How Long Does a Bowling Ball Last?

A high-quality bowling ball can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. The lifespan of the ball depends on different factors like the quality of the ball and the frequency of its use. With proper maintenance, you can keep the bowling ball lasting for a long time. When you use the ball, make sure to check its quality. If it wears out then get it replaced as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about replacing the bowling ball and the signs of its quality then keep reading this article. 

When Should You Replace a Bowling Ball?

The decision to replace a bowling ball depends on various factors, including its condition, performance, and maintenance.

how long do a bowling ball last
Source: Rolling Stone

Here are some signs that may indicate the need to replace a bowling ball:

Cracking or Shattering: If the ball has developed a significant crack or has shattered, replace it as soon as possible, as it may pose a safety risk. Besides, using a cracked bowling ball is also not good for the bowling arena. 

Loss of Reaction and Hook: If the ball no longer reacts as it used to and has difficulty generating the desired hook, it may be a sign of wear and a potential indicator for replacement.

Core Separation: A hollow sound when the ball hits the pins or a rattling noise may indicate core separation, suggesting the need for a replacement. 

Performance Decline: If the ball’s performance has noticeably declined, such as a decrease in hook potential, it may be time to consider a replacement. If you are serious about performance then replace the ball. 

Age and Use: With proper maintenance, a high-quality bowling ball can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. However, the frequency of use, maintenance, and environmental factors can impact its lifespan.

Ultimately, the decision to replace a bowling ball is based on a combination of these factors, and it’s important to assess the ball’s condition, performance, and any signs of wear or damage to determine if a replacement is necessary. 

What are Some Signs of a Worn-Out Bowling Ball?

Following are some of the signs of a worn-out bowling ball. 

  • Loss of Hook: When the ball fails to generate the desired hook or curve, it signals the need for replacement.
  • Change in Ball Reaction: A noticeable alteration in how the ball responds to the lane suggests wear and tear.
  • Coverstock Dullness: If the coverstock loses its shine or appears dull, it serves as an indicator that the ball may be worn.
  • Faster Lane Reaction: An increase in the ball’s speed down the lane compared to its previous behavior implies that it might be time for a replacement.
  • Cracking or Breaking: Visible cracks or breaks in the coverstock not only signify wear but also pose a potential safety risk.
  • Core Separation: A hollow sound upon impact with the pins or the floor may point to a separated core, necessitating replacement.
  • Color Fading: The faded color on the coverstock is another visual cue that suggests considering a replacement.

Monitoring these signs ensures optimal performance and safety, prompting timely decisions regarding the bowling ball’s maintenance or replacement. But before you buy bowling make sure to check your preference. 

Bonus: If you want to buy a new bowling ball then check this guide on buying bowling balls

What Happens if I Use a Worn-Out Bowling Ball?

Using a worn-out bowling ball can make your game go downhill. It might not hook as well, react differently on the lane, and just not behave the way you want.

worn-out bowling ball
Source: Wolfram Blog

Plus, you might notice physical problems like cracks, the ball making weird sounds, or the cover not looking shiny anymore. All these things can mess up how the ball rolls and make your game kind of unpredictable.

Sure, you can do some basic fixes to keep it in shape, but there’s a point where it’s just too worn out. Taking good care of your ball can make it last longer, but you’ve got to be on the lookout for signs of wear. 

If you see too many problems, it’s probably time to think about getting a new one. Keep your ball in good shape, and you’ll have better games and safer fun on the lanes!

Bonus: Check this out to find what is a good score in bowling

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How Many Games Will a Bowling Ball Last?

A Bowling Ball should last somewhere between 60 to 250 matches. Although there is no magic number of when you should get the bowling ball resurfaced but this depends on the individual. Make sure to keep track of the ball’s surface condition before you opt for any change. 

How Often Do You Clean a Bowling Ball?

You should clean a bowling ball after every time you are done bowling. This is to ensure that the bowling stays clean and does not get worn out quickly. If you are trying to clean the bowling ball then just grab the spray cleaner, spray it over, and then wipe it properly.  

Can a Bowling Ball be Broken?

Yes, bowling balls can be broken. Although bowling is designed to be durable it can crack. The cores and coverstocks of the bowling balls tend to expand and contract as the temperature changes. This variation in extreme heat and cold makes the bowling ball crack and eventually break. 


In conclusion, how long a bowling ball lasts depends on how well you maintain it and its overall quality of material. If maintained properly it should last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. But then again you have to watch out for the obvious signs of physical damage in the ball. If it persists then replace the bowling as soon as possible. Because continuing with a bad-quality ball will be bad for your bowling performance.

Brad Finnearty
Brad Finnearty is a passionate bowler and a retired senior who has devoted his life to the sport he loves. With decades of experience, Brad is a well-respected authority within the bowling community. He is a member of several bowling leagues, has competed in numerous tournaments, and has even won a few championships along the way.