How to Calculate Bowling Ball Speed & What Is The Speed Most Pro Bowlers Are Successful With?

bowling ball speed is a critical part of scoring well

Bowling Ball Speed Is Critical For Scoring in Bowling

If you’re a bowler, then you know how important it is to know the speed you are throwing the ball. This is especially true the better you get! But how do you measure this? Bowling ball have different cores, coverstocks and weights, so it’s impossible to find an exact measurement for how fast someone throws unless you have a lot of high tech training tools. We can use physics and math to figure out our ball speed with just a few simple steps.

Coefficient = __(weight *g*height)/__(12)____inches/

First, we need to find the coefficient of static friction. The equation for this is found by dividing your weight times gravity (in pounds) and then multiplying that number by the height you achieved on one jump in inches divided by two – JUST KIDDING, in actuallity it really is quite simple. Our friends at Innovatove bowling have developed a ball speed chart.

What Is The Ideal Bowling Ball Speed? 

The information compiled from field studies shows that an effective bowling ball speed is about 16-17 miles per hour (mph) measured at impact with the pins and about 20-21 mph when the ball is released onto the lane, plus or minus one mph tolerance, and about 18 mph overall average speed.

You can figure out the total time it takes to throw a bowling ball by taking into account that the average speed of an object thrown horizontally is 16.7 mph and just add 0.15 seconds onto 2.5 seconds for elapsed time, according to USBC, or you will be at least pretty close with your calculation if not spot on most of the time.

3 Key Factors In Calculating Bowling Ball Speed

When deciding how to measure the distance, it is important to consider three key factors:

1. The bowling balls surface texture and composition

2. Oil Pattern

3. The amount a bowling ball hooks as it travels down the lane

Work with a friend to measure the time it takes for your bowling ball to travel down the lane. A stopwatch reading will tell you how fast your ball is travelling if you compare to this chart below. Measure the time it leaaves your hand until it impacts the pins. 

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2 thoughts on “How to Calculate Bowling Ball Speed & What Is The Speed Most Pro Bowlers Are Successful With?

  1. Brian Haris says:

    Yes you are right. Bowling ball speed is very important to control your game. Bowling ball speed is at highest at launching time and lowest at the time of hitting the time. So the speed is calculated on the basis of average speed throghout the lanes.

  2. Ron K says:

    I had a STROKE and throw my ball around 8 ish and 9’s mph. I’m in the pocket, but leave the 7 pin most of the times (90 pct). My ball is 12.4 U. I’m lefty, and stand at the line, my right side was affected. I can bowl a 99 and I did bowl 220. I avg 151. Any suggestions?

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