LANE CERTIFICATION STUDY PROMPTS NEW SPECIFICATIONS FOR 2019
ARLINGTON, Texas – The United States Bowling
Congress will implement new requirements for lane inspections and will
adjust specifications for new installations for the 2019-2020 season
based on recent research conducted by the USBC Equipment Specifications
and Certifications team.
The research included analysis of the lane certification paperwork
submitted by 323 centers, an examination of more than 1,000 lanes
throughout the country, in which lanes were checked to determine
compliance with current specifications, a study of the pin deck, and an
examination of lane topography.
The studies were undertaken to determine the extent of lanes that
were out of specification, which pin deck measurements have the most
effect on scoring, how lane topography shifts over time, and how lane
topography affects the ball path.
“The USBC team did a tremendous job in its research, looking at how
lanes are inspected and how the lanes perform under current
specifications,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “The results
helped us to make decisions on ways to improve the lane certification
process and how installations are done. The studies and subsequent
changes are important to ensuring the lanes USBC members compete on in
leagues and competitions meet required standards.”
The key changes to lane certification will be the specification
change for new installations, including overlays on existing lanes, the
number of measurements required for each lane, and how kickbacks, the
side panels of each lane in the pit area, are measured.
For new installations, including overlays on existing lanes, the
specification for crowns/depressions and crosswise tilts now will be
plus/minus thirty-thousandths of an inch starting Aug. 1, 2019. USBC
also will require an inspection within 14 days following the completion
of a new installation.
The specification change only is at the time of installation, and
will minimize maintenance costs. The specification returns to plus/minus
forty-thousandths for the next annual inspection.
Lane topography, which looks at contours, crowns and depressions,
showed lane surfaces can change throughout the year because of
environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. If lanes
start flatter, they will stay within the current specification of
forty-thousandths of an inch for a longer time, prompting the
Starting with certifications for the 2018-2019 season, a new
application for center certification will be available on BOWL.com that
will address the number of measurements required for each lane and how
kickbacks are measured.
Lane inspectors will be required to measure the lanes at five
locations for crowns/depressions and crosswise title, instead of the
current three locations. With many lanes using synthetic panels, and the
fact it takes five synthetic panels to construct a lane, there is a
need to have at least one measurement for each panel.
A pin deck area scoring study determined the most important
measurement affecting percentage of strikes is the distance between the
kickbacks at the back of the pin deck. Measurements now will be taken
from kickback plate to kickback plate starting with the 2018-2019
season, as it simplifies the measuring process and is not a change in
Lane inspectors also will be required to submit inspection
applications signed by the inspector, association manager, and center
representative to USBC national headquarters.
To ensure the accuracy of the data, USBC will allow a one-year grace
period for center certification. Simply having a proper inspection of
the bowling center and supplying the data to USBC Headquarters will
allow the center to be certified for the 2018-2019 season. The data
collected during these inspections will be analyzed to determine if
additional improvements to the process will be needed for the 2019-2020
season. Of course, proprietors always will be encouraged to make needed
repairs to their lanes.
Go to BOWL.com/EquipAndSpecs and click on Lane-Center Certifications to view the complete Lane Certification Study.
United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress serves as the national governing body
of bowling as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
USBC conducts championship events nationwide including the largest
participation sporting events in the world – the USBC Open and Women’s
Championships – and professional events such as the USBC Masters and
Founded in 1895, today USBC and its 2,500 state and local associations
proudly serve more than a million members. USBC is headquartered in
Arlington, Texas, working toward a future for the sport. The online home
for USBC is BOWL.com.