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Thread: Proper Ball Weight?

  1. #1

    Default Proper Ball Weight?

    I have heard that the size ball you use should be 10% of your body weight, but this never really sat right with me. If that was the case, then I've seen bowlers who should rightly be using 25-30 pound bowling balls, haha. I am most comfortable with 11-12 pound balls, and that would be about right for me if the 10% rule is accurate, but I've been told that it may be too light and I should go heavier.

    So, my question is, is there an accurate formula for choosing proper ball size? Does the 10% rule really work?

  2. #2
    Bowling Guru Amyers's Avatar
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    Not really. I've always felt the 10% rule should used with small children and only as a rough starting guide. The truth is there are truly 2 things two understand first and foremost comfort and lack of injury are them most important items. You should also understand at any weight less than 14 lbs. your not getting the maximum you could for your game. Below that weight you are exposing yourself to more generic cores in the balls and you will see increased deflection of the ball path in your game generally carry will be worse.

    There are good reasons for lower weight balls at times. You want to be comfortable in what your doing and you want to avoid injury. if your really serious about maximizing your game I would suggest having your pro-shop drill a older 14 lbs. ball for you to practice with and see if your able to adjust honestly the difference in fill in a well fitting ball isn't much between a 12 vs. 14 at least as long as you don't have any injury's preventing it and try it out. it's okay not to be that serious and continue what your doing to the biggest thing is to have fun out there.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Daisy View Post
    I have heard that the size ball you use should be 10% of your body weight, but this never really sat right with me. If that was the case, then I've seen bowlers who should rightly be using 25-30 pound bowling balls, haha. I am most comfortable with 11-12 pound balls, and that would be about right for me if the 10% rule is accurate, but I've been told that it may be too light and I should go heavier.

    So, my question is, is there an accurate formula for choosing proper ball size? Does the 10% rule really work?
    Obviously it doesnít work for anyone who weighs more than 160 pounds.

    For kids itís a good starting point. If you have an 80# kid bowling for the first time let them try an 8# ball and see if it works.

    There are a couple ways to test for the correct weight:
    One is to have the bowler stand with their bowling arm at their side, elbow bent 90 degrees with the palm up. Place the ball in their hand. If they can hold the ball in that position for 10 seconds without the arm dropping down it is not too heavy.
    The second is to have the bowler put their fingers in the ball, let it hang at their side and try to curl their wrist and hold for 10 seconds.
    Generally if you find a house ball that works you can go up a pound with a custom fitted ball.
    John

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amyers View Post
    Not really. I've always felt the 10% rule should used with small children and only as a rough starting guide. The truth is there are truly 2 things two understand first and foremost comfort and lack of injury are them most important items. You should also understand at any weight less than 14 lbs. your not getting the maximum you could for your game. Below that weight you are exposing yourself to more generic cores in the balls and you will see increased deflection of the ball path in your game generally carry will be worse.

    There are good reasons for lower weight balls at times. You want to be comfortable in what your doing and you want to avoid injury. if your really serious about maximizing your game I would suggest having your pro-shop drill a older 14 lbs. ball for you to practice with and see if your able to adjust honestly the difference in fill in a well fitting ball isn't much between a 12 vs. 14 at least as long as you don't have any injury's preventing it and try it out. it's okay not to be that serious and continue what your doing to the biggest thing is to have fun out there.
    Thank you, you make some really good points. I may have to give a heavier ball a try some time. I am most comfortable with the weight I use, but it would be nice to see what I can do with something bigger.

    For me, I WANT to get serious about bowling, but between work and the fact that the bowling alley is 45 minutes away (not just around the corner), it's hard to focus on my game as much as I would like.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Anderson View Post
    Obviously it doesnít work for anyone who weighs more than 160 pounds.

    For kids itís a good starting point. If you have an 80# kid bowling for the first time let them try an 8# ball and see if it works.

    There are a couple ways to test for the correct weight:
    One is to have the bowler stand with their bowling arm at their side, elbow bent 90 degrees with the palm up. Place the ball in their hand. If they can hold the ball in that position for 10 seconds without the arm dropping down it is not too heavy.
    The second is to have the bowler put their fingers in the ball, let it hang at their side and try to curl their wrist and hold for 10 seconds.
    Generally if you find a house ball that works you can go up a pound with a custom fitted ball.
    Great tips, J. Thanks for your help. I wonder how many people out there are using the wrong size ball, and don't even know it?

  6. #6
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    I had always used 16lb balls but when I returned after leaving around 2002 I found nobody uses 16lb anymore. I'm wondering if I should have stuck with 16? I'm 6'0" 270lbs and my ball speed is too high. I'm about 1 MPH slower with 16lb. On the other hand pretty sure my speed is due to pulling down more than my size...lol. We do have a guy in our league that is a little taller and bigger than me that uses 16lb. His average is around 220 so works for him. I actually got my first ball from him after returning. It was a 16lb Storm Sync that worked well for me even though it wasn't drilled quite right (he was a lefty too). But it ended up cracking so it went in the junk pile.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatman37 View Post
    I had always used 16lb balls but when I returned after leaving around 2002 I found nobody uses 16lb anymore. I'm wondering if I should have stuck with 16? I'm 6'0" 270lbs and my ball speed is too high. I'm about 1 MPH slower with 16lb. On the other hand pretty sure my speed is due to pulling down more than my size...lol. We do have a guy in our league that is a little taller and bigger than me that uses 16lb. His average is around 220 so works for him. I actually got my first ball from him after returning. It was a 16lb Storm Sync that worked well for me even though it wasn't drilled quite right (he was a lefty too). But it ended up cracking so it went in the junk pile.
    I guess it's not just me who wonders if they're using the right size ball for them.

    It's a shame about the cracked ball. Sorry to hear that.

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