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  Bowling balls are often made from plastic, urethane, reactive resin, and hard rubber. They are used in the game of bowling. You roll this ball at a set of 10 wooden pins 60 feet away and try to knock them all down. A ball has two or three holes, one for your middle finger, ring finger and thumb. Most computer designed owling balls have high density cores that  are in the center of the ball. Most plastic balls do not have high density cores, they have a flat weight where the finger holes are. Some of these may be found in bowling allies. Bowling balls date back almost 4000s years, however bowling does not.

Bowling Ball Companies

Brunswick


Is the biggest comany in the industry. It makes bowling lanes, pinsetting machines, 
bowling balls, ball bags, bowling accessories like gloves and ball cleaner. They also own other companies, and no longer manufacture in the U.S.A. but now make everything in Mexico. They make the bowling balls for these companies:

  • Morich
  • Viz-A-Ball

Visonary


They aren't the most popular of the companies. They keep quiet for the most part. They are not part of the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) name, so that their equipment is not allowed in the PBA.

Storm


In the last couple of years Storm has slowly become a top company. They make bowling balls and bowling ball bags. Along with shirts, hats and hoodies. They also make ball cleaners. They also own a few other companies:
  • Roto Grip
  • AZO

Global 900/AMF


Global 900 is a relatively new company. They took over most of the AMF company but AMF is still part of it. The AMF part makes lane machines like Brunswick does and they also make bowling balls. Global 900 makes bowling shoes and balls, and even developed the first remote-control bowling ball. They own a few others also:
  • Lane #1
  • Motiv
  • Elite

Lane Masters


Lane Masters is a lot like Visonary. They don't really advertise their products as much as the rest.

Types of bowling balls

The sport of bowling has changed over the years. Now balls hook lots and back 50 years ago they didn't. Here is the types of bowling balls you might come across.

Wood

Wood bowling balls were made mostly of oak. They date back around 100 years ago. They are not used anymore. They are antiques.







A famous rubber bowling ball. Made by Brunswick.
Rubber

Rubber bowling balls took over wood in the early 1900s and lasted until the 1980's. Currently there are some bowlers who still use these, but they aren't recommend for oily, plastic lane surfaces, though they work well on a dry house-shot if you roll the ball well enough. Pro bowler Danny Wisemen uses a rubber Black Diamond ball to shoot at spares.








A modern plastic ball by Brunswick.
Plastic

Plastic bowling balls took over in the 70s. They are still used today, but mostly for house balls, spare balls or beginning bowlers.








Storms new urethane bowling ball.
Urethane

In the 1980s Don McCune, the father of  "The Soaker", created the first urethane bowling ball. Ebonite was the first to make them. They lasted about eleven years. They are still used today by those who want the high density core, but choose not to replace their ball every 600 games.








A modern reactive resin bowling ball.
Reactive Resin

Reactive Resin is the slandard today. A fellow in his garage was the first to make one, then he naively gave the formula to Columbia to mass-produce for him. Columbia did, but stole the formula without giving the inventor anything worthy of his invention. Today reactive resin balls have all different cover stocks (a chemical put on the outer level of the bowling ball). These make them stronger or weaker depending on the composition of  the chemical used. They cost much more than others on the market. Urethane cost $80 when they first came out. A top of the line reactive resin ball will demand around $200 .




Grips

Ball with fingertips. (Yellow circles are the grips)
A bowling ball has three holes. Two for your fingers and on from the thumb. Most bowling ball finger holes have two different types. There is the conventional grip and fingertip. Conventional is just your finger in the hole of the ball. This is
Conventional grip.
the natural feel of the sport. Almost all house balls have this kind of style. Fingertip is just grip put in the ball. This increased the lift you can make with the ball.

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