I hate these "studies" not because of anything having to do with equipment but because of what it represents.
To me, these studies represent a USBC wasting time, energy, and resources. Not focusing on bringing value to USBC membership. Not focusing on advertising or attempting to lure more bowlers to the game.
In the mean time leagues continue to dwindle. Members gripe about value. Many leagues go unsanctioned. Sandbagging seriously infiltrated the USBC Open last year. Those are the things that matter to me and most of us. How do we get more people bowling? Answer that question first; then we can focus on whether or not equipment is too strong, if there's too much oil, and how do we "slope rate" each house in America.
I will give the same answer I’ve given for years. If you want new bowlers, then you have to have leagues for new bowlers. Right now, there aren’t any. If you even want to keep your middle skilled and lower skilled bowlers, then you need leagues where they can flourish too. Again, right now these leagues do not exist.
The comment was made about all the comments from septeguenarians. Well if you remember “back in the day” you had classes of leagues laid out by skill set. That does not exist today. Leagues are the Wild West. I’ve seen leagues with teams averaging 365 to 820 for 4 person teams in the same league. Look around.
The bottom line is that new bowlers do not want to bowl with teams of all 200+ average bowlers who throw nothing but strikes. Neither do your 150-170 average guys. Yet that is what everybody is forced to do because there are no rules for league entry and many are playing below their real ability for easy wins.
You asked, I answered your questions. Much as people don’t want to believe high scores are a real problem, I’m here to tell you they very much are. But I know you don’t want to hear that. So I’ll just say my piece and go... And you can keep wondering why you are not attracting “new bowlers”. And losing your middle and lesser skilled players. Maybe do another study...
It also doesn’t help when you shut off all awards for anybody who can’t throw a 300 game or an 800 series. What message do you think you are sending to “new bowlers” by that? Why join a league? Why sanction? To buy someone else’s 300 ring? Seriously. Some guys are earning 8 a year. 300 rings should be once in a lifetime awards. And if you lose it or something happens to it, then let them buy another one - not out of membership money. Then maybe leagues would have money to spend on something other than a couple 300 rings every week all season.