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Selecting A Benchmark Bowling Ball, Originally Posted: 9/21/2011; Updated: 9/4/2023

If you are interested in selecting a benchmark bowling ball when you prepare to purchase a bowling ball, then you must first realize a perfect ball does not exist but there are choices which can be very reliable on most lane conditions. To pick the best all-around bowling ball for for you involves knowledge of your individual bowling skills such as your release type, rev-rate, axis tilt, launch speed, and so on. The strategy in selecting a benchmark bowling ball, therefore, relies on several key factors important the process.

First, simply think about the most frequent lane oil conditions you encounter when bowling in competition. If you bowl most often on conditions which produce too long of ball skid and not enough back end reaction using your present equipment, then you likely will need a bowling ball which has a more aggressive coverstock.

An aggressive coverstock, like a solid reactive resin ball, will help reduce the over-skidding effect and allow for your ball to react, or read, the mid-lane and react again predictably at the break point. If you encounter early hook whereby you struggle to get your present equipment to skid far enough before reacting in the mid-lane, then you likely need a ball which has a greater length potential rating and possibly equipped with a lesser aggressive coverstock.

The process begins by narrowing your options based upon your present equipment. Your favorite bowling ball should be evaluated for its type of coverstock composition and for its core design which together yields the overall performance this favorite bowling ball offers. If you do not have a ball you consider to be a favorite or most reliable, then you should visualize which type of ball motion you seek on the most frequently encountered lane oil conditions you face. It helps to understand the lane conditions at your local bowling centers before making a choice in a new bowling ball.

If your ball skids too far when you miss your target toward the inside portion of the lane and doesn't hit the pocket solidly, then you need a more aggressive coverstock, such as a solid reactive resin ball. If you see your ball hook too aggressively when you miss your target toward the edges of the lane, then the lane condition is likely a wet/dry condition and you will need a mild reacting coverstock to reduce an over reaction and the ball hooking across the pocket. The coverstock is, therefore, the first key part of this puzzle in selecting a ball which will work most frequently and reliably in your competitive sessions.

On dry or medium/dry lanes, you will need a less aggressive coverstock so you get the smooth glide in the front ends to avoid an early ball motion, a clean transition in the mid-lane, and a good back end reaction from the break point to the pocket. The coverstock is most vital in your selection process to find one ball by which to base your competitive sessions on the lanes.

After length potential. the hook potential rating is the next factor in determining a ball choice. If you bowl on a standard USBC Red pattern which typically yields high scores, then likely the oil pattern resembles a wet/dry pattern.

In this example, choosing a ball which does not produce a sharp back end hooking motion will help you avoid over-reactions at the break point. If your ball either over-skids past the break point or hooks well before the break point, both of which will surely end up with the ball missing the pocket, then likely you need a medium differential of RG rating provided by the core design.

In most cases of lane conditions by most bowlers, a smooth sliding ball motion in the front end of the lane, a mild transition in the mid-lane, and a continuous, smooth arc motion on the back end is the type of ball motion proves to be most reliable. It can be determined, therefore, that this type of ball motion should be the goal in selecting a benchmark bowling ball. Hybrid reactive coverstocks give you the best of both worlds in solid reactive and pearl reactive coverstocks and produce consistent ball motion as they travel down the lane.

Once you select a bowling ball, familiarize yourself with the recommended surface strategies by the given manufacturer. Learning how to maintain the coverstock of your favorite new bowling ball will help you get the consistency needed to read the lanes and perform to the standards you seek. recommends you reference our "Drilling Layouts" feature to help you select the best drilling pattern for a dependable ball motion on varieties of lane conditions. Drilling layouts can influence ball motion and will help you obtain that consistent ball motion you rely on under pressure situations. Consult your local pro shop professional before choosing a layout pattern and discuss the drilling options most suitable to your game.

Our “Perfect Scale®” rating feature is also useful and provides comparisons of the latest bowling balls in today’s market against our sophisticated rating scale system. The “Perfect Scale®” can be easily accessed from our home page by clicking on the button and then browsing the information provided at the “Perfect Scale®”. has created our own hook rating system using a method for indicating a ball’s hook potential and a way for consumer’s to compare bowling balls made by the leading manufacturers. Our goal is to simply make it easier for you to compare products and feel confident in your purchase selection process. We hope these tips help. has become the No. 1 “e-tailer” of choice for bowling equipment by the consumers of America. Ordering is an easy process by following simple online instructions every day of the year! Thank you!

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