Are Bowling Balls Hollow or Solid? (Uncovering the Truth)

You might have found yourself wondering, as you send another bowling ball careening down the lane, what lies inside these hefty spheres.

Are they hollow or solid? In this blog post, we will unravel the truth about bowling ball construction and materials to help settle this debate once and for all.

Are Bowling Balls Hollow?

No, bowling balls are not hollow, they’re solid. They are composed of a solid core surrounded by various filler materials and an outer shell, with weight and balance being crucial factors for performance.

Cores And Covers: The Role They Play

are bowling balls hollow

The core and cover of a bowling ball play significant roles in its overall performance. The core is the heavy, dense material at the center of the ball that determines its weight distribution and spin rate.

Manufacturers can vary the shape and size of the core to alter these characteristics. The coverstock, or outer shell, affects how the ball interacts with the lane surface.

Different materials have different frictional properties, which can impact how much hook or curve a bowler can achieve.

Choosing a bowling ball with an appropriate core and cover combination for your skill level and playing style is crucial for achieving success on the lanes.

Heavier cores are generally better suited for more experienced players who want more control over their shots, while lighter cores are useful for beginners who need help generating power from their swing.

Weight And Balance: Important Factors

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a bowling ball is weight and balance. The weight of the ball can greatly impact your performance, as a ball that is too light may not have enough power behind it to knock down all the pins, while a ball that is too heavy may be difficult to control.

Balance is also essential for optimal performance. A properly balanced bowling ball will roll straight and smoothly down the lane rather than wobbling or veering off course.

To ensure proper balance, look for balls with symmetrical cores or those with asymmetrical cores that are specifically designed for your throwing style.

Composition Of Bowling Balls

Bowling balls are carefully crafted pieces of equipment, engineered to provide an ideal balance between weight, durability, and performance. At the heart of every bowling ball lies a core made from heavy materials such as ceramic or metal.

Encasing this dense core is a layer of filler material that helps maintain structural integrity and adds additional weight. Finally, on the outside, there’s a coverstock typically made from synthetic materials like polyester or urethane.

The choice of coverstock material impacts how much friction the ball generates when it comes into contact with the lanes’ surface – ultimately determining how well it hooks and rolls toward those elusive pins.

Different Types Of Bowling Balls

Bowling balls come in various types, and each type is designed for specific purposes. There are three main types of bowling balls: plastic or polyester, urethane, and reactive resin.

Plastic or polyester bowling balls are ideal for beginners because they have a straight trajectory and require less skill to control. Urethane bowling balls have more hook potential than plastic ones, making them perfect for intermediate bowlers who want more control over their shots.

Each type of ball offers its own distinct advantages depending on the skill level of the player using it as well as lane conditions such as oil patterns.

History Of Bowling Ball Construction

Bowling ball construction has come a long way since the days of wooden balls. In the early 1900s, manufacturers began experimenting with materials like rubber and hard rubber to improve performance.

In the 1980s, the reactive resin material was introduced and quickly became popular for its increased hook potential on oily lane conditions. This led to advancements in core technology and coverstock materials such as urethane and particle additives.

Today, bowling balls are primarily made from synthetic materials with varying densities beneath their coverstocks.


In conclusion, the debate about whether bowling balls are hollow or solid has been settled. Bowling balls are not hollow at all. The ball’s outer shell is made of synthetic materials such as polyester or urethane and contains a core made of a heavy material like ceramic or metal that changes the weight and performance of the ball.

Whether you’re an amateur bowler or a professional one, it’s essential to understand that every aspect of a bowling ball affects its performance on the lanes.

Last updated on April 26, 2023