Bowling Ball Serial Number Lookup: What Is It & How to Read

Hunter Lambrick
Did you know bowling balls have a serial number on their surface? The serial number plays a significant role in providing helpful specification details about the ball. You can get information about the manufacturer and your personal contact information linked in your ball.

When you are bowling, you will discover they are numbers and letters written on the surface of the bowling balls. Have you ever understood why they are there in the first place? To solve that puzzle, let's analyze everything written in the ball; It has alpha-numeric characters, which indicate the ball's serial number. This is similar to any other manufactured products you purchase out there. They mostly have serial numbers.

So, what is the significance of having that serial numbers in your bowling ball? The serial numbers you see on bowling balls benefit the ball owner and manufacturers. Let's check out this informative article, and you will learn more about the bowling ball serial number, which will shed some light on you. Continue reading the article, and you will gain more essential details you may need to know as a bowler.

Table Of Contents

Do Bowling balls contain A Serial Number?

Top manufacturing companies normally imprint a unique serial number for each bowling ball. It's advisable to look for bowling balls that have a serial number. The reason for that is you can freely validate the authenticity of the ball and be sure you have the original product. Some of the great benefits of your bowling ball having a serial number is that it brings comfort, assurance, and potential benefits if you decide to sell it in the future. For a starter, the serial provides a sense of verity and ensures you have the genuine ball, and if you want to sell it to other people, it will boost your resale value since the client will know the ball's history.

Bowling Ball Serial Number Lookup.

Every single bowling ball out there has its unique serial number that plays a significant role between the manufacturers and us, the customers. For manufacturers, the serial number helps in quality control. They help track essential details of the ball, such as when and where it was made, production batches, and any potential defects. With this information, the manufacturers can give their customers top-notch bowling balls that every customer will appreciate its worth.

For customers, the serial number helps a lot; you can imagine if there is no serial number in bowling balls and your ball is swiped by someone else when playing, or you lose your precious ball, or even worse. Will it be easy for you to get back your lost ball? It will be hard to locate, so the serial number comes to our rescue when you try to find it. The serial number in your ball is linked to your personal and contact information when you register your ball. This information is very useful in case you lose the ball. It will be easy for bowling alleys and retailers to contact you if they find your ball.

There is also more usage of the serial number in your bowling ball. Let's say you are planning to participate in a USBC-sanctioned event like the United States Bowling Congress, one of the requirements they will need is the serial number of your ball. You might wonder what the use of it is in that particular event. Let me explain why they need your serial number. The number determines if your ball is set and approved for serious competition or tournament play. If your ball doesn’t appear in the list as an approved ball, you will not be allowed in the tournament, and sadly, you will have to say goodbye to that ball and purchase a new one that is approved.

Where is the serial number located on your bowling ball?

It is easy to find your serial number on a bowling ball. Manufacturers have made it easy to spot the serial number by imprinting it on the ball's surface. To get the serial number quickly, you can check the area around gripping holes, and you will likely find that unique number there. If you don't get it there, you will have to check on the bottom of the ball, where the manufacturers also place it. So, you will have to take a few seconds of your time and be a detective for once, and you will eventually spot your serial number.

How Do you read Bowling Balls, Serial Numbers?

It is challenging to read the serial number because of the changes in the format made over the years. Back in the 90s, the serial number of bowling balls was similar to all the manufacturers, making it easier for someone to read them. But nowadays, things have changed as each ball manufacturing company has developed its system of determining its serial numbers; to show which kind of a ball it is, when it was manufactured, and much other helpful information linked to the ball.

Generally, for this new bowling format, the first letter indicates the month it was manufactured, while the second letter indicates the specific year when the ball was produced. For example, if you have a Brunswick bowling ball made in March 2008, this is how the serial number will look, CA278562. Let's see what the serial number format of the Brunswick bowling ball means.

For first character: JAN-A, FEB-B, MAR-C, APR-C, MAY-E, JUN-F, JUL-G, AUG-H, SEP-I, OCT-J, NOV-K, DEC-L;

For the second character: 2005-V, 2006-Y, 2007-Z, 2008- A, and many others. The remaining characters and numbers indicate information about the material used to manufacture the ball and who manufactured it. This is also referred to as Stock Keeping Unit Number (SKU). Each ball's number after the date is always unique and can be tracked easily. The serial numbers format varies differently depending on each company's production.

What to do if my serial number is missing from my bowling ball?

If you need to register your ball in a tournament or track your bowling ball, it will be so frustrating when you need help locating your serial number. How to handle this situation is, you can first visit the manufacturer's website or use a lookup tool for assistance. If you don't get help, you can alternatively go to a local pro shop and talk to the support staff to assist you in finding the serial number on your ball.

Missing serial numbers is a common issue you can expect, so don't freak out since there is a solution to fix that if you follow the recommendations given above. What if your serial number has disappeared or is not visible due to regular usage? You can still seek assistance from the pro shop staff, who will have alternative methods to help you identify your bowling ball.

Large Numbers on Bowling Balls.

For individuals who don’t own a bowling ball or stay for long before they play bowling, they have one thing in common: They rent a house ball from the bowling alley. Leasing is one of the cost-effective solutions for players who only bowl occasionally. Have you ever asked yourself what are the large numbers on the surface of the ball?

In bowling, large numbers on the ball surface indicate the ball's weight. The weight of the house balls ranges from 6 to 16 lbs. So if you want to choose a perfect ball, make sure you follow the 10 % rule, where you should choose a ball that is ten percent of your weight.

Adult players usually use a house ball that weighs 8 lbs, while young players use a house ball that weighs below 8 lbs. Choosing a ball with the ideal weight will enable you to carry and control it when you throw it in the bowling lane. The large numbers play an essential role in bowling since it differentiates balls according to their specific weights. It also provides a reference for novice bowlers when selecting a perfect ball.

Other Markings on Bowling Balls.

Apart from having serial numbers and weight indication numbers in bowling balls, you might come across a few other markings. These additional markings include the brand logo and the USBC logo, which both play a vital role in identifying and distinguishing the balls in official competitions.

A bowling ball with a USBC logo ( represented by a star) shows the bowling ball is certified and meets the standards set by the United States Bowling Congress( USBC). When the ball is used too much, the logo can wear off, but that shouldn't worry you since there are other ways to verify your ball through your serial number.

The brand logo is a significant marking on your bowling ball that represents the manufactures and helps the bowler identify the ball's origin and characteristics. If the logo wears off due to regular use, you must consider replacing the ball since it will not be permitted in official competitions and tournaments.

Can You Add Other Markings on Your Bowling Balls?

No. If you are participating in the USBC tournaments and competitions, It is against their rule to add marking or customize your bowling ball.. The ball surface must maintain originality, and you cannot modify it. Modifications that are accepted is the one the manufacturers have made.


The serial number imprinted on the ball's surface is vital in identifying the bowling ball. Manufacturers use the serial number for quality control, while the players use it to track the ball's origin and link it with their contact information in case it is lost. Another advantage of your ball having the serial number is that you can participate in USBC competitions and tournaments. Failure to have the serial number means you cannot play the tournament unless you use a different ball with a serial number. If you encounter situations where it is difficult to find the serial number, you can rush to the nearest local pro shop, and you will be sorted out the issue or given some recommendations on what to do.


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