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#6490 - 07/28/05 11:36 AM Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Angel Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 401
A/S/L: F/So Cal
Partial victory?

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

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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#6491 - 07/28/05 07:40 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
stroker2005 Offline
Junior

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 27
A/S/L: 43/m/tx
In your opinion, do you think this is a move in the right direction? How will it affect the fake 200+ bowler?

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#6492 - 07/29/05 12:50 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
It won't effect those bowlers at all. Only lane conditions will really have the most impact. High tech equipment is here and you cannot turn the clock back. But you can demand that there be certain units of oil in certain places at certain ratios. But then you'd make all the older houses replace their older less technically advanced oil machines and purchase tape reading machines to make sure the oil pattern meets specs. Right now, there are a ton of houses that cannot have sanctioned Sport Leagues because they do not have the equipment (or the knowledgable personel) to make sure the oil patterns meet the requirements.

And how would you police something like this? How are you going to police the proposal (that failed) that all CGs be within 1 inch of the midline. Associations are already stretched to the limit making sure that existing specs of 3 units of oil be on the lanes at all times (on a yearly basis and zero lineage every 40 days). There's just no way that you could find a volunteer body large enough to sanction every league for oil pattern specifications. So in reality the lane conditions are not feasable either.

Maybe they could go back to more bottom heavy pins. It'd be a lot easier to police those specs as there are not that much variety in bowling pins. But then when they had the heavy bottomed pins the scoring pace and participation dropped, they allowed pins to be lighter and the center of gravity higher. The scoring pace increased. Now USBC (then ABC) wants to slow down the scoring pace. I think they should make up their minds. When participation drops from any near future changes are they then going to back pedal AGAIN and change specs to increase scoring?

Erin

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#6493 - 07/29/05 06:37 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Darrell Offline
High Roller

Registered: 01/25/05
Posts: 319
A/S/L: 46 Male Michigan
Hello Bowling Fans. The USBC has the gargantuan task of making our sport credible before the rest of the sporting world as well as creating a true but varied competitive environment in Bowling at every level.

Happily they have listened to the industry and the participants in the sport of bowling on some things. Never the less a solid, workable solution still must be found to the joy of some and the chagrin of others.

Erin is right, there can be no going back. So it is imperative that the USBC proceed thoughtfully and carefully with continued cooperation with the Industry and the Participant atheletes.

Not to dwell on the past. But the past and current practice of "inflating" scores by means of easy lane conditions hurt our sport at every level and has been for years. The effect that these practices has had may be arguable, but one thing is certain, that Bowlings credibility has suffered.
Higher scores achieved by using skill gained by being instructed and the experience of practice and competition as well as the use updated equipment is the norm that is present across every sport.

Bottom line, we must as atheletes and competitors of various levels, continue to make our presence felt by this governing body.
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Darrell "D Man"

--------------------
May all your corner pins fall

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#6494 - 07/29/05 09:21 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Angel Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 401
A/S/L: F/So Cal
USBC is in a bind. If they do anything to tick off the membership, they'll cease to exist. And with the BPAA waiting in the wings with their "Contemporary Bowling Association" they have to be careful what they do and who they infuriate.

Removing the double void in the bowling pin is certainly one way to keep scoring down. Pins are replaced every couple of years, and to design something that's more difficult to topple and PROVE it might take a few years before that. To me, that's one answer. Another would be to gradually increase the lane oil ratios on the outside boards. The reality is, however, centers don't want decreased scoring and it's not likely without going back to the days of certifying an honor score AFTER it's thrown that USBC would know if one pattern was approved and another put out on league night. But saying USBC could get enough members on board, perhaps the 3 unit rule could be increased to 5 next year, to 10 the next, and then close in on a 5:1 ratio (roughly double the 2.5:1 most sport leagues have to endure now). I can't see the "average" league wanting to bowl "S"port every week because it isn't fun, it causes migraines, and face it, some people would never have the concentration for it. But that's not to say that USBC has to decide whether they're going down with the ship trying to right it, or if they're only going to continue to make things worse by offering bad (and costly) solutions and proving they have no idea what the average bowler (or even the elite bowler) wants from the sport.
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#6495 - 07/29/05 10:11 AM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">The reality is, however, centers don't want decreased scoring and it's not likely without going back to the days of certifying an honor score AFTER it's thrown </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="VERDANA,ARIAL,HELVETICA,TAHOMA">And sometimes scoring is all that keeps a house going in today's high business costs.

In metro areas where you have a choice of houses to bowl in there can be great competition for bowlers. And the ability to score in one vs the other can be a huge draw. For example one house in our area has had over 200 honor scores this summer season so far. The house we bowl in is just about 5 miles from that house, we've had about 30.

Erin

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#6496 - 07/29/05 12:04 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Darrell Offline
High Roller

Registered: 01/25/05
Posts: 319
A/S/L: 46 Male Michigan
Hello Bowling Fans. Erin, Angel to avoid the mistakes of the late ABC, do not you ladies think that the USBC must assert itself and land on a solution and police the necessary changes to regulate and bring honor to our sport.

The "New" PBA seemingly has returned from near death under new powers and under incrementally applied changes. Changes that were unpopular with many. Regrettably the PWBA has passed from the scene, the Pros have no counterpart which practically all sports have. This represents death and dying within our sport.

What of the National and local Bowling Tournaments. The Collegiate Bowlers who compete with other sports programs.

Those of us who participate in this sport at the league level represent the majority and money end of this sport in a way unlike most other sports

The centralized, overruling governing body called USBC lends to our sport an air of not just organization but legitamancy in the Sports world. All agree that change must take place. But at some time we will reach crisis point if we have not already and force a change that hurt rather than help. So wisdom demands that if we would avoid this we must support and communicate with the USBC.

If the USBC allows the Bowling establishments to dictate policy the sport of Bowling will shoot itself in the head for having been short sighted. The Bowling world in all of its parts must do what is necessary to progress as well as ligitimize our sport.
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Darrell "D Man"

--------------------
May all your corner pins fall

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#6497 - 07/29/05 03:46 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
The problem is that it maybe a new USBC but its still the old ABC and now WIBC, just under a new name. So really the administration, the greed, the direction is all the same. In order just to survive, I believe the merger was needed.

Bowling establishments will always do what they want. Because the USBC wants the sanctioning money they will bend rather then let the houses go unsanctioned. The houses will do anything and everything to keep business up and viable.

I look forward to now paying about $10 more for a ball so that I can see the USBC logo around the serial number.

Erin

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#6498 - 07/29/05 06:11 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
Angel Offline


Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 401
A/S/L: F/So Cal
USBC is the same management (all the heads got rehired) with the same problem--a membership organization with a diminishing membership base. Nothing in the new USBC says what they are doing to create more bowlers (and sorry, the logo around the ball is NOT going to create new members.

I don't see them making rules that will upset the BPAA. And I see them coming up with more rule changes that feel like a knee-**** answer to very complicated issues of membership loss.

The PBA is open for interpretation. Because they are a private entity, no one can see their books so no one knows how much is improvement and how much is smoke and mirrors. On the other hand, they can make sweeping changes without fear of membership loss (how much lower could it have gone?).
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#6499 - 08/02/05 04:50 PM Re: Ball Specs Decisions Announced
The GDF Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 07/08/02
Posts: 92
A/S/L: 36 / M / England
Of all the recommendations, I'd have loved the "no weight hole" one to have been passed.

Whilst it wouldn't necessarily have solved all the problems, it would have at least returned the game to the point where Execution and release determined whether the ball hooked, and not how the ball was designed or drilled.

It would have made no difference to open bowlers, as all the house equipment is label drilled anyway - Those it would affect, would be the 200+ average "stand left throw right" brigade who would now have much less area to play with. Is that such a bad thing though I wonder - Think of the financial savings in reduced 300/800 games being bowled and less outlay for rings and other memorabilia.

Just MHO.
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Robert Knight
BTBA Phase III Coach

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