How Hidden Technology Transformed Bowling

Xuất bản 25 Th09, 2021
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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

  • Adrián Pablo Alvarez

    Adrián Pablo Alvarez

    52 phút trước

    Great video. Greatly enjoyed it!

  • gabethedizzle


    Giờ trước

    Some bowling dude: 'We're up to over 3000 balls a day!"

  • gabethedizzle


    Giờ trước

    The Dude Abides.

  • James Gowan

    James Gowan

    Giờ trước

    This was incredible…. I saw the length of video and knew I click out quickly. Didn’t… couldn’t. Great!

  • Rhythm


    Giờ trước


  • Dead Messenger

    Dead Messenger

    Giờ trước

    Seems just like golf, trying to convince people that more expensive equipment can make up for a lack of skills. News flash - it doesn't.

  • David Le Goff

    David Le Goff

    2 giờ trước

    You should do a video about disc golfing. It's such an interesting sport.

  • 이지


    3 giờ trước

    “We make 3000 BaLLs a day”

  • B_JIN


    3 giờ trước

    6:56 pin action

  • 509g1


    7 giờ trước

    12:40 serious smile eventually jealous smile 🤣

  • 509g1


    7 giờ trước

    1:58 be looks like the guy with glasses from transformers dark moon lmao

  • John Barrett

    John Barrett

    7 giờ trước

    Does the process for making 10 Pin Bowling Balls apply to 5 Pin, Candlepin, and Duckpin as well?

  • Jacob Par

    Jacob Par

    7 giờ trước

    What is a participatory sport? What is a NON-participatory sport?!

  • Jannik


    9 giờ trước

    dude at 17.50 sounds like Kermit the frog

  • Luceat Lux

    Luceat Lux

    12 giờ trước

    when i go to lanes, i just get the heaviest ball available and launch it as hard as i can... the pins pop like popcorn. i usually get very high scores and have even tackled a few 7-10 splits (at around a 25% rate).

  • Niels Niels

    Niels Niels

    17 giờ trước

    Damn, bowling is complicated

  • Virtual Pilgrim

    Virtual Pilgrim

    18 giờ trước

    8:45 Kent Hovind lookalike

  • Jesala Ålander

    Jesala Ålander

    18 giờ trước

    did i just see the shelby logo on the oil machine

  • Rosie


    19 giờ trước

    i feel special, i oil lanes every couple of weeks at my job lol

  • Tufan Ünal

    Tufan Ünal

    20 giờ trước

    03:51 seconds ago before HSE guy comes and chase away Derek out of facility.

  • Kosmodows 2000

    Kosmodows 2000

    20 giờ trước

    You copied mark robert!!!

  • Reggie Smith-Jackson

    Reggie Smith-Jackson

    21 giờ trước


  • Rustys Guns

    Rustys Guns

    21 giờ trước

    You know how they throw the ball into the crowd after they win the game? That's not allowed in Bowling. I know that now.

  • E1craZ4life


    21 giờ trước

    Government: bans nine-pin bowling.
    Smart guy: invents ten-pin bowling.

  • the toneknob

    the toneknob

    22 giờ trước

    i bowled a 270 throwing granny that's a challenge!

  • Harry


    23 giờ trước

    Im not a robot

  • Umer The Clumsy Tube

    Umer The Clumsy Tube

    23 giờ trước

    I’ve never done bowling, but I feel like when I throw it, my fingers will come off with it

  • Theodore Rollet

    Theodore Rollet

    23 giờ trước

    Yes riding on the Pallet jack!

  • Vairian KingKade

    Vairian KingKade

    Ngày trước

    Its a fun game but its no sport

  • Chloe Hennessey

    Chloe Hennessey

    Ngày trước

    “Im using imperial units here because it’s made it to the moon, landed and came back”.
    There, fixed it for you.

  • lordcumiring


    Ngày trước

    11:04 looks like a Nissan Sylvia drifting

  • Andry Owyeh

    Andry Owyeh

    Ngày trước

    i think naruto should throw rasengan like this

  • MyKonaRC


    Ngày trước

    Dude was so used to using cheats (oil) he couldn't hit the pins if he tried on the dry lane! HA!

  • Deepak Alagesan

    Deepak Alagesan

    Ngày trước

    Now I know the word…. Oil pattern ….. I will use this when at after work bowlings on fridays ….. so people think I am pro…. 🤣

  • SpaceGeek


    Ngày trước

    12:28 this video sponsored by Netflix 🤣🤣🤣

  • Mustachioed Bear

    Mustachioed Bear

    Ngày trước


  • Quamont


    Ngày trước

    Why is the "sh*t talking" of the professional bowlers so damn funny to me?
    I think it might have to do with no matter what, we'll get competetive about it and I think I now understand how my parents felt when they smiled at me getting excited over a video game. I don't understand all the tricks bowlers know and while I recognize there's more behind it, I still only see a heavy ball knock down some pins.

  • Buckeye Ranger

    Buckeye Ranger

    Ngày trước

    Imagine “fixing” baseballs, basketballs, or footballs w/ fillers to vary the spin

  • X


    Ngày trước

    3:50 OSHA Violation in 3.. 2..

  • Z06 Guy

    Z06 Guy

    Ngày trước

    They haven't invented a weight block yet that allows me to be a lousy bowler on technique but still throw a lot of strikes.

  • Tony Elliott

    Tony Elliott

    Ngày trước

    Going bowling later just because of this lol

  • Jerryd Shoup

    Jerryd Shoup

    Ngày trước

    How much is the bowling numbers affected by the popularity of the big Lebowski

  • bella angelo

    bella angelo

    Ngày trước

    All u need is one ball and just speed and rpm

  • bella angelo

    bella angelo

    Ngày trước

    A good bowler can bowl on any lane condition even that dry lane

  • Milo Szecket

    Milo Szecket

    Ngày trước

    [big lebowski joke]

  • Rise Again

    Rise Again

    Ngày trước

    Wow, thats a lot of science there

  • Malachi Marko

    Malachi Marko

    Ngày trước

    3:55 an OSHA workers clipboard just rattled somewhere

  • Walter C. Clemens, Jr.

    Walter C. Clemens, Jr.

    Ngày trước

    It's the who do you think you are I am guy

  • Frank


    Ngày trước

    Not a single person in that factory wearing a respirator breathing in carcinogenic chemicals all day

  • liam


    Ngày trước

    *white stuff*

  • BS Lee

    BS Lee

    Ngày trước

    Why isn’t bowling an Olympic sport?

  • Pariwesh


    Ngày trước

    That's a lot of balls.

  • ENNE H

    ENNE H

    Ngày trước

    I'm just amazed nobody in that factory wears PPEs when directly working with the paints

  • 〈yourskynet〉


    2 ngày trước

    Would really love to see a video on the aerodynamics of discgolf and the physics behind for example the S-shaped throw.

  • CompressWealthDivide EconomicProsperity

    CompressWealthDivide EconomicProsperity

    2 ngày trước

    Too much technology taking the fun away from bowling.

  • Luke Trotter

    Luke Trotter

    2 ngày trước

    the 2.4k dislikes are disgruntled bowlers that hate that their jargon was slighted xD

  • Seagull


    2 ngày trước

    Not most popular

  • ramzan ali

    ramzan ali

    2 ngày trước


  • fEtUs DelETuS

    fEtUs DelETuS

    2 ngày trước

    i did a bowling move like the leg thingy ONCE and after a few hours youtube give me this video. im kinda scared...

  • Sourabh Singh

    Sourabh Singh

    2 ngày trước

    whole world is about ball

  • RatedMark


    2 ngày trước


  • JimBoB Beer

    JimBoB Beer

    2 ngày trước

    How Kramer was ‘well we need the oil’. 😂

  • Samuel Sägesser

    Samuel Sägesser

    2 ngày trước

    Okay okay Youtube I finally watched it, are you happy now???

  • J!nx


    2 ngày trước

    The width of the lane being 1.0636 m is somehow annoying me :|

  • T.


    2 ngày trước

    that video is way more interesting than bowling itself.

  • Chui Throwaway8

    Chui Throwaway8

    2 ngày trước

    The vagabond advantage spatially plant because friend microcephaly approve barring a juicy timpani. thoughtless, unwritten postbox

  • Eric Brown

    Eric Brown

    2 ngày trước

    I'm iiiiiiiiiiiooiookkkkkkkkkkkakkKKL!!also also alas papa all


  • Ahmed Sh. A. Bazama

    Ahmed Sh. A. Bazama

    2 ngày trước

    when are you going to play Bowling in outer space? Okay, at least onboard a Zero G plane !

  • BigDickBear🐻


    2 ngày trước

    Lesson one on the forklift class, do not hitch a ride on a forklift you might loose your feet.

  • jtsquires1016


    3 ngày trước

    As a bowler I thought that cores and weight blocks being in bowling balls etc was common kniwledge

  • malrofo


    3 ngày trước

    Why do we have to wear bowling shoes?

  • Lucas Carlson

    Lucas Carlson

    3 ngày trước

    dammit, people already made Roman jokes. well, I guess that frees up my day...

  • Aaron Mitchell

    Aaron Mitchell

    3 ngày trước

    Man I love this channel

  • Nigel Smith

    Nigel Smith

    3 ngày trước

    Honestly, you must get fairly fit if you lift and manufacture Bowling Balls all day

  • MCRuCr


    3 ngày trước

    I love how china declares the USA their enemy, yet they imitate US culture whenever possible. (Bowling is quite popular in China, 0:57) The same with northkorea..
    In the end it is all about propaganda and mass control ... people won't rebel against their government if you give them a bogeyman... very sad and proof that china is decades behind in terms of their social and cultural development. I'm grateful to live in a country where I can have my own opinion and criticise whatever I want.

  • Builder 101

    Builder 101

    3 ngày trước

    Praise the Lord for designing physics in such a way that allowed us to do this!

  • ConsciousSingularity


    3 ngày trước

    Hands down, this excellent video production had the right mix of knowledge density and entertainment such that learning about bowling actually occurred after 35 years or more of casually playing the game, just for fun. The science could be explained at such levels most average viewers would just tune out. Instead, the well written scripting and narration of explanations focused upon relationships and concepts regarding the various aspects of the the game related to the ball and lane had me...ahem...hooked from start to finish. I know there would be much more to learn if the rest of the game's tools and features, from the pin setting machines to operations and more, were additionally covered like the bowling topic of this video; and I would certainly want to watch and learn from those productions, should they exist from this producer and creator of this content. Well done. Now I know enough to have a conversation with my semi-pro brother-in-law! HA!

  • metas


    3 ngày trước

    How many times is this dude going to change the title of this video?

  • yasio bolo

    yasio bolo

    3 ngày trước

    darts 😁

  • Adam Aley

    Adam Aley

    3 ngày trước


  • Rigo


    3 ngày trước

    Guys writing 101 don’t start your video with a list of what the video contains. That’s a bad thesis, instead make it about how to be a good bowler and frame it that way.

  • run1492


    3 ngày trước

    Wow ! The best bowling video EVER. Thanks ! Now I understand why It didn't work for me when I wanted to play like pros, in lanes without oil xxxd, balls without tech, and also the most important factor, the player without knowledge nor experience. I should give it a try again, somewhere in the future

  • Durkk


    3 ngày trước

    Did yall really not know bowling balls have offset weights inside?

    • yasio bolo

      yasio bolo

      3 ngày trước

      Let's Go Brandon!!

  • Michi Room

    Michi Room

    3 ngày trước

    This Mr. Webber takes it way too serious

  • Jason Bateman

    Jason Bateman

    3 ngày trước

    Holy cow I live right by Brigham City

  • Sameplayer


    3 ngày trước

    the german version of bowling us different because the balls are smaller the lanes are smaller and the ball has no holes. It is called Kegeln and a Pin is called a Kegel

  • James Austin

    James Austin

    3 ngày trước

    Almost impossible to cut... with a hammer.. which is a conventional tool.

  • Thorakites


    3 ngày trước

    I highly suggest viewers here check out Tom Nicholas's video about Veritasium's sponsored self-driving car video.

  • Cheesepuff8


    3 ngày trước

    When I went blowing my friend was just trying to see how fast he could throw it, he got almost 24 mph

  • skl1992


    3 ngày trước

    Thanks for the 3d xray:-). 1:06 i still don't understand why the "weight block" in the center of the bowling bowl is not a round block.

    If the "weight block" is not a round block then we have an unequal competitions at the bowling center (we always believe the ball is a "perfect solid sphere" so we aim always at the middle of the track)

    wiki:Asymmetrical bowling balls have a defined, angular shape down lane that respond to friction quicker than symmetrical balls. The main reason for this is that asymmetrical cores are not in equal proportion top to bottom.

  • Alex !

    Alex !

    3 ngày trước

    like any American sports, it is over complicated, lol, good vid

  • Fiirecrash


    4 ngày trước

    Somehow it feels like that factory can be made so much more effecient and faster :) nice video!!

  • Kyloren Kardashian

    Kyloren Kardashian

    4 ngày trước

    Fun Fact. Bowling Balls are just Plumbus Seeds

  • Jeffrey English

    Jeffrey English

    4 ngày trước

    How fun! I hope it pays well. Lucky workers. Must be nice to answer the question “What do you do for a living?” with “I make bowling balls.” It’s an ancient art that brings people joy.

  • John Lesly

    John Lesly

    4 ngày trước

    Let's Go Brandon!!

  • Charles Vane

    Charles Vane

    4 ngày trước

    Fascinating video. Great job.

  • Michael Richardson

    Michael Richardson

    4 ngày trước

    Okay... so can you explain Canadian Bowling?

  • FvckYoutube'sCensorshipAndTheirAdBuyers UseAdblock

    FvckYoutube'sCensorshipAndTheirAdBuyers UseAdblock

    4 ngày trước

    How do bowling ball manufacturers stay in business? They are kinda hard to lose and nearly indestructable so don't really wear out. I didn't think there were that many hydraulic press channels crushing them for videos or explosives channels blowing them up.

    • RandomPerson NotTooRandom

      RandomPerson NotTooRandom

      2 ngày trước

      They stay in business for a few reasons. First off, there are always new bowlers joining the market and they want to have their own ball. If companies went out of business right now, everyone would have to have second-hand stuff which some people don’t like. It would cost additional money for them to get the finger holes plugged and remeasured for their hand. Second, bowling companies are always coming out with new technology to make the bowling balls hit harder. Brunswick a couple years ago came out with DynamiCore and recently came out with DynamiCore 2. Hammer’s big thing a few years ago was carbon fiber-infused bowling balls. There’s always ways to also market new cores and new coverstocks to make them seem more appealing. It’s all about creating new shapes (like making balls hook more unique), more hitting power, more versatility, and thinking about ways to ipdate the game. Lastly, yes, as the person mentioned, bowling balls at some point lose their surface. They “die.” Coverstocks have so many chemicals that at some point, they just stop working. They also get a lot of oil build up and moisture in the ball, and no matter how much you try to remove it (which can be done through constant ball maintainence) eventually, it will “die.”

    • Caleb dragonborn

      Caleb dragonborn

      4 ngày trước

      I'm probably wrong, but I think it has to do with the balls needing to have a specific surface. There are many ball surfaces for specific things, and while the ball itself might not break, the surface can get worn down.