Beginners Guide: Best Bowling Ball For Seniors

Initial thoughts

My blog is about ways retired people can make more money, save money, stay safe, and have a better quality of life. It’s my goal to interact with my audience about many topics.

In this post, I’m going to show you my beginners’ guide to the best bowling balls for seniors. I’ll discuss the benefits of bowling when we grow older and some things to look for when choosing a bowling ball.

My bowling experience

About two years ago, my wife and decided to start bowling together just for something different to do and to get out of the house more. She actually bowled in leagues years ago and was pretty good, and still is really. As for me, I bowled a lot when I was much younger, most of the time with my best friend while we were in college.

While at the local bowling alley we signed up for a summer league that ran from early June until early August. During that time we met up with another couple, 15 years younger than us and paired up with them in the league. We all hit it off and were asked to bowl with them in the Thursday night fall league that runs from the last week in August until mid-April.

Really, that is a long time to bowl, every Thursday night for eight months, but you know what? It’s been fun, and I think it has really strengthened our married and social lives. My average through two seasons is around 149 and my wife’s average is around 130. I think next fall we will bowl in the Friday night league which will be better since we can rest on Saturdays, whew!

This post is all about bowling balls, so, here is the short description of the balls we use. My wife still uses a really old ball she’s had for about 30 years. It’s a Galaxie 300.

No clue how much she paid for it.  And, she does quite well with it. From the beginning, I told her “If we are bowling in a league I’m going to purchase a ball”.

To start, I bought a 14-pound Rhino ball. This is a ball designed to be thrown straight and is a middle ranged price ball. I think with the league discount I paid around $99 for it.

I used this during the entire first season. It was comfortable and I was able to get some pretty good scores using it.

In this year’s season, I bought a Winner by Roto Grip ball. This ball was fitted with fingertip grips and I am able to spin or hook this ball. The Roto Grip ball was around $120 with the league discount.

My average has gone up with this ball and so far I only use it on first shots, I’m not comfortable yet when throwing this as a second shot trying to get a spare. For that, I use my Rhino straight ball.

The benefits of senior bowling

If you are retired, most likely you don’t get out of the house enough and exercise is not a daily priority. Bowling has many benefits for seniors and retired people. Here are a few of those benefits:

Physical benefits – Bowling is considered to be a low physical exertion exercise. But, believe it or not, the average bowler can burn 250 calories per hour. Low exertion means less chance for of injury.

Using fingers for different grips improves strength in your hands and fingers. The approach and throwing of the ball many times during a game helps to build total body muscle mass. Many seniors suffer from arthritis and exercise plays a big role in keeping the pain of arthritis at bay. Bowling is a great way to exercise all your joints on every shot.

Social interaction benefits – Bowling allows for interacting with other seniors and family. There is nothing better for an aging mind and body than communication, exercise and friendly competition. I really believe that interacting with other people our age and friendly competition in the league improved the relationship I have with my wife.

Mental benefits – Bowling can have many mental benefits. Not only does bowling reduce stress and lower blood pressure it also causes your brain to release endorphins which has been proven to improve mental health while improving your outlook on life.

cardiovascular excerciseImprove cardiovascular health – Let’s face it, the older we get the more we need to move around and exercise our heart which is a muscle.

Bowling can improve the health of seniors who have had a history of cardiovascular disease. The overall movement and exertion strengthen the heart muscle.

Hand-eye coordination benefits – Every shot you take as a bowler requires concentration and hand-eye coordination.

Over time, with practice and repetition, a bowler knows exactly where he or she needs to throw the ball improving hand-eye coordination.

Balance and flexibility benefits – As we age we lose flexibility and balance. Some seniors have taken falls resulting in injury.

When we approach our shot and have the bowling ball in one hand we have to use the other hand for balance and transfer out weight evenly when throwing the ball. This movement repeated over an over improves our balance and increases flexibility.

How do I pick the right ball for me?

As with any other sport, picking the right equipment to use is important. This post is a beginners guide to picking a bowling ball for seniors. Let’s look at what ball qualities are best for seniors who are beginners or are just beginning.

Read Wikipedia’s description of what a bowling ball is as well as an in-depth discussion of the components and technologies involved in bowling ball design.

A bowling ball is made up of two main parts: the coverstock and weight Block. The coverstock is the outside of the ball and is most important as this is where contact with the lane is made.

The weight block is made of two types: high mass and low mass. A high mass weight block allows the ball to follow a starter long path down the lane when thrown. A low mass weight block causes a heavier roll when the ball is thrown which increases the possibility that the ball will hook.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right bowling ball. Here are three things to look at when picking the right ball for beginners:

Physical condition: Some seniors are physically fit and others are not. It’s important to pick the right ball weight that fits your strength level. For the most part, seniors, especially those just starting out in bowling will want to pick a ball weight somewhere between 10 and 13 pounds.

Know Your Skill Level: You may have already bowled a few times using bowling alley balls or you may never have bowled before. As a beginner, you should use a ball with a polyester coverstock and a higher weight mass. This ball will be easier to throw as the hook potential when thrown is low causing a straighter shot and higher scores.

Amount of use: When you start out bowling it’s likely that you will not bowl more than once a week, even if you are in a seniors league. A less advanced ball with a polyester coverstock and weighted for throwing a straight ball should fill your need quite well.

Seniors say bowling league has improved health

Final thoughts

I hope this post has given you some tips to think about when purchasing the best bowling ball for seniors. I gave you the main benefits of bowling and points to consider when purchasing your first ball.

I didn’t list the brands and models of balls as that is purely subjective based on your physical condition, skill level and personal preferences. Remember, for beginners, a polyester coverstock and high mass weight block will give you the best chance at throwing straight balls and obtaining good scores.  Get out there, join a senior league, and have fun bowling!

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Thank you,

Calvin Harris

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