Bowling Ball Static Weights
After completing a comprehensive research study, the United States Bowling Congress will retain its current specifications for static weight limits in its approved bowling balls.
Static weights in a bowling ball are the total weight and the imbalances measured on a scale when the bowling ball is at rest.
The recently-finished study showed that if the current static weight limits were eliminated or increased, the typical three-phase motion of bowling balls as they travel down a lane (skid, hook, and then roll) would be significantly altered.
Eliminating or increasing static weight limits as they are now would likely produce a fourth phase of unpredictable motion. This would cause problems for bowlers and likely have an undesirable effect for pro shop professional trying to predict bowling ball motion when choosing drilling layout options.
USBC research showed that bowling balls
with more than the USBC-allowed amount of static weights will skid, hook, roll, then either start to hook again or fade away from the pocket.
That type of motion would hinder bowlers and pro shop operators because bowling balls would not have appropriate entry angle into the pins and bowlers would not know how their bowling balls would react or effectively carry the pins.
Static weights consist of top, bottom, finger, thumb and side weights.
Current USBC specifications allow a maximum 3 oz. of top or bottom weight, and 1 oz. each of side, finger or thumb weight.
USBC research team undertook the study to address concerns in the bowling industry that static weights are no longer relevant with today’s high-performance bowling balls. The research was pointed to determining if static weights are affected more by ball dynamics and surface alterations with this modern technology.
Before making a decision to modify, eliminate or keep the specification, USBC research engineers began a formal study to evaluate its research data and come to its conclusions.
The research proved that the current USBC static weight limits are still valid, even in this age of high-tech bowling balls.
While static weights do have a minimal effect on bowling ball motion, research data and analysis shows that having no limit can have a negative effect on ball motion. Therefore USBC elected to not not change the specifications.
If you have any questions or interest in learning more about static bowling ball weights, merely inquire with your local pro shop professional.