The USBC stated in a press release that balance holes were being used to alter the ball’s design, giving an unfair advantage to some players. It is illegal to bowl balls with weight holes as this gives pros a better advantage than those who don’t use them.
To make up for this change, the USBC now allows bowling balls to “have up to three ounces of static side, thumb, and finger weight” for balls weighing more than ten pounds.
This is an additional one-ounce. The USBC allows for a maximum weight of 3 ounces, which eliminates the need for static imbalance correction with a balance hole.
What’s the Illegal Bowling Ball Ban?
The USBC announced on April 24, 2018, that they would ban all bowling balls with a balance hole in them, effective August 1, 2020. Despite the fact that alleys and shops were closed because of the pandemic it was not extended or modified.
It is now illegal to use a ball bowling with a balance hole.
Why did the USBC ban weight holes?
As late as 2020, weight holes in bowling balls were a common sight on professional circuits. Many pros, especially those hook bowlers who needed more action in their ball and delivered without using the thumb hole, had weight holes drilled into their balls.
Pros also had a greater advantage over others who stuck their thumbs into the ball with their thumbs and produced the same curve-shaped hook without weight holes. You may have heard the bowler’s thumb leave the thumb hole if you have ever seen a hook bowler.
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The United States Bowling Congress or USBC soon discovered that extra weight holes could lead to a competitive disparity. However, bowling with weight holes also allowed for a bowler the ability to modify the design intent of many bowling balls. This meant that the bowler was using his ball to achieve goals the ball wasn’t designed for.
But what is a balance hole and why is it banned?
A balance hole (or weight hole as it’s also known) is a hole in the ball’s side that is not used for gripping the ball.
The purpose of a balance hole was to correct the static balance of bowling balls. Balance holes have been used in recent years to alter the design of the ball. The balance hole is a way to change the behavior and movement of the bowling ball.
If you wish to use a bowling ball with a balance hole, it will need to be plugged. You would need to leave the ball in the shop for a few more days.
The USBC increased the weight specifications for the static side, thumb, and finger to compensate for the reduction in the balance hole. According to the new specifications, bowling balls no longer require a balance hole.
Pros and veterans don’t believe these changes will have any impact on the game.
The original name for balance holes was weight holes. Weight holes were used almost exclusively to bring a ball within the legal limits for the static imbalance when they were first invented. To reduce a ball’s side weight, it can be drilled a hole.
The ball drillers soon realized that the holes they were drilling could be used for manipulating the ball’s motion. The ball’s RGs (Radius of Gyration), and differentials were affected by the balance hole.
Gradient Balance Line Hole System
This balance hole system was invented by Mo Pinel, MoRich Enterprises. The Gradient Balance Line Hole system outlined four standard balance hole positions: P1, P2, and P3.
The new system provided bowlers with a common understanding and vocabulary for balance hole concepts. It is also a good starting point to understand the basics of balance hole play. It also standardized the placement of holes, which is useful for less-skilled drillers.
This is how each balance hole works in the Gradient Balance Line Hole System:
- P1: This reduces the dynamics of the bowling ball by nearly twenty percent. This will reduce the flare and weaken the ball’s movement.
- P2: There is no discernible difference in the ball’s rolling. This is to ensure that the ball does not exceed the USBC weight restrictions.
- P3: Increases ball dynamics by 20% Increased ball motion and flare.
- P4: Improves ball dynamics by 40 percent. Track flare and ball motion increases are significant.
What about rubber balls? Are they legal?
While searching for information about banned bowling balls I came across an interesting query about the rubber bowling ball.
There are legal rubber balls, which were very popular in the 1960s. They were originally made in Japan. Rubber balls were a point of contention in the older generations of bowlers.
Some people complained about their difficulty of use, while others said it was difficult to drill holes in them. Some complained that the rubber balls emit a strong burnt smell when they are drilled. Some people claimed that rubber balls could leave skid marks on lanes. Some people also claimed that old rubber bowling balls could cause problems with the ball return machines.
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Others praised the rubber bowling balls. Some people liked the balls so much that they use them as spares because they aren’t easily damaged.
Clean Your Bowling Ball
The most important thing I learned was to keep your bowling ball clean.
We recommend that you bring a microfiber towel to clean your bowling ball between the points. Special oils are used on the lanes at every bowling alley to maintain their condition. Cleaning is important because these oils can easily collect dirt and other particles that can cause your balls to get dirty.
Avoid wax-based products when cleaning your bowling ball. While wax might shine on your ball, it could also cause the ball to have more pores. This could affect the ball’s performance.
Instead of using wax to clean products, you can use other polishes and finishing products. It is a good idea to wipe your bowling ball with some rubbing alcohol immediately after the game. Because the ball is warm after a game, the pores of the balls will open up making it easier to clean them.
How long does a bowling ball last?
Your bowling ball should be used with care. It is cleaned regularly. It is resurfaced every now and again. The question of how long a bowling ball lasts does come up.
Research revealed that a ball can last for up to 300 games. Another person spoke of a friend who had used his bowling ball for more than 2000 games. It split in two and he had to throw it out.
Although a bowling ball can last a long time, its performance may decrease after many games. A professional could bake or resurface the ball. If money is not an issue, you might consider buying a new ball. As a backup, you can always keep your favorite ball.
The USBC Levels the Field
The rule was changed twice by the USBC to level the playing field. The USBC ruled in May 2014 that bowlers could only have one weight hole in their bowling balls if they did not use the thumb hole.
The USBC passed another ruling banning weight holes in August 2020. The legislation stated that bowlers with weight holes in their balls meant they were bowling with two weight holes, which was unfair.
The new rule states that a bowling ball can have only five holes and that the bowler must show that each hole can be used for gripping. The rule said that the bowler did not have to use all five gripping holes to deliver the ball, but that he had to show that he could place one finger in each hole if necessary.
Many pros were forced to use their thumb holes for filling their bowling balls by the ruling. To lessen the impact of this ruling, however, the USBC made important equipment changes. They added three ounces of static mass to either the top, bottom, or side of the bowling balls.
How do I fix the balance hole on my bowling balls?
Ask your local pro shop to make your bowling ball legal. You shouldn’t be surprised to find that your ball needs to be left overnight. To have this done by a professional shop, expect to pay $40-60
Some bowlers prefer to plug their own balance holes in order to save money. We don’t recommend that you do it yourself, as the ball might not be legal to roll into leagues if it isn’t done correctly. The cost of purchasing a new ball is $150. This includes the hole plug and the whole thing!
What is the best time to use my bowling ball with balance holes?
Balance holes are only legal in competitions sanctioned by the USBC. Bowling ball hole ball can still be used in regular play or local leagues. To be certain, check with your league.
You don’t have the obligation to use your favorite ball in competitions.
How will the performance of my balls be affected by plugging them?
Your ball’s performance will not be affected if the cover stock (or outer shell) is properly maintained. This is another reason to have your local pro shop perform this service. You might consider taking a used ball in with a plugged balance hole to check its weight.
F.A.Q. Illegal bowling balls
It is illegal to have a balance hole or weight hole in your balls bowling. This means that a bowling ball with balance holes (usually drilled on one side and not used for gripping it) cannot be used until the hole has been plugged.
Today’s bad news for Jackel and Motiv owners. Two of Motiv’s balls, Jackal and Jackal Carnage, were recently revoked by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
The thumb hole is not allowed for bowlers who don’t use their thumbs during delivery. It is considered a balance hole. Illegal to use the thumb during delivery and games can be forfeit. Every delivery must include all holes that were drilled for gripping purposes.
- Active Bowling Clear Ball (White)
- ABS Lane Navi
- ABS Accu Line Custom (All Colors)
- ABS Galaxy Jupiter (Clear Pin)
- ABS Viva SA
- ABS Gyration II LRG (Purple/Black/Gold)
- ABS Galaxy Mercury (Clear Pin)
- AMF Velocity Blue
- AMF Michael Jordan
- AMF Velocity Green
- Columbia Throttle Tuning
- Columbia Bonanza 2 (all Colors)
- Columbia Reaction Arc Platinum
- Columbia Power Rock
- Columbia Reaction Express
- Brunswick Hockey Puck Ball
- Elite Alien Tour
- Ebonite Quasar
- Ebonite Electric Zoom
- Genesis Newklear Exceed
- Hammer Amazing Scandal (Red Pin)
- Hell-Bent Dynamo
- Hell-Bent Brawny
- Hell-Bent Dynamo Red/Black
- Lane Hawk Whiskey Bottles
- Lane Hawk Lady in Glass
- Lane Masters – The New Standard Limited Edition
- Lane Masters Gold Diamond (White Pin)
- Lane Masters – Figjam Clearance
- Lane Masters Black Pearl Poseidon
- Lane Masters Tank-44 Signature
- Lane Masters TM Signature
- Lane Masters Terminator Redemption
- Legends Hellfire
- Lord Field Blue Diamond Sparkle
- Lord Field Higgs Force Red/Blue
- Lord Field Exodus Iron
- Lord Field Pin Hacker
- Lord Field Korrupt Attack
- Lord Field Terminator Cyborg
- Lord Field Heritage
- Lord Field Zaru Black M-TECH RCF
- Magic Bowling Service Twin Turbo
- Motiv Jackal Carnage
- Motiv Jackal
- QMR Fly Bullet L Pearl
- Visionary AMB Centaur Orange/Blue
- Twins Sports Summit α (Alpha)
- Via Rolling X
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- Via Planet X