"IndoorGameBunker is supported by its readers. Please assume all links are affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of our links we make a small commission from Amazon."

Do Bowling Balls Have Serial Numbers?

do bowling balls have serial numbers

Yes, they have serial numbers. You may have never even noticed the serial numbers, but they are there. These are not the numbers that indicate the weight, but tiny etchings on the ball to indicate specifications of the ball’s manufacturing date and stock keeping unit number.

In order for a bowling ball to stay USBC “legal” it needs to have some form of serial number on this. The serial number is a way to identify the brand and model of the bowling ball. If the number ever goes missing, it must be re-engraved to be considered legal.

In this article we will be discussing the meaning of serial number son bowling balls, how to read them, and the rules in tournaments about serial numbers on your bowling ball.

What Do the Numbers on a Bowling Ball Mean?

The numbers on a bowling ball may indicate what weight you are using. This number will be significant and prominent, stating maybe 6, 8, or even 14 pounds.

The serial numbers are smaller and not as noticeable. It is usually found on the bottom of the ball. This number is to help manufacturers keep track of when the ball was made by the manufacturer, what factory it was made in, and who made it. It will also trace what kinds of materials were used to produce the ball.

How to Read Bowling Ball Serial Numbers

There are multiple systems. They depend on the manufacturer. 

Manufacturers will use a series of numbers and letters to indicate the month and year the ball was made. These letters are usually found at the beginning of the serial number. For example, Brunswick, a massive bowling company, uses letters to indicate the month and year.

The first letter on a Brunswick bowling ball’s serial number is the month. For example:

  • Jan – A
  • Feb – B
  • Mar – C
  • April – D
  • May – E
  • June – F

The second number indicates the year. For example:

  • 2005 – V
  • 2006 – Y
  • 2007 – Z
  • 2008 – A

A ball made in December 2005 will read LT287652.

Bowling ball serial numbers also indicate specifications as to how to find the information about where the ball was made, what it is made of, and who manufactured it. Each company has a different method for creating these numbers.

The remaining numbers after the date indicate the Stock Keeping Unit number, also known as the SKU number. This number should match the packaging your ball came in and is unique to each ball. The serial number is not just important for the manufacturer, but for those who compete in bowling competitions.

Rules for Bowling Ball Serial Numbers and Bowling Competitions

Click Image for More Info

If you are going to a bowling competition, you need to be sure that the serial number is visible. Your ball will not be legal if it has no serial number.

Because of the nature of bowling (i.e. rolling the ball on hardwood lanes), the writing on the ball can get worn away. You can always etch the numbers in again for competition. The numbers don’t even have to be correct. You just can’t bowl in competition with a ball with no serial number. So, make sure you have that.

We recommend this bowling ball for strikes by Brunswick. It uses reactive resin which allows for easy hooks, and works great on both dry and oily lanes.

Tips for Bowling

We have been talking about indoor bowling. The game requires bowling balls, specialized shoes, bowling pins, and lanes.

A game of bowling includes ten rounds. Each player gets two chances to roll the ball down the lane every turn. Except for their last turn. In the tenth round, each player has a chance to roll the ball three times instead of two.

The goal is to knock down all the pins. There are ten pins. You also want to keep your ball from going into the gutter as your ball will not hit any pins when you throw a gutter ball. 

You get a point for each pin you knock over. If you knock them all over in one shot, that is called a strike. You can also get what is called a spare. You will get a spare if you knock over every pin on your second try. 

The highest score you can get in a game of bowling is 300. This is also known as your bowling average.

Professional bowlers will score the high numbers of 250-275. A good non-professional bowler may score around 200. An average score is around 100-150. You are not very good at bowling if you score a 50. 

When rolling the ball, do not throw it down the lane. Swing your arm behind you, use your core and arm strength to glide the ball towards the pins. Line your dominant foot up with the arrows on the lanes to help you aim your ball.

There are also options to assist small children or disabled persons. This includes bumpers and a rolling rack. Bumpers block the gutters of the lanes which will keep the ball in the lane all the way down to the pins, preventing gutter balls.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, bowling is a game for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Anyone can play the game if they want to. You will enjoy the ambiance, sounds, and tastes of a bowling alley. Plus, it is a great chance to bond with family and friends.

You may even end up in a competition. Just be sure that the serial number on your bowling ball is visible, as this is not legal in bowling. The serial number is also an excellent resource for manufacturers to keep track of their inventory. They will show the date and SKU of the ball.

Bowling ball serial numbers is not a common topic, so we hope you will find this article to be helpful in answering your bowling questions. If you haven’t tried bowling, yet, it is highly recommended that you do.

Indoor Game Bunker

We are Indoor Game Bunker, a group dedicated to providing reviews, how to guides, and helpful information to those interested in a wide variety of games and hobbies.

Recent Posts