Choosing the Best Bowling Balls For Your Energetic Kids
Did you know that more than 25% of Americans enjoy bowling? This makes bowling among the country’s largest participation sports with over 3,000 bowling centers!
This isn’t surprising, because aside from its rich history dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, it is also easy to take up, even by children, and easy to enjoy for hours on end.
The health benefits of bowling cannot be dismissed either. These include strengthening the muscles in the shoulders, arms, and hands; reducing risk of cardiovascular disease from the exercise; and providing stress relief, as well as enhancing one's social life.
Of course, there’s also the fact that bowling can be enjoyed at any age, whether it’s a preschool child learning the ropes or a senior citizen taking up an old sport.
The best way to start children on bowling is to buy them a bowling ball suitable for their current strength and skill level.
The Top 10 Bowling Balls For a Strike
Parents will find that bowling comes easily to kids because the acts of picking up a ball, rolling it at a set of pins, and watching the pins come tumbling down are so natural. Start them on the right path by choosing from among these bowling balls for kids!
- The Top 10 Bowling Balls For a Strike
- Tips on Buying Bowling Balls for Kids
- Tips on Bowling Safety For Kids
1. Brunswick TZone Caribbean Blue
The Brunswick brand is popular among experienced bowlers because the balls feel lightweight, yet still provide sufficient heft for the throw. This TZone Caribbean Blue ball has a polyester cover stock, so it rolls smoothly down the alley, while the high glass polish makes it a joy to use.
What's Great About It: The bright blue color will immediately draw everyone's attention, a plus point where children are concerned. This is also a lighter ball than the house balls, so kids can carry it and throw it without a problem. The ball comes in various weights, starting at 8 pounds.
2. Pyramid Path
The polyester cover stock increases the chances for straight shots, although proper technique still matters the most. The ball comes undrilled out of the box, so you can customize it according to your young bowler’s needs.
What's Great About It: This is a great ball for any age and skill level. Aside from being available in a wide range of sizes, the Pyramid Path ball comes with a two-year warranty.
3. White Dot Lime/Slime
Kids love seeing slime, as can be concluded from the popularity of the Nickelodeon Slime ball. The White Dot ball in lime/slime color will likely be a hit with your child, too. However, aside from its appearance, its construction makes for great bowling experiences, thanks to its pancake weight block at its core, wrapped in foam urethane and covered in plastic for the cover stock.
What's Great About It: The polished finish contributes to its smooth rolling down the alley, even with its oily surface.
4. Storm Mix Urethane
Let your kids brew up a storm (of the good kind) on the bowling alley with the Storm Mix Urethane bowling bowl! When it’s rolling, the colors are dazzling, but the results are even more impressive, thanks to the traditional three-piece core, pearl urethane cover stock, and 3,500-grit finish. This is most suitable for light lane conditions.
What's Great About It: This can be drilled according to your kid’s specific needs. It generates plenty of hook, so your young bowler will likely get more strikes.
5. Storm Mix Urethane in Black/Purple Solid
When your kid plays on lanes with dry conditions, this Storm Mix ball is the perfect choice. The urethane cover stock will not be hindered by the lane’s surface, so it will roll efficiently.
What's Great About It: The vibrant colors make it such a beauty on the lane. Your kid can also choose from several weights according to his weight preference.
6. Brunswick T-Zone Patriot Blaze
This bowling ball is ready to use on any alley because it comes pre-drilled in the box. The manufacturer will drill the ball according to its weight, so a 6-pound ball for kids 8 years old and below will have extra-small holes. This is a great ball for beginners, as well as for bowlers who want a ball for spare shooting.
What's Great About It: It glows in the dark, which fascinates kids and kids-at-heart. The high-gloss polish, patriotic colors, and suitability for all lane conditions are also big reasons for its popularity.
7. Hearts Glow Viz-A-Ball
When subjected to black light, the Hearts Glow ball glows, too. This is made of high-quality polyester material so it can withstand dozens of sessions at the bowling center, not to mention that its graphics will remain beautiful.
What's Great About It: Kids can match their Hearts Glow ball with other accessories, such as shoe covers, wrist covers, towels, and bags.
8. Hello Kitty Glow Viz-A-Ball
Many girls love Hello Kitty, so it isn’t surprising that this bowling ball is a best-selling item. The ball glows under black light, too, while its Hello Kitty graphics speak to the femininity of its user.
What's Great About It: This is among the lightest bowling balls on our list at just 6 pounds. Even a 6-year old can handle it well when taught the proper technique.
9. Ebonite Maxim
The black, purple, and gold combo of the Ebonite Maxim makes it more suitable for older kids, as can be said for its 10-pound weight, too. The three-piece core and polyester/plastic cover stock is the traditional kind, but it works well on almost any bowling lane condition.
What's Great About It: This is a great ball for beginners and recreational bowlers who want their balls to go straight with little fuss or technique.
10. Brunswick Hello Kitty Black Viz-A-Ball
The Hello Kitty image on a bowling ball is definitely popular among kids, and when it’s combined with glow-in-the-dark capabilities (i.e., black light), it becomes a prized possession. This can be used effectively on any pattern and lane condition.
What's Great About It: The Hello Kitty image on the black ball is elegant, so it can also be displayed along with your daughter's other prized toys.
Tips on Buying Bowling Balls for Kids
There are hundreds of choices in bowling balls for kids, from basic black balls to psychedelic colorful balls, from undrilled to pre-drilled balls, and from light to heavy balls. Parents who want to introduce their kids to bowling will have a challenge on their hands, indeed!
Fortunately, I am here to make the process of choosing the best bowling balls for kids easier for parents. You should choose bowling balls based on the following factors.
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Present strength of the user
Keep in mind that children have lower strength levels than adults, so their bowling balls should also be lighter. For children, the best weight range is between 8 and 10 pounds, although each child will have specific weight preferences. Basically, you have to let your child carry the ball in a comfortable way, so that they don't struggle with the weight.
When the ball is too heavy, it can increase the risk of injuries, such as when your child’s arm becomes strained, or when the ball falls on her foot. When the ball is too light, it will not provide sufficient heft to be lifted and rolled down the lane.
Current skill level
Beginners will work well with basic bowling balls that don't have the technical features that make performance balls more expensive.
However, as your child improves his bowling skills, you should consider the performance balls with their advanced features like asymmetrical cores and reactive resin cover stocks. These performance balls demand more effort to control, thus, the more advanced skill levels.
The basic balls usually have either a symmetrical or pancake core, as well as a polyester and/or plastic cover stock. These are easier to control, and thus, beginners are more likely to keep their positive attitude during play.
Children can develop their bowling skills faster when the balls chosen for them have lower hook potential than balls for adults. These balls are more likely to travel smoothly in a straight line instead of ending up in the gutter. The best balls then have a high RG rating and high-gloss polish, preferably with a polyester cover stock.
As with most types of sports equipment, the choice in bowling balls boils down to getting a balance between price and features. Obviously, performance balls will have higher price tags because of their more advanced materials, construction, and features.
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I suggest getting the best bowling ball that fits your budget and your child's needs. The best ball for your child is the heaviest ball that he can actually control while bowling. Your child has to be in complete control of the ball at all times when it’s in his hands, or else he will end up getting gutter balls.
You should also check that the ball is a good fit in his hands. You have to ask him whether the holes are too tight or too loose in his fingers, since either instance can cause injury to the joints in his hands.
Tips on Bowling Safety For Kids
Even kids have to be taught about bowling alley etiquette. You have to remember that, as parents, you have the responsibility of instilling good manners and proper conduct in your young bowlers. You should be their role model, since they will be observing your actions and decisions when dealing with others in the bowling alley.
Every alley has its own set of rules and regulations that every bowler must comply with, but there are also general rules of etiquette, no matter where you and your kids find yourselves enjoying the game. These aren’t just rules of etiquette either; they are also important in ensuring a safe environment for the bowlers.
A few of these rules of safety and etiquette that children must remember are:
- Avoid moving to the lanes to the left or right, where other bowlers are also enjoying the game. You have to wait for their invitation before moving to their lanes or tables, out of respect for their game.
- Never walk into the lanes of other bowlers, as it can interrupt their games otherwise. You will also not like it when others move into your lane when you’re getting ready for your game.
- Never place your hand near the ball return area, much less inside the hole. Otherwise, you will likely find yourself being rushed to the emergency room for injuries to your hand, and your bowling days may well be over. You have to wait until the ball has stopped completely before picking it up.
- Pick up your ball with both hands for safety reasons. You don’t want it slipping from your hands and landing on your foot.
- Wear the right clothes and shoes when bowling. You have to comply with the dress code in the bowling center, which can include slacks, polo shirt, and bowling shoes. Just like basketball shoes, your bowling shoes should be comfortable on your feet, too, since they're a part of your safety gear for bowling, and are always required.
- When approaching the lane to bowl, check that a nearby bowler isn’t getting ready to throw, too. The custom in bowling is that when two people step up to the lane at the same time, the bowler on the right can go first. If you take the second turn, you have to wait for the other bowler to step away from his lane before retrieving your ball and making your approach.
- Avoid lingering at the lane’s approach since other bowlers may be waiting for their turn, too.
The beauty of teaching kids bowling lies in its ease of teaching and learning. The game also involves basic equipment, including a bowling ball with the right weight and size, which is more affordable than other sports equipment. The sport is also as competitive as other games, such as baseball, basketball, and football.
Start your child in bowling by buying the best possible ball for her current age, weight, and skill level. You will soon have a bowling buddy who can also become your closest competitor!