Enter the two-handed bowler. Increasingly, we are seeing this novel technique cropping up in bowling alleys across the country. Notice the formidable hook you can generate with this type of delivery -- it looks like the ball is headed straight for the gutter, but then, seemingly at the last second, it cuts back into the pocket for another strike. It's this superior hooking ability that makes two-handed bowling a force to be reckoned with. In order to get some insight into the issue, let's examine some of the physics involved in tossing a 12- to 16-pound sphere down a lane of polished oily wood.
In order to get a strike you probably already know that the ball needs to strike the pins in one of the "pockets", which are the regions halfway between the head pin and the pins on either side of the head pin. But why do we need to hook the ball at all? Why not just throw it straight up the alley and directly into the pocket? The answer has to do with conservation of momentum.