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#30173 - 01/23/06 09:45 AM How to determine proper ball weight
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
All these questions about ball weight got me thinking about this. How do you determine what weight a bowler should be using? Especially when they get their first ball?

The reason I ask is because, even though I bowl quite a bit, it's nothing that my wife has ever had an interest in. Now that my daugher is 2, she's always asking to go to the bowling allley with Dad. We've taken her a couple times now and my wife has expressed an interest in bowling more.

She feels comfortable throwing a 10 or 11 pound house ball. I know she'd need a wrist brace, and that and a proper fitting ball would allow her to throw a heavier ball, but how do you really determine what the correct weight is?

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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#30174 - 01/23/06 01:02 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Smash49 Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 203
A/S/L: 47/M/ Duncan Oklahoma USA
There is a general rule of thumb that the ball should be 10% of your body weight. I am not in total agreement with that. It also depends on some other factors. The first is how healthy the bowler is. Are they in good health? Do they have any injuries? What is their wrist and hand/finger structure like. Personally I am not a fan of wrist braces but they have their place. How athletic is the bowler? So take all the factors into account and judge from there. You will also need to use these to judge if a person should go fingertip or conventional grip. Normally if a person is using a standard houseball(not something someone left at the lanes) you may go 1 to 2 pounds up in weight once they are fitted correctly.

Smash49
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#30175 - 01/23/06 01:42 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
Thanks.. that's what I was guestimating too. I figured she could probably use a 12-13lb ball. She's petite and doesn't have a lot of arm strength. She also get's ganglian sists if she strains her wrists and that's why I thought she would be better off with a wrist brace. I'm not a huge fan of them either, but I doubt she's going to have asparations much higher than maybe a twice a month couples league.

And if we do that, I might just have to bowl right handed in that league to show everyone how easy the right side is wink

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#30176 - 01/23/06 01:50 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Led Boots Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 15
A/S/L: 40/M/Delmont, PA
The guy at my local Pro Shop uses this test.

Hold your bowling arm against your side with your forearm horizontal to the floor and palm facing up. Place your ball in the palm of your hand. If you can't hold the ball like that for 10 seconds without straining your arm, it is too heavy.

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#30177 - 01/23/06 05:40 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Smooth Stroker Offline
Legend

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 1905
A/S/L: 45/M/Long Island
The Ron Clifton test is to hold the ball at your side, in your bowling hand. Arm completely straight by your side. Do a wrist curl with the ball and hold it for 10 seconds. If you can't do it then Ron C says that the ball is probably too heavy.
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#30178 - 01/23/06 09:09 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
Fitting women for ball weight is tough, because they really don't seem to want to put any effort into delivering the ball. I've seen women carry a toddler, purse and a couple bags of groceries but can't manage a 12lb ball. Go figure.

But since you say your wife has some problems associated with her wrist, it might be better off to start with a lower weight. Keep in mind that a ball that fits properly allows the person to handle more weight then it does if they use a house ball. House balls never fit right and always have thumb holes that are too big and too round. So have her fitted, I'd go conventional grip, and maybe 12 lbs. Because you say that she can handle a 10 lb house ball. The wrist brace will help with her physical problems, as will the conventional grip vs finger tip. Then if she gets really comfortable (after a while) with the weight and no strain on her wrist, then think about plugging the fingers to go fingertip. Get a Tropical Storm. That seems to be the best entry level ball I've seen perform.

The old Robbys wrist brace with the bar on the palm and top of the hand should be enough to give her support to her wrist.

Erin

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#30179 - 01/23/06 10:35 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Lefty Offline
Legend

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 2356
A/S/L: 37 / M / Rochester, NY
Yesh.. I think she's capable of throwing a heavier ball, but I'm just concerned about her hurting her wrist. If she hurts it, she just won't bowl and then the weight doesn't matter anyway.

My best guestamate is that she would be OK with 13lbs and a wrist brace. She picked up an 11lb ball and was throwing it, but the fingers were way to big. I found a ball that had better sized fingers and it was 10 pounds and she could loft it to the arrows when she hung on to it.

I was thinking a robbys as well..

Why do you recomend a conventional grip? That was something else I wasn't sure about, but I don't know what the deciding factors are...

Thanks..

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#30180 - 01/24/06 05:35 AM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
KoRnpedo Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 33
A/S/L: 19/M/NY
I tried 16Lbs house ball for 4 frames, it hurt me a lot, but then I brought my Pro Release Wrist Support Extended and it really help me, I think its most stronger than any wrist brace,, or you can try the Storm one its also as good as the Pro Release ...

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#30181 - 01/24/06 10:49 PM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Smash49 Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 203
A/S/L: 47/M/ Duncan Oklahoma USA
There is a flaw in the arm out palm up way of determining the weight. If you tell a lady what weight she is holding you have just blown it. People have a predetermined thought on bowling ball weight. If they think it is to heavy it is too heavy. Example you have a woman that thinks a 10 pound ball is just right anything more will be too heavy!!! Even though she weighs 160 pounds and is in good health. You can do the test with a 14 pound ball and if you tell her the weight she will not hold it. She just does not want to. Anything more than 10 pounds she will not hear of it. Same thing with the guys. We get big 6 ft 2 guys wanting to throw 12 pound balls. They tell us no way man I can't handle 15 pounds! If you make the recommendation and give the basis for how you came about it usually they are ok. If they have to do something to determine the weight it may be a problem. A good Pro Shop person should be able to look and make a judgement by observing and asking questions.

Smash49
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Smash49

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#30182 - 01/25/06 07:44 AM Re: How to determine proper ball weight
Led Boots Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 15
A/S/L: 40/M/Delmont, PA
Smash49,
They key is to not tell them the weight until after the test. smile

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