Types of Bowling Balls


Bowling is a popular sport enjoyed by millions of people all around the world. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, choosing the right bowling ball is essential to achieving the perfect game. There are a variety of different types of bowling balls available, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. In this article, we will explore the different types of bowling balls and help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect one for you.

Bowling is an exciting and fun sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you are a seasoned bowler or a beginner, the type of bowling ball you choose can have a significant impact on your game. In this article, we will take a closer look at the different types of bowling balls available in the market and their unique features. From reactive resin to plastic, urethane, and even specialty balls, we have got you covered.

Understanding the Basics of Bowling Balls

What are Bowling Balls Made Of?

The modern bowling ball are made of a material called reactive resin. This material is known for its high friction and ability to hook the ball on the lane. However, other materials such as plastic and urethane are also commonly used.

Weight and Size Considerations

Bowling balls typically range in weight from 6 to 16 pounds, with most adult bowlers using balls that weigh between 12 and 15 pounds. Additionally, the size of the ball’s holes is an essential consideration, as they must fit your fingers comfortably to provide a proper grip.

Different Types of Bowling Balls

Plastic Bowling Balls

Plastic bowling balls are a great choice for beginners and those on a budget. They are typically the least expensive type of bowling ball and are designed to be durable and straightforward. Plastic balls are also great for shooting spares due to their straight-line motion.

Urethane Bowling Balls

Urethane bowling balls offer a balance between plastic and reactive resin balls. They have a smooth finish that helps them move down the lane and provide more hook potential than plastic balls. Urethane balls are excellent for medium to light oil patterns and are suitable for both beginners and advanced bowlers.

Reactive Resin Bowling Balls

Reactive resin bowling balls are the most popular type of ball used by competitive bowlers. They offer a high level of friction on the lane, which allows them to hook more than other types of balls. Reactive resin balls are also more expensive than other types of balls due to their performance-enhancing features.

Particle Bowling Balls

Particle bowling balls are similar to reactive resin balls but contain tiny particles within the material to increase friction. These balls provide even more hook potential than reactive resin balls and are best used on medium to heavy oil patterns. However, they are also more expensive than reactive resin balls.

High-Performance Bowling Balls

High-performance bowling balls are the most advanced type of ball available in the market. They are designed for advanced bowlers who require maximum hook potential and power to achieve their desired results. These balls are made using the latest technology and materials to provide unmatched performance and are often used in professional competitions.

Choosing the Correct Ball Weight

Bowling Ball

The weight of the ball is one of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a bowling ball. The weight of a ball typically ranges from 6 to 16 pounds, with most bowlers using balls that weigh between 12 and 14 pounds. Choosing the right weight is essential as it affects your ability to control the ball and make accurate shots. A ball that is too heavy can cause fatigue and injury, while a ball that is too light may lack the power and momentum required to hit the pins.

Thumb Fit

The thumb fit of a bowling ball is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a ball. A proper thumb fit ensures a comfortable grip, which is essential for consistent shots. A thumb that is too loose or tight can affect your ability to release the ball effectively. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the thumb fit is snug but not uncomfortable.

Core Types – Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical

The core of a bowling ball affects the ball’s roll, hook potential, and overall performance. Bowling balls can have two different types of cores: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical cores have an equal distribution of weight, while asymmetrical cores have an uneven distribution of weight.

Symmetrical cores provide a more predictable roll and are suitable for beginners or bowlers who prefer a consistent shot. Asymmetrical cores provide a more aggressive hook potential and are suitable for advanced bowlers who require maximum hook potential and power.


Choosing the right bowling ball is crucial for achieving better results and improving your game. Consider factors such as weight, thumb fit, coverstock, and core type when selecting a ball. Remember that different balls are suitable for different skill levels and lane conditions. If you are unsure which ball is right for you, seek advice from a qualified bowling professional.

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