Article Contents

  • 1. Hole size
    • 1.1. Thumbhole
    • 1.2. Finger holes
  • 2. Pitching a fit
  • 3. Spec sheet
  • 4. Your medical records
  • 5. Advanced tricks

As we talked about last time, three things matter when it comes to the fit of your bowling ball: pitch, span, and hole size. Most folks think hole size counts the least. That’s true unless the hole size is wrong. Then it counts a lot.

Hole size


Although IBPSIA feels that hole size is only about 20 percent of a fit (pitch and span are 40 percent each), it definitely still matters. Even if the pitch and span are fine, hole size will affect your exit. If it’s too small, you will certainly have a quick exit. A quick, clean exit is a must for a great release. And the exit with a too-small thumbhole is certainly quick but it’s not clean. Without your thumb all the way in the hole, of course it came flying out!

If the hole size is too big, you’ll have to squeeze the ball to hold on to it long enough to let go of it when you want. If you don’t use tape to regulate a too-big thumbhole, you have to fill up that extra space with something. So, you bend your knuckle to make sure no one is afraid to sit in the bowler’s area when it’s your turn to bowl.

Your thumbhole should be drilled to fit you when you are at your biggest and most swollen. Then, when you aren’t either, you make the hole smaller with the judicious use of tape – just like the pros. Taping is an art and where the tape is placed in the hole is ...

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Susie Minshew

About Susie Minshew

Susie Minshew is a USBC Gold Coach, Master Silver Instructor, a regional PWBA champion, and past president of IBPSIA. She has authored two new books, Whoever Finds It First, Wins and Bowling Whisperer. Visit her online at