Before analyzing what is the best place to buy bowling balls, let’s talk a little about bowling’s history and its roots. Bowling is a target-type sports game in which the player slides the ball from a lane towards the pins or a different target. The ball is weighted differently to accommodate various players. The said sport holds tournaments for engaging participants, but most of the time, it’s played as a recreational activity by a group of friends or family.
There are mainly 2 different types of bowling game: pin bowling and target bowling. In pin bowling, the pins are knocked down at the furthermost part of the synthetic or wood lane, with 2-3 balls per frame allocated for all pins to get knocked down. If a player manages to knock out all pins in the first roll, it’s considered as a strike. However, if all pins are knocked over on the second roll, it’s called a spare.
Target bowling, on the other hand, has a different end goal. The main objective of the game is to bring the ball precisely close to a mark. Unlike pin bowling that either has a synthetic or wood surface, target bowling makes use of other surface material such as synthetic, gravel, or grass.
History of Bowling
Like other sports, bowling has a rich history that made it one of the most popular sports globally. British anthropologist, Flinders Petrie, discovered objects from a child’s grave that resembles an old form of bowling. The game, assumingly, began back in 3200 B.C.
Back then, the bowling balls were made out of grain husks covered in leather or other material and tied with string. Porcelain balls were also discovered.
The Romans also had their own version of bowling thousand years ago. Their game system was more into tossing stone objects to other objects that were also made of stone. In our days, the Italians adopted this type of outdoor bowling game and became known as Bocce.
Meanwhile, German historian, William Pehle, stated that bowling first sprouted in Germany in 300 A.D. An evidence to support this theory shows that in 1366, King Edward III presumingly outlawed it in order to keep his troops’ focus on archery practice. Bowling was theorized to be quite popular during King Henry VIII’s regime.
German, English, and Dutch settlers introduced their own version of bowling to America. The first time it was mentioned in American literature by Washington Irving was when Rip Van Winkle woke up to the sound of “crashing ninepins,” The first bowling center in America was possibly for lawn bowling in New York. Now filled with business centers and a herd of people, the locals still call the small spot Bowling Green.
Just as bowling peaked its popularity, an 1841 Connecticut Law made any ninepin lanes illegal due to it being a primary subject of gambling. With the law firmly established for people to comply, several industry captains chose to build a lane in their homes.
By the late 1800s, tenpin game became prevalent in several states in the U.S., like Ohio, New York, and Illinois. Ball weights and pin dimensions vary according to region but changed when Joe Thum united representatives of the different regional bowling clubs.
Despite the ups and downs of the said sport, people still continued supporting and loving it to the extent that the American Bowling Congress came to life on the 9th of September 1895. With the existence of the said congress, major national competitions could finally happen, and standardization of the game can be established.
In the past until the early 19th century, most men paid interest in bowling, while women were less participative of the game until the latter part of the 19th century. In order to make it also an official game for women, Women’s International Bowling Congress was created in 1917. Dennis Sweeney encouraged women around the country to participate in bowling tournaments and then formed what was then called the Women’s National Bowling Association.
Significant improvements were made in bowling, including the material used in making a ball exclusively for bowling. Back then, players made use of lignum vitae, a hardwood, until 1905. During the year mentioned above, “Evertrue,” the first rubber ball, was introduced to the public. In 1914, Brunswick Corporation successfully invented the Mineralite ball.
Several years after, another technological breakthrough occurred when American Machine and Foundry Company bought the patents to Gottfried Schmidt’s automatic pin spotter in 1951. A year later, pin boys were no longer relied on with the production of pin spotters.
Also, in the 1950s, the very first coverage of the bowling tournament was broadcasted by NBC. This has paved the way for making the sport even more popular by sparking interest to viewers. In 1961, ABC became the very first network to telecast competition of the Pro Bowlers Association. Later on, Ladies Pro Bowler Tour joined in the telecast.
Today, people still continue to join in various bowling competitions or simply play the game as part of interactive gameplay with friends or family.
The ball used in playing bowling is uniquely customized in order to be able to play the game with comfort and ease properly. However, balls used in bowling vary depending on the kind of game played by players.
For ten-pin bowling, standard specifications are provided by US Bowling Congress (USBC) and World Bowling. The specifications include the weight of the ball, diameter, surface hardness and roughness, hole drilling limitations, plug limitations, balance, and exterior markings.
As for five-pin bowling, candlepin bowling, and duckpin bowling, the ball doesn’t have holes in it, and it’s small enough to fit in the palm of a hand.
How to Pick the Best Bowling Ball for You
Before paying a visit to the store to choose a bowling ball, it’s always best to keep in mind the things you might want to consider before buying one.
- Find and read best bowling ball reviews, also, a good idea will be read about the pro shops or online store to know whether they’re selling good bowling balls.
- For straight-shot players, the plastic balls are highly recommended, whereas hook-shot players are advised to get urethane or polyester ball.
- For power and better control, balls made of reactive resin is the right choice.
- Make sure not to buy a ball that’s too heavy or too light for you.
- For ten-pin bowling, see to it that the holes in the ball fit impeccably with your fingers.
Putting the guidelines in mind will give you an idea of what type of ball you should buy for yourself without regrets.
Best Place to Buy Bowling Balls
As a bowling player, finding the perfect ball that perfectly fits you is the most critical strategy in winning the game. Using a ball that makes you completely uncomfortable can only ruin your gameplay.
With that, finding the perfect place to purchase bowling balls is a significant move to ensure that you’ll experience smooth gameplay against your opponent. Physical stores are virtually ideal for you to test out the ball and test your stance on whether you can do the game smoothly. However, the internet offers a more comfortable and sometimes a quicker to buy a wider variety of products like: bowling shoes for women, bowling shoes for men, bowling shoes for kids, bowling balls for kids, bowling ball bags with wheels, two ball bowling bags, three ball bowling bags, bowling ball cleaners and polisher, different protective gear like wrist brace and bowling gloves, and a lot more options for you to pick.
Both the physical stores and the internet are considered as the best place to buy your own bowling ball. It’s only a matter of finding the perfect shop that fits perfectly with your standards.
For internet sources, here are some of the websites you should check out:
It’s no question that Amazon.com sells several items online, whether it’s brand new released bowling ball or an used ball. For years, people have trusted Amazon for their positive reputation in terms of offering the right quality products at a reasonable price and the availability of review section per item posted on their site.
Finding a ball that suits you isn’t that difficult, given that they have the option to let you immediately contact the seller for detailed specifications of the item. Furthermore, you won’t have to deal with the delivery at all with their easy delivery service.
Bowling Ecommerce Websites
There are a lot of website where you could easily select and buy your balls, like Bowling, Bowlingball and many others. They also offer a wide range of bowling balls for you to decide what fits your standards best thoroughly. They sell different designs made by different manufacturers, which serves as an advantage on your end since it allows you to compare based on the specifications provided.
They also have discount offers on some items – a perfect purchase experience for you if your ball of choice is part of the list.
As for physical stores, you can always go for this option:
Top bowling ball manufacturers such as Ebonite International, Brunswick, Storm Products, etc. have affiliated themselves with pro shops for their customers to find their chosen product with ease. Instead of finding an exact store of your favorite manufacturer, you can simply go to the nearest pro shop, and find the ball you’re precisely looking for.
Buying from a pro shop also gives you the liberty to see the product per se before setting your mind in buying it. This allows you to check for possible damages or test the ball if it fits perfectly for you without going through the hassle of returning the item if you think it’s not suitable for you.
If you plan to buy a professional, more expensive bowling ball that is undrilled, then for sure, the best place will be to visit a pro shop to get your chosen bowling ball drilled according to your specifications. This will help you if are in need for a left handed bowling ball.
A pro shop will help you more than an e-commerce website if you require a left handed bowling ball.
Bowling is a target sport that began several years ago that has grown into a much-loved sport. The game comes in two types: pin bowling and target bowling. To enjoy the game, finding the best ball for you is necessary. The best place for you to buy bowling balls is through websites like Amazon.com or Bowlingball.com or a Pro Shop for better assessment of the ball, and if you are a beginner looking for your first bowling ball, where you can fine-tune your fit.