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Jeremie Boop

Recent changes to USBC rules

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So, I just got back into bowling around Christmas after a long long break, nearly 10 years. While talking to a ball driller about layouts I mentioned something about a balance hole. He informed me that those would be illegal for sanctioned bowling starting August of 2020. Basically, any hole in the ball must be used as a gripping hole. That means you can't have a thumb hole that you only use sometimes also. As soon as you don't use the hole to grip the ball it is considered a balance hole. This seems to be causing a fuss for some people. It reminds me of the ban on anchoring putters. There weren't a lot of people doing it, but when it was banned some of those people got pretty upset. There are a few other changes, one being you can only use a dry towel to wipe your ball off during sanctioned bowling events. Here's the thing, I don't understand the anger over rule changes. I mean, I understand it's frustrating to have to pay to have equipment adjusted to fit the rules, but they also gave a pretty generous timeline so it wasn't something that people had to do all at once. I think it was a year and half or more between the rule change and when it goes into effect. Heck, most people I've talked to recently change almost all their balls out in that time anyway. Some people are acting like it's a personal attack on them too, acting like the USBC should reimburse them for the cost of plugging thumb/balance holes.

Maybe I'm just not all the sympathetic because I'm not personally effected.

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I can’t believe they’re  putting a new limit on the thread count of shuttlecocks. I mean, my hand sewn set cost me a bundle. It’s not like the new graphite/titanium rackets aren’t an advantage. Now there’s where they should make adjustments! 

I guess it doesn’t matter to me as I don’t play badminton.😳

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I guess it was just interesting to me because in both sports that I play, rules changes that affected a small number of people overall caused a bit of a fuss. Neither rules changes affected me though so I thought maybe that's why I couldn't see what the big issue was. I wasn't sure if anyone else here bowled at all that perhaps also knew about these changes and also had an opinion.

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Guessing the USBC initials aren't instantly familiar with some people. ... 

I've been out of the bowling scene for even longer than you were. So those are things I definitely didn't know. These things hit different people different ways. I never used a balancing hole, but I know guys that did. I remember one dude in particular that would alternatively bowl with fingers and thumb in the ball or sometimes just the fingers. Not allowing an unused thumb hole seems a bit extreme to me. If he's still at it and doing the same, he'd probably be pissed.

The thing about those specific changes is that they hardly seem like they should make that big a difference. Surely fluctuations in lane patterns would make something like a balancing hole just one more variable of the endless list of variables that exist in the game.

 

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12 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

Guessing the USBC initials aren't instantly familiar with some people. ... 

I've been out of the bowling scene for even longer than you were. So those are things I definitely didn't know. These things hit different people different ways. I never used a balancing hole, but I know guys that did. I remember one dude in particular that would alternatively bowl with fingers and thumb in the ball or sometimes just the fingers. Not allowing an unused thumb hole seems a bit extreme to me. If he's still at it and doing the same, he'd probably be pissed.

The thing about those specific changes is that they hardly seem like they should make that big a difference. Surely fluctuations in lane patterns would make something like a balancing hole just one more variable of the endless list of variables that exist in the game.

 

You're probably right, I didn't think about typing out United States Bowling Congress so people who don't bowl, or having been in sanctioned leagues/tournaments, would know what I meant. I'm not sure all the specifics that went into the decisions, but I think part is because some people had both a thumb hole and a balance hole. So when someone didn't use their thumb but also had a balance hole they technically had 2 balance holes in the ball which changed the way the ball would react. A balance hole really was only used to make sure that the finger/thumb/side weights on the ball were in spec based on where the center of gravity was on the ball, but they relaxed the requirements on that so that it's basically impossible to be out of spec in those anymore. This actually gives people more options of how to drill a ball instead of less, which should be considered a good thing I would think. I can see how it would be annoying to have a ball for bowling with your thumb and a ball for bowling without your thumb, but that's really no different than having balls drilled with different layouts for different reactions. That, and having over a year and a half to make the changes to your equipment is more than enough.

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2 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

I can see how it would be annoying to have a ball for bowling with your thumb and a ball for bowling without your thumb, but that's really no different than having balls drilled with different layouts for different reactions. That, and having over a year and a half to make the changes to your equipment is more than enough.

Some of these guys come to the house with an arsenal anyway.

They wheel in these dollies loaded with 4-6 balls. Basically a ball for every eventuality. New rules are just an excuse for them to buy another ball. 

 

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4 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

Some of these guys come to the house with an arsenal anyway.

They wheel in these dollies loaded with 4-6 balls. Basically a ball for every eventuality. New rules are just an excuse for them to buy another ball. 

 

Is there a 14 ball limit?   :-D

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

Is there a 14 ball limit?   :-D

You joke, but some tournaments have actually had to implement limits on the number of balls people can use during a tournament. Even amateurs will walk in to regular league nights, that have the same conditions basically every week, with 9+ balls.

 

7 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

Some of these guys come to the house with an arsenal anyway.

They wheel in these dollies loaded with 4-6 balls. Basically a ball for every eventuality. New rules are just an excuse for them to buy another ball. 

 

Honestly, I think that's part of the issue. Those are the ones acting like they have to go back and "fix" all the balls they have, when truthfully they probably don't even use 1/2 of them and they also continued to have new balls drilled in a way that will be illegal next year instead of making the adjustment now.

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