Asymmetrical Bowling Balls- What You Need to Know

What is an asymmetrical bowling ball? Are they superior to symmetrical bowling balls? If you would like to know everything there is to know about asymmetrical bowling balls, you have come to the right place. Let’s have a look at what these bowling balls are and other relevant information.

An asymmetrical bowling ball is a bowling ball that has an asymmetrical core inside. It is a new core technology that is an improvement from the popular symmetrical core. What defines this type of core is if you happen to cut the core in a straight line from top to bottom, the two halves fit into each other. There will be something sticking out on each side, preventing the ball from having symmetrical shape.

Asymmetrical Bowling Ball Explained

One sure thing about the bowling industry is that it’s dynamic. There are so many changes taking place, and one variable that remains greatly misunderstood in bowling is the core of bowling balls. Initially, bowling balls used a simple basic design.

Today, with the ever-growing bowling core technology, a ball can either have a symmetrical or asymmetrical core.

Having been bowling for some years now, I can confidently attest that about 85% of the best bowling balls in the market are asymmetrical. They display excellent performance since they hook better than their symmetrical counterpart.

Already, there is an imbalance in the core, which makes the balls flare more than symmetrical balls. This explains why asymmetrical balls are better to have in your hands, especially if the lane is heavily oiled. 

They also come in handy if you need to hook the ball a little more or be located somewhat more profound in the lane. These are but a few times when the asymmetrical ball will prove to come in handy.

How Asymmetrical Bowling Balls Compare to Symmetrical Bowling Balls

The first main difference between the two is the Radius of Gyration (RG). RG is the differential between the high axis and the low axis. An asymmetrical ball has an RG of more than 5% while a symmetrical ball has an RG of below 5%.

Usually, asymmetrical balls tend to produce a sharper and more pronounced motion as they encounter friction while going down the lane. On the other hand, symmetrical balls tend to be more predictable and smoother. You can predict the trajectory of the ball as soon as it leaves your hand and how it reacts as it encounters friction while moving through the lane.

Asymmetrical balls have three primary variables concerning their asymmetrical core. They work similarly to symmetrical balls. However, they have an added variable which is intermediate differential.

The added variable, intermediate differential, comes about because an asymmetrical ball has three axes with different RG values. As a result of the three different axis points in an asymmetrical ball, there are numerous layouts that the ball can achieve compared to its symmetrical counterpart.

In comparison, symmetrical balls have only two variables in relation to their symmetrical core. There is the differential and the RG value. Luckily, since the new rules that took effect from the 1st of August 2020, you don’t have to worry about anything other than pin placement when balling with symmetrical balls.

With a symmetrical ball, you don’t need to bother adding a weight hole to get the overall differential of your ball.

In my bowling experience, most rev dominant players tend to prefer symmetrical balls. On the other hand, speed-dominant players tend to lean more towards asymmetrical balls.

Advantages of Using an Asymmetric Bowling Ball

One way to add thrill and develop an avenue for challenging and competitive lane conditions is by choosing an asymmetrical bowling ball. Using an asymmetric ball helps you build your game around a strong reaction that widens the path of your delivery angle, thus giving you a complete and effective attack strategy.

I would like to think of myself as an experienced bowler who knows that the more symmetrical a bowling ball is, the less aggressive its hooking potential is. That means the more asymmetrical a ball is, the higher the total differential will be.

A higher total differential means a strong reaction in the mid lane which means a positive bowling experience.

Another advantage of an asymmetric bowling ball is that the ball shows an angular and defined motion. Asymmetric balls create more area near the breaking point. Also, they respond faster to friction.

Usually, your delivery style and lane conditions dictate whether a symmetrical or asymmetrical ball fits you best. Nonetheless, if you need a ball that offers a strong ball reaction both at the breaking point and mid-lane, then the asymmetrical ball will do this for you.

An asymmetrical ball is also advantageous due to a combination of factors. The strong drilling layout it possesses offers the amount of surface texture you need, which results in an effective ball motion – something you will appreciate under competitive lane conditions.

With an asymmetrical ball, you get to enjoy high chances of hitting the pocket. The increased chances come about due to the stable reacting bowling ball which provides strong ball motions that enable you to play well on various angles of the lane.

How Does an Asymmetrical Core Affect Bowling Performance?

When shopping for bowling balls, the coverstock tends to matter the most. However, you can’t ignore the fact that the core type also affects the performance. The core affects various factors, including the momentum the ball builds once it leaves your hand and begins to move down the lane.

An asymmetrical core is an evolution that seeks to enhance and modify the bowling experience. There are different asymmetrical cores, such as bowls with semi-circular ridges on the longer sides.

The asymmetrical core seeks to alter the radius of gyration to achieve either a lower or a higher radius.

Since an asymmetrical ball has uniform proportions, the weight distribution will result in a sharper angle once you hook the ball. Thus, as the ball approaches the breakpoint, it will begin to respond quicker to friction than a ball with a symmetrical core.

An asymmetrical ball produces a controlled off-balance situation that increases its hook. Also, it subsequently changes the ball’s angle of entry to the pocket. The angle is said to change when the axis of the asymmetric ball moves responsively to the core weight, which is influenced by the friction on the lane.

When I was beginning to learn bowling, my father insisted on understanding the concept of flare potential. He would emphasize that the higher differential (RG) number, the higher the track flare potential.

Therefore, asymmetrical cores will offer you more skid length before hooking. However, they hook stronger and harder. Thus, they are often referred to as block flip. As the ball reaches the breakpoint, its direction will suddenly shift and change the direction in which it travels.

Final Verdict

Bowling is an exciting and engaging hobby. Hopefully, from my guide above, you now understand everything about asymmetrical balls. As the bowling industry continues to change, make sure you change with it to add more flavor to the game and winnings to your pocket!