Why can a bowling ball knock over a bowling pin but not a cinder block?

There are two main reasons:

  • A bowling pin, at around 3 lbs. 8 oz., is much lighter than even the lightest bowling ball, while the opposite is true for a cinder block.
  • In addition, the odd shape of the pin (with its small base and larger middle) brings its center of gravity up off the floor much higher than a cinder block of equal height. This makes the pin far more likely to tip over when struck.