Axis Rotation & Axis Tilt: Bowling Release Adjustments

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There are many adjustments that can be made in bowling when the lane conditions are transitioning like changing ball speed, altering rev rate, changing where you stand and/or where you are targeting down lane, for example.

In this premium video, Coach Erik Vermilyea with Track explains the differences between axis rotation and axis tilt and which one can be altered. Vermilyea gets into the how and why this is one of the most important areas to adjust for better scores.

Axis Rotation & Axis Tilt

Axis rotation is the amount of side rotation imparted onto the bowling ball. A bowling ball rolling in an end-over-end manner is as close to 0º of axis rotation a bowler can throw.

Axis tilt is commonly referred to as spin. The oil rings or track visible when you first pick up the bowling ball as it returns from the ball return identify that the bowling ball is trying to change its rotation axis in an attempt to rotate around the ball’s center of gravity or positive axis point.

If your track is further away from your fingers and thumb you have more axis tilt than someone whose track is closer to the fingers and thumb.

Axis 1

Axis 2

Axis Tilt is one of the most difficult areas to change in your game. Consider your axis tilt part of your bowling DNA. You generally are who you are.

If you have more axis tilt your bowling ball stays in the skid phase longer, clearing the front part of the lane easier than someone who doesn’t have a lot of axis tilt and when it makes its move down lane it will happen quicker.

Altering Axis Rotation

Start by finding your positive axis point and put a piece of tape on it. Put another piece of tape (Rev Tape) from your positive axis point to the top of your finger holes. Then start by throwing your natural release down lane simultaneously observing how the tape rolls.

Wrist Strong Ball

Likely, your natural release is somewhere between 35º to 65º of axis rotation. The goal is to be able to have at least three releases that provide an end of end roll (close to 0º axis rotation), medium axis rotation (35º – 65º axis rotation) and maximum rotation (as close to 90º axis rotation as possible).

Having these adjustments when the lanes break down can be the difference between striking and shooting spares. For more great instruction from National Bowling Academy expert coaches check out, “Release Rotation Versatility” and “Breaking Down Ball Motion” to discover new areas to improve upon in your game.