Proposed USBC Rule Changes Regarding Equipment

By Michael Cousins

As some of you may or may not know, the idea of USBC regulating ball specs — and some other changes — have been going around the social media-sphere.

Essentially, what is being discussed primarily is a limitation of RG differential.

Now, this hasn’t been finalized yet, and, to be honest, we aren’t even sure if it will be. But it has been proposed and it has been sent to manufacturers, according to multiple sources, including

In lament terms, they’re trying to make the balls weaker.

We’re not going to get into any specifics until USBC, themselves, make an official statement on it, but just so you all understand what is potentially happening, we wanted to go over things a bit.

This isn’t going to be incredibly technical, as that isn’t our goal here, but we’re trying to break it down in such a way that all parties can understand and process what a potential change would mean.

First of all, the RG of a bowling ball stands for the Radius of Gyration. The RG essentially describes where the mass is located within a given ball. Lower RG balls can be described as center heavy, where as high RG balls are considered to be more cover heavy. For a general rule of thumb, the lower the RG, the earlier the ball will roll. The higher the RG, the more length the ball will provide.

RG Differential, as you might expect, is exactly what it sounds like: the difference between the maximum and minimum RG. RG Differential tells us how much flare potential a ball possesses. The lower the number, the less flare potential; the higher the number, the more flare potential. In essence, low diff balls will tend to be smoother and slower off the spot, where as higher diff balls will respond quicker to the friction down lane.

As things currently stand, the maximum RG Differential is 0.060. The rumor being thrown around is that this could potentially change in the near future. According to these reports, USBC wants to lower this number, thus taming bowling balls down a bit.

As I said earlier, though, these are just reports at the moment, and nothing has been made public yet, but as word is getting out about it, we wanted to make sure you all had a general understanding of what some of these terms being thrown around meant and what it could potentially mean for you and your game.

If and when more comes out, we will get into greater detail in future articles. But, at the present, this should suffice.

Please check back to for more on this story as details continue to arise.

2 thoughts on “Proposed USBC Rule Changes Regarding Equipment

  1. Rick Charbono says:

    How much would they have to lower the maximum differential number to have a material effect? I am not a pro, nor do I work in a proshop. If they lowered the max from 0.060 to say 0.050 what would that mean to the average bowler? I only have one ball in my arsenal over 0.050 (Code Red) and my favorite is only 0.034 (iQ Tour Solid). Is the core really the dominant factor in controlling the ball motion and the power? Would more impact be made by controlling additives, porosity, or hardness of the covers?

  2. T.F.Adner says:

    What should be discussed by bowlers is the decertification of the USBC as the sanctioning authority. Under their guidance, or lack there of, the sport has continued its unprecedented decline. Members receive nothing for ever increasing dues.

    What has the USBC done for you in the past five years? Decade?

    The time has come to eliminate USBC from bowling. They serve no useful purpose for regular nor league bowlers. Disenfranchising can’t happen fast enough for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *