USBC ISSUES DECISIONS CONCERNING EQUIPMENT REVISIONS
GREENDALE, Wis. - After gathering feedback from a variety of industry groups, leaders and the grass roots membership, the United States Bowling Congress will move forward with two bowling ball specification proposals and re-evaluate two others.
In making the decisions at its July 23 meeting, the USBC Equipment Specifications Committee determined to initiate a more comprehensive study of all bowling ball specifications. As the newly organized USBC moves ahead as the sport's national governing body, its pledge is to study all System of Bowling components to ensure that skill is the primary factor for success in the sport.
The committee voted to move forward with the following proposals:
* Mohs' hardness specification - USBC has created a new Mohs' hardness specification of 6.0 for particles in the cover stock of a bowling ball. Bowling ball manufacturers will have 90 days to review and comment on a USBC test procedure. Assuming there are no specific issues with the test procedure, implementation will begin no earlier than Jan. 1, 2006. The intent of this specification is to limit the amount of traction a bowling ball is capable of achieving and to protect the lane surface.
* USBC approval logo on bowling balls - Rather than a designed logo, all approved bowling balls manufactured and submitted for approval after March 1, 2006, will be required to have the acronym "USBC" and star outline as part of the serial number area. All previously-approved equipment without the USBC stamp may continue to be used in USBC-certified competition.
The committee voted not to move forward with the following proposals:
* Eliminating all balance holes in all balls manufactured/drilled after Jan. 1, 2006.
* Requiring all balls drilled after Jan. 1, 2006 to have the center of gravity (CG) mark to be within one inch of the center of grip.
"The proposals dealing with eliminating balance holes and center of gravity/center of grip were not advanced because we believe that they would have a very limited effect and not fully address the scope of technological changes the USBC wants to pursue," said USBC Technical Director Neil Stremmel.
In place of these proposals, the committee has directed Stremmel's Specifications and Certification team to develop, with industry input and cooperation, a study of existing bowling ball specifications and recommendations for changes at the design stage (including core designs and cover stocks). Testing methods for dynamic performance specifications - such as the amount that a ball can hook and entry angles achieved through friction - also will be investigated with industry support.
The committee took into consideration input gathered during an open comment period, the Industry Forum in June that included representatives from bowling ball manufacturers and other industry leaders and Specifications and Certifications staff research and recommendations.
"There was a tremendous response to these proposals," said USBC Equipment Specifications Committee Chairperson Linda Scott. "USBC is appreciative of the industry input and has taken those comments to heart in the decision-making process."
As bowling's national governing body, USBC is required to maintain the sport's credibility through the development and enforcement of specifications. To fulfill this mission, USBC will continue its ongoing review of the "System of Bowling" - which includes lane surfaces, lane conditions, bowling balls and pins - and develop any new specifications that may be needed.
Among the goals of the USBC's efforts to reset the parameters of the game will be to:
* Grow the sport through the respect that a credible playing field provides.
* Enhance the "risk vs. reward" element to bowling.
* Better define the stars of the game.
* Develop a renewed level of pride in accomplishment.
* Improve the perception of bowling as a sport.
* Place a higher value on coaching and practice for success.
* Ensure that technology does not progress to overwhelm player skill as the key ingredient for success.
USBC Specifications and Certification
The USBC Specifications and Certification testing facility, opened in 1977, is an eight-lane center in a climate-controlled building where team members regulate and standardize bowling equipment by concentrating on pin and product testing, research work, bowling center certifications and lane dressing inspections. The staff provides lane-conditioning support for a variety of tournaments and Sport Bowling events. The Specifications and Certification team consists of engineers, technicians and support staff.
Since the mid-1980s, Specifications and Certification has been the only facility recognized to approve products for international competition such as the World Tenpin Bowling Association and the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs.
United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services and enhances the bowling experience.
USBC officially launched Jan. 1, 2005, as an organization serving more than three million adult and youth bowlers in the United States. It resulted from the merger of the American Bowling Congress, Women's International Bowling Congress, Young American Bowling Alliance and USA Bowling.
Bowl with US