By Michael Cousins

I’m begging you.

It’s not the answer. I promise. You might think it is, but it’s not. Ever.

I have bowled a lot in my lifetime. On a lot of difficult patterns, on a lot of surfaces, with a lot of different balls. I’ve never once felt I needed plastic. And I never did.

I understand why some of the two-handers throw plastic on shorter patterns. I get it. It makes sense. For them.

But I highly doubt the same goes for you on your Tuesday night mixed league.

There are balls out there that will match up and perform much better than your spare ball when the lanes get drier. I promise. Plastic is literally the least optimal option.

There will be less margin for error, worse pin carry, and you’ll only mess up the lanes for your teammates — as plastic changes the lane in a way that is totally opposite than your typical reactive resin bowling ball.

Far too often, I’m seeing league bowlers going to plastic to combat what they consider “dry” lanes. Rather than continuing to do that, I’d suggest you work on moving left, firming up your ball speed, or drill a ball that is designed to help you as the lanes dry out — because I can assure you that your spare ball isn’t that ball.

It just isn’t.

And it never will be.

Tell me, please, when was the last time you seen someone light them up with a plastic ball?

Who was the last person you seen throw plastic and think “wow, I have to have that look.”

It just doesn’t happen. And the reasons for that are obvious.

So don’t be that person. Educate yourself, work on your game, and I promise you you’ll be better for it and your scores will be better, as well.


  1. Tyler says:

    So… I don’t want to be *that* guy, but there are nights where it IS the answer for me at my house. Reactive resin is a no go for me almost every night, and some nights the Pitch Black just isn’t getting a good read. Tonight was one of those nights (funny, Tuesday night league), and the plastic ball on the left lane that had zero consistency all night for me or the other lefty ended up with 10 in the pit on 5 out of 6 balls thrown on it the last game (and stayed with the Pitch Black on the right lane, which had a good read).

    Now, I will say this: Where I bowl, it is a very, very dry house pattern on the outside and the scoring is usually done by those who throw it harder. I have a higher rev rate, but do not have a lot of ball speed, so yes, this is an adjustment that actually works at this house. Other places or tournaments? Not a chance, it doesn’t match the conditions. But if you’re going to tell me that it doesn’t happen, it’s 100% false, because it definitely CAN happen in the right conditions. Is it common? Not a chance. But DOESN’T happen? Wrong.

  2. ron sjostrom says:

    I have a reactive with a weaker layout, a 3 piece reactive and an urathane. I use any of these when the lanes dry out before I would use my plactic ball.

  3. AVE CRUZ says:

    There are plastic ball only tournaments and, I have seen players throwing consecutive strikes on these plastic balls. I am an amateur league bowler and, have thrown consecutive strikes using plastic balls. When the lanes get super dry, urethane balls may not just cut it and plastic balls maybe the answer.

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