New Bowling Rules

The rule that eliminates balance holes in bowling balls goes into effect on Aug. 1, the start of the 2020-2021 bowling season. The rule is that all holes in a bowling ball must be used at each delivery. Any unused hole is considered a balance hole, which makes the ball illegal. If you would like to learn more about these changes to bowling ball rules and how it could potentially affect you and your arsenal of bowling balls, if you participate in USBC certified competitions, we encourage you to contact Sparetimes or visit our bowling alley in Hampton, VA. We are happy to help you avoid accidentally using an illegal bowling ball in a USBC certified competition! The U.S. Congress on Bowling (USBC) issued new guidelines for its bowling ball rules a few years ago, which finally went into effect in August of this year. These changes affect bowling competitions in Hampton, VA and the United States. With respect to the USBC`s decision to ban certain bowling balls of various levels from its certified competition, there may be some confusion as to what equipment is allowed in the PBA. In the following, the situation with respect to the PBA will be clarified. To verify Tuesday`s announcement by the U.S. Bowling Congress, the USBC has banned the use of the following six previously certified bowling balls at USBC national events (including this week`s USBC Masters), but they remain allowed in other USBC competitions (including league matches): Storm Phaze 4, Storm Electrify Solid, Storm Trend 2, 900 Global Altered Reality, 900 Global Wolverine and Roto Grip UFO Alert.

These six bowling balls will remain allowed in all PBA competitions until the end of the 2022 PBA season. The PBA has no data or evidence that these USBC-certified bowling balls would fail field tests. Again, the six bowling balls mentioned above are allowed in all competitions organized by PBA, including the upcoming PBA Playoffs, PBA Tour Finals, PBA50 National Tour and PBA Regional Tour. I just don`t think that a conventional balance hole increasing the torch (such as a P3 or P4 hole, to use the terminology of the popular gradient5 line balance hole system) produces a significant increase in hook in an already highly exposed bowling ball. It`s actually pretty easy to test and demonstrate. Braunschweig did this more than 10 years ago6. Storm published a review that showed it just a few weeks ago7. And I`ve done this kind of testing myself – several times – both in the real world and in the world of physics-based ball movement simulations. The result is always the same: adding a traditional balance hole increasing the torch to an already flared bowling ball does not make them many more hooks, all other things being equal.

The rules listed here are generally based on the rules of the United States Bowling Congress and the British Tenpin Bowling Association. These rules are followed by all sanctioned leagues and events, such as tournaments. It is a recreational bowling league. The goal is to have fun, bowl well and network with new friends. Effective August 1, any bowling ball with a compensation hole or weight hole will no longer be allowed to be used in USBC certified competitions. This change was announced more than two years ago, on April 24, 2018. The essence of these rule changes is that there is essentially a two-year “phased in” period that gives bowlers time to adjust to the new rules. If you wish, you can now start drilling balls that comply with the new rules (no balance holes, but with more flexible static imbalance limits). Or you can continue to drill balls that conform to the old rules for now (with compensation holes, but with the old stricter static imbalance limits). In addition, bowlers now have the opportunity to plug their balance holes in anticipation of the ban on balance holes on August 1, 2020. You certainly don`t have to do it right away — you have almost two years before the balance holes officially become illegal — but it`s certainly an option for people who want to start moving their arsenals to future rules.

If your team loses a game during the season, the following rules apply: Here`s a look at what you need to know about the new USBC bowling ball rules. For bowlers, this means that if you have used a bowling ball with a balance hole (usually drilled on the side and different from a hole intended to grab the ball), this means that you should not reuse this ball unless you have plugged the hole. You can do this at your local bowling shop. You`ll be aware of the changes to the USBC ball policy, so just ask them to plug the hole to make it legal for competition. This process is quite simple, but you may need to leave the ball in the store overnight to allow the cap to dry. However, this is not to say that balance holes usually do nothing for bowling ball performance. That is not what I am saying at all. In some cases, balance holes cause the balls to catch on much more than without the hole. And in other cases, balance holes cause the balls to hold on much less than without the hole. But in many situations, they just don`t have as big an effect as many bowlers seem to believe.

According to the governing body, balance holes are meant to correct static imbalances that can occur in bowling balls, but some manufacturers have begun to use them to change the “design intent” of these balls and create a competitive advantage. The USBC changed the specification for static weight of the side, thumb or fingers to compensate for the loss of balance holes. On August 1, 2019, the USBC had enacted what most call the DRY TOWEL RULE. Simply put, in most situations, once the competition starts, you can only insert a dry towel or shammy (or similar) into your bowling ball. You should NOT tap rosin on your thumb or finger holes (put it on the surface of the ball and wipe it off). You should NOT use abrasives or even cleaners that can still say “Acceptable for use DURING USBC competition” on the bottle (these are old bottles, new containers should only indicate if it is a USBC approved substance that can be used at any time out of competition). SOME competitions may include pre-match practice time (i.e. once the lanes are open for practice, NOTHING can be done with your ball), so check the league/tournament rules for that.

Unusual circumstances (the ball returns with a drop of rubbery material on the ball) should be brought to the attention of league or tournament officials and they may approve the use of a cleaner, but only to remove the substance that remains on the ball from the equipment. This is NOT a carte blanche to clean your ball every few images by claiming “filth” on the ball. The USBC set August 1, 2020 as the deadline for bowlers to make the adjustment, and as that deadline was approaching earlier this year, the USBC never stated that it intended to change that deadline, even despite bowling industry closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bowling`s national governing body said there had already been enough time for bowlers to make the necessary adjustments to their bowling ball arsenals. But how can I say all this? Hasn`t the USBC done three years of research that has proven that balance holes are a problem that needs to be solved? Have they not just proven that eliminating balance holes reduces the hook of bowling balls from two boards? Other considerations Whenever teens and adults are in regular contact (i.e. a league situation with bowlers under 18 in the league with adults), ALL adults must complete the Safe Sport component of the RVP program. For leagues, this is an all-or-nothing situation and the responsibility falls on adults to be SafeSport trained before a player under the age of 18 (youth) bowles in the league. The rules told us that the league rules allow a teen to bowle in an adult league (as defined by age), that teens are allowed to bowl, and that adults who have not been trained by SafeSport cannot bowl until they are bowled. For this reason, in our league secretary letter, we recommended that all leagues add a rule that all adult bowlers must be at least 18 years old. This is true in youth leagues, when teenagers reach the age of 18, they must be trained SafeSport to continue bowling. This could lead to problems with some of the “adult/kid” summer leagues.

It has been determined that a single tournament (our adult/children`s tournament in the spring) is NOT a “normal” contact situation and that adults do not need to be SafeSport to participate in this tournament.