New Rule Changes From USBC For Bowling Ball Weight Holes

Bowling Balls With Weight Holes Will Slowly Fade Away

By Michael Cousins

Over the last week or so, I have been in Vegas for Bowl Expo. And we had a blast. But, while I was gone — the day I left, actually — USBC hit us with another change, and since I have been so hard on them in the past about some of their decisions, this time around, I wanted to commend them.

The “this or that” rule, as I have heard it called several times in the past week, is basically an update to the incoming weight hole rules of 2020. And what the rule basically says is, starting after this year’s Open Championships, you are now allowed to have 3 oz of side (this) or a weight hole with less than 1 oz of side (that).

And I love it. It gives people that already have balls with weight holes the ability to throw them for a couple of years without having to plug them, but it also now allows bowlers buying new balls to start drilling balls without holes, so that they don’t have to worry about it in 2020.

Like we said in the first couple articles about the initial rule change, static weights do not matter. I promise. It has been studied and researched by people for smarter than you and I, and they have all come to the same conclusions.

So, given that, I thought it was odd that they were waiting so long to institute the change to begin with, personally.

I understand that it gave pro shops and bowlers time to acclimate themselves to the change, but it was a bit excessive; it just seemed like too long.

But this, on the other hand, is perfect. And I don’t use that word lightly. This is, without a doubt, the absolute perfect implementation of this rule. It doesn’t mandate anything, and it gives shops and bowlers options and time before having to fully adopt the rule change.

Now, I can personally tell you I already have several customers that have decided to adopt the change after Nationals this year. They just want to go ahead and get it moving. And that is fine. I also have other customers that are completely on the other side of the fence, and have decided to take advantage of weight holes and core manipulation for as long as they can.

And, honestly, I totally get both sides. Personally? I am in the middle. For the most part, I probably wont use holes often going forward, but, when it is necessary, I will absolutely use one if I feel the need to manipulate the numbers a bit. Will that be often? Probably not, but I like the options it gives me, at least in the immediate future.

So what do you guys think? I know the initial ruling had a lot of strong opinions — regardless of what side of the argument you were on. So where do you stand now? Is this a good compromise? Do you wish something else was done? If so, what would your solution be? Tell us in the comments section below!

8 thoughts on “New Rule Changes From USBC For Bowling Ball Weight Holes

  1. Ron Billau says:

    My feeling is this – I have a ball that had a side hole drilled in it by the inspection process for Nationals
    at Reno several years ago. I am a one league partial year bowler. I don’t really want to buy a new ball or even bother with plugging this one since PBA officials drilled that darn hole in the first place without my request.
    I think that alone should exempt me – I realize its hard to police it but its also not my fault someone drilled my ball to meet existing weight issues and now I am paying for it.

  2. Big Red says:

    1000% agree Ron. We (most of us) do not have the money to plug our existing holes of our hard earned smallish arsenal and then HOPE they are within specs and/ or react well on the lane. I am sure all manufacturers hope we buy a new arsenal. I wish I could buy a new arsenal but have much more important requirements for my hard earned $.

    It’s that “little” difference mentioned in the article that is often the difference between success and “maybe next week”.

    My opinion: the rule should apply to Olympic competition (if ever), international and maybe PBA. Not your every-day USBC leagues. Maybe we will just go unsanctioned here. It’s being seriously discussed.

    Thanks for posting the article bowlersmart.com . Much appreciated the attention to this new rule.

  3. Ray says:

    Forever all this stuff going on in and around our GREAT BUSINESS AND YES!!!! Sport. Please USBC CHECK, ASK FOR HELP AND OPINION FROM PBA AND “YES”!!!!!! IBSPIA!!!!!!! We know what’s going FROM DAY TO DAY AND YES!!!!!!! FRAME TO FRAME

  4. Brenda Wilson says:

    A new league bowler bowled against a team and was told his ball was illegal. He returned and used the same ball against another team the next week. Whats the rule? Who wins?

  5. Ray says:

    Please go slow, it’s very possible he can’t afford to, pay his PROSHOP for the hole plugging and hopefully if your PROSHOP owner is a MEMBER OF IBSPIA. International Bowling Pro Shoo Association he will have the concern and yes!!!!!!! That hole will be and SHOULD BE PLUGGED!!!!!! Ok. I’m done!!!!!!! 👌🙏🏻🤓

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