USBC holds open forum on proposed equipment revisions


    Bowl Expo

    Equipment Specifications Committee will meet July 23

    The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) hosted an open discussion forum June 28 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort concerning proposed specifications modifications for bowling balls.

    USBC officials and representatives from 16 bowling ball manufacturing companies, two International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association board members, two Bowling Proprietors' Association of America board representatives and Professional Bowlers Association officials discussed several issues regarding the proposed changes. Input gathered at the forum and feedback received during an open comment period will be evaluated by the USBC Equipment Specifications Committee, which is scheduled to meet July 23 in Greendale, Wis., to discuss the proposals. USBC officials that comprised the panel at the forum included: President Michael Carroll; Board member and Equipment Specifications Committee Chairperson Linda Scott; Chief Executive Officer Roger Dalkin; Director of Sport Jeff Henry; Director of Research Neil Stremmel; and Specifications and Certification Senior Technician Jim Jaryszak. "USBC would like to thank all those who attended the industry forum," Henry said. "Their feedback, along with the hundreds of comments we received during the open comment period, will be valuable information during the decision-making process about the equipment specifications changes being proposed."The proposals under review are:* Eliminating all balance holes in all balls manufactured/drilled after Jan. 1, 2006. Elimination of balance holes to reduce the ability to manipulate the dynamics of the bowling ball. Bowling balls manufactured with balance holes prior to Jan. 1, 2006 will be grandfathered in and will be able to be used in certified competition until Jan. 1, 2008.* 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. 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 Jan. 1, 2006 will be grandfathered in and will be able to be used in certified competition up until Jan. 1, 2008. * Requiring all balls to be manufactured with the USBC logo and year made as of Jan. 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 is proposed to become effective Aug. 1. The current durometer "D" specification will remain in effect. "The USBC Equipment Specifications Committee will evaluate the feedback from the forum and the comment period at its July 23 meeting and a decision on how to move forward regarding all proposed specification changes will be issued by July 29," Stremmel said.