Official Press release follows:
USBC EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS DEPARTMENT TO HOLD FORUM ON PROPOSED EQUIPMENT CHANGES
Open discussion meant to solicit objective comments about the sport
GREENDALE, Wis. - An open discussion forum concerning equipment specification modifications under consideration will be held by the United States Bowling Congress on June 28 from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Fla. The USBC Equipment Specifications Committee has requested the forum in hope of gathering input from all interested parties regarding several topics, including three proposed specification changes.
USBC is inviting two representatives from each ball manufacturer to participate. The industry forum will also include two IBPSIA board members and two BPAA Board representatives, to be appointed by their respective organizations.
"USBC recognizes that manufacturers and other interested industry parties should have the opportunity to present facts and information, and provide comment and recommendations regarding proposed specification changes," said USBC Director of Sport Jeff Henry. "We value the industry's opinions. This forum will provide the means for manufacturers and others to address issues affecting the credibility and integrity of the sport."
The proposals under review, but for which no decision has been made, are as follows:
1. Eliminating all balance holes in all balls manufactured/drilled after January 1, 2006.
Elimination of balance holes in order to reduce the ability to manipulate the dynamics of the bowling ball. Bowling balls manufactured with balance holes prior to January 1, 2006 will be grandfathered in and will be able to be used in certified competition up until January 1, 2008.
2. Requiring all balls drilled after January 1, 2006 to have the center of gravity (CG) mark to be within one inch of the center of grip.
In conjunction with the proposed change of the balance hole specification, this new specification would allow league and tournament officials to verify a ball is within the current specifications for static weights. Bowling balls manufactured prior to January 1, 2006 will be grandfathered in and will be able to be used in certified competition up until January 1, 2008.
3. Requiring all balls to be manufactured with the USBC logo and year made as of January 1, 2006.
In addition, USBC is establishing a new Mohs' hardness specification for particles in the cover stock of a bowling ball. This scale was developed by Fredrich Mohs in 1812. This new manufacturing specification will become effective August 1, 2005. The current durometer "D" specification will remain in effect.
While the forum will focus on the three proposed equipment specification changes set forth above, USBC also will seek feedback on recent specification changes (RG Diff and COR). USBC will explain why these changes were made and seek information on whether future changes are desirable.
"As you can tell due to some other recent changes, we have been reviewing various aspects of the game and implementing specification changes," said USBC Director of Research Neil Stremmel. "However, we also feel that all interested parties need to have a voice in this. We want to make sure we have everyone's point of view before we move forward with any changes. The proposed specifications are under consideration due to considerable changes over the last several years."
In addition to the industry forum, USBC is also conducting an open comment period on the proposed changes. USBC would like to receive comments from any and all interested parties and in accordance with this goal an open comment period will be offered from June 1 through June 25. Any objective comments may be forwarded to: USBC Equipment Specifications Department; 5301 South 76th Street; Greendale, WI 53129; Fax (414) 421-5860; E-mail [email protected]
A final decision regarding all proposed specification changes will be issued by July 29.
USBC Equipment Specifications Department
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 also has approved 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.
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