What Weight Bowling Ball Should I Use? Choosing the Right One for You

What Weight Bowling Ball Should I Use? Choosing the Right One for You

If you’re new to bowling or have been playing for a while, you may wonder: “What weight bowling ball should I use?”

You should choose a ball that weighs 10% as compared to your body weight. However, the perfect ball weight depends on age, skill level, and comfort.

Choosing a suitable weight for your bowling ball is crucial for a successful game. Because too heavy or light balls can significantly affect your accuracy, control, ability to generate power, and holding capacity.

If you visit the training sessions in USBC, you’ll find it very organized. They will measure your body weight first and then suggest you a perfect weight that really fits in your fingers and feel comfortable.

In this blog post, I’ll help you explore the factors that go into selecting the perfect weight for your bowling ball. Moreover, I’ll also provide tips on how to test different weights and techniques to improve your game.

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Bowling Ball Weight

Picking the right weight of a bowling ball is important for achieving optimal performance and reducing the risk of injury.

Here are some factors to consider:

Physical Strength

The ball’s weight should match your physical strength and ability to throw it conveniently. Generally, men use a ball between 14-16 pounds, while women use a ball between 10-14 pounds.

However, this can vary based on individual potency and aptitude level.

Bowling Style

Your style of play can also affect the weight of the ball you need. If you throw the ball with a lot of speed and power, you may need a heavier ball to maintain control.

A lighter ball may be more suitable if you have a slower and more controlled approach.

Lane Situation

The condition of the lane also plays its role. A heavier ball may be better for more accuracy and control if it is oily.

A lighter ball may help increase your speed if the lanes are dry.

Your Grip

Choosing a weight that feels comfortable and provides a good grip is important. A ball that is too heavy can cause injury and strain, while a light one may be difficult to swing and aim.

Experience Level

Finally, your level of practice and experience can impact the weight of the ball you require. As you improve your skills, you may need to adjust the weight to suit your changing needs and abilities.

Rule of Thumb To Select Weight of Bowling Ball

In bowling, there’s a rule of thumb called the 10% rule if you’re looking for a reasonable weight of the ball for yourself.

It suggests that the bowling ball’s weight should be approximately 10% of the bowler’s body weight.

For example, if a bowler weighs 150 pounds, the recommended ball weight would be around 15 pounds.

Here’s a table based on this rule to make it more understandable for you:

Body Weight (lbs)Recommended Ball Weight (lbs)

Bowling Ball Weight By Gender

When it comes to choosing the best bowling ball weight, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on various factors, as discussed above.

As a general guideline, the bowling ball’s weight for men normally ranges from 14 to 16 pounds, while for women, it ranges from 10 to 14 pounds.

Bowling Ball Weight By Age

Age is one of the dominant factors, not because it directly influences the choice of a bowling ball, but because it can alter other aspects like strength and experience.

Here’s a suggested overview to get the right weighted ball for yourself or your children.

  • Children under 6 years old: 6-8 pounds
  • Children 7-10 years old: 8-10 pounds
  • Children 11-14 years old: 12-14 pounds
  • Teenagers 15-18 years old: 14-16 pounds
  • Adults: 14-16 pounds

Bowling Ball Weight By Skill Level

It is a fact that a pro bowler will not go for a ball that a beginner uses. But I’ve seen many newbies asking me, “What weight ball do most pros use?”

You should understand that following your seniors regarding the ball weight won’t make you a pro, you have to work on your skills and master the lanes, approaches, and techniques.

Here is a suggestion or guideline for deciding on the ball weight by skill level.


12-14 pounds. They should take start with a smaller ball or lightweight too, as they’ll need to focus more on the grip.


14-15 pounds. As bowlers gain experience and enhance their skills, they may want to move to a slightly heavier ball to increase leverage and speed.


15-16 pounds. Advanced bowlers who are looking to achieve high classes of performance may opt for a heavier ball that can help them generate more momentum and spin.

How To Test Different Weights To Improve Bowling

If you’re still confused and working on choosing the perfect weight that really suits your personality and is exactly according to your level of skills, I’ve some tips for you.

Step 1: Note Down Your Comfort Zone

The very step is noting what you want. Take a notebook and write down if you want a firm or relaxed grip. Also, mention the aim, speed, and accuracy status you want to achieve.

In this way, you can outline the different factors you’re looking for. It will help you analyze and shortlist later.

Step 2: Try a Light Weight Ball

Now take a ball that is somehow between 10-12 pounds and try bowling. Give it your full energy and power, and pay attention to the things you have noted down or wish to improve.

For example, first test it for grip. Put your fingers inside the holes of the ball and swing it back and forth with your arm fully extended. It will help you determine if you can easily handle and hold the ball tightly.

Next, walk or make an approach with the ball in your hand. It will enable you to track the amount of balance and stability you can gain with this ball.

Now, slide the ball down the lane and concentrate on its movement along the lane. This is gonna assist you in finding the speed and the accuracy of your aim with that weight.

Note down these elements and test results.

Step 3: Try a Heavy Weight Ball

Now it’s time to pick up another ball that weighs the highest, which means you have to make a try on 16 pounds heavy ball.

Make sure you repeat all the tests you have done for a lightweight ball. You’ll find out that a fatty ball is much more different to deal with.

It will give you more opportunities for speed along the lane, but at the same time, it will be more challenging to handle.

Step 4: Keep Changing The Weight

Once you have tried the upper and lower limits, it’s time to go for varying weights. I’ll suggest you start with 10 pounds ball and keep adding 2 pounds.

Experiment with all the above elements and as usual don’t forget to pen them down.

Step 5: Analyse The Results

Now analyze the results and select the ball considering the consequences and benefits of a specific weight.

While it may be a time-consuming procedure, it can prove to be an effective way to boost your performance and be more prevalent in the field.

Best Bowling Ball Weight For Hook

Any player’s ultimate goal is to make the ball hook through the lane. Hook refers to the curved movement of the ball when it is rolled towards the pin.

Besides your skill, strategies, and techniques, other things can influence the amount of hook your ball can produce. Well, one of these facets is ball weight.

So let’s have a closer look at this scenario. The dynamics and friction play their roles in producing the hook. Friction increases with weight, eventually changing the dynamics.

As long as I have noticed, a ball that weighs 14 pounds will deliver more hook than a ball that is as heavy as 15 pounds.

The reason is the lighter ball has to face less resistance to assist gravity and air, making them spin and turn quickly. Moreover, it is easy for a lighter ball to swing and change the angle while traveling the lane.

Best Bowling Ball Weight For Strike

Strike! Yes, it is one of the best play finish a bowler wishes for. It is a dream for most newbies, and their enjoyment is entirely bound to putting down those pins at once.

But let me clarify to you that the bowling ball’s weight has much to do with attaining a perfect strike.

I’ve delivered strikes with 16 pounds ball and 14 pounds as well. So I’ve concluded that while altering weight can greatly affect your chances of a strike, at the same time, it can deviate your balance of focus.

How To Choose a Bowling Ball Size

Weight and size may look similar, but they are two unlike components of a bowling ball.

Some calls may look smaller in diameter but weigh heavy when measured. While seemingly tiny ones may be heavier.

So how to choose a bowling ball size? Well, the answer is relatively straightforward. Go for the size that feels convenient in your hand.

The average diameter of the bowling ball most alleys use is 22 centimetres.

FAQs of What Weight Bowling Ball Should I Use

Do pro bowlers use 14-pound balls?

The rule is not fixed that pro bowlers use a 14-pound ball. It may count on various factors, including the player’s playing style, his resilience and the type of game.

Is a 12 lbs bowling ball too light?

A 12 lbs ball is not too as light as long as you have a good grip over it and know how to deal with it. An upper hand of this ball is you can make it produce a twist to develop momentum for the hook.

Are heavier bowls better?

Heavier balls are not solely enough to decide if it is better for bowling. You have to take into account various other aspects like your agility, strength, and the conditions of the alley.

How do I know if my bowling ball is too heavy?

You’ll realize your bowling ball is heavy when you feel it is difficult to stretch your arm fully or if you sense pain in your muscles while lifting the ball. The best to find the weight is simply measuring it via weight balance.

What is the heaviest ball you can bowl with?

The heaviest bowling ball allowed to use is 16 pounds. However, some regions or alleys may have a diverse range of weights and may permit heavier balls than the above.

Final Verdict

Lastly, it is the guideline you create for yourself to use the right bowling ball weight. It can be done continuously and by remaining motivated throughout your practice sessions.

Increasing the weight gradually when progressing from a beginner level to a pro is a proven strategy. It requires passion and focuses on your day-by-day headway.

I hope my write-up helps you in this regard and improves your performance.

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