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What Should I Know About Bowling Ball Speed?, Originally Posted: 5/27/2015; Updated: 5/29/2022

If you are developing as a bowler and are asking what should I know about bowling ball speed, there are some facts worth learning.

Some information about bowling ball speed you may find interesting and useful is as follows:

Average ball speed accounts for the initial speed a bowling ball is delivered and its speed measured at impact with the pins producing an average of the two speeds.

Initial ball speed is measured at the moment a ball leaves your hand.

A bowling ball delivered at 21 mph initial speed and impacting the pocket at 17 mph slows about 4 mph over the distance of the lane.

In this example, the average speed is about 18 mph.

Instantaneous speed is a measured speed at any given point a ball arrives at along its journey down the lane.

One factor which influences the average ball speed a given bowler delivers a ball the amount of oil lubricity on the lane surface.

Another factor is the friction a given coverstock generates on the lane surface.

A average ball speed of 17 mph takes approximately 2.4 or 2.5 seconds to impact the pins measured from the time of delivery, + or - .15 seconds elapsed time.

The USBC Ball Motion Studies and consensus of manufacturers is that the average speed between 15 and 17.5 mph is the best speed to gain the greatest degree of consistency from modern bowling ball products.

An average ball speed of 16 mph will help most any bowler get very good pin carry and result in generating a dependable ball reaction.

If you feel you need adjustments to your ball speed range, it is recommended to do so by using an experienced bowling instructor to help you with the physical technique needed to control and adjusted ball speed consistently.

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