While it may not be rocket science, choosing the appropriate bowling ball does require informed consideration, and a touch of common sense. The ball you choose can make all the difference between a successful game and a complete disaster. Consider these tips before your next game to set yourself up for lane domination.

bowling ball picBall weight is critical –

Bowling balls come in a range of weights – from 6 pounds to 16 pounds – with 14 to 15 pounds being the most popular selections. When choosing your ball, remember it’s not just about the power, but accuracy and consistency as well. Your ball should be heavy enough to make an impact, but it should be light enough that you can maintain control of your throw, staying centered and stable during and after the release. A general measure to consider is 1 pound of ball to every 10 pounds of you (or roughly 10% of your body weight).

Test the finger holes –

Every bowling ball has three holes – one each for the thumb, middle finger and ring finger. The right ball should allow your fingers to be inserted and removed freely, but not easily enough that your grip on the ball is weak. When the fingers and thumb are positioned in the holes, your palm should rest across the ball with an adequate and reliable measure of tension in the curve of the thumb.

The size of the holes will typically vary with the weight of the ball; heavier balls have larger holes, and lighter balls have smaller ones. Another factor to examine in the size of the finger holes is whether or not you need a right-handed or left-handed ball. The ring finger hole on a left-handed ball is approximately 1/8 inch further from the thumb hole. While this is a minimal shift, it could drastically impact your game if you’re not looking for this tell-tale difference.

Consider the lane conditions –

Much like you take notice of the tread on your tires before taking to the highway, you should consider the cover of your bowling ball before you take to the lanes. The ball cover (like the tire tread) determines the amount of friction the ball will create on the lane. Lanes are coated in oil to promote the ball’s sliding action. The more oil there is, the stronger the ball cover should be to create the necessary friction. This friction is essential to creating hook potential.

Before you even throw the ball or scrutinize your bowling stance, take some time to compare and consider the importance of your ball choice. The proper weight and fit encourage adequate grip and pressure, leading to increased control, a better swing and better overall performance.