One of the biggest stories – maybe the biggest – of the century so far in bowling has been the rise and adaptation of the two-handed approach.
Note the careful wording there – the two-handed “approach” not the two-handed “delivery.” There’s a common misconception that two-handed bowlers actually use their second hand to deliver additional rotation on the ball.
As it turns out, that’s really not the case at all and slow motion videos and pictures of two-handers prove it pretty easily.
Osku Palermaa and Jason Belmonte traveled the world for years using their style without much admonishment from bowling purists. It really wasn’t until they got to the PBA Tour when the criticism started.
But once Belmonte won his first PBA Tour title in 2009 the train had left the station and two-handed bowling was here to stay. Today, there are many two-handers on tour and upwards of 20 percent of youth bowlers use the style, a number that’s constantly increasing.
Critics often say players who use the two-handed style are cheating because they are able to generate too much power from their second hand rotating the ball.
In reality, that’s not the case at all. If you watch almost every two-handed bowler (there are very few exceptions like the unique basketball-pass style of Tim Cagle), they use the second hand mostly for positioning their body.
Once the ball gets to the release point, the second hand is nowhere near the ball and they are able to rotate the ball freely with one hand.
By utilizing the second hand in that body position, two-handers are able to get themselves into a spot where they can get under the ball better to rotate it faster. Renowned coach Mark Baker explains this better in his recent Breakdown With Bakes as he dissects Belmonte’s game.
Although some may not like the two-handed style, there’s nothing illegal about it and it’s here to stay.