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Bowling Ball Serial Number Lookup: What Is It? How to Use It

The bowler lined his dominant foot and rolled the blue ball in the bowling competition, hitting all ten pins.

Did you just recently find out that bowling balls have serial numbers? You’re one of many – most people don’t even notice them.

But it’s good to know about bowling ball serial numbers since they come in handy if you need targeted information about your ball. And that’s not nearly the extent of it.

In this article, we will discuss how to find the serial number on your bowling ball, what these numbers mean, how to use a bowling ball serial number lookup, and more!

Bowling Ball Serial Number Lookup

Every bowling ball has a serial number, which serves several purposes for manufacturers and customers. For manufacturers, the serial number is essential for quality control. It can track when and where the ball was made, production batches, and potential defects.

For customers, it can come in handy should the ball ever be lost or stolen.

When you register your ball, you’ll enter the serial number, which will be linked to your name and contact information. This makes it easier for bowling alleys and retailers to contact you if your ball is found and for potential bowling ball recalls.

Brunswick has made it easy to register your Brunswick, Columbia 300, DV8, Ebonite, Radical, Hammer, Track, and Ultimate bowling products and accessories here.

The USBC (United States Bowling Congress) also uses a bowling ball’s serial number. When you enter a USBC-sanctioned event, you’ll have to provide your ball’s serial number.

The USBC uses these numbers to determine whether your ball is considered legal and approved for competitive or tournament play. If your serial number isn’t on the list, you’ll have to get a new ball.


Where to Find the Serial Number on Your Bowling Ball

So, how do you find the serial number on your bowling ball? It’s quite simple – it should be stamped or engraved somewhere on the ball. The most common place is near the hole.

If you can’t find it there, check near the bottom of the ball.

If you’re having trouble finding the serial number, consult your ball’s manual or the ball maker’s website. If the serial number is ever removed, to be considered legal, it must be re-engraved for competition.

Red and blue reactive resin brunswick t zone bowling ball on a white background.

What the Digits of a Serial Number Mean

Now that you know how to find the serial number on your bowling ball, you’re probably wondering what all those numbers and letters mean.

The truth is that a bowling ball’s serial number may vary depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers’ serial numbers begin with the first letter of their brand name.

Here is a hypothetical example of a bowling ball serial number is an alpha-numeric string: ACR121006789.

In this case, ACR would be the manufacturer’s three-letter code, and 121006789 would be the production number. The first two digits of the production number (12) indicate the year the ball was made, and the next three digits (100) indicate the day of the year.

So, in this example, the ball was made on April 10th. The last four digits (6789) are usually randomly generated and stand for the SKU number or stock-keeping unit.

The SKU could indicate various things for the manufacturer, such as the type of ball or the color. Some manufacturers’ numerical values include extra information, like the ball’s weight or the type of cover stock.

In our hypothetical example, if the weight was included, it may look something like this: ACR12100678914.

The 14 would indicate that the ball weighed 14 pounds.

We cannot stress enough that your bowling ball’s serial number format may differ from our example. Different manufacturers have multiple systems creating the ball’s serial numbers.

If you’re unsure about your serial number, consult the manufacturer’s website or customer service. They can fill you in on the nuances of their serial numbers and answer any questions you may have.

Blue house bowling ball is used by many bowlers.

How to Use a Bowling Ball Serial Number Lookup

You understand the basics of bowling ball serial numbers – now let’s look at how to put your knowledge to use. If you want to retrieve information about your ball, you can use a bowling ball serial number lookup or archive.

Select manufacturers offer these lookup tools, and they can be a great resource if you’re trying to track down a specific ball.

All you’d need to do is type in your serial number (and any other information on the form), and the tool will provide you with the details they house in their database.

Of course, not all manufacturers offer this service. So, if you’re trying to track down a lost or stolen ball and there’s no serial number lookup available, contact the pro shop or retailer you bought it from.

They may have a sale record in their system that includes your ball’s serial number and other pertinent information.

What to Do if You Can’t Find Your Bowling Ball’s Serial Number

It can be frustrating when you can’t find your serial number, especially if you’re trying to register for a tournament or locate a lost ball. If the manufacturer’s website and lookup tool are no help, we recommend you contact a local pro shop.

The staff there should be able to tell you where to find the serial number on your ball and what it means. These professionals have seen a ton of bowling balls and are experts in their own right.

And if your bowling ball doesn’t have a serial number, they may be able to help you identify your ball using other methods. There’s almost always more than one way to figure things out.  

House bowling balls are not used in tournaments.

Other Numbers on a Bowling Ball

If you have seen or used multiple bowling balls, you probably know that the serial number isn’t always the only number on a bowling ball. In addition to the serial number, you may notice another number stamped or engraved on your ball.

Often, bowling balls will have their weight inscribed somewhere on the coverstock.

The number will usually stand-alone – it won’t say 14 lbs – it’ll just say “14”. This is common with house balls that you’ll find at the bowling alley but may also be on your personal ball.

The 7 and 8-pound bowling balls sitting on the ball return can knock down bowling pins.

Do Bowling Balls Expire?

If you look at your bowling ball’s serial number and realize that it was manufactured long ago, you may start to wonder if the ball is stale or expired. 

The answer is no – bowling balls do not expire. As long as your ball isn’t cracked or otherwise damaged, it should be okay to use.

Of course, if you’ve had your ball for a long time, it may not perform as well as it did when it was new. The coverstock may have lost its luster, and its core may have separated. This is normal wear and tear and is to be expected. 

Still, you should know that a bowling ball’s expected life may range from 5 to 10 years. But if the bowling ball was only gently used or if the previous owner took really good care of it, you can get several more years out of it. 

If you’re concerned about your ball’s performance, we recommend you take it to a local pro shop and have them inspect it. Within a few minutes, an expert may be able to tell you if your ball needs to be resurfaced, replaced, or otherwise fixed. Who knows, you might be able to get more play time out of your ball. 

Red, blue and purple storm bowling ball sitting on white background.

Related Articles

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about bowling ball serial numbers.

They’re individual to each ball and can be a great resource in certain use cases. Be sure to properly record and retain all the bowling information provided on the bowling box as well as where you purchased the ball.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you, having explained in detail what serial numbers mean, where to find them, how to use them to your advantage, and more.

And we wish you the best of luck as you take steps to learn more about bowling balls and the sport itself!