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The Ultimate Guide to Bowling Ball Weights

Playing for the first time? Or are you a pro bowler? Getting your hands on the appropriate bowling ball weight is the key to a perfect strike that leaves your co-players in awe.

What bowling ball weight

If you’ve been losing every bowling game against your friends, this article is the perfect read before you step into a bowling alley next time. Read along to find out how much the bowling ball weighs and what bowling ball weight you should use.

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Does Bowling Ball Weight Matter?

The weight of a bowling ball is an essential factor to consider when choosing your bowling ball. The power, controllability, and accuracy of your shot are determined by how heavy or light your bowling ball is.

Bowling ball weight matters as it has a direct influence on your game performance. Choosing the right weight will allow you to utilize your physical strength and bowling skills to the optimum, enabling you to hit the perfect shot.

You might think that a heavier ball will hit the pins with a greater force, which is true, but it is also hard to swing and control. On the other hand, lighter balls are easier to handle but may not have the proper force and resistance required for a good shot. Hence it is essential to choose a bowling ball that is neither too heavy nor too light.


The weight of your bowling ball also determines its level of deflection. Weighted bowling balls deflect less than lightweight bowling balls. Deflection can be disadvantageous if you are not good at handling splits. Hence it is crucial to choose a ball of the right weight.

Using a ball of the wrong weight will not just impact your game but can also injure you.

Average Bowling Ball Weight

An adult’s average bowling ball weight is 12 to 16 pounds. Most pro players prefer a 15-pound bowling ball which is heavy enough to be impactful without causing much strain to your body.

Bowling balls come in a variety of sizes and weights. They range from 6 to 16 pounds, and younger players or beginners use lighter-weight balls, while professional players prefer heavier ones.

One cannot say that a specific weight is ideal for bowling. Rather it depends on your characteristics determining which weight is best for you.

Bowling Ball Weight Chart

The numbers on a bowling ball tell you how much the bowling ball weighs. Here is a list for you to know how heavy or light of a ball you are picking.

NumberWhat does it represent?
66lbs
77lbs
88lbs
99lbs
1010lbs
1111lbs
1212lbs
1313lbs
1414lbs
1515lbs
1616lbs

What Weight Bowling Ball should a Woman use?

Now that we have already established that the bowling ball weight is not defined, the same applies to women and children too. However, women usually use bowling balls ranging from 10 – 14.

What weight bowling ball a woman should use depends on her physical strength. You may use a bowling ball that says number 8 or even go as high as number 16 as long as you are comfortable holding and throwing it. If a ball feels too light, we recommend you go higher. However, if you feel the slightest discomfort in holding a high weighing ball, it is a sign to go back one number lower.

Choosing your Ideal Bowling Ball

There is no specific type or size of bowling ball defined as the best. Various factors should be brought into consideration while choosing your ideal bowling ball. Along with the weight, you must check the ball grip and the material it is made of.

weighted bowling balls

The Right Weight

A bowling ball should neither be too heavy nor too light; rather, it should be per your weight. A 10 percent rule is generally applied to determine which weight is best for you. For example, if you weigh 130 lbs, your bowling ball’s weight should be 10% of 130 i.e., 13 lbs.

Choosing the right weight will give you more control over the ball and result in consecutive strikes and praise from everyone.

Coverstock

Various coverstocks are available, ranging from plastic to urethane to reactive resin. What material you choose depends on your skill level. As a beginner, purchasing a plastic coverstock would be best for you as it is inexpensive and does not hook. Coverstocks made of urethane and reactive resin require more skill and are better for hooking. Professional players use them.

Thumbfit

It would be best if you did not make any compromises on the thumb fit, as it will ultimately define the trajectory of your game. If your thumb does not fit properly and is too tight or loose, it will adversely affect your game. The correct thumb fit would be tight enough to release the ball without gripping it.

Hand span

The position of your hand while holding the ball also matters. After resting your palm on its surface, if it is stretched too flat or has too much space left, you need to change your ball. It would be best to place your hand so that there is enough breathing space in between and you are comfortable holding it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best bowling ball for hook?

The higher the weight, the higher the bowling ball's hook. Ideally, the best bowling ball for the hook is number 16. However, most beginners or casual bowlers hurt their wrists using the number 16 bowling ball.

What is the lightest bowling ball weight?

The lightest bowling ball weight used by young bowlers and teenagers is 6 lbs. A few people with severe physical disabilities that can not handle heavy objects also use bowling balls of this weight. 

What is the heaviest bowling ball weight?

The heaviest weight allowed by the United States Bowling Congress is 16 lbs. These are only used by highly skilled players or physically strong people who can efficiently manage the great weight without causing any damage to themselves.

What is the best bowling ball weight?

The ideal bowling ball weight for professional players is 15 to 16 lbs. For children, a 6 lbs ball is a great start, as it is the lowest weight used in bowling. Beginners can randomly pick out a ball they are comfortable holding, practice on it and climb up eventually to a 16 lbs ball.

What do the numbers on a bowling ball mean?

The numbers on a bowling ball represent the weight of the ball. Smaller numbers are engraved that represent that ball's serial number.

Summing it Up

Bowling balls vary significantly in weight. The bowling ball weight for beginners differs from a professional one. Even though bowling ball weights are categorized with age, body weight, and skill level, you must try each and see which suits you best.

Bowling becomes more fun when everyone in the squad is geared up for a competitive round. Share this with your friends, family, and colleagues so that the next time you visit a bowling alley, you know what bowling ball weight you should pick.

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