Can You Bring A Bowling Ball On A Plane?

Traveling with your favorite piece of sports equipment doesn’t have to be a hassle, especially when it’s something as unique as a bowling ball.

As an avid bowler looking to maintain your game while on the go, understanding TSA guidelines and helpful tips for air travel can save you time and potential headaches at the airport.

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about navigating airport security restrictions, airline regulations, and packing techniques for traveling with a bowling ball safely.

Can You Bring A Bowling Ball On A Plane?

Yes, you can bring your bowling balls on a plane. According to TSA guidelines, bowling balls are permitted in both carry-on and checked luggage.

For instance, some airlines may have weight limits or additional fees associated with transporting sports equipment like bowling balls. Carry-on bags typically have size restrictions as well (usually 9 x 14 x 22 inches) which might not accommodate larger bowling ball bags comfortably.

In such cases, opting for checked baggage could be more convenient.

Meeting Size And Weight Restrictions

According to the guidelines, your bowling ball can be carried onto the plane as long as it meets the airline’s carry-on baggage size requirements and does not exceed 50 pounds in weight.

However, if you decide to check in your bowling ball as luggage instead of carrying it on board with you, its weight must also comply with checked baggage allowances specific to your airline.

Proper Packaging Techniques And Materials

I always make sure to pack my bowling ball safely and securely when traveling. The TSA guidelines require that bowling balls be packed in a sturdy, hard-sided container with extra padding to prevent damage during transport.

To properly package my bowling ball for air travel, I use a specialized bag designed specifically for transporting this equipment. These bags typically have padded compartments that can secure the ball in place during transit.

Additionally, I ensure that the bag is strong enough to withstand the rigors of air travel and has ample space for any accessories or personal items I want to bring along with me on my trip.

Tips For Traveling With A Bowling Ball

Can You Bring A Bowling Ball On A Plane

Choosing The Right Bowling Ball Bag

As an avid bowler, I know that having the right bowling ball bag can make all the difference when traveling. When choosing a bag for your bowling ball, it’s important to consider factors such as size and durability.

Look for bags specifically designed for bowling balls with extra padding to protect your equipment from damage during transit.

Additionally, think about how much gear you need to bring along. Many bowling ball bags have compartments for accessories such as gloves or shoes, making them convenient options if you’re looking to consolidate your travel items.

Remember that some airlines may have restrictions on the size and weight of sporting equipment like bowling balls, so be sure to check their baggage policies before taking off on your travels.

Packing Accessories And Personal Items

When traveling with a bowling ball, it’s important to pack any necessary accessories and personal items in addition to the ball itself. Most bowlers carry multiple balls, so packing a towel or cloth for wiping them down after use is essential.

A wrist brace or support may also be necessary for players who experience discomfort while playing. Personal items such as socks, shoes, and proper clothing should also be considered when packing for air travel with your bowling equipment.

It is recommended to pack these items in separate compartments of your bag or container to prevent damage or excessive shifting during transport.

Considering Shipping Your Bowling Ball

If you’re worried about lugging your bowling ball through the airport or if it’s too heavy to be carried on board, shipping your equipment might be a viable option. Shipping allows for safer transportation of sporting gear and can often be cheaper than checking overweight baggage.

When planning to ship your bowling ball, make sure to research different companies and compare prices. It’s also important to plan ahead as shipping can take longer than traditional air travel methods.

Arriving Early To The Airport For Check-In

As someone who travels with a bowling ball frequently, I have learned the importance of arriving at the airport early for check-in. Checking sporting equipment like bowling balls requires extra time and attention from TSA agents and airline staff, so it is crucial to give yourself plenty of time to get through security and make sure your belongings are properly handled.

One time when I didn’t arrive at the airport early enough was when traveling for a big tournament. I ended up getting held up in security due to my bowling ball bag not being packed correctly – it had some loose items that triggered an alert during screening.

Precautions To Take While Traveling

Handling The Bowling Ball With Care

As any bowler knows, a bowling ball is not only an investment but also a critical piece of equipment for gameplay. Thus, when traveling with one, you want to make sure it arrives at your destination unscathed.

When handling the bowling ball during travel, it’s crucial to exercise caution and proper care. One should avoid dropping or throwing their bowing ball as this can cause damage to both the ball and surrounding items in the airport or plane.

It is also important to have proper packaging techniques such as packing the ball in a sturdy container that won’t shift during transportation. Being mindful of temperature control and avoiding extreme heat or cold will help maintain the integrity of the resin material used in most modern bowling balls.

Safe Storage And Temperature Control

It is important to ensure safe storage and temperature control for your bowling ball during air travel. Extreme temperatures can damage the coverstock and alter its performance on the lanes.

Therefore, it is recommended to keep your bowling ball with you in the cabin of the plane if possible. If you must check your bowling ball, make sure that it is properly packaged and stored in a hard-shell container or a bag with extra padding.

Also, be mindful of where you store your checked luggage during transit as some cargo areas may not have climate control.

Familiarizing Yourself With Airline Policies And Procedures

It is essential to familiarize yourself with your airline’s policies and procedures before traveling with your bowling ball. Some airlines may have weight or size restrictions, additional fees, or specific rules for carrying sporting equipment like a bowling ball.

Additionally, some airlines require advance notice if you plan on bringing sports equipment like a bowling ball on board so that they can prepare accordingly.

It’s important to check the regulations well in advance of travel because some airlines might not allow carrying excess baggage or oversized items without advanced payment for extra allowance.


In conclusion, traveling with a bowling ball by air is possible. But it requires some planning and preparation to ensure a smooth journey. Knowing TSA guidelines for carry-on and checked baggage, proper packaging techniques, and airline policies can help avoid any unexpected surprises at the airport.

Choosing the right bowling ball bag, packing accessories carefully, and handling the ball with care while in transit are important steps to take.

Last updated on June 9, 2023