14 To 16 Pounds Bowling Ball

December 23, 2011 by staff 

14 To 16 Pounds Bowling Ball, One article that caught my eye in the December issue of U. S. Bowler Magazine was written by Bryan O’Keefe — a Team USA assistant coach — titled “Pound for Pound.” In it, he discusses how technology has changed the perception of bowling ball weight over the past few years.

Before the advent of reactive resin balls, bowlers pretty much threw as much ball as they could get, simply because more weight meant more striking power.

Sixteen pounds has been the maximum since rules were standardized, and using a lighter ball led to deflection in the pocket and less carry.

In the last decade, however, weight block designs have become more and more powerful.

Combined with ever more aggressive cover stocks, a lighter ball has as much, if not more, striking power than a 16-pound ball used to have.

Maximum carry derives from a combination of ball weight, speed and the bowler’s ability to get the ball into a roll before it hits the pins. Plus, of course, accuracy.

The article says that a good rule of thumb on ball weight is to consider how much you can handle. If the ball seems to control your body during delivery, and if you seem to fight to keep your equilibrium during your swing, your ball is probably too heavy.

On the other hand, if your ball is too light, your timing may be affected. Your swing plane may be too steep and your release point too high. Some elite bowlers who went down to 15-pound balls are going back up to 16 to slow down their swings to improve accuracy.

Generally, the case for throwing a lighter bowling ball has two points.

One, less weight means less stress on the body. Over the course of a league season or a tournament, that can help with stamina. If you’re suffering from chronic aches and pains that affect your bowling motion, a lighter ball can lessen the discomfort and extend your “career.”

Second, a lighter ball can be thrown with more velocity. Coupled with the new ball technology, you can still get all the hitting power you want.

The move to lighter balls has become so pronounced, O’Keefe reports bowling companies that were manufacturing a three-to-one ratio of heavier balls a decade ago have now switched to the same ratio of 15- to 16-pounders.

So, what’s the right move for you?

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