House Ball or Your Own Ball: What's the Difference?

House ball or Your Own Ball: What’s the Difference?

Want to raise your average? Consistency is key – and it starts with your ball. All bowling balls are not made equal. Factors such as the size of the holes, the ball’s condition and composition influence every throw you make. Let’s break down some of the key differences between house balls and custom balls.


Odds are you’ve probably used a “house” ball at some point in your bowling career (you know – the ones on the racks at your bowling center). Did throwing the ball make your hand hurt? These balls are made to be durable and to allow many different people to use it. While this is great for the bowling centers, the fit is not made for your fingers (or performance), and it will most likely leave you hurting after just ten frames.



"Only YOU can prevent gutter balls"


The custom ball (or “performance ball”), however, is drilled specifically for you. Just take it to your local pro shop and they’ll measure your hand so the holes will be a perfect fit. When you’re finally able to bowl with a smooth release, your hand and your bowling scores will thank you.

Wear and Tear

Wear and tear is also common with house balls. Holes being sharp or chipped, blemishes on the surface and other defects can make your game unpredictable and inconsistent – even with a consistent throw! The next time you use a house ball think about this: hundreds if not thousands of people have used that bowling ball before. Who knows what others were doing with it before you picked it up!


Hey man. You don't know where that thing's been.


Owning your own performance ball makes maintenance less frequent and boosts your ability to repeat shots night after night. While you’re responsible for your ball’s upkeep, the investment is likely worth the higher average.

Hook Potential

Many new bowlers will ask, “Can house balls hook?” and “Do custom balls hook easier?” If you’ve managed to get a house ball to hook, we’re impressed. House balls are not made to hook. A performance ball, however, is designed to hook.

Hooking the ball creates a greater angle into the pins and gives the bowling ball more energy at the end of the lane so it hits the pins harder. House balls are typically made of plastic or rubber. While these materials are good for the ball’s durability, they do not help the ball hook and certainly aren’t stylish.

 Do you really want to be seen throwing this thing?

Unlike a house ball, a performance ball is typically made of resin and is designed for repeatable, precise shots that lead to knocking down more pins and higher scores. Check out this video for tips on how to throw a hook with your performance bowling ball. These balls come in a variety of styles and colors, so not only will they improve your game, you’ll look cool while doing it.

Getting away from the house ball and into something that’s custom made for your hand is the first step to improving your game.