How to Become a Full Roller in Bowling?

Full roller in bowling

Have you ever heard the term “full roller”? Don’t feel down if you didn’t. Unlike other bowling terms we have talked about, full roller in bowling isn’t that common. When professional players discuss bowling styles, this is when you will notice them mentioning full roller. If you don’t know what full roller bowling style is already, today is the day you learn about it. This will definitely help you carry out a conversation with other fellow pro bowlers.

What is a full roller in bowling?

A bowler, when he/she rolls the bowling ball over the full circumference, is called a full roller. Hence, it’s a particular bowling style followed by bowlers. Many of you’re probably thinking this is how all bowling balls roll, aren’t you? To be honest, the modern bowling balls actually don’t do that. If you inspect the track of your bowling ball, you will see that it travels on the lane following a shorter path instead of the entire circumference of your ball.

So, basically, when the ball rolls down the lane it is a bit off toward the side of the center. This points out the fact that, full rollers get a track around their bowling balls that actually cover the maximum distance, meaning, the ball isn’t off the side. Rather it travels using the center of the sphere. So geometrically, that makes the longest track.

What is the full roller technique?

The full roller is a blast from the past! The Professional Bowling Association Tour has witnessed its fair share of full rollers. But because bowling balls have been revolutionized, full rollers have started getting more and more infrequent over the years. The newly manufactured equipment, bowling lanes, etc. makes it pretty difficult to follow the full roller technique. But if you want to experience let me tell you about its technique.

First and foremost, are you a three-quarter roller? Then, you must have noticed that you track outside of the thumb and finger holes. Oppositely, most of the full rollers track between the thumb and finger holes. Some full rollers follow the suitcase bowling grip and release. This is when your fingers are distant from your pocket and the outside your hand is faced away from your body.

If you are to follow the full roller technique, your bowling ball should be released counter-clockwise. Doing that will help you create a smooth ball roll without any axis tilt. Since the ball will roll using the maximum circumference, the ball speed will be slower than usual. If you follow the full rollers’ bowling method properly, the ball isn’t supposed to have any axis tilt. But because of the modern bowling equipment, nowadays, full rollers still get a little tilt and for that, they don’t track between the finger and thumb holes.

What is the hand position at releasing of full roller?

No matter what bowling style you follow, hand positions are everything. The same goes for full rollers. You can’t just throw your ball as you usually do and expect it to cover the maximum distance while rolling. So as we just mentioned above, using the suitcase bowling release is the best way to do it.

Now, imagine picking up a suitcase with your dominating hand (the hand you bowl with). To do that, you will have to bend over and pick up the suitcase by its handle. What you will realize is that everything is happening off the side.

So to throw the ball like a full roller, your hand (the outside) will have to face away from the body. So when you’re holding the bowling ball, your hand will be on the side of that as you awing and release it on the lane. Once you release the ball, you will see it create a side rotation and cause the expected ball reaction down lane. The suitcase hand position will also allow you to have a better entry angle when the ball will go into the pocket. Just a heads up – if you want to score spares with this hand position, you will not get a satisfactory result.


We are happy to provide you with the basics of this particular bowling style, but we do not recommend it following for the long term because of the modern bowling balls. The best you should do is the three-quarter style. So, don’t get used to this. But sure, go ahead have some fun as a full roller. After all, bowling is indeed a super fun sport! Don’t let anything stop you. Good luck!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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