How To Hold A Bowling Ball and Bowl Your Way To Success

Bowling is a sport that combines a chance to work out and move your body with plenty of opportunities to have fun at the same time.

It’s not just for kids anymore, either – many adults are huge fans of bowling and are turning to the activity in their droves.

Bowling Ball Weight Guide: How To Choose A Bowling Ball

If you are totally new to bowling, or simply looking to improve your score, then read on for everything you need to know to succeed.

What Is Bowling?

Bowling is a game that involves throwing a ball down an alley toward pins set up at various locations along the lane. You use both hands to throw the ball as far as possible, aiming to knock over all of the pins before they hit the ground.

Each pin counts as one point, so if you knock over 10 pins, you get 10 points. The object is to accumulate the most points during each frame, and the higher your average score, the better.

The Rules Of Bowling

There are two main rules when it comes to bowling:

  • You can only bowl once per frame. This means that you cannot bowl again until the end of the current frame.
  • You must release the ball from your hand before it hits the floor.

If you do not follow these rules, you will be disqualified from the match.

A History of Bowling

The activity of bowling has been practiced by fans for thousands of years, with the exhumation of an Egyptian grave uncovering a set of stone pins – these are assumed to have been intended for use in a form of bowling during the Ancient Egyptian world.

Since then, bowling has continued to grow, evolve, and develop, and two main strands have made themselves known: lawn bowling and pin bowling.

Lawn bowling is played outdoors on grassy surfaces such as parks, golf courses, and green spaces. Lawn bowling uses balls that weigh between 6 and 8 ounces and is generally played using three frames. There are also variations of this style of bowling, including cricket and rugby-style bowls.

Pin bowling is played indoors on hard floors like gymnasiums, warehouses, and bowling alleys. Pin bowling is usually played using six frames, although there are some variants that use fewer than six frames. The standard size of a bowling ball used in pin bowling is about 7 1/2 inches in diameter.

In the United States, bowling was popularized by immigrants from England, Germany, and Scotland. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that bowling became a major pastime throughout America.

In the late 1800s, bowling alleys were built all over the country, and bowling became a favorite activity among Americans. By 1900, there were more than 3,000 bowling centers in 

the U.S. and the average American bowler played at least once per week.

The popularity of bowling continued to grow throughout the 20th century, and by 1950, there were approximately 30 million active bowlers in the U.S. Today, bowling remains one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

Key Terms In Bowling

One of the major appeals of bowling is that it is easy to enjoy – anyone can learn how to bowl quickly, and even children can start playing without any prior experience.

However, bowling requires a lot of practice and dedication, and it takes time to master the art of the perfect shot. If you want to become a good bowler, you should make sure that you devote enough time to practicing your skills.

To begin bowling, you first need a good understanding of the main vocabulary and terms that you need to know. These include:


This is the part of the bowling equipment that actually throws the ball. A typical bowling ball weighs around 5 to 7 pounds and measures anywhere between 9 and 13 inches in circumference.


This is the motion that you use to propel the ball forward. When you bowl, you should aim to strike the ball in such a way that it travels through the air as fast as possible.

Ball Grip

Your grip on the ball determines how well you control the ball while you are bowling. For beginners, it is recommended that you hold the ball with your thumb facing away from you, and your fingers wrapped tightly around the sides of the ball.

Release Point

Your release point refers to where you position your body when you let go of the ball. Ideally, you should release the ball at the very top of its trajectory so that it flies straight toward the target.

Target Line

Your target line refers to where you aim the ball when you throw it. It is important to aim your ball correctly because if you miss the target line, the ball will not travel far enough to reach the pins.


The pins are the targets that you try to knock down. They are placed in a row across the alley, and they are numbered from left to right. Each pin represents one frame or 10 feet of play.

Strike Zone

The strike zone refers to the area of the lane where you should aim your ball within. This area extends outwards from the centerline of the lane, and it is divided into two zones by a red line. In order for you to score points, you must hit the pins inside the white circle.


A scoreboard displays the number of strikes and spares that you have made during each game. You can find these numbers either on the wall behind the lanes or on a separate display board that is located near the scoring boxes.

Scoring Boxes

These are small boxes that contain the pins that are knocked down during a particular frame. Each box has a number printed on it, and this number corresponds to the number of points that you get for knocking down that specific pin.

Types of Bowling Balls

There are many different types of bowling balls available in the market today. Some of them are designed to suit certain types of players, while others are meant to be used by people who already have some experience in the sport.

The type of ball that you choose depends on several factors, including your budget, style preferences, and personal preference. Here are some of the most popular types of bowling balls available on the market today:

Professional Series

Professional series balls feature an advanced design that makes them ideal for serious bowlers. They come in various weights, which range from 6 pounds up to 12 pounds.

Standard Series

Standard bowling balls are designed to give beginner bowlers a good foundation for learning proper form and technique. Standard series balls are also known as “household” balls. These balls are usually made of plastic or rubber, and they weigh between 5 and 7 pounds.

Economy Series

Economy series balls are specially designed to provide maximum performance without breaking the bank. They are available in both standard and heavy-weight varieties.

Tournament Series

Tournament series balls are specifically designed for tournament-level competition. They are typically heavier than other types of bowling balls, and they are often made of metal. 

Tournament series balls feature a special coating on their surface that allows them to roll faster and straighter than other types of bowling balls. They can weigh up to 16 pounds.

Household Balls

Household bowling balls are designed to be used by people with no previous experience in the sport. They are usually made of soft rubber or plastic, and they weigh less than 2 pounds.

Heavyweight Balls

Heavyweight bowling balls are designed to withstand higher levels of stress and pressure. They are usually made out of steel or aluminum alloy, and they can weigh anywhere from 10 to 14 pounds.

In addition to the different series, bowling balls also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. For example, some balls are designed to help beginners learn how to hold the ball properly, while others are intended to be used by experienced bowlers.

Tips for Buying a Bowling Ball

When you’re looking for the right type of bowling ball for your needs, consider these tips:

Choose the Right Size

If you are just starting out, choose a size that’s about the same size as your hand. This will make it easier for you to grip the ball when you’re practicing. As you get better, you’ll want to increase the size of your ball slightly.

The size of your hand can affect the weight of the ball. If you’re a lefty, you should look for a left-handed ball. Lefties often find that their hands naturally grip the ball differently than other players, so this can lead to problems with consistency.

In general, a smaller hand will require a lighter ball. Larger hands will need a heavier ball.

Consider Weight

If you’re planning on using your bowling ball regularly, try to find a weight that feels comfortable in your hands. You may also want to invest in a heavier ball if you plan on competing in tournaments.

Look for Durable Materials

Most bowling balls are made out of durable materials like polyurethane, which makes them long-lasting. If you’re looking for something that will last longer, then look for balls that have been manufactured using high-quality materials.

Choose A Ball That Feels Comfortable

When selecting a bowling ball, you also need to think about how comfortable it feels. Some balls feel too light, while others feel too heavy.

Check the Surface

Most bowling balls have a smooth surface, but some manufacturers offer bowling balls with a rougher finish. The rougher the surface, the more friction is created between the ball and the lane surface, making it easier for you to strike the pins.

Test It Out

Before you buy a bowling ball, test it out at a local bowling alley. Make sure that the ball fits comfortably in your hand and that it rolls smoothly across the lanes.

There are many different types of bowling balls available today. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s how to choose the best weight for your needs:

Consider Your Experience

If you’re new to the sport, a medium-weight ball may be the best option for you. These balls typically weigh between 16 and 20 pounds. They’re ideal if you’re looking to increase your speed and improve your accuracy.

A medium-weight ball is usually recommended for beginners because they’re easier to control and throw accurately. However, if you’re a seasoned player who wants to improve your game, a heavier ball might suit you better.

Consider Your Game Style

A lighter ball will allow you to move faster, but it won’t provide much power. In contrast, a heavier ball will give you more power, but you’ll need to work harder to use it.

If you are planning on competing regularly, consider choosing a heavy ball. Heavy balls are generally designed for tournament play.

Find A Ball With Good Durability

Durability is another factor to consider when buying a bowling ball. Look for a ball made out of quality materials that are built to last.

Think About What You Want From The Ball

Do you want a fast ball or a powerful ball? Do you prefer a smooth or firm ball?

Bowling Ball Weight Guide How To Choose A Bowling Ball (1)

These factors all influence what kind of ball you should purchase. When shopping around, try to narrow down your options by considering these questions.

How Should You Hold A Bowling Ball?

Once you have chosen the best bowling ball for your needs and budget, you need to know how to hold it correctly. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:

Grip the Ball Properly

The most important thing to remember is that you should always grip the ball properly. When you grip the ball too tightly, you won’t be able to let go easily.

To do this, place your thumb over the center of the ball and wrap your fingers around the sides.

Keep Your Elbow Straight

Your elbow should remain straight while you’re holding the ball. If you bend your arm, you could hurt yourself or damage your bowling ball.

Bend Your Wrists Slightly

Bend your wrists slightly so that you can grip the ball firmly without hurting your arms.

Relax Your Fingers

Keep your fingers relaxed when gripping the ball. Don’t tense up your muscles because this can cause pain and injury. Instead, focus on relaxing your entire body.

Practice Makes Perfect

As you practice, you’ll become accustomed to the feel of the ball in your hands. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll be ready to take your game to the next level.

Bowling Tips

Here are some additional tips to help improve your game and boost your bowling score:

Start With a Smooth Roll

When you first start playing, don’t worry about rolling the ball perfectly. Just concentrate on moving the ball smoothly through the air – you can also practice this movement without the bowling ball to start with; this will help you to get used to the motion.

Aim For Accuracy

Aiming for accuracy means striking the pins from the middle of the lane. Try not to aim for the edges of the lane where the pins tend to be placed; instead, aim to get the ball right down the center.

This takes a lot of practice, so you will need to be prepared to put the time and energy in – repetition and regular practice will help you to improve your accuracy, and your overall game.

Follow Through

Follow-through means keeping your arm extended after releasing the ball. This helps ensure that the ball travels farther down the lane than it would otherwise, and is part of a great technique.

Know How to Swing

Swinging is an essential part of bowling. You want to swing your arm back and forth as quickly as possible to propel the ball toward the pins.

Focus On Timing

Timing refers to the moment when you release the ball. You want to release the ball just before the pin reaches its highest point.

 Watch Where You Strike

Watching what happens when you hit the pins will help you learn how to strike them more effectively. Pay attention to which way the ball moves and whether it bounces or moves to one side or another.

Learn How to Throw

Throwing the ball involves using both your upper and lower body to make the shot. Throwing the ball requires strength and coordination.

Be Patient

Patience is key when learning how to bowl. It takes time to develop good form and perfect technique.

Have Fun!

Having fun is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you play. If you enjoy the sport, then you’ll have a better chance of improving your skills and increasing your average score.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to throw and send a bowling ball is just the first part of the puzzle – the key to succeeding in this sport is practice, practice, practice – and, fortunately, bowling is enough fun that it won’t feel like a chore! 

Drew Kaufner