Choosing the Perfect Bowling Ball: How to Determine the Right Weight for You

When it comes to bowling, having the right ball can significantly impact your game. The weight of the bowling ball is a crucial factor that can affect your control, speed, and overall performance. This guide will help you understand how to choose the perfect bowling ball weight tailored to your needs.

Understanding Bowling Ball Weight

The weight of a bowling ball can vary significantly, typically ranging from 6 to 16 pounds. The right weight for you depends on several factors, including your strength, bowling style, and personal preference.

Why Weight Matters

Choosing the correct weight is essential for several reasons:

  • Control: A ball that’s too heavy may be hard to control, while a ball that’s too light might not have enough impact on the pins.
  • Comfort: Bowling with a ball that suits your strength and style can help prevent injuries and improve your overall comfort.
  • Performance: The right weight can help you achieve a consistent bowling technique, leading to better scores.

How to Choose the Right Weight

There are several methods to determine the most suitable weight for your bowling ball:

1. The Swing Test

Hold the ball with your bowling hand and let it hang by your side. Swing it back and forth. If you can do this comfortably without straining your arm, the ball might be the right weight for you.

2. The 10% Rule

A common guideline is to choose a ball that’s approximately 10% of your body weight, not exceeding 16 pounds. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, a 15-pound ball could be ideal.

3. Professional Fitting

Visiting a pro shop and getting fitted by a professional can provide personalized advice. They can assess your style, strength, and preferences to recommend the perfect weight.

Factors to Consider

When selecting your bowling ball weight, consider the following factors:

Age and Strength

Younger and older bowlers might prefer lighter balls for comfort and ease of use. Assess your strength realistically to avoid choosing a ball that’s too heavy.

Bowling Frequency

If you bowl frequently, you might be able to handle a slightly heavier ball due to increased strength and technique from regular practice.

Injuries or Physical Limitations

Be mindful of any existing injuries or physical limitations. Opting for a lighter ball can help prevent strain and further injury.

Testing Different Weights

The best way to find your ideal bowling ball weight is through experimentation. Try bowling with different weights to see which feels most comfortable and improves your game.


Choosing the right bowling ball weight is a personal decision that can significantly affect your game. By considering your strength, style, and comfort, and possibly consulting with a professional, you can find the perfect weight for you. Remember, the goal is to enhance your performance while ensuring the game remains enjoyable and injury-free.

Quick Reference Table

Weight Range (lbs) Recommended For
6 – 10 Children and beginners
10 – 12 Teenagers and seniors with limited strength
12 – 14 Casual bowlers with average strength
14 – 16 Experienced bowlers and those with above-average strength

By using this guide and the quick reference table, you can start your journey towards finding the perfect bowling ball weight, leading to a more enjoyable and successful bowling experience.