Do you know your Benchmark Ball?

By Derek Petty

In this article, we will talk about the importance of knowing and having a benchmark ball. The next two articles will dive a bit deeper into understanding your arsenal as we discuss ball path and ball layouts. The information from these three articles will help you determine the core balls you need to succeed.

Per today’s technology, many of us travel around with two to six bowling balls. With all these choices, you need to determine your benchmark ball. Your benchmark ball is your favorite ball, typically the ball you use regularly. It’s the ball you go to when nothing else is working. This ball should be the first one out of your bag at league or tournament play. With your confidence in this ball and knowledge of how it typically reacts, it will help you determine the condition on the lanes. Once you establish your benchmark ball, you can develop an arsenal around it. An arsenal being additional balls that hook more or less than this benchmark ball.

Many of us get lulled in to a groove of using what worked at the conclusion of last week’s session. This is a bad habit that needs to be broken. Success comes from repetition and each session should start the same way, thus setting a benchmark for the event. Just like your daily life, the lane conditions are different from day-to-day and week-to-week. Creating a benchmark provides you a consistent starting point and adjustments can be made from there.

Everyone’s benchmark ball will be different. There is NO one size fits all or exact answer for everyone.

If you are having a hard time determining your benchmark ball, here are a few keys to think about:

–          What ball feels the best in your hand?

–          What ball gives you the most confidence every time you use it?

–          What ball do you migrate to, no matter how many bowling balls you have?

–          What ball seems to promote the highest scores for you?


Once you’ve determined a ball from those four questions, you’ve determined your benchmark. Start with this ball at the beginning of every session. You will be amazed at how creating this benchmark will increase your knowledge of YOUR game.