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How Much Does a Bowling Ball Weigh?

How Much Does a Bowling Ball Weigh - Bowlingview

Let’s get right to the point – how much does a bowling ball weigh? This question might sound simple enough, but the answer is multifaceted.

It depends on many factors, from the bowler’s skill level to the type of bowling being played. So let’s dive in and unravel the intricacies of bowling ball weight!

Fundamentals of Bowling Ball Weights

Average Weight and Typical Range

Did you know that the average weight of a bowling ball typically ranges from 10 to 14 pounds for beginners and 14 to 16 pounds for experienced players?

However, some balls can reach a weight of 16 pounds, which is the maximum weight permitted by most bowling alleys. This weight range isn’t arbitrary; it’s meticulously selected to ensure each player can use a comfortable and effective ball.

In the world of bowling, balls come in various weights to cater to different types of bowlers. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Children or very beginners typically use 6 lb bowling balls.
  • 8 lbs bowling balls are also often used by children or beginners.
  • Youth players or adult beginners commonly use 10 lbs bowling balls.
  • Youth players or adult beginners usually choose 12 lbs bowling balls.
  • Casual adult players or female players generally select 14 lb bowling balls.
  • 16 lbs bowling balls, the maximum weight allowed in regulation play, are primarily used by professional adult players or very strong casual players.


Please note that these are general recommendations. The actual weight of the ball a player should use can vary greatly based on factors such as strength, technique, comfort, and personal preference.

Most Common House Ball Weights

Speaking of comfort, the weight of the house ball you pick up on your next trip to the bowling alley is just as crucial. These balls typically weigh around 6 to 16 pounds, with an average weight of 12.

Bowling Ball Weight Preferences Based on Player Proficiency


As a general bowling rule, beginners should start with a lighter ball. The golden rule of thumb suggests a bowling ball weight equivalent to 10 percent of your body weight.

Hence, if you weigh 200 pounds, an adult male beginner would ideally use a 20-pound ball, right? Not quite! The weight is the heaviest ball you can comfortably throw; therefore, a 16-pound bowling ball would be the heaviest for a beginner, even if they weigh 200 pounds.


On the other end of the spectrum, professional bowlers use balls ranging from 14 to 16 pounds. The best bowling ball weight for a pro often leans towards the maximum weight of 16 pounds. Why? Because a heavier ball has the potential to knock down more pins!

Deep Dive into Professional Bowlers’ Ball Weight

Professional bowlers are meticulous about the weight of their bowling balls. And for a good reason, it has a direct impact on their game.

Weights Used by Pros

Professional bowlers often prefer a 16-pound bowling ball. They’re familiar with the idea that a heavier ball can deliver a solid strike, but it’s more than that. It’s about the perfect balance between comfort, control, and power.

Range and Average Weights

While the pros prefer the heaviest bowling ball, they understand the importance of variation. Hence, their arsenal may include balls that weigh between 14 to 16 pounds, providing the flexibility to adapt to different lane conditions.

Significance and Consequences of Bowling Ball Weight

Understanding the implications of bowling ball weight is essential to improving your game, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a professional.

Importance of Correct Weight Selection

Choosing the right bowling ball weight is a crucial part of the game. It’s not just about power; it’s about control, comfort, and consistency. Choosing a ball that’s too heavy or light can seriously impact your game.

Impact on Performance

A ball too heavy may lead to poor control and physical discomfort. On the other hand, a lighter ball might not provide enough power to knock down the pins effectively.

Pitfalls of Incorrect Weight Choice

Choosing the wrong ball weight can lead to poor performance and possible injuries.

Selection Process for Optimal Bowling Ball Weight

Selecting the right ball weight is a thoughtful process. You need to consider many factors and not just blindly follow the rules.

Guidelines for Weight Selection

The first step to choosing the right bowling ball is understanding your physical condition and bowling skills. A good starting point for beginners is to use a ball that’s around 10 percent of their body weight. However, as mentioned before, the upper limit should be a 16-pound ball.

Correlation with Body Weight

Body weight and ball weight correlate, but it’s not the only factor. For instance, an adult male weighing around 150 pounds could comfortably throw a 12-pound ball. However, if the same individual has a robust physical condition, they might be able to handle a 16-pound bowling ball.

Best Weight for Individual Players

Identifying the best bowling ball weight for an individual involves determining what weight feels comfortable while maintaining optimum ball control. A good indicator is if you can hold the ball with an extended arm without discomfort or strain.

Adjusting Bowling Ball Weight

Did you know you can add weight to a bowling ball? Yes, a pro shop can drill the finger holes deeper or use denser inserts, increasing the overall weight slightly.

Comparisons and Extremes in Bowling Ball Weights

Weight Difference between 15-pound and 16-pound Bowling Balls

The difference between a 15-pound and a 16-pound bowling ball may seem minor. However, that one extra pound can significantly impact the ball’s reaction on the lanes, especially for a professional bowler.

Lightest and Heaviest Bowling Balls

On the lighter end of the spectrum, you have balls as light as 3 pounds for kids. On the heavier end, adult players and professional bowlers commonly use 16-pound bowling balls.


Choosing the right bowling ball weight can seem complex, considering many factors. However, understanding these elements and making an informed choice will enhance your bowling experience and your performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, remember – the key to a great game lies in the right ball.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Does a Bowling Ball Weigh

Are you curious about the weight of a bowling ball and how it affects your game? If so, this article will provide answers to some commonly asked questions about bowling ball weights.

A: The average weight of a bowling ball typically falls within the 12-15 pound range.

A: Pro bowlers usually choose bowling balls weighing 14-16 pounds.

A: Choosing the proper weight is crucial to having a successful game. A ball that is too heavy or too light can negatively affect one’s performance and increase the risk of injury.

A: It is recommended that adult males use a ball that weighs between 14-16 pounds, while adult females typically go for a ball that weighs between 10-14 pounds. The best way to determine the right weight for you is to choose a ball that feels comfortable and easy to hold and throw.

A: Yes, it is possible to add weight to a bowling ball by inserts placed inside the ball.

A: The weight that can be added to a bowling ball depends on its original weight. It is generally recommended that no more than 10% of the original weight be added. Don’t forget; the weight can’t be more than 16 pounds.

A: The ball’s weight is typically capped at 16 pounds, the heaviest weight most Pro bowlers use.

A: Beginners are typically recommended to use a ball that weighs 10-12 pounds to get used to throwing a ball and building strength.

A: This ultimately depends on the bowler’s preference and level of experience. Some bowlers prefer heavier balls for their added power and hook potential, while others stick to lighter balls for their ease of use and accuracy.