Bowling Ball Weight Hole Rule Changes

Sign in
Duration:   4  mins

Like other sports, technology has impacted the way we play the game today. Over the years, bowling has seen its fair share of changes.

From the lane surface and the oil placed on the lane to bowling balls and bowling equipment, bowlers are always playing catch up with all of these advancements.

The USBC Equipment and Specifications Committee conducted research over a three-year time span to determine if there is an integrity risk for the sport of bowling currently, and in the future.

Current regulations limit differential rg. to 0.060 in a bowling ball. The higher the differential rg, the higher the hook potential.

The committee proved that size and location of bowling ball weight holes well exceeds rg. and differential rg. regulations.

New rule changes concerning bowling ball weight holes are to be implemented by August 1, 2020.

Coaches Erik Vermilyea with Track, and Scott Pohl, owner of On Track Pro Shop, illustrate how these rule changes will impact your current equipment and what you can expect when getting a new ball drilled in the pro shop moving forward.

Bowling ball weight holes will no longer be permitted in league and tournament play as of August 1, 2020. All equipment with a weight hole will need to be plugged prior to this date.

The committee did find that with the removal of weight holes, they could increase the static weight imbalance while drilling from 1oz to 3oz.

Adding three ounces of static weight in all directions did not allow balls to hook more than bowling balls in the market today that use a weight hole and meet existing static weight specifications.

This gives pro shop operators the ability to play with new pin positions when working together on fit of a bowling ball.

You still have time, do your research and try new layouts to determine what works best for you.

Make a comment
  • (will not be published)

8 Responses to “Bowling Ball Weight Hole Rule Changes”

  1. William Sosnowski

    I’ll put a Balance Hole in any Ball I want and use it in League and Tournaments, and You can’t stop me. If anyone confronts me about it, they can get the Heater.

  2. RCRandall84

    I was told that because I am a bowler that doesn’t use his thumb hole, I will be required to plug my thumb hole? That can’t be right can it?

    • Customer Service

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your patience, here is the expert response to your question:

      As of August 2020 your thumb hole will need to be plugged if you do not use your thumb in the bowling ball.

      Back in 2014 they changed the rule eliminating weight holes for no thumb bowlers claiming that this effectively creates two weigh holes.

      Since you do not use your thumb, a hole not being used to grip the ball is considered a weight hole.

      Thanks for watching!


      National Bowling Academy Video Membership

      • Matt B

        This rule change sucks… yes, I no longer use my thumb hole as I made the change to two finger as I’ve found it to be easier for me and less issues with my wrist… BUT I still use the thumb hole to pick up my ball, to put it in and out of the bag, not to mention I’ll occasionally toss a three finger straight ball for those single pin spares. This rule is in my opinion complete bull crap and just a rule looking for a problem that doesn’t exist.
        I seriously hope someone whom may only have one hand but bowls two finger sues the USBC over it.

        • William Sosnowski

          Being 2 Finger, taking the ball out of the bag and moving it about is a pain in the butt.Usually can only carry 1 ball at a time……i agree

  3. JimmyDea

    I have 2 balls w weight holes. B4 8/1/2029 I have to plug those holes and possibly plug my finger n thumb holes and have the balls predrilled.
    With the bowling fraternity dwindling, is this a rule we as bowlers need? I’m not interested in paying MORE money on balls that work well. I am seriously considering quitting on July 31,2020

    • Customer Service

      Hello and thanks for the question.

      The USBC determined that this rule is what bowling needs based on leveling the playing field for all so that one bowler doesn’t have an advantage over another.

      Remember that some weight holes exceed current differential rg specifications of 0.060.

      If you feel strongly about keeping your weight holes there are non USBC certified events/leagues out there that may not require the rule to be followed.

      If you want to bowl USBC certified events/Leagues I would suggest plugging one ball and playing with the layout until you are satisfied with it’s performance and then determine what you want to do with the rest of your equipment.

      Hang in there and thanks for watching!

      National Bowling Academy Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first-year membership.

Get exclusive premium content! Sign up for a membership now!