Types Of Bowling Ball Cores: Asymmetric Vs. Symmetric

Asymmetric bowling balls have a single hole in the center of the ball. The asymmetric ball will roll at a slightly different angle than a symmetric ball.

Types Of Bowling Ball Cores: Asymetric Vs. Symetric

When you throw an asymmetric ball, the rotation of the ball is not equal to the rotation of the face of the ball. This results in a slight offset in the path of the ball.

You may notice that when you throw an asymmetric bowling ball, the ball travels further than a symmetric ball because the asymmetric ball rolls differently due to its unique shape.

How Can You Tell?

An asymmetrical ball is when the center of gravity is offset from the geometric center. This means that there is an unequal amount of mass on each side of the ball.

If you were to draw a line through the center of the ball, the difference between the two sides should be greater than five percent. This causes the ball to wobble when it returns to its most stable position.

Bowling Ball Core

The weight of the ball is an important factor in determining how a ball reacts when thrown. A heavy ball will sink through the air quicker than a light ball and thus will land closer to the pins.

However, it isn’t just the weight of the ball that influences how it behaves when it hits the pins. 

A bowling ball consists of a solid center, surrounded by a hollow shell. A bowling ball must be strong enough to withstand the force of the pins when it strikes them.

To achieve this strength, the ball is made of two materials: plastic and rubber. Plastic is used inside the shell because it is lighter than rubber and will not break if struck by a pin.

Rubber is used around the shell because it is heavier than plastic and will absorb energy when struck by a pin. However, more can be achieved if the shape is altered. 

If you change the fundamental shape of the core you change the way the ball can roll and its range of motion.

Asymmetrical balls have an additional variable that allows for better mid-lane behavior, quicker reaction at the breakpoint, and much higher flare potential than their symmetrical counterpart. 

Types Of Bowling Ball Cores: Asymetric Vs. Symetric

How To Find The Core 

The core is, as the name suggests, the center of the ball. If you were to break open a brand new bowling ball and remove the core, you’d see that the inside of the ball is hollow.

But what does that mean? Well, when the ball is manufactured, the core is put into the mold first, then everything else is added around it.

A ball will often have a small amount of wobble, (if it’s asymmetrical|)  so it may need to be laid out differently.

The ball will usually have a pin that is a different color, this mark is a combination of two marks, one for the manufacturer and another for the ball company.

You can use this mark to identify the core and create the perfect layout for your ball. 

Why You Would Choose An Asymmetrical Ball?

The needs and wants of the bowler come first. A bowler will usually choose a core that helps him correct any difficulties he has with bowling.

For example, if he needs more spin, then he may go for a more spinnable core. He may also need a softer cover stock, or maybe a harder cover stock.

In addition, a bowler may just want more options when it comes to entry angle.

Symmetrical balls are limited when it comes to angles and asymmetrical balls are more flexible allowing a much more controlled and consistent game. 

The increased ball motion of an asymmetrical ball takes a while to get used to but if you learn to lean into the movement and increase your speed and finger rotation you could be in for a fantastic result. 

If you are playing in heavy oil conditions, you need an even more aggressive cover stock.

Then, when combined with the weight distribution on the asymmetrical block, you get a more aggressive angle hooking ball.

You also have the option for a variable hook with asymmetrical bowling balls.

If you are league bowling and into the fourth game and are having issues with control or head that are just too dry, then this is where the less aggressive symmetrical ball would work too.

Why Choose A Symmetrical Ball?

The advantage of a symmetrical ball is its predictability. If your practice is to play in straight lines then you will get a better result with a symmetrical ball.

They hit the ball in the same way each time and you don’t need to worry about the spins typical of asymmetrical balls. 

In Summary 

Which type of ball you choose really comes down to personal choice and the individual bowler’s style.

Asymmetrical certainly provides a new dimension to gameplay and allows for flexibility and control but the reliable symmetrical ball gives consistent results and predictable play. Only you can decide what’s right for you. 

Drew Kaufner