Choosing a Bowling
The weight of the bowling ball is essential to your game. In general, the heavier the
ball, the greater the pin reaction. Lighter balls will likely leave splits that are hard to pick up, but this
should not deter shoppers from buying a lighter ball, which may be best for some people.
Every bowler is different and what one may feel comfortable with may not be
right for the next person.
This is a very individual process and a beginning player should ask for help from a person that
deals with bowling balls.
The following are some good guidelines to follow when selecting the appropriate weight for you
A good rule of thumb for choosing the weight: women should choose a ball from 10 to 14 pounds,
and men should choose a ball from 14 to 16 pounds.
If you can hold a ball for 5 seconds without shaking, then its weight is light enough for you to
control. If not, then it is too heavy.
There are exceptions of course and the guidelines are not appropriate for everyone's game, but
this can be used as a general guide.
The ball you buy should always be heavier than the community ball you usually go for at the
bowling alley by at least a pound or two. Because the bowling ball you buy will be custom fit/drill to your
fingers, it will feel lighter than the balls at the bowling alley.
Also, children should bowl with a ball that is less than 10 pounds. A good rule for children is
they should choose a ball that is equivalent to their age. For example, a child that is six-year old should bowl
with a ball that weighs 6 pounds.
The weight block of a bowling ball is found inside the ball beneath the coverstock and has a lot
to do with how your ball will perform. There are two main types of weight blocks: high mass and low mass.
A high mass weight block will promote a lot of length down the lane because it doesn't usually
allow the ball to get into a heavy roll, and a low mass weight block will allow for that heavier roll, which can
increase hook potential.
Another issue to consider when purchasing a bowling ball is the fit of the grip. As you will
notice, the heavier the ball, the larger the spaces between the finger holes in the ball. On the lighter balls, the
holes are drilled closer together and are meant for a smaller hand.
A good rule of thumb regarding the grip is to place your thumb in the thumbhole and stretch your
fingers across the other two holes. Your fingers should completely cover the two holes on the ball. Some
individuals find it best to have the finger holes custom drilled to fit their hands.
The key to weight and grip is the comfort and ability to carry and release the ball effectively.
If you are not comfortable, you are likely to perform poorly and your score can suffer.
Another key factor is to make sure that you do not feel that you are not man or woman enough if
you do not bowl with a heavier ball than your opponent or friend.
Everyone is different and it is not the size of the ball that determines the final score. So do
not worry about impressing someone else. Just choose a bowling ball that is comfortable for you.