How Heavy Are Pro Bowling Balls? (Quick Facts)



  • The maximum allowable weight for a professional bowling ball is 16 pounds, but male and female players have different weight preferences.
  • Heavy bowling balls can generate more power and speed, but they also cause fatigue and limit the bowler’s ability to make delicate shots.


Have you ever wondered how heavy professional bowling balls are and what impact their weight has on the game?

In this blog, we’ll dive into the world of pro bowling to uncover the secrets behind these powerful spheres. From materials and construction to pros’ preferred ball weight, we’ve got all the fascinating details covered.

So grab a seat and prepare to strike your curiosity as we explore just how heavy pro bowling balls can be!

Weight Standards For Pro Bowling Balls

Pro bowling balls are carefully designed to meet specific weight standards.

The maximum allowable weight for a professional bowling ball is 16 pounds or 7.27 kilograms, with a minimum of six pounds for kids’ balls. Most adult bowlers tend to use weights ranging between 13 to 15 lbs, with the majority using either a 15 or 16-pound ball.

The weight of the ball can have an impact on how much power and control the bowler has over it. A heavier ball may provide more hook potential and allow for greater pin carry due to its increased momentum and energy transfer upon impact.

However, it requires more strength and may be harder to control than lighter ones. On the other hand, lighter balls offer less hook potential but give the user better control over their speed and direction.

It’s important that you choose a suitable ball weight based on your body weight ratio as well as a personal preference.

Since this will help you develop good technique while minimizing injury risk from excessive strain on muscles and joints associated with incorrect form or lifting too heavy equipment when not adapted.

Whether choosing heavy or light bowling balls, ensure that they are comfortable for you to handle so that you can focus on developing skills rather than worrying about discomfort during long gameplay sessions of strikes!

Women Professional Bowlers’ Preferred Weight

how heavy are pro bowling balls

Many women professional bowlers prefer to use lighter bowling balls than their male counterparts.

While some female pros still use a 16-pound ball, it is more common for them to use balls between 13 and 14 pounds. This is due in part to the fact that women generally have less upper body strength than men, making it more difficult for them to control heavier balls.

However, weight preference can also vary from bowler to bowler depending on their individual physique and style. For example, if a woman has significant upper body strength or prefers a power-based approach rather than finesse, she may opt for a heavier ball despite gender norms.

How Weight Affects Gameplay

The weight of a bowling ball can have a significant impact on gameplay. A heavier ball will carry more momentum down the lane, making it easier to knock over pins with greater force.

However, a lighter ball can be easier to control and maneuver, giving the bowler more precision in their shots. It’s important for bowlers to find the right balance between weight and control that suits their style and physical capabilities.

For beginner bowlers, starting with lighter weight can help develop proper technique without risking injury or fatigue. And in addition to personal preference, factors such as lane conditions and ball technology can also affect how different weights perform during gameplay.

Heavier balls may have an advantage on longer oil patterns where they can maintain enough momentum to reach the back end of the lane before hooking toward the pins.

Lighter balls may be better suited for shorter patterns or dry lanes where precision is key. Understanding how different weights interact with various factors in gameplay can help bowlers make informed decisions about what equipment will give them an edge on game day.

Pros And Cons Of Using Heavy Bowling Balls

Heavy bowling balls have their advantages, such as being able to generate more power and speed, but they also have disadvantages like causing fatigue and limiting the bowler’s ability to make delicate shots.

Advantages Of Using A Heavy Ball

Using a heavy ball in bowling can provide the following advantages:

  1. More power: A heavier ball can generate more kinetic energy when thrown, resulting in increased pin action and higher scores.
  2. Increased control: The added weight of a heavy ball can help bowlers maintain better control over their shot, reducing the chances of slipping or misalignment.
  3. Greater hook potential: Heavier balls tend to have a stronger hook potential due to their increased momentum and rotational energy, allowing bowlers to achieve sharper turns on the lane.
  4. Improved durability: Heavy balls are less likely to get damaged or wear out quickly compared to lighter ones, making them a worthwhile investment for serious bowlers.
  5. Better performance on oily lanes: Bowling balls with higher weight tend to work better on oily lane conditions since they can dig into the oil pattern and create more friction with the lane surface.
  6. Consistent release: With increased weight comes improved stability during release, making it easier for bowlers to maintain consistency and accuracy shot after shot.
  7. Improved fitness: Carrying around a heavier ball during gameplay can help build strength and endurance in the muscles used for bowling, providing both physical and mental benefits for players.

Disadvantages Of Using A Heavy Ball

Heavy bowling balls can have some drawbacks that may negatively affect a bowler’s performance. Here are some of the disadvantages of using a heavy ball:

  1. Increased risk of injury – Using a heavy ball requires more strength, which can lead to muscle strain, especially if you’re not properly trained or conditioned.
  2. Difficulty in throwing – Heavy balls require more energy to throw, making it challenging for some bowlers to gain momentum or power throughout their shot.
  3. Reduced control – A heavier ball may reduce the hook potential, accuracy, and control over the trajectory of the ball during its delivery.
  4. Inconsistency in delivery – Bowlers who use a heavy ball may find it challenging to maintain their release point consistently due to fatigue or discomfort in their arm or wrist.
  5. Limited maneuverability – Heavy balls generally have less maneuverability than lighter ones, which can be challenging when trying to adjust your shot based on changing lane conditions.


In conclusion, professional bowlers tend to use bowling balls that weigh between 13 to 16 pounds. Although the heaviest ball weight legally available is 16 pounds, some pro bowlers opt for a slightly lighter option at 15 pounds.

While heavier balls offer more power and hook potential, they can also cause fatigue and affect accuracy. In the end, choosing the right weight for your bowling ball depends on your body-weight ratio and personal preferences.

Remember to practice proper grip and release techniques when handling heavier bowling balls to prevent injury. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to striking out like a pro!

Last updated on April 7, 2023