The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Mass of a Bowling Ball

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
EPCO Products: Bowling Balls, Bags, and Accessories. EPCO Manufacturers Inc. 2001. [several data tables] 0.91–2.72 kg
(candlepin)
1.36–5.44 kg
(five pin and duckpin)
2.72–7.26 kg
(ten pin)
Brunswick Ball Specifications List: Definition of Terms. [several data tables] 0.91–2.27 kg
(candlepin)
3.63–7.26 kg
(ten pin)
"Bowling Ball." Encarta Encyclopedia: 2000. CD-ROM. Microsoft, 2000. "The standard weights for professional bowling balls range from 10 to 16 pounds" 4.54–7.26 kg
(ten pin)
Spalding Book of Rules. The Spalding Sports Association. New York: Oxford Press. "According to the ABC (American Bowling Congress), the accepted weights of a bowling ball are between 8 and 16 pounds" 3.63–7.26 kg
(ten pin)
Candlepin Bowling: More than you'd ever want to know. Jina Saikia. "In many collisions involving hard bodies, a quantity formed by the mass of an object and its velocity is conserved during a collision. The mass of the candlepin bowling ball ranges from 0.9 kg to 2.7 kg" 0.9–2.7 kg
(candlepin)

The exact origin of bowling is uncertain. It may have been developed by the ancient Egyptians (according to anthropologist Sir Flinders Petrie); it may have been developed in Germany (according to historian William Pehle). Either way, it is known that it was around in England during the reign of Edward III. Edward outlawed bowling in order to keep his troops focused on archery and sword fighting.

This game was passed on down through the ages. Eventually it was brought to America. The earliest mention of bowling in any American writing is that of Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. The first permanent bowling was in New York, and was a form of lawn bowling. We New Yorkers now refer to this location as "Bowling Green". At this time ball weights (and masses) varied from region to region. That is until Joe Thum spawned the American Bowling Congress. The ABC set standards and organized tournaments. This association later developed into the Pro Bowlers Association.

The ball itself evolved. The balls had been made out of wood until the early 1900s then the Brunswick Company came along and made a ball out of a substance called "Evertrue", which promoted a strange "rubber-like" quality. The balls continued to evolve and Brunswick is still a large bowling ball manufacturer.

Today bowling is a sport or game enjoyed by anyone who has what it takes to get out to the lanes and throw a large piece of a "rubber-like" substance at 10 pins. Bowling is a strange game, with an even stranger history.

The standard weight to mass conversions are as follows:

Candlepin:
 2 lb = 0.91 kg
 3 lb = 1.36 kg
 4 lb = 1.81 kg
 5 lb = 2.27 kg
 6 lb = 2.72 kg
 
Duckpin and 5 pin:
 2 lb = 0.91 kg
 3 lb = 1.36 kg
 4 lb = 1.81 kg
 5 lb = 2.27 kg
 6 lb = 2.72 kg
 7 lb = 3.18 kg
 8 lb = 3.63 kg
 9 lb = 4.08 kg
10 lb = 4.54 kg
12 lb = 5.44 kg
 
10 pin:
 6 lb = 2.72 kg
 7 lb = 3.18 kg
 8 lb = 3.63 kg
 9 lb = 4.08 kg
10 lb = 4.54 kg
12 lb = 5.44 kg
14 lb = 6.35 kg
16 lb = 7.26 kg

Zachary Campbell -- 2002