5 Valid Reasons Why Does My Bowling Ball Go Left?

Uncertainties can always occur when playing to pass the time with your friends or in a league. The most devastating situation the bowlers face is their ball going left after the launch. It can be frustrating when you put all your heart into the game, but it still gives you a tough time.

There are specific reasons that can answer your frustration: why does my bowling ball go left? It can be your throwing approach, ball core placement, oiling pattern, or wrong technique. Once you diagnose the ball’s reason going left, you can easily overcome this problem.

Today I’ll help you to know the reason for your ball going left and will devise some ways to remediate it.

Reasons Bowling Ball Keeps Going Left

It is the most commonly faced problem by right-hand bowling players. Left-handers face it too, but the percentage is relatively less in number than right-handers. Certain factors can make your ball go left, resulting in you losing the pin number, keeping you away from the highest score in bowling.

1. Body Position

One of the main factors is your body position. If you are a left-hander, your foot may be aligned more towards the left while throwing a ball. Wrong foot or body alignment can be a silent killer impacting your throw.

On the other hand, being a left-hander, if you still face the issue of your ball going to the left, then there is a possibility that your body is not towards the right. Your foot can be aligned left, making the ball go left further.

Read also: 4 Step Bowling Approach – Difference Between 4 Vs. 5 Steps

2. Lane Conditions

Another significant factor is the lane condition; determining your ball’s trajectory is essential. Bowling alleys have oil patterns applied to the lane, which is necessary for swift ball movement. Sometimes the inconvenient oil pattern on the lanes can result in the ball going to the left.

  • Dry Lanes: Sometimes, if the lanes are dry, they will cause more friction, resulting in the ball veering left. Friction between the ball and lane surface is an essential factor for guiding direction to the ball. 
  • Heavy Oil Patterns: On the contrary, if rich oil patterns are applied to the lane surface, they result in the ball going left. These oil patterns will cause hindrances in the process of the ball gripping the surface. The lack of friction can cause the ball to skid longer, taking a sharp turn to the left.
  • Ball Speed: The third factor to consider is your ball speed. Throwing the ball too fast will not allow proper time for the ball to grip the surface of the lane properly. As a result, it may skid rough through the oil pattern and force itself to go left. Consistent ball speed will allow the ball to connect with the lane, going straight correctly.

3. Rev Rate and Release

The rev rate is the number of revolutions your ball makes per minute; it comes from the releasing technique of the player. Heaving a high rev rate and strong release can result in aggressively hooking the ball. 

You can experiment with different rev rates by utilizing other throw techniques with wrist alignment. The more you explore, the more chances you can grant your ball a perfect hook to the lane. Also, check how to make a bowling ball spinner to improve this point. 

4. Bowling Ball Type

Bowling ball type is essential in determining the direction and forming the ball’s grip on the lane surface. The resin-active balls create a firm grip and additional friction and maintain the direction they are thrown. The chance of them leading to left or right are comparatively less than other balls. 

5. Physical Techniques 

Lastly, your physical techniques as a player also count in the ball direction. Your swing action can be inconsistent, resulting in improper release making the ball go left. Wrist angle is also essential while you bring the ball down for clearance; if your wrist is slightly twisted to the left, the ball will naturally go to the left.

Remedies from Keeping Ball Go Left

FactorsCorrection Techniques
Body PositionCheck alignment and stance; ensure proper shoulder alignment towards the target. Maintain a balanced posture throughout the approach.
Oil PatternAdjust target and approach alignment based on the oil pattern. Use a less aggressive ball or adjust the surface texture of the current ball.
Ball SpeedSlow down the ball speed to give the ball more time to grip the lane. Focus on a controlled release to reduce skid and hook.
Rev RateExperiment with different release techniques, grip pressures, and wrist positions to control the rev rate. Develop a consistent and smooth release to minimize excessive hook.
Bowling TypeOpt for a less aggressive bowling ball if excessive hooking persists. Consider adjusting the surface texture of the current ball to reduce hook potential.
Physical TechniquesWork with a qualified coach or attend bowling clinics to refine your technique. Practice consistent arm swing, proper release, and follow-through.

Wrap Up

Now that you got the answer: why does my bowling ball go left? It can be due to your body alignment, ball speed, ball type, oil pattern, bowling type, and physical characteristics. Look closely to find out the reason by monitoring through video recording, and practice more and more to fix your technique’s lack.

You can always ask for a coach or expert help to keep your bowling techniques up-to-date and mistake-free. 


While throwing a ball, if your body or foot placement is stooped more towards the right, your ball will go right after launching. Correct your foot alignment to save yourself from this situation.

Keep your left foot firm in the center of the alley; while bending down, try to keep your right foot behind the left one as straight as possible; your arm must align straight while bringing down the swing and releasing the ball. 

Missing right bowling can be due to the wrong alignment, causing your aim to be too far from the right intended target. The inconsistent swing path can also make you miss right bowling.

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