How Hidden Technology Transformed Bowling

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2 aylar önce

Bowling has been reinvented many times over the past seven thousand years but especially in the last 30. This is the fascinating physics of balls, oil, lane and pins. A portion of this video was sponsored by Salesforce. Go to to learn more.

Huge thanks to Steve Kloempken and all of Storm Bowling for letting us visit and get a glimpse into the crazy world of bowling.
Huge thanks to legends Chris Barnes and Pete Weber for taking the time to bowl with us.
Huge thanks to Creative Electron for their help with getting the bowling balls X-rayed. Check out their work here:
Thanks to Ron Hatfield and James Freeman for their help with research. Check out their great book, Bowling Beyond the Basics:
Thanks to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) for their help with accessing archival data and footage.
Special thanks to Rod Cross for physics consultation.
Thanks to Bill Guszczo for giving us the idea to make this video in the first place.

Freeman, James, and Ron Hatfield. Bowling beyond the Basics: What's Really Happening on the Lanes, and What You Can Do about It. BowlSmart, 2018. --
N. Stremmel, P. Ridenour and S. Sterbenz. “Identifying the Critical Factors That Contribute to Bowling Ball Motion on a Bowling Lane.” United States Bowling Congress, 2008. --
USBC Equipment Specifications and Certification Team. “Ball Motion Study: Phase I and II Final Report.” United States Bowling Congress, 2008. --
Brettingen, Patrick, and Nicki Mours. “USBC static weight limits remain relevant.” United States Bowling Congress, 2011. --
Article on lane oil origins --
Luna, Richard. “Bruce Pluckhahn says there's a little bit of bowling…” United Press International Archives, 1984. --
Johnson, Brody D. “The Physics of Bowling: How good bowlers stay off the straight and narrow.” St. Louis University. --
Talamo, Jim. “The Physics of Bowling Balls.” --
Thompson, Ted. “Breakdown and Carrydown - Then and Now.” Kegel. 2012. --
Frohlich, Cliff. “What Makes Bowling Balls Hook?” American Journal of Physics, vol. 72, no. 9, 2004, pp. 1170-1177., . --
Article on bowling’s ranking in participatory sports --
Speranza, Dan, and Dave Nestor. “Initial Oil Absorption Results.” United States Bowling Congress, 2016. --
D. Benner, N. Mours, and P. Ridenour. “Pin Carry Study: Bowl Expo 2009.” United States Bowling Congress, 2009. --
Hopkins, D. C., and J. D. Patterson. “Bowling Frames: Paths of a Bowling Ball.” American Journal of Physics, vol. 45, no. 3, 1977, pp. 263-266., . --
Normani, Franco. “The Physics of Bowling.” Real World Physics Problems. --
Horaczek, Stan. “The insides of pro bowling balls will make your head spin.” Popular Science, 2020. --
House shot oil pattern -- . Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0.

Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Andrew, Diffbot, Micah Mangione, MJP, Gnare, Nick DiCandilo, Dave Kircher, Edward Larsen, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Dumky, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Bill Linder, Paul Peijzel, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, Big Badaboom, Ludovic Robillard, Jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Alfred Wallace, Clayton Greenwell, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal

Written by Derek Muller and Emily Zhang
Animations by Mike Radjabov and Iván Tello
Filmed by Derek Muller, Trenton Oliver, and Emily Zhang
Edited by Trenton Oliver
SFX by Shaun Clifford
Additional video supplied by Getty Images
Music from Epidemic Sounds
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, and Emily Zhang

Familie Mulder
Familie Mulder Saatler önce
I didn’t know that
TerrorHuhn 2 saatler önce
Me: a ball with 3 holes, a lane with is mostly the same level and 9 pins.. Veritasium and the bowling industrie: that is science with oil, weight, rotation, and stuff.. Me ( ._.)
slimmdogg 5 saatler önce
Nobody wants to bowl regardless of the oil.
Austin Woodworth
Austin Woodworth 6 saatler önce
As someone who has bowled all their life, this is by far the best explained, most accurate, representation of the factors that affect the game. Well done to the Veritasium team.
GeorgePlaysGames 12 saatler önce
Ever heard of Pool? the most played game at pretty much Any bar that has a table, Also the reason for an out of shape center for a bowling ball is without it the various speeds/spins we put on the ball would not work tward curving said ball...
Feeding Ravens
Feeding Ravens 13 saatler önce
Our class once went bowling with our physics teacher. I had just written my paper (that is an important part for your german "high school" diploma), and my teacher had some questions. And while we were discussing my enigmatic writing, in between my friends just called "Stefan, your turn", and I went over, hit what was left (we were bowling as team), and went back discussing. In the moment we were done, and I had time to concentrate on the game, it was all over. It got mediocre. So obviously it is largely a thing of instinct, of NOT thinking about what to do. Just to say it, the times I was bowling are probably not more than two hands. Before that event, I think (that is more than 35 years ago) maybe 1 or 2 times.
Subs 13 saatler önce
I think this video was about twice as long as it could have been. Who has 28 mins to learn all this? I had to stop.
Joe Shit the Rag Man
Joe Shit the Rag Man 14 saatler önce
Fun fact that not alot of people know about. Chris Barnes was the original singer in Cannibal Corpse ;)
Lucas Melo
Lucas Melo Gün önce
Pete Weber is such a cool guy
David Green
David Green Gün önce
Knowledge of the way people can do better, takes some of the fun and game, out of the game.
it's me
it's me Gün önce
Who do you think you are, I am
josephjasonsantiagolacour Gün önce
Yay. More useless information that has changed my life for the better.
B_A_N_S_H_E_E Gün önce
xiki 16
xiki 16 Gün önce
Que trucaso
marz 980
marz 980 Gün önce
I've never tried bowling because I know I'd be the guy who ends up hitting a tv
MadKingTylor Gün önce
Thank you soooo much for making a video like this to express how technical the sport of bowling can be
dizzybynature Gün önce
closest i ever came was a 286.. im happy with that..
Noel K
Noel K Gün önce
Need to brush up on scoring how can you get the tenth frame wrong
Us Ware
Us Ware Gün önce
That guy was the real bill murray from kingpin
Göçük Onarım
Göçük Onarım Gün önce
By writing the White House, you can demand justice for the innocent family
Dækyé Gün önce
By writing the White House, you can demand justice for the innocent family
Veysel Şahin
Veysel Şahin Gün önce
I truly hope that justice will be served to the innocent family
The innocent family deserves justice, Jenny Grus Sugar is liable for her misconduct and should be held accountable
I truly hope that justice will be served to the innocent family
discovery planet
discovery planet Gün önce
The innocent family deserves justice, Jenny Grus Sugar is liable for her misconduct and should be held accountable
Nate Santos
Nate Santos 2 gün önce
ItsComplexityHD 2 gün önce
I still don't understand how my dad was able to score 13 perfect 300 games XD
Alaskavenom61 2 gün önce
I did not know that custom made bowling balls existed. Now I understand why they are expensive
Stephen Spackman
Stephen Spackman 2 gün önce
Given the precession phenomenon, why is the ball polished uniformly? Why not show the floor a different surface on the oil and off, for example, or obtain a friction change from the ball rather than the oiling? Also, what are the rules governing the internal structure of balls? I imagine that robotic cores are outlawed ;), but compliant materials and structured arrays of weights could also provide coupling between rotation and traction, within a ball that is nominally solid. Just saying.
gwg5640 2 gün önce
If Arte Johnson of that old TV show Laugh-In was still here, he would say (in a German accent), "very interestink".
Ryan Smock
Ryan Smock 2 gün önce
3:52 OSHA Violation
clemtoe 2 gün önce
00:03:53 Safety writeup
Sml132 2 gün önce
8:21, Is that an error or am I hearing it wrong? "6* may not sound like a lot, but it's extremely difficult to hit"
Alex Sousa
Alex Sousa 2 gün önce
Didn't really think there was such a market for bowling balls.
Alex Harild
Alex Harild 2 gün önce
Peter Peter
Peter Peter 3 gün önce
Let's go Brandon!
Connex 3 gün önce
I just spent 25 plus minutes learning about bowling. Why my state legalized marijuana?
simon 55
simon 55 3 gün önce
yea reminds me of nintendo wii, gonna play some bowling today on it
ThaiOdessy 3 gün önce
Perhaps do a comparison between Hook Spin vs Helicopter/UFO spin? Seems like the Helicopter spin is significantly less affected by oil patterns
Geckals 30
Geckals 30 3 gün önce
So American never unbanned 9 pin bowling
Paul Maisonneuve
Paul Maisonneuve 3 gün önce
and OSHA cringed @ 3:50. LMAO! Very interesting video. Thanks!
G K 3 gün önce
So bowling is the game of cheating.
Gamblerscop 3 gün önce
The casualness of my bowling game allows me to walk up to any lane and not give the oil a thought before I throw the ball.
MysticalSky 3 gün önce
and actually, like actually, when we make these bowling balls, actually, they have a very, actually, good, actually heavy, weight to them actually
Kingst 3 gün önce
Park Tarot
Park Tarot 3 gün önce
Your life is a canvas for your creation. You’re here to share it with us, and we will be grateful for you doing so. Venture into the unknown that calls you, you’ll be glad you showed your true strength.
Zoomjah 3 gün önce
Beautiful video! I quite enjoyed bowling as a kid, but as I got older it felt more frustrating more often. Then I learned that there are different oil patterns that got used, and that really turned me off as I had thought there is just a good form to bowl and not... but the oil and so much more really does change that. By the way I'm left-handed! Now I find that there are way more variables at play, which is fascinating, but really doesn't make me want to go bowling again! Lol.
Dubious Speculation
Dubious Speculation 4 gün önce
They are balling
Terry Camerlengo
Terry Camerlengo 4 gün önce
What an amazing video. So well researched and organized.
Jeffrey Williamson
Jeffrey Williamson 4 gün önce
So cool. Who knew?
Cardiff 4 gün önce
good Gawd.. oil, weight, axis, mass, roll. Serious ?? for bowling. wow. too much
Henk Pietersma
Henk Pietersma 4 gün önce
Yep, I'm convinced this is going to safe earth if not for the next million years. And no, I'm neither Fred nor Barney. They won't be around I guess.
davep6977 4 gün önce
I'd change through out the game, but I didn't have the balls. I only had 2 in my bag
furia cruzada
furia cruzada 4 gün önce
For all the people who think they’ll be better at bowling after watching this video... it actually works lol
Nwar Wick
Nwar Wick 4 gün önce
Over the line!!! Smokey!!!
Eisen59 5 gün önce
Usually digging this channel but bowling? I do it when I am drunk, see you later!
aron canapa
aron canapa 5 gün önce
Should just change the name of the video to most scientific bowling tutorial ever
Marlene Greenwood
Marlene Greenwood 5 gün önce
Went bowling with a girl about 45 years ago. She had a seven ten split and was right handed. She rolled the ball and it went to the left side of the lane heading toward the seven pin. To me it looked like the ball had a chance to just nick the seven and it did. It sent the pin still standing up toward the ten pin. The seven hit the ten pin and both pins just sat there for about 2 seconds. Then the two pins finally fell! The girl that threw the ball never even looked to see what the ball was going to do. She acted like the ball was going into the gutter right after she let go of it. I asked her why and she said." I gave up on the ball as i was aiming for the ten!"
Brodo Fraggins
Brodo Fraggins 5 gün önce
How does the rough ball perform worse on a dry lane? You stated it increased friction because of the lower surface area, but if I remember correctly, surface area has no impact on friction when the mass stays the same because the psi increase is inversely related to the surface area. Smaller surface area, higher psi, larger surface area, lower psi, so friction is unaffected. Does the spin cause this to be untrue?
Jacob Bradford
Jacob Bradford 5 gün önce
Joe exotics uncle bowling
Jasonian 5 gün önce
3:50.... OSHA violation. lol
J. Davis
J. Davis 5 gün önce
199 is actually the highest score in bowling without a strike.
Sushanth Nukala
Sushanth Nukala 5 gün önce
When he said 17 to 18 and half, maybe he meant 17 and half to 18
kilroy999aolcom 5 gün önce
Very cool, Learned a lot about how much goes into the art of bowling. Also was nice to see a different side of Mr Weber. Much respect. Thanks for making.
Brandon Valencia
Brandon Valencia 5 gün önce
If there was no oil on the lane, bowlers would just have to adjust their strategy lol. You don't need the oil, you just have become accustom to it.
WhizkiddXXX 5 gün önce
12:31 Netflix?
nycdweller 5 gün önce
Del Ballard would disagree
Hamal Jay
Hamal Jay 5 gün önce
Obviously you're not a golfer.
Caged 5 gün önce
Is that a clip from the What's Inside channel?
Tyler Aubin
Tyler Aubin 5 gün önce
Martin Luther from the New Testament is not someone I suggest bringing up for a "happy" video...
pmailkeey 5 gün önce
18:00 Are you ure about that ? If the bowler can spin the ball faster due to less inertia, the grip of the alley will be similarly find it easier to slow the ball down. I therefore see no difference in effect.
Philip Eby
Philip Eby 5 gün önce
Screw Salesforce
Brad Laney
Brad Laney 5 gün önce
SnowPirate 6 gün önce
As soon as I saw Pete Weber's face I knew exactly what was coming
Michael R
Michael R 6 gün önce
5:38 Specifically, in the conventional bowling score format, to score a perfect game one would need to bowl 12 strikes, not 10, in a row, including three strikes in the tenth (final) frame. Recently, a new format was introduced to facilitate viewer interest in International events such as the Olympics or World Championships, called the "international format." This format relegates each frame as independent of each other, not relying on previous frame(s) results to augment a current frame score, such as a carryover spare or strike(s). In this case, only 10 strikes is needed to record a 300 game.
Borneo Wisnu
Borneo Wisnu 6 gün önce
What I want to know is how bowling effect on body condition..use just one side of the body and big burden on spine can possibly make our body unbalance..
ROMS RADIO 6 gün önce
Is the host the dude from MythBusters? lol
LongaVita 6 gün önce
Golf balls next!
gouldbergvariations 6 gün önce
Why are these “pro” bowling players so excited and so competitive? Its not even a sport, its a game. They get as competitive and excited as a weightlifter lifting 240kg over his head 😂 its very funny to watch
UndaCuvaChikin 6 gün önce
I still wheeze every time I hear "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE I AM?" What a legend ahaha
Luke Ehly
Luke Ehly 6 gün önce
Yay it's storm the one that sponsors my teammates yay!!
George Ratkovich
George Ratkovich 6 gün önce
Incredible how much I learned, and thank you for such a thorough explanation and demonstration. Remarkably well done..
Rich Killingsworth
Rich Killingsworth 6 gün önce
The only reason bowling isn't popular is because humanity is getting lazy as hell! The fact you have to exercise instead of play video games and physically do nothing but move your thumbs makes bowling like running a marathon. There's no fun in that right? I actually love and miss Bowling. I did it all my life and it keeps people friendly, in better shape and get's you out of the house and off the damn phone! Sick of the idiots out there that act like sheep following big Tech. Anyway, that's my view, I respect yours too.
swdhj 6 gün önce
Some of the mechanical concepts in bowling are also present in the discus throw. However, there are other factors such as aerodynamics. I would love to see a Veritasium video on the mechanics of the discus throw.
Ali Mahjoori
Ali Mahjoori 6 gün önce
Weswyn 6 gün önce
What I like about this is that almost all of this knowledge is completely irrelevant if you play with house balls xD
T j
T j 7 gün önce
The Balls harden
SolarizeYourLife 7 gün önce
I knew bowling was rigged...just like the stock market...
Paul Runyon
Paul Runyon 7 gün önce
I don't even like bowling. And I suck at it. Yet here I am watching this entire video. Why? It was interesting... Too much time on my hands....
MumblesBadly 7 gün önce
That cross-lane ball-travel path is typical for only certain type of bowlers, e.g. power strokers like Pete Weber, crankers, and two-handed bowlers, but is not typical for non-power strokers.
p39483 7 gün önce
The ball is a wave and energy is transferred through the fields.
Redpike136 7 gün önce
It would be interesting to see a similar type of video about archery. There’s a lot of options out there for every property of a bow or set of arrows, kind of like the variables for the bowling balls.
I.M. Askance
I.M. Askance 7 gün önce
@ 3:53 Gotta love the cup holder on that thing he's driving!!!
TheBrondongs 7 gün önce
A strike doesn’t double count your next two throws. It gives you 2 extra throws to get up to 20 extra points. A spare gives you 1 for 10 extra.
Steven Woodworth
Steven Woodworth 8 gün önce
Awesome video. All things that have been documented before but not like this with that Veritasium "spin". Thanks for all the awesome content. The outbound "roll a strike then do it 12 more times in a row" is eating at me, that would be 13 strikes which would be a 330. Semantics probably, or an english professor will tell me why that is the proper phrasing but my brain doesn't seem to work that way. Thank you again for the awesome video, can't believe it took me 2 months to get to this part of the video catalog!
Grogz40 8 gün önce
I wonder when was the last time an ABC official had to come out and weigh a ball and check the lane conditions when someone rolled an honor score? Something that I had to go through the first 300 I shot in 87'. Also remembering that that the pair of lanes would be shut down for the rest of the night until that official came out to examine the lanes. So once reactive resin balls and routinely walled up shots were the norm, this practice by the ABC was no longer in place since so many honor scores were rolled.
Visormanwillhityou 8 gün önce
*ha balls.*
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