USBC developing Red, White and Blue conditions

This past June, The United States Bowling Congress introduced plans to develop a new series of lane conditions for certified competition. The group of patterns is designed to provide bowlers a better description for the difficulty of traditional "house" conditions.

The plan will allow leagues and tournaments to have the option of using oil patterns falling into USBC Red, White or Blue condition categories. USBC Red pattern is the most forgiving condition, USBC White is more challenging and USBC Blue is the most difficult of the new "house" conditions. USBC Sport Bowling conditions will continue to be the most challenging level of oil patterns.

"We know that lane conditions have a tremendous impact on the sport," USBC Vice President-National Governing Body Neil Stremmel said. "House shots can be very easy or reasonably challenging. Knowing the difficulty of the condition helps build credibility for the sport and adds a new fun element for bowlers."

The USBC Red, White and Blue patterns recently passed standards for difficulty and fairness in testing done with the cooperation of the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America. The conditions should be available for tournament use in spring 2010 and for the fall 2010 league season.

"This program can provide proprietors an excellent marketing tool to attract and maintain league bowlers," BPAA President Jim Sturm said. "Red, White and Blue can be used like stepping stones to progressively increase a bowler's interest in the competitive side of the sport. We are eager to test the program and hear feedback from customers and proprietors."

Use of the USBC Red, White and Blue conditions will be completely optional and the patterns will be available for download at no cost.

"A primary goal of the project is to make the USBC Red, White and Blue conditions easy for bowlers to understand and proprietors to utilize," Stremmel said. "The industry's lane machine manufacturers have been extremely supportive in making sure this program will work for nearly any center wanting to participate."

As part of the effort to gain attention for the new condition categories, USBC is sponsoring the next stop on the PBA Tour - the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., Dec. 7-13. The finals telecast will air Jan. 10 on ESPN.