Bowling Balls  

Bowling Balls


Bowling Balls > The History of Bowling

bowling strike
Enhanced Bowling Strike
bowling ball Bowling balls are round balls that are used in the sport of ten-pin bowling.  Made of plastic, rubber and/or urethane, they have three holes drilled in them for the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger.  Regulation bowling balls are 8 1/2 inches in diameter and weigh 8 to 16 pounds.  Avid bowlers often purchase their own customized bowling balls rather than using the house balls that bowling alleys provide to their patrons.  Things to consider when purchasing your own ball include the ball's surface material, the weight of the ball, and how the ball is to be drilled.

What is the benefit of having your own ball?  Well, bowling balls can be customized to fit your particular style, as well as the conditions at your favorite bowling lane.  For serious bowlers, a customized ball means a larger margin of error.  Ball-drilling experts can find just the perfect formula to ensure a bowling ball matches a specific game and particular lane conditions.  Very serious bowlers often opt to buy two balls — one for strikes and another for spare conversions.

Bowling balls used in competition must be made of a solid material with their weight evenly distributed.  A ball's circumference must be less than or equal to 27 inches and its weight must be less than or equal to 16 pounds.  The ball's surface must be smooth except for grip holes or indents, identification numbers and letters, and general wear attributed to normal usage.

There are a number of accessories designed for bowling balls, including tape, grips, and a wrist device to help ensure the ball fits snugly into your hand.  Tape can help you get the right fit with your fingers and thumbs, while grips will enable you to add lift to your shots.  Finally, a good bowling ball bag will protect your purchase.

Bowling Ball Terminology

bowling balls
  • Axis tilt - the angle of rotation that a bowler puts on a ball.
  • Balance hole - a hole drilled to statically balance a bowling ball.
  • Ball track - portion of a ball that contacts the lane as it rolls.
  • CG - the center of gravity or center of mass of a bowling ball.
  • Coverstock - the outer shell that encases the bowling ball's core.
  • PSA - preferred spin axis, around which a ball desires to rotate.
  • Surface - composition, texture, and finish of a ball's exterior.

Bowling Ball Suppliers

On, you can browse popular bowling shops and selected bowling products suppliers to find bowling balls and accessories for everyone from beginners to pro bowlers.  Remember that proper bowling ball fit and sizing are essential!  To learn more about the sport of bowling and bowling organizations, please visit this bowling information page.

Bowling Ball Manufacturers

  • Brunswick Balls
    Choose from high-performance, mid price, and beginners bowling balls.
  • Columbia 300
    High-performance, mid-range, polyester, and 3-piece bowling balls.
  • Ebonite
    Select from a wide range of bowling balls for both professional and amateur bowlers.
  • AMF Products
    AMF offers a variety of performance and mid-priced bowling balls to fit your needs and budget.
  • LANE #1
    Find a selection of advanced technology bowling balls.

Bowling Resources

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