How to Buy a Bowling Ball for a Child or Senior


Choosing the right bowling ball is already a tough process for any person, but buying a bowling ball for your child or an elderly relative carries even more considerations. The overall process for choosing the right ball for a child or senior is very similar and actually pretty straightforward. Read on to learn about the key factors to keep in mind as you navigate the world of bowling balls.

Current Strength

Generally speaking, most children and seniors are going to have a lower strength level compared to the average adult. Since strength is a big part of bowling, you’re going to want to focus on balls with a lighter weight. Around 12 pounds for seniors and 8 to 10 pounds for children is usually a dependable weight that allows them to play comfortably without too much struggle.

It’s also important for safety reasons to avoid balls that are too heavy, since a senior can strain a muscle trying to lift and throw a ball that weights too much for them. You may need to try out a few different sizes at a nearby alley to find the right fit and to make sure that the weight is safe for the bowler.

Skill Level

If the senior or child has any prior experience in bowling, then you can consider some of the more advanced performance lines that include reactive resin coverstocks and asymmetrical core types. Just remember that these features affect how the ball handles on the lane and will require more effort and activity to control.

If you’re looking for a bowling ball for someone without much skill or experience, or for someone that simply isn’t capable of more subtle and complex movements, then you should look for a ball with a polyester coverstock and a pancake or symmetrical core. These balls are much easier to control and don’t require as much effort to use, which can help the bowler keep a positive attitude as they play.

Hook Potential

Another important aspect to think about when buying a bowling ball for a child or senior is the hook potential. You will almost always want to get a ball with a low hook potential because it’s going to travel in a straight line down the lane, rather than break off in an arc and potentially land in the gutter. Children and seniors will feel more comfortable using a ball that doesn’t require the extra finesse that you need to handle the high hook potential of performance-grade balls. Focus on balls with a polyester coverstock, a high gloss polish, and a high RG rating.

Frequency of Use

You also need to think about how often the senior or child is going to use the bowling ball, so that you can focus on finding a ball that bests suits their situation. Most casual bowlers don’t need a high-end ball built for aggressive performance, which again means that a polyester coverstock is the better choice over a ball with a reactive resin veneer made for bowlers with more experience and who want greater control over how the ball breaks further down the lane.

In most cases, you don’t need to focus on more expensive bowling balls with more elaborate constructions because they are also usually much harder for children and seniors to use. Even if the child is part of a league or participates in any other type of competitive playing, bowling balls with a high hook potential or other features may simply be too much for them to handle, especially right at the outset.

The Bottom Line

The best bowling ball for a child or senior is usually going to be one with a polyester coverstock that has a lighter weight, low hook potential, and symmetrical core type. Most children and seniors will have a better experience with a ball that doesn’t break once it comes into contact with the back portion of the lane, as well as one that they can easily hold and throw without risking strain or other injury.