically, the non-dominant hand helps to naturally add spin to the ball and keeps it stable before the release.
There are also several benefits to bowling two-handed.
Less body stress
The one-handed bowling style puts plenty of strain on the shoulder and the wrists. Fortunately, the weight of the ball is more evenly distributed all over the body in the two-handed bowling style.
Less use of the thumb
In the single-handed bowling style, the thumb can get in the way of a strike. How so? Well, it can sometimes stick or slip out too soon.
When that happens, you can say goodbye to your strike.
Meanwhile, two-handed bowlers only use the thumb when making spare shots. The lesser you use the thumb, the better.
More speed, spin, and revolutions
The two-handed bowling style helps generate increased speed, spin, and revolutions without affecting the accuracy of the ball.
How to Bowl Two-Handed: 5 Important Points
There are several pivotal factors on how to bowl two-handed and you better pay attention to them if you want to do the style successfully.
1. Focus on your form
For your initial form, you should bend your knees to a small degree and keep them relaxed. You should also keep the bowling ball near your waist and have your body in a slightly sloping position.
When you transition towards your approach, you will have your body tilted furthermore.
2. Mind your approach
Most two-handed bowlers usually take four steps before they release the ball.
Don’t take large strides if you’re uncomfortable. However, you must pay attention to the technique and pace of your approach.
- First, take a couple of timed steps to set the pace.
- Then, right-handed bowlers should take to the left while lefties should move towards the right. Where you go depends on your aim.
- Take skip steps next. Skip steps, as the name suggests, are skips that help you travel short distances.
- Finally, move towards your last step by sliding forward. This step must be the farthest step you take, and expert two-handed bowlers use this step to generate power and spin on the ball.
3. Master your grip
It is important to pay attention to your grip during a two-handed delivery.
Before settling on a grip though, you need to cradle the ball with both hands. After this, you can either use your thumb for gripping purposes or just go without it.
Your non-dominant hand must secure and support the ball. Pay attention to where you place your non-dominant hand as it greatly affects how your ball reacts after the release.
4. Swing it
Anyone who has even a bit of experience in bowling would stress the importance of swing.
A swing determines how ferociously a ball travels down the bowling lane. The further back you swing, the more power you generate.
A single-handed style would require a bowler to swing the arm in an oscillatory motion. That is not the case in a two-handed bowling style.
For a two-handed style, the ball must be kept securely to the chest. It must be angled forward and upward.
During this time, the non-dominant hand needs to keep the ball stable. When you get to the point of releasing the ball, your elbow should open up; bowlers do this to generate more revolutions and speed.
5. Release near your ankle
You should aim to release the ball right beside your ankle.
Many often make the mistake of using their non-dominant hand to generate more spin right before the release. You shouldn’t do this as it can result in erratic shots.
If you execute your form, approach, grip, and swing appropriately, the spin will be naturally generated by your hands.
As I mentioned earlier, your non-dominant hand placement largely affects how your ball reacts after the release. Hence, you should test out different placements and releases to get a better idea of how you can get the ball to react to your benefit.
Two-handed bowling isn’t always looked upon favorably by many bowling professionals and enthusiasts. However, I believe that it is simply a style that helps make the game more sophisticated.
The two-handed bowling style doesn’t give anyone an unfair advantage.
Everyone is welcome to try it and use it to their benefit. The five guidelines discussed above can help you start on the two-handed technique—if you’d like to try it.
Bowling two-handed isn’t easy and you’d only be able to execute it perfectly after spending countless hours practicing how to bowl in such style. That’s only fair though; anything worth having is worth some effort after all.