How Do The Bowling Ball Weight Hole Rules Change Ball Motion
In the beginning of this week, USBC unveiled some rule changes taking effect in the next few years. For our pro tip, I’m going to talk about the change regarding weight holes and share my personal opinions. There are a few other things addressed in their memo, which you can find here: https://bowl.com/News/NewsDetails.aspx?id=23622331019.
Effective August 1st, 2020, the USBC will be changing the rules on static weights and banning weight holes. The goal of this rule change is to limit the impact of the performance of the bowling ball. The purpose of a weight hole is to change the dynamics of the ball’s core. When you put a weight hole in today’s equipment, contrary to what many people believe, it is not to increase or decrease static weights. You can drill two bowling balls exactly the same, except adding a weight hole to one, and they will roll significantly differently down the lane. You can also increase or decrease the hook just by moving the location of the weight hole in the ball.
Why Is USBC Not Allowing Weight Holes In Bowling Balls?
In my opinion, the reason why USBC is no longer allowing weight holes is to help even the playing field. While they are eliminating weight holes, they are increasing the allowable static weights from 1 oz to 3 oz. This increase will allow you to still drill the bowling ball with the center of gravity moved away from the grip to manipulate the weight block without needing to add a weight hole. However, even if you manipulate the core to shift the weight block away from the grip, you’re not removing a part of the ball and changing the core’s dynamics. So while you can change the way the ball rolls with this drilling, these rules limit your ability to change the ball from its intended purpose.
How Does The USBC Rule Change For Weight Holes Change How You Drill Bowling Balls?
Whenever I drill a pin down bowling ball (where the top of the core is below my fingers), I add a weight hole. However, none of my pin up equipment has a weight hole. When the pin is lowered or the VAL (Vertical Axis Line) angle is increased, the flare potential decreases so it doesn’t hook very much. By adding a weight hole down by the thumb quadrant, I find that the ball flares more and rolls better. With the new rule change, I foresee that I’ll drill fewer pin down balls for my own game.
My personal take is that bowling balls today are so strong, with the dynamics of the cores and the strength of the coverstocks, that you do not need a weight hole to achieve a good ball roll. I think this rule is a step in the right direction, but I think there are other things that USBC could still address (like lane conditions). If it were completely up to me, I think a better way of going about this is not to worry about ball dynamics and instead focus on lane conditions to even the playing field, but that’s for another pro tip ☺. If you have equipment with a weight hole now and you still have it by 8/1/2020, you will want to plan on plugging the hole at a local pro shop. That will make it legal for USBC.