California Bowling Writers

November 21, 2007

CONTACT: Patrick Brettingen
USBC Communications
(800) 514-BOWL, ext. 3244
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November 21, 2007

Cooperative role of new task force evident in requirement

GREENDALE, Wis. - The United States Bowling Congress has implemented a new specification for the viscosity of lane conditioners.

The new specification requires that lane conditioners - commonly referred to as lane oil - used during USBC competition read between 12 and 81 centipoises (the standard unit of measurement for fluids) at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The specification, recently approved by the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certification Committee, goes into effect immediately. This is the first time USBC or its predecessor organizations have created and implemented a specification for lane conditioner viscosity.

Lane conditioner is the liquid substance applied with a machine to bowling lane surfaces. Conditioner has two purposes: to protect the wood or synthetic surface and to affect the difficulty level of the sport by applying the oil in a specific pattern on the lane.

In the first step of cooperative testing, members of the newly-formed USBC and Manufacturer Lane Conditioner/Cleaner Task Force provided samples for this practical specification on lane conditioner viscosity, according to USBC Technical Director Neil Stremmel.

"Lane conditioners on the market today have a fairly wide range of viscosities and all work well in the various styles of lane conditioning machines (spray, pad and brush-type technologies)," Stremmel said. "This specification allows USBC to proactively keep that range the same and limit any future possibilities to deviate from that range. Currently no lane conditioner being manufactured falls outside of this specification range."

Although this oil viscosity specification may change, Stremmel said, its creation gives USBC specific parameters for future testing and research.

The task force is expected to play a key role in future research in this area. The group will jointly discuss long-term research projects relating to lane conditioners and cleaners to better understand the impact those materials have on the sport of bowling.

The study group includes USBC research technicians and representatives from companies that produce bowling lane conditioners and cleaners. The group's first official meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 at the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes during the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America Bowling Summit Jan. 20-24, 2008, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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. Since the mid-1980s, Equipment Specifications and Certification also has approved products for international competition such as the World Tenpin Bowling Association and the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs.

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