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People who bowl regularly or who participate in league or competitive bowling typically own their equipment, including bowling balls. Fortunately, those who prefer to enjoy a leisurely game every now and then don't need to purchase anything. Bowling alleys provide casual bowlers with numerous balls to choose from. They're all different, so sizing them to find a suitable candidate isn't difficult -- just a little time consuming.
Find a few bowling balls that weigh roughly 10 percent of your body weight. Bowling balls run between 6 and 16 pounds, so 12 pounds is a good starting point for most adults. If you're a man, look for one between 14 and 16 pounds. Pick a bowling ball between 10 and 14 pounds if you're a woman. Parents of kids should consider balls under 10 pounds for their offspring. The best choice is a bowling ball that you can throw comfortably.
Check the finger holes for large chips or dents around the edges. Small cracks or imperfections are okay, but noticeable imperfections can affect the way you throw - or even injure your fingers. If the edges look rough or dangerous, don't use the ball. Take it to an alley employee.
Hold the ball out before you with your arm fully extended away from yourself for five seconds. If your arm, wrist or hand begins to shake before a few seconds elapse, the ball is too heavy for you. If it's not difficult for you to hold the ball out, you'll be able to throw the ball effectively and it's a good weight for you.
Stick your thumb in the thumb hole. Extend your index and middle fingers across the two finger holes. Don't stretch your hand. Relax it so that a pencil would fit between the ball and your palm. The holes should be directly under the knuckles of those two fingers.
Poke your index and middle fingers into the holes and pull them out slowly to assess the fit. The holes should feel snug, but they shouldn't be small enough to grab your fingers and keep them from slipping out easily.
Insert your thumb and fingers into the ball holes and walk around with the ball as if you were carrying a six-pack of canned soft drinks. Swing it backward, then forward as if you were bowling. If the grip and weight feel comfortable to you, you've probably picked a winner.
Try the ball out for five frames. After that amount of play, you'll be able to tell if the ball is too heavy for you. If your arm and shoulder feel a little tired or strained, find a ball about a pound lighter.
- Don't get discouraged if you don't find the perfect ball right away. Keep looking. The personnel on duty should replace them often, so there's always a plentiful supply.
- Larger holes generally indicate heavier bowling balls.
- The diameter of bowling balls is about 8.6 inches.