Social Bowling – Selecting a ball that is right for you

Here is a new section for all you social bowlers out there that play maybe once a week for fun or with your families from time to time. In this section we will run a series of articles to explain aspects of the sport from how to score to selecting your own bowling ball. In time this will become a useful resource for anyone wanting to take up bowling as a hobby or sport.

standard-house-balls2.jpgWhich weight ball do I pick?

As you make your way to the bowling lanes you will find lots of different coloured bowling balls on racks by the seating areas and some left on the ball return of your lane but how do you find your ideal ball weight. Some say your ball should be approximately 10% of your body weight, up to the maximum 16 pounds. The real ideal ball weight is the heaviest ball you can comfortably throw.

The lightest of the balls are 6 pounds to 10 pounds are are designed specifically for Children and Ladies, under no circumstances should a fit able male bowl with these balls due in part to the finger and thumb holes being far to small and the fact that you could damage the bowling ball by bowling it too fast.

In most bowling centres there will also be bowling ramps that are there for very young children or for people with a disability which means they cannot hold a ball properly, these again are not to be used by people who dont need to use them. A new feature in some centres is light weight bowling balls that have no holes but have two etched in hand prints, These are designed for young children who have fingers too small for regular bowling balls or they are unable to hold a ball with one hand.

Each of the ball weights will also have a variety of different finger and thumb hole dimensions, Ideally you want holes that are not too tight and not too big for your fingers and thumb.  Holes that are too tight will cause the ball to stick and you could be carried over the foul line and onto the lane or the ball fly in a direction you did not plan on. Holes that are too big will mean you have to grip the ball more and there is potential to drop the ball as you bowl and at worst drop it on your toes which can be very painfull.

The most important thing really is to stay safe and always bowl with a ball that feels comfortable and not too heavy or light.

In a later article we will talk about buying your very own bowling ball and where to get it from.


A typical look at the weights of balls on offer, These can vary from centre to centre

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