It is the History of Bowling Balls & What They are made from?

The sport of bowling ball is gradually becoming more and more popular in the world. According to our statistics, about 95 million people in 90 countries are bowling.

Are you a new player or a long-time player in the sport of bowling balls? Looking to learn more about this sport? And do you know the history of Bowling Balls?

If you don’t know, let’s find out with us.

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The history of bowling Balls

Most people who have never played bowling have never thought that bowling is just a game that brings joy to players staying indoors with family or friends. When they play they all think they have to go to a bowling alley, put on a suitable pair of shoes, and use 1 ball to knock all the pegs in one to three attempts. However, what people don’t know is that in addition to the traditional 10-pin style of playing, there are many different types of bowling that have been played for centuries across countries around the world.

This is in which we’ll learn about the fascinating story of bowling bowls’ history and how to make them. Let’s get right into it.

Making bowling balls is an incredibly interesting process. However, before we begin to discuss the process of making them and provide you with specific technical details we should take an understanding of how this game came about in the beginning.

A game that is very popular nowadays The history of bowling goes back hundreds of years back. Evidence suggests that a game similar to bowling was played during Egyptian times. If you are wondering what is the exact time? Then here is the answer, that is about approximately 5200 BC!

Incredibly, archaeologists had discovered wall paintings that indicated rocks as well as other objects that were to be thrown at various objects. In the 1930s British Anthropologist and anthropologist Flinders Petrie stumbled upon bowling equipment in an Egyptian child’s grave, insisting that a similar sport to bowling was actually played in the past.

Are you interested in learning more about the fascinating story? Let’s look into the details.

Let’s find out more carefully

Around the year 300 A.D, Germany reintroduced a version of the game to the rest of the world in which they played. Bowling was a part of their rituals to cleanse their sins. In time, bowling gained popularity across the globe, though its roots in the America United States are comparatively new.

In 1840 the very first bowling indoor facility was constructed in New York. However, the popularity of bowling became popular in the USA in the late 1940s. The 1940s through 1970s are considered to be the golden age of bowling. It also brought about gambling that was associated with the game. The excitement waned in the following years however, despite all the changes and ups bowling remains an active sport.

The game has evolved over time. Today there are two variants of the game. In the United States, “Pin-Bowling” is a well-known game, and “Lawn Bowling” still is a well-known game in Canada, England, and the majority of countries in Europe.

Undoubtedly, English, Dutch, and German settlers all introduced their own variations of bowling to America. The earliest mention of it in serious American literature is that of Washington Irving when Rip Van Winkle awoke to the sound of “9 pins colliding”. The first permanent American bowling alley was probably for lawn bowling, in the Battery area of ​​New York. Now the heart of the financial district, New Yorkers still refer to the small estate as Bowling Green.

The game had its ups and downs in America at that time. Connecticut law of 1841 made it illegal to maintain “any nine lanes,” perhaps because bowling was the subject of many gambling games. But the problem, of course, also proves its popularity. Additionally, many industry leaders have chosen to install a lane in their villas.

Formation of Fan Clubs

Women Bowling Balls Fan Clubs - SportPreferred

Although it is uncertain where the game of ten pins developed, by the late 1800s the game had become popular in states like New York, Ohio, and as far as “as far west” as Illinois. However, details such as ball weight and pin size vary by region. But that changed when a restaurateur named Joe Thum finally managed to attract representatives of bowling clubs in the area. On September 9, 1895, at Beethoven Hall in New York City, the United States Bowling Congress was born. Before long, standardization would be established and major national competitions could be held.

While women were bowling in the second half of the 19th century, the United States Bowling Congress was for men. It was in 1917 that the International Women’s Bowling Congress was born in St. Louis. Encouraged by owner Dennis Sweeney, female leaders from around the country participating in a tournament decided to form the Women’s National Bowling Association.

Bowling technology has taken a huge step forward in the same time period. The ball was formerly mainly lignum vitae, a very hardwood. But in 1905, the first rubber ball, “Evertrue” was introduced; and in 1914, the Brunswick Corporation successfully promoted the Mineralite ball, touting its “mysterious rubber compound”. Now organized, with agreed standards, the game is becoming more and more popular. In 1951, another technological breakthrough set the stage for great growth. The American Machine and Foundry Company (AMF, then a manufacturer of machinery for the bread, tobacco, and apparel businesses) purchased the patent for Gottfried Schmidt’s automatic stapler, and in late 1952, the machine. production-style staples were introduced. Owners no longer have to rely on “artisans”.

Guy Bowling

Television embraced bowling in the 1950s, and the game’s popularity has grown exponentially. NBC’s “Championship Bowling” broadcast is the first network coverage of bowling. Coverage grew with shows like “Make That Spare,” “Celebrity Bowling,” and “Bowling For Dollars.” And in 1961, ABC became the first network to host a televised competition by the Professional Supply Players Association. Successful promoter, agent, and businessman Eddie Elias founded the PBA and with his leadership, the Pro Bowlers Tour has become a hugely popular ABC sports broadcaster’s tournament. Joined later by broadcasters of the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour (formerly known as the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, PWBA), millions of Americans witnessed and became interested in the sport.

What are Bowling balls made of? The Materials

What are Bowling balls made of - SportPreferred


They are distinctive in their dimensions in weight, size, surface, and holes for fingers they are usually able to differentiate bowling balls from different kinds of balls. Bowling balls aren’t as easy to make and require a variety of different materials to construct.

Bowling balls are manufactured using an amalgamation of coverstocks and core. There are four types of coverstocks that are used to create bowling balls. They include plastic, urethane, Reactive Resin, and particles.

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Bowling Balls for Plastic

These balls are strong and durable, as well as smooth. Because they’re smooth, they don’t generate much friction and consequently, lots of hooking ability. Therefore, bowlers don’t typically make use of plastic balls to provide hooks to their balls. This ball is utilized on dry lanes.

Urethane bowling balls

Urethane coverstock is extremely hard which means it is able to cause a lot of friction on the bowling lanes’ surfaces. They provide better potential for hooking than plastic balls but are less effective than those made of reactive resin. This ball was extremely popular with professional bowlers prior to when the reacting bowling balls were introduced.

Reactive Resin Bowling Balls

These are by far the most sought-after hooking balls. Actually, the balls made of reactive resin possess a very porous surface that reacts with the oil that is on the lane. In turn, when there is greater friction, hooking capability also increases. In addition, while it costs a lot, it’s much less than other alternatives that you can choose from.

Particle Bowling Balls

These are not popular right now, but they have the greatest hooking power and were also the most difficult to manage. They’re quite costly and also expensive.

In the beginning, bowling balls were constructed from a hardwood called Lignum Vitae. In actuality, the majority of balls made in the early 1800s had been made out of this wood until rubber balls were introduced into existence in 1905.

Since then, bowling ball designs have only gotten better. Since the 50s, companies started using Polyester Plastic to create bowling balls. Later, in the 80s Polyurethane Urethane became the preferred material. At the beginning of the 1990s, companies began using Reactive Resin, a modified version of urethane that is designed to give more friction.

There is no doubt bowling balls are a subject that has experienced numerous changes over the decades. The bowling balls of today differ significantly from those that were used decades ago. They didn’t even have finger holes or even the ones that are there.

The advancement in technology today has allowed manufacturers to make more advanced forms of plastic for bowling balls. This lets the balls absorb the oil that is in the lanes of bowling as well as provides greater friction to ensure a smoother game.

What is the process by which Bowling Balls are made?

The History of Bowling Balls & What They are made of - SportPreferred

In general, two components are used in the production of bowling balls. One is coverstock, and the second is central. In this article, we will look at the question of how do these massive balls get created?

Please bear with me as I will demonstrate how these bowling balls get made in the beginning.

Beginning with the Core or the Center

The center of bowling balls is commonly referred to as its engine, as it determines the ball’s weight and performance. The initial step in making bowling balls is creating the core. Usually, this is done with plastic or liquid resins that, once it has solidified form a shape that is placed inside the center.

However, the form of the core may be at once Asymmetrical or symmetrical. There are a variety of designs that are designed to maximize performance. The shape determines the way that the ball rolls or hooks, as well as the amount of control one, can exert on the ball. For instance, if the shape is perfectly symmetrical, then the ball will likely move straight, whereas if it’s asymmetrical the ball will wobble as it moves down the track.

Furthermore, the next step is filling the exterior of the core using an amalgamation that includes a micro-glass filled which is generally not very dense as well as one of the more dense fillers. In essence, the combination of these two fillers is what determines its weight. It is important to note the Bowling ball must be 27 inches in diameter, regardless of weight. Bowling balls typically weigh between 6 and 16 pounds. The weight variance is caused by the different fillers.

The outermost layer or the Coverstock

What is the process by which Bowling Balls are made - SportPreferred

The shell is now part inside the ball. This is also known as the “coverstock. Although Polyester Urethane Resin is one of the top choices of material for the outer shell due to the advancements in technology and the combination of various molecules has created the perfect ball surface that has large pores which are essential to provide the necessary traction.

It is safe to say that It is actually the covering stock that is accountable for the efficiency of the lane, by removing all oil. This is why it is important to consider the quality of the material used in the coverstock.

After the liquid structure of the material is poured into the molds, it is covered by the outer layers and gradually becomes a spherical shape. After being removed from the molds, the structures are dried, and polished and finally, their surface can be sanded or buffed to give it a matte appearance or polished, leaving this ball with an attractive surface.

But wait there’s more. It’s not over but not yet. One of the most important features of modern bowling balls is the bowling hole. They must abide by a set of very strict requirements set out in the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

However, there is more. There are professional companies who drill, considering that they must be exact in regards to measurements and be adapted to meet your needs.

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Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Are Bowling Balls hollow?

Although many believe bowling balls as hollow inside, they’re not hollow. If you take a look at this article without a shrug (! ) You’ll recognize that bowling balls feature an inner core of plastic or resins, and the top layer is a combination of low-density glass microbubbles as well a dense material that gives the balls their weight. Also, bowling balls are not hollow. You heard it right.

  2. Why is it that Bowling Balls so heavy?

The weight of the bowling ball has a huge impact on the performance of its bowling ball. The heavier ball can store and channel more energy into the lane that is oily than the lighter bowling ball. It is aggressive to smash through more pins. Additionally heavier balls are more likely to have a more “Hook” and turn which can be important to the game.

  3. Are bowling balls weighted on the side?

Yes, bowling balls may be weighed to the sides. This helps in the game by giving the ball the ability to rotate while they move. The weight difference is caused by holes. According to the guidelines from the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), the weight difference between sides must not exceed one ounce, as long as the balls weigh over 10.01 pounds. 

  4. Are bowling Balls made from wood?

In the beginning, when there was no bowling ball, bowling balls were made out of a certain kind made of extremely hardwood, known as the lignum vitae. With time, other materials started appearing that proved to be more suitable for bowling. In the beginning, they were replaced by hard rubber before moving to plastics. The answer to this question is that bowling balls were made out of wood. I hope that your confusion is now cleared.

   5. Are rubber bowling balls legal?

The answer is yes. As mentioned earlier the first rubber balls were made available in 1960 and replaced bowling balls with wood. But, as the development of other materials, rubber-based balls gradually diminished in popularity. As of today’s date, they’re not available in the market at all.
We know that some may be averse to the balls. They could be difficult to use, tough to penetrate, and can leave stains on the lanes, which is that all those involved in bowling may avoid them, however, don’t worry about it, Rubber bowls have been legal for years.

   6. Do Bowling Balls round?

Answering this query is difficult. To pin bowl, the balls have to be perfectly round. But, they may weigh differently on different sides to form the best hook. This can be achieved by inserting various weights. In the case of lawn bowling, the balls tend to be somewhat asymmetrical in form and weight, and so they tend to curve in the lane as they are thrown.

   7. Do bowling balls float?

The amount of ball’s density depends on the density of the ball, some bowling balls may actually flounder! It may sound odd depending on the weight of the ball. Yet, it’s been demonstrated through multiple tests that balls that weigh 12 pounds or less flounder since their density is the same as or lower than water and is 1 milligram for every cubic centimeter.

   8. What is the reason the bowling ball is unlawful?

Bowling balls must adhere to the precise guidelines set by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). From the material and the technology used to make the balls to the design of bowling holes. All of it is precisely outlined by the USBC. Therefore, any deviation from the rules could render your bowling ball ineligible.

Further Reading:


Did you have any idea? When you bowl, your body engages muscles that it doesn’t otherwise? It’s true and bowling is considered to be a healthy sport even for older people.

Of course, you have to ensure that you are using a size of your ball that matches your height and weight, or else you’ll end up with strains and back pain. The right ideas on bowling balls will make it easier to select the best bowling ball. And the final point?. After you’ve learned everything you need to know about bowling balls it’s time to take on the game! Do you dare?