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Choosing a Bowling Ball at the Bowling Alley

By Edited Feb 14, 2016 0 0

The type of bowling ball someone uses has a lot to do with their bowling score. Most avid bowlers use their own ball. Those who don't own their own bowling ball use the balls that the bowling alley provides for the players that go there. Most bowling alleys have a variety of balls to choose from on a shelf, somewhere at the lanes. This can be a difficult choice for people who don't know what they are looking for. Choosing a ball that matches the player's size and skill level is important indeed. Making this choice correctly can ensure the bowler get the best score they can, rather than a bunch of gutter balls.

The weight of the ball is the most important factor while choosing a bowling ball from the bowling alley. Bowling balls can be a light as 6 pounds or as heavy as 16. A 6 pound, or lighter ball, may be more easily controlled and go faster. The down side is that it will probably not create enough force for the player to get many strikes. Lighter bowling balls also tend to get “thrown” rather than rolled, rising into the air after the player releases it, and bouncing down the alley, causing it to miss its target entirely. Heavy bowling balls are harder to control and can be unpredictable, as they have a tendency to slip out of the bowler’s grip. Many professional bowlers will recommend that a bowler choose a ball that is around ten percent of their weight. Bowling alleys typically engrave the weight of a ball into the outside of the ball, making it easier to find an appropriate ball.

Something else that a bowler choosing a ball from the alley should consider is; the position and size of the finger holes on the ball. The holes should be a width that allows the bowler’s fingers to fit into them, but not too wide. That would make the ball hard to grip. They should not be too close together or too far apart for the fingers and thumb to fit in. Most bowling alleys have these holes drilled in certain ways, depending on the balls weight. This can make it hard for someone to find a good match if their fingers and hands are very small, or very large.

The next thing that should be looked at is if there is anything wrong with the bowling ball, such as damage. Many bowling alley balls have chips missing. This greatly affects how the ball traverses down the lane and changes its path from the one that the bowler intended. Some bowling balls may have cracks as well, which can affect the trajectory of the ball as well. Study the bowling alley ball carefully for these faults to start the game in the best possible way.

The only real way to avoid these problems altogether is to purchase one’s own bowling ball. Sporting goods stores and alleys both carry a huge variety of bowling balls for every skill level and price range. The sales people at these places will be more than happy to help someone choose a ball with exactly the right fit. This would probably be a waste of money for someone who only goes bowling a couple of times per year, but is essential for those wanting to improve their game.

Factoring weight, the size and spacing of finger hole, and the condition of the bowling ball is important before deciding on a ball from the alley. With the right bowling ball, bowlers can drastically improve their game. 

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