How Much Does Bowling Pin Weigh? Let’s Look Inside Of A Pin

Last updated on May 26th, 2021

Bowling pin weights impact the game to a great extent. If the pin is very heavy, only then can you make the right shot on the lane. On the other hand, light bowling pins will fly away when you hit it with the ball. It creates problems in your control and the accuracy of the ball.

Measuring the weight of the bowling pin before you start your game is crucial. The standard bowling pin weights are 3 pounds and 6 ounces. However, there may be variations in the weight, which needs assessment to make the right shot.

The article will look inside bowling pins and determine their weights and regulation sizes. You will also know about the material, cost, and other essential factors. Let us check out the necessary elements which will tell you about the weight of bowling pins.

1. Weight Of A Regulation Bowling Pin

The United States Bowling Congress sets the size and weight of a regulation bowling pin. The World Bowling or the World Ten Pin Bowling Association has accepted these specifications determined by the United States Bowling Congress.

The regulation bowling pin weights are 3 pounds and 6 ounces. It is also the minimum weight that any bowling pin would have. It has also become the standard weight with time though there might be changes in the types and styles of bowling pins.

Minimum Weight Of A Bowling Pin

You can find slight changes in the weight of a bowling pin, resulting in the minimum and maximum weight. However, this variation is not much. The weight of 3 pounds and 6 ounces is the standard and the minimum weight of bowling pins.

Maximum Weight Of A Bowling Pin

The maximum bowling pin weights are 3 pounds and 10 ounces. It is slightly heavier with a difference of 4 ounces between the minimum and the maximum weight.

Even though it might not mean much to you, the difference of 4 ounces would matter a lot in bowling. If the weight exceeds more than these 4 ounces, then the game will be unfair.

2. Material Used In Making a Bowling Pin

The United States Bowling Congress sets the weight of the bowling pin and the material used in making them. In the bowling pin’s core, you will find the use of hard maple unused or new. You might see some bowling pins that use other materials, but they have to be approved by the United States Bowling Congress.

The maple used in the core cannot be any maple. It has to be 45th parallel harvested from the northern side of the United States. In this parallel, you will find less mineral concentration which increases the density of the wood.

Many materials undergo tests in the core of the pin. Some materials used are polypropylene fiberglass, foam, and shredding wood. However, none of the materials used have been able to get through the test. However, maple was successful for usage in bowling pins.

The kind of maple used is not abundantly used. That is why the United States Bowling Congress has also approved only one synthetic material for the pin. It was for environmental as well as financial reasons. However, experts can differentiate the materials very easily.

The difference lies mainly in the sound that emits when a ball hits the bowling pin and falls over. The use of authentic maple for the pin’s core creates a richer sound. The exterior of the pin is the same no matter which core it uses. It has a white base with red strips on it.

The coating is used on top of a maple block to make the pins more attractive and durable. For making the bowling pin, they paste maple blocks together. Then makers use a lathe to give a more defined shape like the one we see. After this process, you need to put a coating on the pin.

3. Types Of Bowling Pins

The pin style will decide what the dimensions of the bowling pin will be. Currently, the majority of the pins are in tenpin style. However, there are other types of pins as well.


Tenpins is the most common bowling pin style used in bowling games. The United States Bowling Congress also approves this pin. It has a width of 4.75 inches and a height of 15 inches. They are narrower at the neck and have wide hips. However, the base is slightly narrower than the hips.

There are red stripes on the neck of the pins. The standard weight of a tenpin would be around 3.3 to 3.5 pounds. In bowling games, ten tenpins are in use for one set.


Duckpins have an almost similar structure to tenpins, but they are broader and shorter compared to them. The name duckpin has come from its resemblance to a duck. Duckpins are not as heavy as tenpins and weigh just 1.5 pounds. The National Duckpin Bowling Congress sets the specification of the duckpin.

A standard duckpin will have a height of 9.4 inches and a width of 4.125 inches at the hips. The base diameter is 1.375, which is narrower than the hips. In specific versions, you might find a rubber band placed on the hips of the pin to create better impact when the ball hits.


Five-pin is a bowling style that is predominant in Canada. In five-pin bowling, the bowling ball is smaller than what is in use in tenpin bowling. It has a height of 12.5 inches and a width of 5 inches on the widest section, the hips. The base diameter of the pin is 1.625 inches.

The five-pin weighs between 3.3 lbs to 3.7 lbs. Games with this pin style will have a different scoring system than the standard bowling game. In this, each of the pins will have another point.


Candlepins are another style that is unique and not found everywhere. They exist mainly in New England and Maritime Provinces of Canada. The same is give to the pin since it resembles a candle. It makes the candlepins almost cylindrical.

They have a height of 15.75 inches which makes them the tallest type of bowling pins. However, their width is just 2.9375 inches. The weight of candlepins is almost similar to candlepin balls which are 2.43 lbs.

Kegels Or Ninepins

Kegel is also a pin style in use in German bowling games with the same name. Their pin shape is similar to that of a tenpin, but the height is short, like a duckpin. They are also called ninepins, and you can find them in European countries. The weight of ninepins is about 2.9 lbs.

4. Importance Of Bowling Pin Weights

You might think why the weight of a bowling pin is so essential. The bowling pin weights are necessary since it impacts how you play your game. As we have already mentioned above, having a heavy bowling pin would be hard to make shots. You will be unable to knock down the pins.

It is not also good that the bowling pins weigh too light. If this happens, then the game would become a joke since everyone can knock over the pin. Even if the ball goes through the side, the air movement could knock over the ball. That is why it is necessary to have the right weight for a bowling pin.

The bowling pin’s regulation weight is decided based on the bowling ball’s regulation weight. It should be 24% of what the heaviest regulation ball weighs. The heaviest weight of bowling balls is 16 pounds. It means that the bowling pin should be 3 pounds and 6 ounces.

5. Bowling Pin Anatomy

Most bowling pins might look the same, but they are not. There are different elements to a bowling pin that you should know about before playing the game. Moreover, knowing the proper terminology of these elements is also necessary.

The top-most part of a bowling pin is called the crown. It is the portion that faces the ceiling. Below the crown, you will find the head. It is the portion that is skinny and is a base for the crown.

The thinnest section of a bowling pin is known as the neck. This section works as a connector between the head and the belly. The belly is the widest section of the bowling pin. Below the belly is the skirt which is the base of the pin.

The skirt touches the ground and keeps the bowling pin stable. Lastly, the core is inside the pin. It is from synthetic or new maple.

Final Thoughts

A lot of work goes into the making of bowling pins. Many standards and regulations need sanctions before a bowling pin can commence. You will find many different variations of bowling pins with different dimensions. Each of these bowling pins is for a variety of games.

The common factor among all these bowling pins is the suitable bowling pin weights, making the game interesting.