Bowling has been reinvented many occasions over the previous seven thousand years however particularly within the final 30. This is the fascinating physics of balls, oil, lane and pins. A portion of this video was sponsored by Salesforce. Go to to be taught extra.
Huge due to Steve Kloempken and all of Storm Bowling for letting us go to and get a glimpse into the loopy world of bowling.
Huge due to legends Chris Barnes and Pete Weber for taking the time to bowl with us.
Huge due to Creative Electron for his or her assist with getting the bowling balls X-rayed. Check out their work right here:
Thanks to Ron Hatfield and James Freeman for his or her assist with analysis. Check out their nice book, Bowling Beyond the Basics:
Thanks to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) for his or her assist with accessing archival information and pictures.
Special due to Rod Cross for physics session.
Thanks to Bill Guszczo for giving us the thought to make this video within the first place.
Freeman, James, and Ron Hatfield. Bowling past the Basics: What’s Really Happening on the Lanes, and What You Can Do about It. BowlGood, 2018. —
N. Stremmel, P. Ridenour and S. Sterbenz. “Identifying the Critical Factors That Contribute to Bowling Ball Motion on a Bowling Lane.” United States Bowling Congress, 2008. —
USBC Equipment Specifications and Certification Team. “Ball Motion Study: Phase I and II Final Report.” United States Bowling Congress, 2008. —
Brettingen, Patrick, and Nicki Mours. “USBC static weight limits remain relevant.” United States Bowling Congress, 2011. —
Article on lane oil origins —
Luna, Richard. “Bruce Pluckhahn says there’s a little bit of bowling…” United Press International Archives, 1984. —
Johnson, Brody D. “The Physics of Bowling: How good bowlers stay off the straight and narrow.” St. Louis University. —
Talamo, Jim. “The Physics of Bowling Balls.” —
Thompson, Ted. “Breakdown and Carrydown – Then and Now.” Kegel. 2012. —
Frohlich, Cliff. “What Makes Bowling Balls Hook?” American Journal of Physics, vol. 72, no. 9, 2004, pp. 1170–1177., —
Article on bowling’s rating in participatory sports activities —
Speranza, Dan, and Dave Nestor. “Initial Oil Absorption Results.” United States Bowling Congress, 2016. —
D. Benner, N. Mours, and P. Ridenour. “Pin Carry Study: Bowl Expo 2009.” United States Bowling Congress, 2009. —
Hopkins, D. C., and J. D. Patterson. “Bowling Frames: Paths of a Bowling Ball.” American Journal of Physics, vol. 45, no. 3, 1977, pp. 263–266., —
Normani, Franco. “The Physics of Bowling.” Real World Physics Problems. —
Horaczek, Stan. “The insides of pro bowling balls will make your head spin.” Popular Science, 2020. —
House shot oil sample — Licensed below Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0.
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Written by Derek Muller and Emily Zhang
Animations by Mike Radjabov and Iván Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller, Trenton Oliver, and Emily Zhang
Edited by Trenton Oliver
SFX by Shaun Clifford
Additional video equipped by Getty Images
Music from Epidemic Sounds
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, and Emily Zhang
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