A bowling shoe sits propped up in front of a bowling ball

Which Sport Uses the Heaviest Ball?

Ever see someone drop a bowling ball on their foot? You might wonder: “Why would anyone play a sport with something that heavy?”

You’re not alone. Hundreds of people per month are asking the same thing: “Which sport uses the heaviest ball?”

Here’s the data to answer that question, using an average of weight ranges if specifics are not available. From the lowly ping-pong ball to sports where you really don’t want to get hit with one.

Sports that use light-weight balls (<8 oz)

SportMetric WeightImperial WeightSource
Table tennis2.75 g0.1 ozBest Game Tables
Pickleball24 g0.8 ozPickleball Rush
Squash24 g0.8 ozWorld Squash
Racquetball40 g1.4 ozDimensions
Golf45 g1.6 ozIvy Golf
Tennis58 g2.0 ozInternational Tennis Federation
Baseball145 g5.1 ozMajor League Baseball
Lacrosse145 g5.1 ozSignature Lacrosse
Cricket159 g5.6 ozLords
Field Hockey159 g5.6 ozGear Hungry
Pool171 g6.0 ozColorado State
Softball187 g6.6 ozWhat Things Weigh

Sports that use medium-weight balls (8 oz – 1 lb)

Sport Metric WeightImperial WeightSource
Volleyball270 g9.5 ozVolley Country
Football (Gridiron)411 g14.5 ozNational Football League
Water polo425 g15.0 ozDimensions
Football (Soccer)430 g15.2 ozThe Football Association (England)
Rugby435 g15.3 ozRugby How

Sports that use heavy-weight balls (>1 lb)

Sport Metric Weight Imperial WeightSource
Football (Australian)475 g16.8 ozUS Australian Rules Football
Basketball624 g22.0 ozHoops Addict
Bocce920 g32.5 ozWiki How
Bowling6.4 kg15.0 lbSkilled Bowlers (avg. male weight)
Shot Put7.3 kg16.0 lbWorld Athletics (Olympic standard)

As you can see, on average shot put is the sport that uses the heaviest ball. The sport’s Olympic standard weight is 16 pounds (7.3 kilograms). Bowling balls are close, but most players (even on the PBA tour) will use a ball below the league maximum weight of 16 pounds.

Photo by Ray Reyes on Unsplash

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