Article Contents

  • 1. I never use tape in my thumbhole but other bowlers tell me that I should. I’ve...
    • 1.1. Chris Barnes
    • 1.2. Susie Minshew
    • 1.3. Mike Shady
    • 1.4. Joe Slowinski
  • 2. Most of my leagues and tournaments are on sport or PBA conditions. I find now that...
    • 2.1. Chris Barnes
    • 2.2. Susie Minshew
    • 2.3. Mike Shady
    • 2.4. Joe Slowinski

Welcome back to the Round Table! This month we have two questions received from our readers. The first question concerns the use of tape on the hand and in the thumbhole. The second question is about having lots of good experiences on sport conditions and struggling on house patterns. Let’s see what our panel of experts has to say about these topics.

Editor’s note: The format of The Round Table column consists of posing technical questions submitted by readers to several top bowling coaches and educators and having them respond in “round-robin” style.


This month’s panel

I never use tape in my thumbhole but other bowlers tell me that I should. I’ve noticed that some bowlers put tape in the front of their thumbholes, some put it in the back, and others use the tape that goes directly on the thumb. What do you think is the best thing to do?

Chris Barnes

I personally always have about four pieces of white tape in the front of the thumbhole. I do this because I want a) to have the same feel in every ball and b) to have room to make the thumbhole larger for situations where the temperature is hotter (television, outdoors, or in warmer centers – especially overseas). I generally don’t use black tape. Since it’s about half the thickness of the white, it can be useful in the back of the hole to secure the fit.

However, the best option may be using the tape directly on the thumb. I first saw this in Japan and it is very popular in all of Asia. It makes sense in that, if you can get used to it, the texture will always be the same and humidity is not as issue. Additionally, it will eliminate most wear and tear from your hand. Several companies offer many styles and colors to suit every bowler.

Susie Minshew

What a great question! I see tape in some origami configurations that are unique but not very practical. Tape is used in the thumbhole to assure a snug fit. The more snug your fit, the more cleanly your thumb will exit the ball. Most people’s thumbs shrink and swell. We’re bigger in July than in February and everyone is bigger in the mornings. Since you can’t change the size of the hole, you have to regulate it with tape. If you are a person who does not shrink and swell, tape is a moot point for you although, from a comfort/consistency standpoint, you might want to consider it.

Some people prefer white textured bowler’s tape in the front of the hole ...

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Mike Jasnau

About Mike Jasnau

Mike Jasnau is a Teaching Pro / CATS Instructor at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV. He is a PBA Champion, USBC Silver Level Coach, and Storm Instructional Staff Member.