Guide to Bowling Pin Dimensions & Weights (with Drawings)

Bowling Pin Dimensions and Weights

There isn’t a long list of bowling equipment. To play a game of 10-pin bowling, all you really need are bowling balls, an alley, a huge mechanized system that replaces knocked-down bowling pins, and, of course, bowling pins. Speaking of which, how big are bowling pins?

A regulation bowling pin for 10-pin bowling has a base diameter of 2.03 inches, a belly diameter of 4.77 inches, a neck diameter of 1.78 inches, a head diameter of 2.55 inches, and an overall height of 15 inches. The weight of a regulation bowling pin must be between 3 pounds 6 ounces and 3 pounds 10 ounces.

Bowling pin dimensions

There is a lot more to know about the design of a bowling pin, which I’ll cover in this guide. I’ll also discuss the variations in bowling pins based on the bowling game types.

What Is a Bowling Pin?

What is a bowling pin

A bowling pin, which used to go by the name “skittles,” is the tall target that stands at the end of a bowling lane. When playing any version of bowling, the purpose of the game is to throw a bowling ball at the pins and knock as many of them over.

Bowling pins are made out of several blocks of maple wood in a specific shape. Before automatic pin setters were a thing, bowling pins would be glued together, painted, and set up at the end of a lane. However, since the machines came around, an assembled bowling pin would be dipped in ethylcellulose seven times to fill and seal its pores.

Today, the wood-pulp powder has been replaced with nylon and DuPont’s Surlyn—a type of resin that’s typically used in the packaging process. The bowling pin is made from a single block of maple wood that is lathed to the correct size specifications, dipped in latex, and coated in nylon and Surlyn.

Bowling Pin Dimensions and Specifications

Bowling Pin Dimensions and Specifications

There are five distinct variations of bowling. Since 10-pin bowling is the most commonly played form of bowling, I will focus more heavily on its dimensions and specifications.

Parts of a Bowling Pin

One of the easiest ways to understand the design of a bowling pin is to look at its anatomy. Here, I’ll describe the various parts that make a single bowling pin.

Base—The bottommost section of a bowling pin that expands toward the belly section.

Belly—The widest section of a bowling pin that tapers toward the base and the neck. It is measured at its widest section.

Neck—The narrowest section of a bowling pin that expands toward the belly and the head. It is measured at its narrowest section.

Head—The topmost section of a bowling pin that tapers toward the neck and the top of the head. The head is measured at its widest section.

Bowling Pin Size Specifications

The bowling pins used in 9- and 10-pin bowling have very specific size and weight specifications and tolerances set in place by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). It must measure 15 inches tall, have a base of 2.03 inches wide, a belly of 4.77 inches wide (at its widest point), a neck of 1.78 inches wide (at its narrowest point), and a head of 2.55 inches wide (at its widest point).

For a more specific overview of bowling pin size standards, please refer to the table below:

Section of Bowling PinHeight Distance from BaseDiameterMinimum DiameterMaximum Diameter
Base2.03 in.2.00 in.2.06 in.
Belly¾ in.2.83 in.2.78 in.2.86 in.
Belly2-1/4 in.3.91 in.3.86 in.3.94 in.
Belly3-3/8 in.4.51 in.4.48 in.4.54 in.
Belly4-1/2 in.4.77 in.4.74 in.4.78 in.
Belly5-7/8 in.4.56 in.4.53 in.4.59 in.
Belly8-5/8 in.2.47 in.2.44 in.2.50 in.
Neck9-3/8 in.1.97 in.1.93 in.1.99 in.
Neck10 in.1.78 in.1.77 in.1.83 in.
Neck10-7/8 in.1.87 in.1.84 in.1.90 in.
Head11-3/42.09 in.2.06 in.2.13 in.
Head13-1/2 in.2.55 in.2.52 in.2.58 in.

Bowling Pin Weight Specifications

According to the US Bowling Congress, a regulation bowling pin must weigh 3 pounds and 8 ounces. However, like its size specifications, there are the minimum and maximum tolerances.

Weight ParametersWeight
Minimum Tolerance3 pounds 6 ounces
Targeted Weight3 pounds 8 ounces
Maximum Tolerance3 pounds 10 ounces

Miscellaneous Bowling Pin Specifications

ParametersMinimum ToleranceTargetMaximum Tolerance
Hole Depth*1.97 in.2 in.2.03 in.
Hole Size0.41 in.0.42 in.0.45 in.
Cup Diameter*0.73 in.0.75 in.0.78 in.
Radius at Base0.13 in.0.16 in.0.19 in.
Center of Gravity5.62 in.5.78 in.5.94 in.
Radius of Gyration Squared13.20 in.13.90 in.14.60 in.
Moisture Content6%9%12%
Coefficient of Restitution0.61 in.0.67 in.0.74 in.

* denotes standard values not specified by bowling regulations

Bowling Pin Variations

Bowling Pin Variations

Other than 9- and 10-pin bowling, there is 5-pin bowling, candlepin bowling, and duckpin bowling.

5-Pin Bowling Pins

Unlike 9- and 10-pin bowling, in which the pins are arranged in a 1-2-3-2-1 diamond and 4-3-2-1 triangle, respectively, 5-pin bowling pins are arranged in a 2-2-1 setup. 5-pin bowling pins are slightly different from those in 9- and 10-pin bowling in terms of size.

The bowling pin stands only 12.5 inches tall and has a 1.625-inch-wide base, a 5-inch-wide belly, and a roughly 1.625-inch-wide neck. Its overall weight should be around 2 pounds 7 ounces.

Candlepin Bowling Pins

Candlepin bowling also uses ten pins, but the pins are significantly different from the previously mentioned bowling pin types. They are almost perfect cylinders but taper slightly at the tops and bottoms.

A candlepin bowling pin stands 15.75 inches tall. The tops and bottoms of a candlepin bowling pin measure 2.125 inches wide and expand to 2.9375 inches wide at the center (belly). It does not have a neck. It should weigh around 2 pounds 7 ounces.

Duckpin Bowling Pins

The pin arrangement in duckpin bowling is identical to that of 10-pin and candlepin bowling. The pins look like slightly squashed versions of 10- and 9-pin bowling pins.

A duckpin bowling pin stands 9.4 inches tall, has a base and neck that is 1.375 inches wide, and has a belly that is 4.125 inches wide at its widest point. Its total weight is around 1 pound 8 ounces.

Comparison Chart

Parameters9- and 10-pin Bowling5-pin BowlingCandlepin BowlingDuckpin Bowling
Targeted Base Diameter2.03 in.1.625 in.2.125 in.1.375 in.
Targeted Belly Diameter4.77 in.5 in.2.9375 in.4.125 in.
Targeted Neck Diameter1.78 in.1.625 in.1.375 in.
Targeted Head Diameter2.55 in.
Height15 in.12.5 in.15.75 in.9.4 in.
Weight3 lbs. 8 oz.2 lbs. 7 oz.2 lbs. 7 oz.1 lb. 8 oz.

What role does coaching play in individual sports?

Coaching plays a significant and multi-faceted role in individual sports, encompassing the development of technique, strategy, and mental fortitude. In individual sports, athletes heavily rely on their coaches for personalized training programs tailored to their specific needs. These programs assist in refining skills and honing techniques, allowing athletes to perform at their best potential.

Moreover, coaches provide athletes with invaluable feedback that is instrumental in their improvement. By analyzing their performances, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and providing constructive criticism, coaches play a crucial role in fostering continuous growth. This guidance not only helps athletes refine their technique but also enhances their overall performance in competitive settings.

In addition to technical expertise, coaches also serve as mentors for athletes in individual sports. They offer guidance and support, not just in terms of skill development, but also in navigating the challenges and pressures that come with being a competitive athlete. Coaches assist in fostering athletes’ mental preparation by helping them build resilience, confidence, and focus.

The impact of coaching in psychological aspects is profound. Through regular communication and psychological training exercises, coaches empower athletes to overcome self-doubt, manage stress, and maintain focus during high-stakes competitions. By providing an objective perspective and creating a supportive environment, coaches greatly influence athletes’ mental strength and emotional well-being, ensuring they perform at their best even under pressure.

Overall, coaching in individual sports is a holistic endeavor that encompasses technical guidance, mental preparation, and mentorship. It equips athletes with the necessary skills, strategies, and mental fortitude required for success, while also providing invaluable support in their personal growth. Without the indispensable role of coaching, athletes in individual sports would struggle to reach their full potential and navigate the complexities of competitive play.

How are individual sports competitions typically structured?

In individual sports competitions, the typical structure involves various formats such as knockout rounds, time trials, or scored performances. Athletes usually face off against each other directly or strive to beat the clock, progressing through qualifying rounds to reach the finals. In sports that rely on judgment, like gymnastics or diving, performances are meticulously assessed based on technical execution and artistic expression. Track and field events often employ a combination of timed races and distance-based competitions, such as jumps or throws, providing diverse opportunities for athletes to showcase their skills.

What are the health benefits of playing goal sports?

Playing goal sports provides a wide range of health benefits. Firstly, it greatly improves cardiovascular fitness, aiding in the overall health of the heart and endurance levels. These sports often involve activities such as sprinting and agility drills, which contribute to increased physical strength and flexibility. Additionally, participating in goal sports enhances coordination and balance skills, helping individuals become more agile and capable in their movements.

In terms of psychological well-being, engaging in goal sports has various positive effects. It can effectively reduce stress levels, enabling individuals to better manage their mental health. Furthermore, this form of physical activity has been shown to improve mood, boosting feelings of happiness and contentment. Additionally, playing goal sports often involves teamwork, which can enhance social skills and cultivate a sense of unity among participants.

A major benefit of regularly participating in goal sports is its role in maintaining a healthy weight. The physical activity and exercise involved in these sports serve as effective ways to burn calories and keep excess weight at bay. This, in turn, contributes to overall physical well-being and reduces the risk of various health conditions.

Ultimately, engaging in goal sports not only provides an enjoyable form of exercise but also promotes a healthier lifestyle. It improves cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility, while also enhancing coordination, balance, and mental well-being. By participating in these sports, individuals can maintain a healthy weight and improve their overall physical and mental health.

How can I improve my skills in a goal sport?

To improve your skills in a goal sport, there are several steps you can take. First and foremost, consistent practice is key. By dedicating regular time to practice, you can focus on developing both your technical and tactical abilities. Specific drills tailored to your sport, such as shooting, passing, or dribbling exercises, can help enhance your technical skills.

Additionally, watching and analyzing professional games can greatly benefit your tactical understanding of the sport. By observing how experts navigate different game situations, you can gain valuable insights into strategy and decision-making.

Furthermore, it is crucial to prioritize physical fitness training that aligns with the demands of your goal sport. By engaging in regular workouts that target the specific muscles and movements required, you can enhance your overall physical capabilities, such as strength, speed, and agility.

Lastly, seeking feedback from coaches and teammates is essential for continuous improvement. Embrace their insights and suggestions, as they can provide valuable input on areas where you can further refine your skills. Incorporating their advice into your training routine will help you progress and excel in your goal sport.

By actively implementing these strategies – consistent practice, analyzing professional play, fitness training, and seeking feedback – you can effectively enhance your skills and become a more proficient athlete in your chosen goal sport.

What role does team strategy play in goal sports?

Team strategy plays a pivotal role in goal sports, as it serves as the foundation for how a team operates, defends, and ultimately scores. It encompasses various aspects such as formations, play styles, and individual player roles, all of which are carefully tailored to maximize the team’s strengths and exploit the weaknesses of their opponents. A well-executed strategy allows teams to effectively utilize their collective skills, creating a cohesive and united approach to the game. The process of strategic planning involves analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of both the team and their opponents, and then devising a plan to exploit the vulnerabilities of the opposing team while capitalizing on the team’s own strengths. Adaptability is also essential in team strategy, as it enables teams to efficiently respond to changes in the game or unexpected situations. In addition, in-game decision-making plays a crucial role in implementing the team strategy effectively, allowing for quick adjustments and optimizations during the match. Overall, team strategy serves as a vital tool for gaining a competitive advantage and achieving success in goal sports.

How have ball sports contributed to cultural and national identities around the world?

Ball sports have played a significant role in shaping cultural and national identities across the globe. These sports have become more than just recreational activities, often embodying deeper meanings and symbolizing communal values and pride within various societies. One notable example can be seen in soccer, which has become an integral part of many countries’ identities, evoking strong nationalistic sentiments during international competitions. The passion and fervor displayed by fans during these events highlight the profound impact that ball sports have on shaping national pride.

In the United States, sports such as baseball and American football have become deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of the nation. These sports are celebrated as more than just mere pastimes, as they reflect and embody various aspects of American society and history. Baseball, often referred to as “America’s pastime,” carries a sense of nostalgia and tradition, reminding people of a simpler time while also representing resilience and perseverance. On the other hand, American football, a highly physical and competitive sport, showcases values such as determination, teamwork, and the relentless pursuit of success, all of which are considered integral parts of the American identity.

The impact of ball sports on cultural and national identities extends beyond the United States. In many countries, sports like cricket, rugby, basketball, and hockey have gained immense popularity and have become closely intertwined with the cultural tapestry. These sports act as unifying forces, bringing people from diverse backgrounds together through a shared passion. The success or failure of national teams in international tournaments can evoke a range of emotions, from exhilaration and pride to disappointment and frustration, further cementing the connection between these sports and national identity.

Additionally, ball sports often serve as platforms for social and political issues. Athletes and teams have used their influence to raise awareness and drive change on various societal issues, such as racial injustice, gender equality, and inclusivity. The unity and solidarity demonstrated by athletes and fans during these moments further strengthen the intertwining of ball sports and cultural identities.

In summary, ball sports have played a pivotal role in shaping cultural and national identities worldwide. Through their ability to evoke strong emotions, unify communities, and embody values, these sports symbolize much more than just games. They act as powerful vehicles for expressing national pride, reflecting societal values, and even driving social change.

What materials are commonly used in high-performance sports apparel?

High-performance sports apparel commonly incorporates various materials to enhance comfort, flexibility, and performance. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon are popular choices due to their lightweight nature and ability to wick away moisture. These fabrics are often combined with spandex to provide stretch and flexibility, allowing athletes to move more freely. Additionally, advanced materials like breathable mesh and thermo-regulating fabrics are frequently utilized to improve ventilation and regulate body temperature during intense physical activity. Compression technology is another feature found in some high-performance sports apparel, as it assists in muscle recovery and aids in circulation. Overall, the combination of these materials contributes to the functionality and effectiveness of high-performance sports apparel.

How long is a bowling lane?

A standard bowling lane is typically measured at 60 feet (18.29 meters) long from the foul line to the headpin. In addition, the lane is about 42 inches (110 centimeters) wide, excluding the gutters on both sides. Before reaching the foul line, there is also an area of 15 feet (4.57 meters) known as the waiting or bowling surface, which allows bowlers to prepare for their next turn.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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