Bowling Ball Weight & Why They’re So Heavy [Explained]

Bowling balls are pretty heavy! On average, they weigh somewhere between 8 and 16 pounds, and that’s just the bare minimum – many bowling balls weigh as much as 20 pounds or more! That’s one reason why it’s so important to keep track of your ball when you go bowling. But why are bowling balls so heavy? Learn all about it here in this guide to bowling ball weight!

Do You Know Why Bowling Balls Are So Heavy?

Bowling balls are typically around 15 pounds, depending on your skill level. Bowling alley owners have strict specifications for ball weight and size because if a ball is too light, it will lose kinetic energy and potential strikes as it moves down lane.

Lighter balls also run a higher risk of hitting pins before they’ve fully stopped spinning at their final resting place. On average, heavier balls go longer distances and cause more damage to pins, while lighter ones spin more quickly and don’t travel as far.

There is no single correct answer to the question “Why are bowling balls heavier? “.

The real answer depends on who you ask and what kind of bowling ball they’re referring to.

Bowling Ball Weight & Why They're So Heavy [Explained]

The Physics Behind Bowling Ball Weights

To make a bowling ball roll straight down an alley, it has to be perfectly symmetrical—and therefore extremely heavy. A heavier ball takes more energy (or force) to get moving, but once it is moving forward, its momentum keeps it rolling.

Read: why do bowling ball cracks?

Momentum is a measure of how much matter is in motion and its speed; when a heavier ball goes down an alley more slowly than a lighter one, it still has enough momentum at the end of its run to knock down all 10 pins.

Bowling ball weights start at 8 pounds and go up to 16 pounds. The average weight is around 12 pounds. It’s easy to think that if a heavier ball moves down an alley more slowly than a lighter one, it won’t have enough momentum at the end of its run to knock over all 10 pins. 

But because momentum depends on mass, not speed, a heavier ball does just as much damage when it hits pins as its lighter counterpart does.

A bowler could throw a really light ball down an alley really fast or a really heavy one slower and still have enough power to knock over all 10 pins at once.

Lighter Bowling Balls as an Option for Beginners

People who bowl often believe that heavier bowling balls are better. However, if a ball is too heavy, it will be hard to control and even harder to keep on track towards your target. 

A lighter ball, in some cases, maybe easier for a beginner to handle since there is less weight on their hand and fingers. 

Moreover, it can be easier for beginners to throw a lighter ball since they do not have as much strength or experience with how much force they should put into each throw.

The Ideal Weight Range for Every Bowler

Bowling ball weight is measured in pounds and ranges from 8 to 16 pounds.

The average weight for a men’s ball is about 12 pounds, but that can vary depending on your height and arm strength.

Women tend to use lighter balls than men of similar skill levels usually between 6-12 pounds.

If you’re new to bowling, it’s best to start out with a light ball because they have more forgiveness on off-center hits.

Also, read How to Clean Bowling Ball Figure Hole?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Heavy Should A Bowling Ball Be?

Ever wondered why bowling balls come in a wide range of weights, from as light as 12 pounds to as heavy as 16 pounds for men, and 8 pounds to 10 pounds for women? The answer is simple: it’s all about physics. 

The heavier a ball is, the less sensitive it will be to spinning—which means it’ll move faster. So if you want to bowl a strike every time (and who doesn’t?), then go with one of these weighty spheres.

Do Heavier Balls Help Bowling?

If your goal is to roll strikes, then yes—heavier balls can make all of the difference. Heavier balls increase your chances of getting a strike, while lighter balls make you more likely to throw gutter balls. When choosing a ball, it’s worth taking into account how you bowl and how far away from pins you typically stand. 

For example, if it’s difficult for you to approach pins and throw accurately with a lighter ball, then try switching to something slightly heavier instead.

How Heavy Should A Bowling Ball Be?

Bowling ball weights range from about 8 pounds to 16 pounds, but how do you choose which one is right for you? The first step is knowing what a properly weighted ball will do for your game. It’s important to get a feel for which weight works best with your style. 

Lighter and heavier balls both have their advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Do Lighter Or Heavier Bowling Balls Spin More?

The short answer is no. Bowling ball weight has almost nothing to do with how much it will spin or hook, and when it does affect those things, it’s only slightly. For example, a lighter ball will slow down faster during its motion than a heavier one due to air resistance.

What Ball Weight Do Pro Bowlers Use?

Most pro bowlers use ball weights from 16-18 lbs. While there is no definitive answer to what ball weight a pro bowler should use, these weights have been used by some of these professionals for years and they seem to be happy with their results.

It’s important to note that using a heavier ball does not necessarily mean that your game will improve.

If you’re new to bowling or if you haven’t bowled in a while, it might be best for you to start out with something lighter until your form is perfected and then move up in weight as needed.

Does A Heavier Bowling Ball Hook More?

A heavier ball definitely slows down your speed when you’re throwing it, which means there’s less spin on it. The idea is that because it doesn’t spin as much, it can get more backspin from gravity once it hits the lane—allowing for a bigger hook at the end of its travel down the lane.

How Do You Know If Your Bowling Ball Is Too Heavy?

If your bowling ball is too heavy, it can slow your arm down. You will have to spend more time trying to get up to speed with a heavier ball.

If you find that it takes longer than usual for your ball to start rotating in practice and in competition, then it might be time to replace your ball with one that is lighter. A good rule of thumb is if you cannot comfortably lift your ball into position by yourself, then it’s probably too heavy.

Best Bowling Ball Weight For Hook? 

Bowling ball weight can have a significant impact on how many hooks potential your bowling ball will possess.

Simply, heavier bowling balls generally have more potential for hooking, while lighter bowling balls have less potential to hook and ultimately provide straighter shots.

The perfect bowling ball weight for the hook is 16 pounds.

One of the most important considerations when it comes to determining what’s best for your game is choosing a weight that works with your body type. Read more.

Final Thoughts

In Conclusion, Bowling Balls Are Heavy. If you’re thinking about taking up a new hobby, it might be fun to try your hand at bowling! But before doing so, consider that a standard bowling ball weighs between 8 and 16 pounds—and some can weigh as much as 22 pounds.

It may seem like a lot of weight to carry around, but for bowlers who have been doing it for years, carrying a ball isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

We hope you enjoyed our post on why bowling balls are heavier.

About me

I am Stev Rene. I am a writer, blogger, and athlete. My blog focuses on sports and fitness.
I started this blog because I felt that many people lack knowledge about sports and fitness.