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Bowling Equipment

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on September 12, 2009 at 5:42:49 pm

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Writer 1: Ryan Vaughn

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Bowling Equipment

Bowling Ball

Early forms of bowling used stone or wooden balls. Our tenpin bowling balls were

originally made of a hard wood called Lignum Vitae.  [1] Eventually,

the ball came to be made of a hard rubber, then plastic and epoxy. 

Not all bowling balls are created equally either.  The inner core of the ball can often

have different weights arranged in unique ways so that the ball hooks more or less

depending on the ball and the way it is delivered.[2]


Regulation bowling balls cannot be heavier than 16 pounds, but they can be as light as you want.

That being said, the lightest balls typically are 6 pounds and are used mostly by children.



Pins were originally made of wood.  Today, while they are still made of wood (specifically maple) they are covered in a thin layer of plastic and a gloss.

They must be precisely 15 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter 

at the fattest point.  They also have to weigh less than 4 pounds a piece.[3]



Bowling lanes are 60 feet from the foul line to the headpin and 42 inches wide with a gutter

on either side.  The approach is 15 feet long behind the foul line.[4]



Oddly enough, bowling shoes are not all created equally either.  Right handed bowlers' left shoes

are made to slide on the approach and so have a hard leather or vinyl sole.  The right shoe for

right handed bowlers will have a rubber sole to help brake their forward momentum.[5]



  1. http://www.tenpinbowling.org/view.php?page=the_game.history
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_ball#References
  3. http://www.pba.com/resources/basics/bowling101.asp
  4. http://www.pba.com/resources/basics/bowling101.asp
  5. http://www.pba.com/resources/basics/bowling101.asp

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