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Do Bowling Balls Come With Holes?



When you buy a bowling ball, it does not come with pre-drilled holes. Therefore, you will need to get the holes drilled to fit your hand comfortably. Let’s explore the process and considerations for drilling bowling ball holes.

Understanding Bowling Ball Holes

Most bowling balls do not come with holes after purchase. They are manufactured without holes to accommodate different hand sizes and preferences of bowlers. The standard layout of holes on a bowling ball includes three holes – one each for the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger. These holes allow for a comfortable and secure grip when releasing the ball down the lane.

Drilling Process

Drilling the holes in a bowling ball is a crucial step to ensure it fits your hand perfectly. It is recommended to have this done by a professional at a pro shop or a certified ball driller. The process involves marking the ball, determining the drilling angle and distance, and carefully drilling the holes to the precise specifications of your hand measurements.

Choosing The Right Layout

There are different drilling layouts for bowling balls, and the choice depends on factors like the bowler’s style, hand size, and personal preference. Pro shops often provide expert advice on selecting the most suitable layout and drilling pattern for your bowling ball, ensuring a comfortable and effective grip for optimal performance.

Usbc Rules On Bowling Ball Holes

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) has specific rules and regulations regarding the drilling of bowling ball holes. All holes drilled must be used for gripping purposes on every delivery to ensure fair play. Any violation of drilling rules may result in penalties or forfeiture of games.

Do Bowling Balls Come With Holes? How-to Guide

Credit: www.bowlersmart.com

Drilling Your First Bowling Ball

When buying your first bowling ball, it will come without pre-drilled holes. It is essential to consult with a knowledgeable ball driller to determine the best hole placements and drilling technique based on your hand size, grip style, and bowling technique.

Common Questions About Bowling Ball Holes

Here are some common questions related to bowling ball holes:

Why do bowling balls have three holes?

Bowling balls have three holes to provide a secure grip for the bowler’s fingers. The three holes are strategically placed to accommodate the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger. This grip allows the bowler to have better control over the ball’s release and trajectory. The thumb hole is typically the largest as it provides the primary support for the ball during the swing and release. The two finger holes help to maintain balance and stability while allowing the bowler to add spin and power to the ball.

Are the holes in bowling balls really necessary?

Yes, the holes in bowling balls are necessary. The holes serve multiple purposes in the game of bowling.

Firstly, the holes provide a way for bowlers to grip and control the ball. Without the holes, it would be difficult to hold onto the ball and accurately release it. The finger holes allow bowlers to have a secure grip, which is crucial for achieving the desired spin and trajectory of the ball.

Secondly, the holes help to distribute the weight of the ball more evenly. By placing their fingers in the holes, bowlers can offset the weight of the ball and achieve a more comfortable and controlled grip. This allows for better accuracy and reduces the strain on the bowler’s wrist and hand.

Finally, the holes also allow bowlers to customize the fit of the ball to their hand size and shape. During the drilling process, the holes are positioned and sized according to the bowler’s preferences and hand measurements. This ensures a more personalized and comfortable fit, which can enhance performance.

Overall, the holes in bowling balls play a crucial role in the sport, providing grip, weight distribution, and customization options for bowlers.


When purchasing a bowling ball, it does not come with pre-drilled holes, and the drilling process is essential to customize the ball to fit your hand comfortably. Consulting with a professional ball driller and adhering to USBC rules ensures that the holes are placed correctly for optimal performance on the lanes.


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