What is Your Ideal Bowling Ball Speed & How to Adjust It?

Bowling Ball SpeedThe speed of a bowling ball is important to the game. If it’s too slow, you won’t be able to knock down any pins. But if it’s too fast, you’ll miss your target and end up with a gutterball instead. The right balance between these two extremes will allow for more strikes and spares!

What is the Ideal Ball Speed?

The ideal bowling ball speed is around 17 miles per hour. However, this number varies from person to person based on their ability to generate power through their arms swing. The speed is not always the same throughout the lane. It is an average speed. You can also calculate your bowling speed easily. When you release the ball, the speed is at the highest. When the ball travels down the lane, the ball speed gradually decreases. For example when you release your bowling ball speed 20 mph and when it hits the pin, the speed is 16 mph. So Your bowling ball speed will be 18. mph. If you want to be super sure, you can follow the guideline of USBC.

The USBC’s Guidelines for Best Bowling Ball Speed

For those who don’t know, the USBC has set out guidelines for bowling ball speed. These numbers were determined by testing several hundred bowls over many years. Their findings indicate that The optimal bowling ball speed is 21 miles per hour at the releasing point and the least speed is 17 miles per hour when hitting the pins. There is no significant difference among various brands of bowling balls. However, they do recommend that you use a ball that rolls slower than 21mph because this allows you to control your shots better.

Key Factors In determining Bowling Ball Speed

Your speed will not be the same all time because there are many factors involved that affect your bowling ball speed. They are

1.. The type of oil used in the lanes

2. How much oil is applied to each lane

3. How much heavy Bowling ball is

4. The condition of the lanes

5. The amount of a bowling ball hooks in the lane.

Should You worry about bowling ball speed?

No, you should not worry about your bowling speed unless it hampers your natural play. It’s more important to develop proper swing and release techniques along with consistent ball speed than it is to worry about how much speed you carry throughout the bowling lanes.

When it comes to ball speed, Higher than average speed is more acceptable than super slow or super-fast speeds.

There are so many bowling ball coverstocks and surface texture techniques available on the market today that you can generally match a ball to the lane conditions where you bowl.

Developing a good swing and release is a key step to good bowling. Delivering your ball in a speed range not too slow or too fast will help you gain a good ball reaction if your technique is sound.

How do You Increase Your Bowling Ball Speed?

Bad throws and poorly hit pins are common to bowlers. In particular, when the lane is on the dry side and the pin is at a corner, many people try to overpower the ball. You might lose your accuracy if you are a less experienced bowler who tries to throw the ball too hard.

Increasing ball speed is important to improving your game, but it’s not always easy. When you get to a point where you are no longer able to maintain a fast ball speed, you should opt for the most speed that you can comfortably sustain and still maintain balance on the lanes. To avoid injury, Pro bowlers never use more than 85-90% of full power for any deliveries.

If you want to hit the ball with more speed, think about how high you hold it. The higher you hold the ball, the faster it will be. Usually, people use a set-up position where they hold the ball at their waist level. You can increase your speed by holding your ball at shoulder level. If you normally hold it at knee level, then at least try to move it up to waist level.

Start your approach with a gradual, rolling arc-shaped motion. Slowly move your arm out until it is fully extended to create greater downswing and backswing momentum. Avoid extending your arm too far forward because that can throw off your shoulder position. Simply keeping your shoulder in position and using the natural extension of your arm as a lever will give you the momentum needed when swinging the ball.

Allow the ball to swing freely to the top of your backswing and again on your forward swing. As you get faster, move your feet along with your swing to maintain a good tempo.

Losing ball speed can be caused by tension in your arm and legs. In order to maintain increased ball speed and make consistent deliveries of the bowling ball, you must use tension-free arm swing motion throughout the entire release position.

How to control bowling speed?

Ball speed control is essential to determining how far a ball will skid. You might have heard these tips before, but they’re still helpful:

your walking speed needs to be consistent as you approach the foul line.

When you release the ball, you should maintain a constant spine angle during your approach and delivery motion.

 There are a few other important factors that could help improve your game: reduce bowling arm, neck, and shoulder tension as much as possible.

Stay steady with your bowling hand and reduce finger rotation when releasing the ball

Lane Conditions and Rev Rates As They Relate to Bowling Ball Speed :

Two Important things to keep in mind when thinking about ball speed are lane conditions and your rev rate. For a faster ball, you will need to change your entry angle so it doesn’t skid too far and miss the pocket.

For lighter oily lanes, a ball that is too fast may not stay on the lane as well, which can cause it to miss the pocket. So If you’re playing on an especially dry lane, slow your ball down a bit. It’ll be easier to pocket balls that don’t skid too far and miss the pocket.

 The lane conditions are the most important factor in determining how fast a bowler can throw his or her ball down the lane. The faster you roll your ball, the more likely it is that you will be able to get strikes on any given shot. If you have trouble getting strikes with your current setup, try rolling at higher speeds until you find one that works for you. You may also want to consider using different types of balls depending upon what type of lanes you play on.


Higher Bowling Ball speed is always good for better concept. This is wrong concept. The success does not depend on how fast can you throw a bowling ball. The success depends on how you adjust your speed.


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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