California Bowling Writers

September 27, 2007

CONTACT: Patrick Brettingen
USBC Communications
(800) 514-BOWL, ext. 3244
On the web:

September 21, 2007

USBC TASK FORCE TO STUDY BOWLING LANE SURFACE ISSUES: First meeting scheduled for Nov. 17 in Greendale, Wis.

GREENDALE, Wis. - The United States Bowling Congress is forming a cooperative task force with companies that make bowling lanes to comprehensively analyze how issues relating to the sport's playing surface affect scoring and credibility.

The USBC and Manufacturer Lane Surface Task Force will consist of USBC research technicians along with representatives from synthetic bowling lane manufacturers. The group's first meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 at USBC Headquarters in Greendale, Wis.

Discussion topics for the meeting are expected to include lane surface friction, lane hardness specifications, surface roughness, use of an optical testing device and submission of lane surface samples for annual renewal by USBC.

"USBC is creating this task force to get the key people involved in the process for future testing and research we have planned in this area. Those studies may lead to new specifications or other changes in synthetic bowling lane surfaces," said USBC Technical Director Neil Stremmel.

"Research and testing of bowling lanes is one essential function of maintaining the credibility of the sport," Stremmel continued. "A lane is the playing surface for bowling just as tees, fairways and greens are in golf. Like bowling balls and pins, lanes must meet strict guidelines so the sport is fair for all bowlers."

USBC recently added a new specification relating to the hardness of a synthetic lane surface. All new synthetic surfaces submitted to USBC for testing and approval must meet a minimum Sward Hardness reading of 35. That specification is a result of a new test procedure developed by the USBC Specifications and Certifications team, which analyzes surface friction and bowling ball footprint size in the readings. A Gauge R & R study, a statistical method recommended by the American Society for Quality, was used to determine the minimum limits.

It was the first time USBC or its predecessor organizations developed a specification for the hardness of a lane surface.

USBC seeks manufacturer volunteers for task force

USBC is inviting manufacturers of synthetic bowling lanes to join the USBC and Manufacturer Lane Surface Task Force. Interested parties should contact USBC Senior Technician Dave Sprager at or (800) 514-2695, ext. 3410 no later than Wednesday, Oct. 3. As with the ball task force, manufacturers agreeing to join the task force are responsible for making all arrangements and costs for attending meetings.

Bowling ball task force a working model

One reason USBC is forming the bowling lane task force is because a similar study group created to address bowling ball research has been valuable and successful.

The USBC Bowling Ball Specifications Task Force - comprised of representatives from 13 bowling ball manufacturing companies and USBC staff - was formed in 2005. Since that time, the task force has worked cooperatively to address bowling ball performance issues and their impact on the credibility and integrity of the sport.

One major successful outcome of the bowling ball task force is the USBC Ball Motion Study that began in 2005. USBC and major bowling ball companies have teamed up to test the impact modern, high-tech bowling balls have on the credibility of the sport of bowling. USBC has been working closely with the major bowling ball manufacturers in the high-level testing being performed on the lanes at the USBC research facility with the robotic ball thrower nicknamed "Harry" and the Computer Aided Tracking System (C.A.T.S.) technology.

The goal of this research is to better understand the motion of bowling balls using science and data analysis.

United States Bowling Congress The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to nearly three million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.

The USBC Equipment Specifications and Certification testing facility is the world's premier bowling research center. Within the eight-lane center in a climate-controlled building, team members regulate and standardize bowling equipment by concentrating on pin and product testing, research work, bowling center certifications and lane dressing inspections. The team of engineers, technicians and support staff provides lane-conditioning support for a variety of tournaments and Sport Bowling events.

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