USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change

Posted by: Mkirchie

USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/01/19 01:04 PM

On social media today, one of the league secretaries at my center posted a reminder about the new ball cleaning rules. Someone who bowls there made a quip about the rule, but I do think it illustrates a problem with how the rule is worded.

While bowling in USBC competition, a bowling ball cannot:
a. Have the surface altered by the use of an abrasive.
b. Be cleaned with any liquid substance or cleaning agent.
c. Have any foreign material on it including, but not limited to, powder, rosin, marker or paint.

All bowling balls so altered or cleaned must be removed from the competition.

The person who bowls at the center's comment was that after every shot, his ball comes back with foreign material on it from the machinery therefore making all of his equipment illegal after one shot.

Here are my thoughts. Technically, part c as it is written does not specify how the foreign material got on the ball. I know the intent of the rule is so a human doesn't put foreign material on the surface of the ball, but without that directly being stated I could see some heated arguments from people who want to cause trouble by saying someone's ball with a belt mark/grease/whatever else the machinery put on the ball is now illegal. Then, if a liquid is needed to clean it, they can all argue over rule b too.

Mark
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/02/19 08:54 AM

a few weeks ago, I had a couple balls cleaned by the proshop. And, just brought back to out of box finish.

In the very first game, one ball came back with significant what looked like rubber scuffs all over it. Lane man said, it may have been caught in the accelerator wheel.

It took a significant effort to clean it with ball cleaner, rubbing quite hard.

Are you telling me I couldn't clean it with this new rule? So, I'd have to use another ball?
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/02/19 09:12 AM

It doesn't necessarily require a ball change the way it is stated, but in my opinion it could be interpreted that way. I forgot to post about this part of the rule, I was going to add it, but it was beyond the edit time.

Should a foreign substance appear on the outer surface of a bowling ball which cannot be removed with a dry towel, an approved cleaner may be used with consent from a league or tournament officer.

I'm sure league and tournament officers want to deal with this. The way it is currently worded it seems that a foreign substance is illegal whether a human or a machine put it there. Additionally, they need to better define a "foreign substance" or there could be some debates. I see the possibility a lot of heated arguments and people causing trouble for the sake of disrupting someone who is bowling well.

Mark
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/02/19 05:06 PM

So, a bowler may be rolling well, and an opponent may stick gum on his ball? To disqualify it?
Gum, ketchup, mustard, something foreign.

Oh, foreign??? Has to be Dijon mustard from Dijon, France.

Sorry to make light of this rule. Most league officers I know will tell the bowler to clean it.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/03/19 08:05 AM

I do think my league officers would also provide consent. I wasn't thinking about other bowlers putting foreign stuff on other people's bowling balls. I was thinking more about someone complaining about belt marks or other stuff from the pinsetters/pinspotters as being foreign material to disrupt someone who is doing well (I've got someone in mind in my league who would try something like that).

I'd be slightly worried if there was a situation where it was a benefit to league officers not giving consent, although it would not happen with the officers in my league. If there is foreign material that cannot be removed by a dry towel, what is stopping a unscrupulous league officer from not giving consent to use an approved cleaner to completely eliminate someone's ball from competition? It is unlikely, but I do think the USBC has opened up the door to some very biased decisions.

Mark
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/04/19 02:11 PM

Going to be interesting. Every week I have to remove rubber marks from the ball. Usually I donít know they are there until I am up. I have the habit of wiping and looking at the ball before I bowl. So now I will try to wipe and if not successful go look for a league official before I bowl to get approval delaying league play. And I hope everyone does this to make a point that this is a crazy rule. A better solution would be approval from the opposing team and move on.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/04/19 09:57 PM

couple weeks ago, I had a couple balls cleaned by the proshop. after a few frames, One came back with heavy black rubber marks on it. They wouldn't come off with a dry towel. In fact, took quite an effort with a ball cleaner. So much, that I put the ball down and took out another.

I don't think I'd hold up the league waiting for an approval.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/05/19 03:10 AM

I thought the last post looked familiar. I posted it 2 days ago.
MMMMM
Senility is a wonderful thing!!
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/10/19 07:59 AM

The USBC addressed the rule change in their last Ten Pin Puzzlers, but basically repeated the rules as they are in the rulebook. I decided to e-mail the USBC about marks put on by the machinery being a foreign substance; when I get an answer I'll post it here.

Mark
Posted by: BOSStull

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/10/19 09:11 AM

Wednesday did not take long to get rubber marks on my ball. Only thing it was in practice lane broke down then we ended up moving to another lane. So a dry cloth did not remove used Storm cleaner to remove. This was before leagues started. No problem the rest of the night.

But this did get me wondering if this was during the league what is now considered legal approved cleaner. Can you use any approved cleaner now whether it is stated "approved before or after" or Approved Anytime". I think all the new products have only "Approved before and After and no more anytime on them.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/12/19 09:50 PM

As I suspected, the USBC responded that it is only supposed to be foreign materials placed on the ball by the bowler, so belt marks do not make a ball illegal. However, belt marks and the like are still going to be disruptive to clean when a dry towel is not sufficient and it needs to be addressed by an officer.

Here are two other additional interesting pieces of information from the response I got.

"Patting the ball with rosin
USBC recently changed our interpretation of the no foreign substance on the outer surface of the bowling ball is allowed and based on the interpretation, patting the holes of a bowling ball allows rosin to be added to the surface which is a violation of the rule. Wiping it off with a cloth does not make the ball in compliance with the rule.

Therefore, if a bowler pats the rosin bag onto the ball and wipes the outer surface clean, the ball(s) would have to be removed from competition. However, since this is a newer change, the bowler may not have been aware and should be issued a warning and the equipment removed from competition. Failure to remove the ball(s) from competition could result in forfeiture of games."

"Removing residue INSIDE a hole
Removing tape residue from inside a hole would be allowed during USBC certified competition with consent from the league/tournament official."

The rosin part doesn't apply to me, but it implies that rosin whether cleaned with a dry or wet cloth is a surface change.

The tape one makes me feel even more sorry for league officers.

Mark
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/13/19 07:06 PM

There is a lady Pro in our Summer league who does this every time up. She pats her thumb with rosin, then lays the towel and the rosin bag on the floor behind the ball return.

A teammate of mine is also a PBA card holder and informed her that practice has been banned in tournament play already, but not in league competition. A brief discussion ensued, to which she relented and didn't do it again.

I'm sure it was a habit, and not of necessity. She graduated college on
the women's bowling team, and it was obviously legal then.
Posted by: champ

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 08/25/19 07:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Mkirchie

The tape one makes me feel even more sorry for league officers.


I'm really not looking forward to the first time some knucklehead tries to make an issue of this rule. I change out tape pretty frequently. Adding and removing several pieces over a league night. There's no way I'm going to ask permission every time I need to.
Posted by: Doogie

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 09/03/19 12:46 PM

The way I read the tape response is only would need approval to use something to clean the tape residue out of a hole. Removing/adding tape would be fine.

Our "house" is the league secretary and have stated that if you need belt marks removed to bring them the ball during league and they will take care of it.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: USBC General Playing Rule 18 Change - 09/03/19 03:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Doogie
The way I read the tape response is only would need approval to use something to clean the tape residue out of a hole.

That's how I interpreted it too. I just can't imagine the possible flood of requests coming in to league officers, including permission to clean the inside of a hole with a liquid cleaner just to make sure that cleaner is not touching the outside of the ball.

Mark