It’s not often that you see a left handed bowler, but when you do you kind of stare. Well, I do at least. I never thought they would have any advantage what so ever just because they use a different hand than I, as well as a large portion of the world’s population, do.
But, it’s true, left handed bowlers do have an advantage. They have more oil on their side of the bowling lane since right handed bowlers all throw on the same side. But don’t run to your local alley and start trying to become a lefty, it’s not thatch of an advantage, least I don’t think so.
What advantages do left-handed bowlers have?
You know that anyone who knows how to write is divided into two groups: those who write with their left hand and those who write with their right hand. And this subconscious preference is so deeply embedded in one’s mind that they develop a more dominant, stronger hand in comparison to their other hand.
So imagine a bowler wanting to capitalize on this as well; if they write with their left or right hand, why not bowl with their preferred hand as well, resulting in a world of left-handed and right-handed bowling balls tailored to each bowler’s preference.
If you look at the statistics, you will find that roughly 13% of the adult population is made up of left-handed people. This may seem like a small population, but when you look at the Professional Bowlers Association top 50 players, you will find that 20% of the athletes are left-handed. If you look back in time, you’ll notice that one of the greatest bowling legends, the late Earl Anthony, was also left-handed and managed to amass a slew of titles and awards to his name.
So, does a different dominant hand really have that much of an impact on the game? Some argue that because there are fewer left-handed people, the lane looks completely different on its left side, resulting in a more uniform surface along the way and a better, more consistent oil spread. As does the lack of lanes, which does not change as much for left-handed bowlers.
Tips for Left-Handed Bowling
You might as well enjoy the aura of mystery and danger that being left-handed brings to your bowling game, whether it’s a real advantage or just an ego boost. Check out these left-handed bowling tips and put them to the test at one of our open bowling sessions!
Get your ball correctly for .
One of the most common issues for any bowler, left or right-handed, is improperly fitted finger and thumbholes. Fortunately, you can custom drill your bowling ball! Simply stop by your local bowling alley and ask their pro shop staff for assistance in finding the best fit for your ball.
Improve your posture.
While it may be more difficult to find examples of how to bowl left-handed, it is worthwhile to put in the time to perfect your stance. The way you hold the ball, the distance you bring your arm back, and your approach is all important aspects of your game.
Can a bowler switch hands when bowling?
The American Bowling Congress is cracking down on bowlers who “switch hit,” or bowl left-handed and right-handed, in order to gain an unfair advantage in handicap and classified tournaments.
Previously, a right-handed bowler could switch to his left hand to pick up that pesky tenpin, but this is now prohibited. When a bowler enters a tournament and begins bowling, he must bowl with the same hand he started with or risk forfeiting his entry fee.
Switching hands in league competition have been prohibited for many years; once the season begins, you must stick with the hand you started with. Of course, if you get hurt and need to bowl with your other hand, you can request permission from league officials.
In their tournaments, pro bowlers are also not permitted to switch hands. The only time you can legally switch hands is during a scratch tournament.
The rules do not prohibit a bowler from bowling with his opposite hand for the duration of a league season. And if a bowler is in two leagues, one right-handed and one left-handed, the yearbook makes no distinction. Nobody would be able to tell which average was holding which hand.
Are there left-handed bowling shoes?
Shoes that specifically cater towards left-handed bowlers do exist. The type of sole on the sliding shoe determines how bowling shoes are “handed.” Because (most) left-handed bowlers slide with their right foot, the right shoe has a leather or buckskin sole to aid in sliding.
The left shoe is typically rubber-soled, with leather or textured rubber toe piece. This toe piece is included to provide additional traction when “pushing off” on the next-to-last step. Right-handed shoes are nearly identical to left-handed shoes. Most bowling shoes have this configuration; however, some manufacturers produce ambidextrous versions of their low-end bowling shoes; both shoes have some type of sliding sole, so they can be used for both left-handed bowling and right-handed bowling.
The most expensive bowling shoes also have removable soles and heels. Just like having a tailored made bowling ball for your left hand, these shoes can also prove very beneficial for a left-handed bowler in the long run helping quite a ton with their posture and delivery as the momentum is shifted towards the other side of their body giving significant support to the area that requires it.
You can easily find these shoes all over online and at your local bowling alley as well made by big brands in the bowling industry such as Brunswick and can go anywhere around $60 all the way up to $200 or more.