Which Bowling Ball Should You Use?

bowling ball

One of the most important pieces of bowling equipment is the ball. The bowling ball is a core piece of the game, as a bowler has to use the ball to knock over the pins, so choosing the correct ball is important to do so effectively. When a bowler goes to a bowling alley, there will be various balls to choose from. In a typical bowling alley, the balls are usually color coordinated so that each color matches the size and weight of the ball. Also, each ball usually has a number on the side, indicating how heavy the ball is. So, which bowling ball should you use?

Why Choosing the Right Ball is Important

Why Choosing the Right Ball is Important

The weight and size affect how a bowler throws the bowling ball. Two main components of bowling effectively are the use of accuracy and force. Since the goal of bowling is to knock over the pins, the bowler needs to be able to hit the pins accurately to knock over as many as possible and hit the pins with enough force to knock them over. So, when choosing a ball, a bowler must find one with the weight and size that will give them the optimal ability to have accuracy and force behind their throws.

How Weight Affects Bowling

Bowling Ball Weight

The weight can affect a bowler’s accuracy and force on their throw. If a ball is too heavy, then the bowler won’t have as much control over the ball as a lighter ball, so they won’t be able to throw it as accurately. Also, if the ball is too heavy, they won’t be able to generate enough force in their throw to knock over as many pins. A bowler will also have to consider their stamina when choosing the weight for their ball. Even if the bowler can use a heavier ball accurately, continuous use can tire them out more quickly and make them less accurate throughout a game. However, if a bowler chooses a ball that is too light, then they won’t generate the same force needed to knock over the pins as effectively as a heavier ball. A bowler must find a ball in the middle, one that is heavy enough to knock over the pins effectively but not too heavy to affect their accuracy or make it so they can’t generate enough force behind their throws.


The ball’s weight can affect how you grip the ball as well. Advanced bowlers hook the ball on their throws, which means they curve the ball towards the pin instead of rolling it in a straight line. To do so, the bowler must grip the ball differently. In a conventional grip, the ring and middle fingers should go into the ball holes until about the second knuckle to stabilize their throw. However, to hook the ball, the bowler uses a fingertip grip where they only insert their ring and middle fingers up to the first knuckle. This grip provides less stability on the throw, so choosing a ball that’s the correct weight and is not too heavy becomes even more important while using this grip.

Choosing the Ball

The final step of the process is choosing which ball to use. All bowling balls have a diameter between 8.5 and 8.595 inches. Bowling balls weigh anywhere from 6 to 16 pounds. The average adult man will use a bowling ball weighing from 13 to 16 pounds, while the average adult woman will use a bowling ball weighing anywhere from 10 to 14 pounds. However, the weight a bowler chooses will vary because every individual is different, so there is no universal answer for which ball to choose. It’s up to the individual bowler to test the balls and determine which one they are most comfortable with.


Can you buy your own bowling ball?

Yes, there are many websites and stores which sell bowling balls. The prices can range anywhere from $50 to $250, although it depends on which store it’s bought from. There are many variations to choose from when buying a ball. For example, bowling.com allows the customer to choose between several selections, including weight, hook potential, color, the lane conditions the ball will be used on, and more.