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Anna Andersson: "Bowling in Europe is Now a Purple Hammer Game"

Anna Andersson: Bowling in Europe is now a Purple Hammer game

Despite Sweden's impressive haul of eight medals at the European Women's Bowling Championships 2024 in Wittelsheim, France, Swedish National Team member and gold medalist in the team event, Anna Andersson, has voiced her deep concern about the state of competitive bowling in Europe, particularly the impact of Purple Hammer bowling balls.

The European and World champion shared her apprehensions in her latest social media post. "The sport is ruined. The game is ruined," she began, regretting the shift in focus from traditional bowling skills to the reliance on specific equipment. According to Andersson, the game has lost its core elements, which once centered on shot-making, lane reading, and strategic adjustments.


"It’s no longer about shot-making. It’s no longer about how well you read lane play. It’s no longer about making the right adjustments on the lanes. It’s no longer about having the right arsenal. All the things that made this game a sport have been taken out of the equation," Andersson said.

"Bowling in Europe is now a Purple Hammer game," she stated, reflecting on her experiences during the European Women's Bowling Championships 2024.

Some traditional urethane balls, such as the Purple Hammer, have been found to become softer over time, which can affect their performance and the playing environment. Some high-level bowling events have banned such bowling balls from their competition. In 2023, the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour decided to raise the minimum hardness requirement from 73.0HD to a new minimum of 78.0HD. The PBA Tour is currently the only entity using this regulation, which takes effect from January 6, 2024, while urethane balls with lower hardness are still permitted in all other tournaments.

Traditionally, the Purple Hammer has been the most popular bowling ball in the competition, with 82 Purple Hammers used in the EWC 2024. In comparison, the second most popular ball, the Storm Phaze II, was used only 14 times. The increase in the number of Purple Hammer balls has been noticeable in the last few European bowling championships, leading even more players to include these balls in their arsenal.

Andersson expressed that despite feeling physically at her peak, her scores did not mirror her performance or effort, leading to a sense of hopelessness. She described the 24 games she played in the EWC 2024 as "the most mentally draining games of my life," citing the constant search for better ball motion and the struggle to consistently perform well.

"These 24 games throughout the European Women’s Championship have been the most mentally draining games of my life. Imagine never ever being able to catch a break. Getting a double at most. Hitting the pocket 9/10 times per game. Constantly seeking a better way to get the ball through the pins. Constantly seeking a better ball motion. Every. Single. Shot. And on top of that, watching people throw the Purple Hammer all over the lane. Cause yes, that’s what some people do."

In her post, Andersson criticized the European Bowling Federation (EBF) for their inaction in the face of these challenges.

"Every bowler knows that this is the reality of European bowling at the moment, and no one in charge seems to be willing to make a decision for the betterment of the sport," Andersson asserted.

Meanwhile, Andersson's heartfelt commentary on the use of the Purple Hammer and its impact on European bowling ignited discussions on social media. While some agreed with her perspective, others praised the influence of the Purple Hammer on the sport and highlighted different issues within bowling.


In response to all the fuss that was once again raised about the infamous purple bowling ball, Hammer had a very short, but a telling message:

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