A primary goal of the United States Bowling Congress as the sport’s National Governing Body is to protect the integrity of the game and ensure that equipment performs correctly. USBC recently issued new specifications for ball marking designed to protect bowlers and pro shop operators from errors that can lead to incorrect drilling.
High performance bowling balls have markings on the surface to indicate the weight block location inside the ball. The accuracy of these markings is important in determining how to drill the ball for proper performance.
Effective January 31, 2012, USBC is requiring ball manufacturers to accurately mark the key axes on the ball that are used during the ball layout process by pro shop operators in order to receive USBC approval.
“Bowling balls that are marked accurately give the pro shop operator the best information possible to provide their customers with a ball that will perform as expected,” USBC Managing Director, National Governing Body, Neil Stremmel said. “If a ball is not marked accurately, it may be drilled to produce an undesirable performance.”
The new specifications requires the low radius of gyration axis be within a one-inch radius of the center of the pin of the ball and provided a ball has an asymmetrical core, the high radius of gyration axis, or Preferred Spin Axis (PSA), must be within 1.5 inches of the center of a marking indicator on the surface of the ball.
“Part of our job at USBC is to protect our bowlers and industry partners such as pro shops,” USBC Director of Equipment Specifications Herman Glenn said. “By standardizing ball markings it creates less confusion and promotes better customer satisfaction for the bowling industry.”