What Weight Bowling Ball Should I Use? An Ultimate Guide

Bowling ball weight is one of the essential ingredients that have a huge impact on your bowling journey. Choosing an inappropriate weight is not the only cause of your bad playing experience but also disturbs your arms muscles.

Throwing an unsuitable or heavy bowling ball may cause wrist, shoulder, or elbow pain. According to the research of the journal Orthopedic surgery of Taiwan, there are 11 cases reported within 3 years, and most of them cases are related to upper limbs due to inappropriate weight.

If you wonder what weight bowling ball should I use to get started, we encourage you to start reading till the end and most of the queries will be solved whether it’s related to bowling weight for children, adults, males, females, or professionals. 

Let’s get into the details section.

what weight bowling ball should i use

Does Bowling Ball Weight Matter?

The weight matter for several reasons to consider while looking for a bowling ball. In relation to your core arm muscles, it’s directly connected while throwing the bowling ball. 

If the bowling ball is too heavy, it will need more force and power in order to achieve the best shot, and playing it consistently may cause any injury. Also, you will have bad control over the bowling ball and less accuracy in shots.

On the other side, the lightweight bowling ball will not please you while throwing and chances are the ball deflects more and deliver low pin action.

Best Bowling Ball Weight

According to the general rule of thumb, you should follow the 10% of body rule for suitable bowling ball weight. It means your bowling ball weight should be 10% of your body weight.

However, it’s not necessary to follow, if you are able to easily control the bowling ball even 16 pounds after consistently playing. The weight depends on your upper body physique and how you can control the specific weight.

Bowling ball weight calculator

To know the bowling ball weight according to your body then follow the mentioned method. Divide your body weight by 11 and subtract it from 2. For example, if your weight is 120 pounds ( 120/11=10.90 ) or if you want more comfortable with the ball then you can subtract 1 or 2 pounds from the ball.

If somehow you’re poor in the calculation, you can follow the bowling ball weight calculator by clicking here.

Can You Add Weight To A Bowling Ball?

Yes, you can add some static weight to your bowling ball but pro shops won’t allow it because it is against the rule of USBC. Although, you can maintain the weight by drilling the balance holes.

How Do I Know If My Bowling Ball Is Too Heavy Or Too Light?

If you’re bowling alley and want to utilize the house ball then probably you wonder how to know the weight of the ball. A general weight for a male adult is 14 lbs whereas a female adult can carry weight up to 13 lbs.

You can apply the rule of 10% of body weight. However, there is another technique for measuring bowling ball weight.

Take a random bowling ball (preferred to start from 13 lbs) and hold the ball and extend your hands. If you feel, the hand getting shakier then probably it’s heavy for you. Now, pick another one that is less in weight than the ball you picked before and repeat the process again, if its no reaction then it’s lighter and if you feel a lid bid shakier then this bowling ball weight is good for you.

Are Heavy Bowling Balls Better?

Every bowling weight has only pros and cons. There are some features that can be achieved by a heavy bowling ball. A heavier bowing ball performs betters at an excellent strike rate, delivers a good and wider hook, can carry more power, and approach the pins at an oblique angle. 

bowling ball weight vs speed

Bowling ball speed depends on how you throw the ball faster. If the ball is too heavy for you, probably you will not acquire such power to release the ball it needs. On the other side, if the ball is according to your physique you can give good power to throw

What Is The Average Bowling Ball’s Weight?

In order to achieve a good and consistent strike, you need a bowling ball that weighs around 12 lbs. 

If you visualize when the bowling ball hits the pin, it only strikes with the front 4 pins, and these pins carry 3 pounds each. Right-hand bowlers typically strike 1,3,5,9 pins where the rest of the other pins go down with these four whereas, the left bowler shots interact with 1,2,5,8. 

Now if you understand the logic behind it, the 12 lbs bowling ball would be a prominent and appropriate ball that does not deflect.

What Weight Bowling Ball Should I Use

  • A Bowling ball’s weight comes in different ranges and it typically starts from 6 to 16 pounds.
  • There are weight ranges for different age groups.
  • For Children, select a bowling ball from 6-12 pounds according to their age. 1 pound for each year i.e. 8 pounds for an 8-year-old.
  • To select a bowling ball weight for adult females and seniors, the range starts from 10 to 14 pounds.
  • Adult males’ weight range starts from 14 to 16 pounds.
  • Professional bowlers typically select weights between 15-16 pounds.

Bowling Ball Weight Chart

GroupBowling Ball Weight in Pounds
Children (6-12)Select a bowling ball from 6-12 according to their age. 1 pound for each year i.e. 8 pounds for 8 year old
Adult Females and Seniors10 to 14 pounds
Adult Males 14 to 16 pounds
Professional15 to 16 pounds

Benefits and Drawbacks of Heavy and Light Bowling Balls

Benefits and Drawbacks of Heavy Bowling Balls



  • Wrist injury and pain
  • Bad control
  • Accuracy of shot decrease with time

Benefits and Drawbacks of Light Bowling Ball


  • Easy to control 
  • Beginner friendly
  • Easy to throw 
  • Rolls comfortably


  • Deflection opportunities more
  • Low impact and power


When it comes to bowling, the weight of the bowling ball is extremely important. The weight plays a major role in your gaming performance whether you play in your spare time or league.

To play an aggressive game-play and give a perfect knock to bowling pins you should know what weight bowling ball should I use. You should follow the 10% rule for the weight of the bowling ball.

Related Question

The answer would be NO or YES in different scenarios. It will be heavy for someone or may light for others. If the ball is picked up by 6 years old child, obviously it will be heavier for him. A 10lbs bowling ball is perfect for knocking all the pins down the lane.

Most pro bowlers prefer to play bowling with a bowling ball with 16 pounds, also some prefer to play with 15 pounds as well with a specific drilling option.

It doesn’t matter what weight you use for bowling, if you are comfortable throwing the 16 lbs weight bowling ball without any strain or negative results in in-game performance then you can go with a heavier bowling ball.

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