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What Is Pin and Top Weight on a Bowling Ball?

Ever wondered, “What is pin and top weight on a bowling ball?” Let the family of professional bowlers at explain how they affect the movement of your ball!

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A Guide to Pin and Top Weight

What is Top Weight?

Top weight refers to the weight difference between the bottom half and the top half of the bowling ball. When designed, a bowling ball has a top weight of about three ounces (the U.S.B.C. top weight limit.). This allows for holes to be drilled into the ball that will extract weight from the top of the ball to reduce it to almost zero and keep the ball balanced after drilling.

Historically, top weight promoted length and backend, while bottom weight promoted earlier roll. With today’s bowling balls, top weight has little or no effect on the rolling characteristics of a ball.

What is the Pin?

The core of a bowling ball is the engine that drives it. The pin marks the top of the core inside the ball. It is also the point around which the ball wants to rotate.

The core must be centered perfectly inside the ball. To accomplish this, ball manufacturers use a small pin to support and suspend the core in a stationary position until the mold hardens.

Once the mold hardens, the pin is removed, leaving a small hole in the ball. This is usually filled with a solid color that contrasts with the main color scheme of the ball. This is the colored dot you see on the ball. Within a few inches of the pin, you will usually find a tiny marking or a small circle that represents the center of gravity.

Knowing that the ball always wants to rotate around the pin, your ball can be drilled to make it work for you in a variety of ways. The pin and your positive axis point (PAP) (which can be measured at your local pro shop) are also factors in helping a ball driller understand where to put the holes in your ball.

Pins above the fingers are said to be in the flip position and those below the fingers are said to be in the free spin position. Pins above the fingers flip harder on the backend than those below the fingers.

We encourage you to discuss with your ball driller how they plan to drill your ball in order to achieve the ball reaction you desire.

To learn more about the pin and top weight on a bowling ball, give the team a call at 844.269.5379 or contact us online.