What bowling pins and balls are made of


Games with throwing a round object at the same type of target were popular for several millennia BC. However, bowling as we know it was formed by 1895, when the first official rules were adopted. At the same time, there were clear requirements for the most important bowling accessories.

In a new informational article from BowlExpert, we described in detail what the pin is made of, what is inside the bowling ball, as well as how amateur and pro shells differ and what are called.

Bowling pins composition

Before the introduction of universal standards, they were made from a variety of raw materials – wood, stone and even clay. Modern skittles are made from hard maple. The prepared wood can be a single piece or several pieces glued together.

First, the material is thoroughly dried. Then, on special equipment, a blank is made from it, in shape resembling the final inventory. But then comes another very important process – coating.

Previously, to ensure the required strength, the blank was carefully primed, then 2–4 layers of enamel were applied (exactly how much depended on its quality) and the final varnish. But the specifics of the game led to frequent chips, which spoiled their appearance and ergonomics. The massive introduction of automatic pinsetters has exacerbated the problem. Manufacturers began to look for an alternative to enamel paints.

For some time, ethyl cellulose was taken to make the outer layer – it is still widely used for the production of plastic, varnish, and electrical insulation. But this period quickly gave way to the use of plastic. Its quality is strictly regulated, since in the widest part the accessory experiences multiple hits from a heavy ball. The application must be heavy-duty and wear-resistant. Its size, thickness and pattern are also clearly spelled out.

In our country, colored or non-wooden pins are allowed exclusively for competitions under the auspices of the International Bowling Federation. For domestic tournaments, their form and composition must strictly comply with the rules approved by the order of the Ministry of Sports of Russia.

However, for amateur games in bowling centers, blanks are allowed not from cedar, but from new durable varieties of plastics. In any case, an ordinary visitor will not be able to touch them. Even if such a pin suddenly fell into the hands of an ordinary player, he would not be able to distinguish it from a professional one, since they are absolutely identical in appearance and weight. The only difference is in cost and filling – with or without a wooden core.

Modern plastic options often have an even better material resistance indicator. The presence of wood in sports pins is dictated only by the observance of regulations and traditions. In addition, amateurs experience higher loads – as a rule, they are hit and exposed all the time from opening to closing of the club, while competitive equipment is hit with less regularity.

There is such a term as “reasonable wear and tear”. It accepts stale pins that may have small patches on the surface. The main condition here is to maintain the same characteristics and maintain the same design of all items in the set. According to the operating conditions, this inventory can be cleaned with a scrub or soft emery.

Types and filling of bowling balls

Unlike the previous accessory, bowling balls are something that a club visitor constantly contacts with. Their type and quality is an important criterion by which the player determines whether he will return to your establishment again.

Before disassembling what is inside this cult object, it is necessary to clarify the key point – they can also be different. They are also divided into two categories:

  1. Rental: those that are available in all bowling clubs. One for all visitors.
  2. Professional: they are sports, personal, kept by the owner, like the apple of his eye.

The first option consists of two parts: a kernel and a shell. Inside it is filled with polyurethane foam, and outside it is covered with an even thick layer of high-strength plastic. Apart from the holes for the fingers, such a ball can be considered absolutely symmetric in terms of mass distribution.

If you buy yourself a copy at a store near the bowling center, it will most likely be of the rental type too. That is, it consists of polyester. There is nothing wrong with that, on the contrary, your own inventory is hygienic and convenient. By filling your hand at a specific weight, you will achieve better results. In addition, there are many interesting blossoms on sale – you can buy them with the logo of your favorite brand, optical illusions or just funny prints. How to choose the right shell in this category depends only on your tastes.

Professional balls are purchased by athletes or passionate fans of this sport also for personal use. But their filling is significantly different from what we are used to seeing in a simple rental. And this is noticeable even to the touch – the mass is unevenly distributed inside, it rolls on one side like a tumbler.

This is achieved by using a third component that is located at the depth of the ball. Such a core has a shape that is not symmetrical about the middle. The view can resemble a mushroom, a blob, or a sphere with a stand.

Thus, weighting is provided on one side, the launched object twists more strongly. This changes its trajectory to achieve optimal results. As many people know, for a strike it is necessary to hit not “in the forehead”, but with an arcuate twist. Balls with an offset center of gravity provide the best throws like this.

All equipment that can be purchased on the official website complies with the regulations of the Russian Federation and is allowed to be used in bowling centers. Despite the fact that the equipment and consumables were previously in use, they retained all consumer properties, but became much more affordable in price. This is a profitable solution for launching your own bowling club.

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