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Should Choose A Heavier Or Lighter Bowling Ball?

Should choose a heavier or lighter bowling ball - bowlingview

Should you choose a heavier or lighter bowling ball? This question might seem simple, but in reality, choosing the right bowling ball requires thoughtful consideration. Bowling balls come in a variety of weights, from as light as six pounds to as heavy as 16 pounds. The weight of your bowling ball plays a significant role in your game, influencing your speed, accuracy, and overall approach to the lanes.

The importance of choosing the right bowling ball cannot be overstated. Your choice can affect your performance, comfort, and enjoyment of the game. This blog post aims to help you understand whether you should choose a heavier or lighter bowling ball, guiding you to make an informed decision that will enhance your bowling experience.

Understanding Bowling Ball Weight

So what exactly happens when you choose a heavier bowling ball over a lighter one?

The weight of a bowling ball can greatly impact your performance on the lanes. A heavier ball often provides more power and can knock down more pins, but it may require more physical strength and control to throw accurately. Conversely, a lighter ball is easier to handle, making it a popular choice for beginners. However, it may not provide the same level of pin action as a heavier ball.

Bowling balls are generally available in a range from 6 to 16 pounds. Youth and beginner bowlers often start with balls in the 6 to 10-pound range, which allows for easier handling and control.

Intermediate bowlers tend to opt for bowling balls in the 10 to 14-pound range, while advanced bowlers often prefer the heaviest balls in the 14 to 16-pound range, giving them more power and potential for high scores.

However, the most important thing is to choose a weight that you are comfortable with and that allows you to maintain good form throughout your game. This may require trying out several different weights to find the one that feels best for you.

The Impact of a Heavier Bowling Ball

A heavier bowling ball can significantly influence your game. It has the potential to carry more kinetic energy into the pins, potentially resulting in a higher pinfall. This is because the added weight can lead to more force upon impact, potentially causing pins to scatter more widely and increasing your chances of a strike.

When considering whether to choose a heavier or lighter bowling ball, it’s crucial to understand the potential advantages and challenges of each weight.

Pros and Cons of Using a Heavier Bowling Ball:


  • Increased mass leads to a stronger impact
  • Higher scores, as mentioned earlier


  • More challenging to control
  • This could lead to fatigue over prolonged play

Suitable Scenarios for Using a Heavier Ball

Heavier bowling balls are generally more suitable for advanced bowlers who have developed sufficient strength and skill to control them accurately.

They can also be beneficial when playing on oilier lanes where the added weight can help maintain the ball’s trajectory. Remember, the key is to find the right balance between weight and control that best suits your personal bowling style and conditions.

The Impact of a Lighter Bowling Ball

On the flip side, choosing a lighter bowling ball has its own set of characteristics to consider.

A lighter bowling ball can alter your bowling game in significant ways. It can offer greater control and maneuverability, which may make it easier for you to hit your target. A lighter ball means less force at the point of impact, which can result in fewer pins being knocked over per hit. However, with the right technique, you can still achieve high scores.

Pros and Cons of Using a Lighter Bowling Ball:

Lightweight Bowling Balls Pros - bowlingview


  • Easier to handle, particularly for beginners, children, or those who may not have as much physical strength
  • Reduces the risk of fatigue during extended play, allowing you to maintain a consistent performance



  • Might not have the power to create as much pin action, which may affect your scoring potential

Suitable Scenarios for Using a Lighter Ball


Lighter bowling balls are often a good choice for beginners or those who prefer a more leisurely, less physically demanding game. They can also be effective on dry lanes, where less weight is needed to maintain the ball’s trajectory.

The reduced weight can help produce more spins, which might be advantageous for certain types of shots. As always, the best choice of ball weight will depend on your unique playing style and the specific bowling conditions you’re faced with.

Key Factors in Deciding: Heavier or Lighter Bowling Ball Weight

When selecting the weight of your bowling ball, there are several critical factors to consider.

Player’s Physical Strength

A player’s physical strength greatly influences the weight of a bowling ball that they can handle comfortably.

Heavier balls might be suitable for players with greater strength, while lighter balls are often better choices for those with lower physical strength or maintaining stamina during prolonged play.

Player’s Skill Level

Skill level also plays an important role in deciding the weight of the bowling ball. Beginner bowlers might find it easier to control a lighter ball, while advanced players may prefer a heavier ball to maximize impact and pin action.

Style of Play

Your style of play is another crucial factor. Some players might prefer a lighter ball to achieve a higher spin rate, whereas others might opt for a heavier ball to take advantage of its momentum and force.

Comfort and Control

Lastly, comfort and control should not be overlooked. No matter your strength or skill level, you should choose a ball weight that feels comfortable in your hand and that you can control effectively. This will help ensure accuracy and consistency in your throws.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to improve your game, so select a ball weight that best aligns with your capabilities and bowling objectives.

Expert Advice: Tips for Selecting a Heavier or Lighter Bowling Ball

Now that you understand the factors that influence ball weight, it’s time for some expert tips to help you make the right choice.

Seek Professional Advice

Don’t underestimate the value of professional advice. Bowling coaches and pro shop operators have the knowledge and experience to guide you towards the ideal ball weight based on your individual characteristics and goals.

They can also provide insights into the latest equipment and technology that might benefit your game.

Experiment with Different Weights

It’s essential to experiment with different weights before making your final decision. Try bowling a few frames with balls of different weights and see which one feels the most comfortable and improves your performance.

Remember, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in bowling; what works for someone else may not work for you.

Consider Future Skill Growth

When choosing a ball weight, consider your future growth in skill. If you’re a beginner now but plan to play regularly, you might grow stronger and more skilled over time.

In this case, you might want to choose a slightly heavier ball than what feels comfortable now, as long as you can still control it effectively. This approach will allow you to grow into the ball instead of quickly outgrowing it.

Remember, the right ball weight can make a significant difference in your bowling performance. So take your time, consider these tips, and find the perfect ball that aligns with your bowling objectives.

If you’re interested in seeing different bowling ball options and comparing prices, check out bowling balls for sale.


In conclusion, whether you choose a heavier or lighter bowling ball, it’s a pivotal aspect that can greatly influence your performance.

Remember, it’s not just about the heft but considering your individual physical capabilities, current skills, and future growth. Seeking professional advice, experimenting with various weights, and considering future skill growth are all essential steps towards making an informed decision.

This guide aims to empower you with the knowledge to choose the perfect bowling ball weight for your needs.

With this information at your disposal, you’re no longer bowling in the dark but making choices purposefully and strategically. So, go ahead and embrace the process of exploration and discovery to find the bowling ball weight that is just right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

In bowling, various factors can affect your performance. Among these factors, the weight of the bowling ball plays a pivotal role in determining your control, accuracy, and overall comfort. To assist you in understanding the importance of ball weight, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers below.

Q: What is the heaviest bowling ball you can use?

A: The heaviest bowling ball that you can use in a standard bowling alley is a 16-pound ball. However, just because it is the heaviest bowling ball allowed does not mean it is the best bowling ball weight for every bowler. You should choose a weight that feels comfortable and allows you to maintain control.

Q: Does the weight of a bowling ball matter?

A: Yes, the weight of the bowling ball definitely matters. The weight bowling ball you choose can significantly affect your game. A heavy bowling ball may have more power to hit the pins but a ball that’s too heavy for you can lead to poor control, accuracy issues, and potential injury.

Q: What happens if my ball is too heavy?

A: If your bowling ball is too heavy, you may find it challenging to maintain control. You may struggle to swing the ball consistently, while your ball speed and accuracy can be compromised. Furthermore, the risk of injury increases when you use a heavy bowling ball that you’re not used to bowling with.

Q: How can I tell if I am using the best bowling ball weight?

A: The best bowling ball weight is one in which you can comfortably swing and throw the ball without losing balance or control. If you can maintain a smooth and consistent swing and ball speed throughout your games, while also keeping your wrist firm and straight, you may have found a good weight match.

Q: What are the benefits of using a heavy bowling ball?

A: A heavier ball can be beneficial as it can deliver more power when it hits the pins, leading to more pin action and the potential for higher scores. In addition, a heavier ball won’t deflect as much as a lighter one when it hits the pins, leading to more effective strikes.

Q: Can a ball be too light?

A: Yes, a ball can be too light. If you find that your ball speed is too high and the ball is deflecting off the pins rather than driving through them, your ball is too light. A light bowling ball may also make it more difficult to control your throws.

Q: What’s the best weight for seniors when choosing a bowling ball?

A: When choosing a bowling ball for seniors, it’s important to find a weight that provides enough power without causing strain or discomfort. Since seniors may not have the same strength as younger bowlers, they may find a lighter ball more suitable. However, the best weight will also depend on the individual’s level of comfort and ability to control the ball.

Q: If I am new to bowling, should I opt for a lighter ball?

A: For beginners who don’t have the same strength or control as advanced bowlers, a lighter ball is often a good choice. Light bowling balls tend to be easier to handle, helping you focus on your form and accuracy before progressing to a heavier ball.

Q: Should I buy a bowling ball of my own?

A: If you frequently bowl, then buying a bowling ball of your own can be beneficial. House balls in the bowling alley don’t have the same weight and fit options, which can hinder your performance. When buying a bowling ball, try several different weights to find the best bowling ball weight for you.

Q: Is a lighter ball or heavier one better for straight bowling?

A: When it comes to straight bowling, ball weight is not as critical as in other bowling styles. However, a heavier ball will provide more momentum and is less likely to be affected by minor errors in delivery. Conversely, a lighter ball might be easier to control and reduce strain on your hand and wrist.

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