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Your Bowling Ball Equipment Specifications, Originally Posted: 12/22/2014; Updated: 7/26/2022

It pays to check your bowling ball equipment specifications. If you are a competitive bowler in leagues or tournaments, make certain your equipment passes USBC specifications.

You may choose to use a bowling ball which has been drilled very close the maximum weight limitations or with close to maximum top or side weight, as examples, and not even know it.

Pro shop professionals all use balance scales to check side-to-side or front-to-back or top-to-bottom weights imbalances before and after drilling bowling balls.

Your pro shop may have a scale which is not precisely calibrated to match the scales used at the USBC tournament, as another example, and it is a possibility your ball not meet specifications and could be disqualified from use.

Today, more than ever before in the past, technical drilling layouts are used to help the pro shop pro when drilling your ball end up with the intended ball reaction you seek.

These layouts sometimes use balance holes and must, therefore, be checked carefully after drilling the gripping holes to make sure the ball remains within specification limits. Please note: As of 2018, balance holes are considered illegal per USBC guidelines. They may not be used in USBC sanctioned events. 

It is truly not necessary to have a ball approach any maximum weight imbalance limit USBC requires for sanctioning purposes.

Play it safe and ask for layouts which do not push the scale limits thinking that you will gain an edge over other equipment with slightly less imbalances.

Ask your pro shop professional to map out your ball to end up with allowable weight limits after drilling.

In today’s world of high tech bowling balls, the layout is one of several factors used to influence ball motion, but not the only factor in doing so.

In most cases, the bowling ball hardness rule will not affect your using a ball which passes USBC specifications but it is still a good idea to have your pro shop pro check your equipment before using it in an meaningful sanctioned competitions.

Some tournaments do not weigh bowling balls until the player has qualified for a prize. The safest and surest way to avoid problems is to check your equipment you bring to the given event before using it on the lanes.

By the way, USBC allows for 1 ounce total weight variation from front to back and from side to side on each bowling ball and three ounces variation from top to bottom.

The maximum total weight of the ball must not exceed 16.0 pounds after drilling, regardless if a balance hole is used or not.

Be smart and make sure your equipment is ready for use before traveling to any event where weigh-in procedures are in effect.

If you have any doubts before traveling, get to your local pro shop and double check your equipment.

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