PBA Announcing Ban on Urethane Bowling Balls?

Breaking News: We’re receiving word that urethane bowling balls are going to be banned on the Professional Bowlers Tour.

While it is unclear at the moment, sources say that it would appear beginning at the World Series of Bowling, no urethane bowling balls manufactured before 2020 will be allowed for use on the PBA tour.

Also rumored is that moving forward, urethane bowling balls can not be more than 2 years old to be used on the national tour.

Confirmed: It has been confirmed that a letter has been sent out to PBA Tour players stating that on March 7, 2022, any “traditional urethane” bowling balls manufactured prior to 2020 will not be permitted in PBA National Tour competition.

The PBA will maintain the right to spot check any bowling balls for compliance with any specifications, at any time.

Again, no “traditional urethane” balls manufactured prior to 2020 will be permitted in PBA National Tour competition, beginning March 7. Bowling balls in this category that were manufactured from 2020 to date, are eligible for use.

Moving forward, this category of “traditional urethane” bowling balls will be permitted in PBA competition for a period of 2 years from its manufacturing date. For example, in the 2023 National Tour season, the oldest manufacturing date will be 2021. For 2024, bowling balls in this category manufactured in 2022 and more recently will be permitted.

This rule is currently for PBA National Tour competition only.

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We will be sure to update this story as we receive more information. Be sure to check back for additional details.

If this holds true, what are your thoughts? Should urethane bowling balls be banned? Drop us a comment below!

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120 thoughts on “PBA Announcing Ban on Urethane Bowling Balls?

  1. Russ Newman says:

    No, people that snivel about urethane are usually the person complaining about the lane technician and how the lanes are oiled.

    • Ed says:

      You hit the nail square in the head, if they was shooting 250 with urenthene or any other ball theirs no bitching

      • Lenny says:

        This is utter nonsenses! Why would you do that? If you’re on your or even if you claim to be “good” bowler do what everyone should already be doing navigate your way through & play the game! Stop complaining & the commissioner get a back bone & realize this doesn’t make sense! Bowler’s bowl others don’t simple as that!

        • Lenny says:

          What ever happened to survival of the fittest? The way this is going we’re going to be like little league now where everyone a participation trophy where’s the strategy & competition? You should be able to use whatever ball(s) you think gives you the best advantage. Just like any other sport it’s all about match ups…. Bowling is no different.

          • Arthur Kolbet Jr says:

            I’ve been using urethane since they’ve come onto the market. If the ban goes into leagues or USBA tourneys, I guess that means I’ll retire. BTW. I purchase my current Hammer in the early 90s. Still using it.

    • Evelyn says:

      My opinion would be that in order to keep it uniform for all bowlers partcipating is to have everyone use resin bowling balls. I think it makes sense to have all the bowlers use same kind of bowling balls instead. Will see what is decided about banning urethane.

      • Brett says:

        So I can’t use a plastic balls? This seems stupid. Hey let’s all just go back to rubber bowling balls. Let’s take bowling ball technology out of the game and rely on skill

      • Brett says:

        And using urethane isn’t adjusting? What’s the difference in switching from sanded finish ball without a high hook potential to a polished Pearl that goes long with controlled back ends?

    • Todd says:

      They get softer over time and can become illegal on the durometer even though they tested legal at the manufacturer.

      • Harry W Renouf says:

        I remember a tournament back when the original Edge came out. The durometer was brought out after qualifying and rumor had it some Edges were seen cooling of in toilets.

      • Trevor says:

        The sport is barely attracting huge crowds and urethane is your concern PBA! Find a way to get the sport back to where is use to be and brand yourself better. To those “professionals worrying about balls, be a pro.

        • Mark Bingham says:

          Urethanes destroy the oil patter by pushing it down lane and creating unpredictabilty. Thats why you see more splits on tour than ever before. Witch makes fr shitty t.v.. Hence, getting rid of urethane is the fix.

          • Ronald Pangborn says:

            Nope make the sissies who can’t throw urethane throw them and ban all these reactive balls

        • Mary Elaine Kuykendall says:

          I agree those that are complaining are the ones that can’t bowl with certain balls so PBA tell the ones that are complaining suck it up buttercup and then find more ways to get more people to bowl more

    • Steven Norquist says:

      No advantage! So a urethane ball is slightly softer. Big deal.
      Urethane balls still hook a million times ‘less’ than reactive balls.
      The PBA is just butt hurt that players can use urethane balls that go pretty straight and avoid the pitfalls of complex oil patterns designed to make it hard to bowl on them with ‘resin balls.’
      The whole thing is absurd and insane. Dumb beyond belief. Bowling is lost…

    • [email protected] says:

      I currently use a new Purple pearl Hammer that I love. I also use a 1985 Red Hammer mainly for spares. The Red has almost the same action as the new Purple which should not be the case. So I guess if you use it long enough it livens up down lane. So to me it sounds like a way to sell more bowling balls. These older urethane balls will literally last forever.

      • Richard G Sr. says:

        I like to read comments before I respond and this is the very thought that crossed my mind. It isn’t so much about urethane as it is the economics for the companies. More bowlers hang on to their bowling balls because they get comfortable. Now they are pressing competitors to buy new balls basically every other year and that is absurd!!!

  2. Zac gentile says:

    There is no point to ban urethane its called learn to move and bowl around it its not that hard for all the ones that hate it its because they don’t wanna ball up and move like for real it shouldn’t matter what ball you have if they’re scoring with it then join them if not then guess what tough luck you lose get over it this is basically saying here your participation trophy its the pba not house league

  3. Ivye says:

    Why are all these changes coming about? First no braces for wrist problems and now urethane balls (is this regular house balls and straight balls everyone uses?). If all these changes and more, people will not play in tournaments, leagues or anything else!! If more people wanted to play in the PBA or go pro these changes would discourage bowlers! They need to quit (PBA) it!! Sad you can’t even enjoy the sport bowling anymore for wondering what you can do and can’t do!

    • Manny says:

      It has to do with as they get older they soften and they react better, causing pba bowlers to cry instead drilling something themselves

    • Manny says:

      It has to do with as they get older they soften and they react better, causing pba bowlers to cry instead drilling something themselves

    • Al Anthony says:

      If the PBA is considered world class bowlers, then let all of them throw plastic balls or rubber balls. Yeah… show us some real skills.

  4. Randy says:

    Why? These arbitrary rules seem to affect some more than others, and seem to help manufacturers more than anything.

  5. Vincent Taggart says:

    The PBA is getting ridiculous. I have been bowling for 30 years and it just seems like they want to take and take and not give anything back to the bowlers.

  6. Ray says:

    No they shouldn’t be banned. There’s is nothing wrong in using them. They don’t perform any better than others.

      • Shawn F. says:

        But wouldn’t that make them react more like a reactive resin ball then? So what is the point then. The only reason I don’t like the new rule is because regional PBA bowlers will now have to buy a new ball every 2 years if they want to use urethane when they attempt a national event. We don’t get the luxury of walking into the PBA truck and selecting a new ball for free and just pay for drilling. This new rule is going to keep the little man down.

        • Joe Pizza says:

          Your logic makes sense. Why are you allowed to change the surface of reactive balls? Honestly, I understand other PBA bowlers getting infuriated with Urethane. They wreck havoc on lanes conditions similar to plastic with oil carry down and beating up the fronts of lanes. Completely understand and agree. I think it is funny that the so called governing organization of the sport “USBC” did not govern when two handed (instant hook and revs came out). Now, who are one of the largest users of urethane, two handed and power players. It back fired on them. Stop worrying about modifying rules to make money for the ball manufacturers. Start promoting the sport and draining the sport of every penny. Keep it up and everyone will leave. It’s all about the money. Follow the money people. Also, did you know that the USBC receives funding from the ball manufacturers. Humm. Sounds like a conflict of interest.

      • [email protected] says:

        I am a decent league bowler (186) and would love to check my 1985 Red Hammer against my new Purple pearl Hammer that I just started with (6 boards left of my Red). If they do soften, then mine is a marshmallow now lol! I guess that could be advantageous at a professional level.

  7. Bill says:

    What the hell is the point? They used to check the hardness on every ball at every stop even if they checked it the week before. And there’s a spot check if you made the top 24. What a stupid rule just check the hardness like they used to. Just make a rule to check the hardness on all urethane balls regardless of age. Isn’t it odd that the bowling ball manufacturers will benefit from this new rule? Just drill more bowling balls? So if a bowler has a bowling ball older than two years old that’s urethane, and it passes all specifications including hardness, they can’t use it? Completely illogical and political. While they’re at it they should ban all bowling shoes older than 2 years old. Older bowling shoes tend to leave marks and scuffs on the lanes so they should just ban all older bowling shoes too. Rosin bags?
    Older rosin bags spew lots of rosin all over the place they should ban those too. The next thing you know you won’t be able to bowl unless you are triple boosted LOL.

  8. Beverly Lueckenhoff says:

    I am not a fan of urethane either. It messes with oil.
    Makes it harder for others to find a good line.

    • Shawn F. says:

      We all have to adjust. Urethane pushes oil so we have to move. Resin ball soak up the oil so we have to move. It’s all the same.

    • [email protected] says:

      Unless I bowl team, I’m not worried about giving my opponent a good line. We all have to move around or switch balls or lay outs as the conditions change. It’s all fair if we equally have access to different cover stock balls. Or just switch to lefty and you usually have your own lane lol.

    • Lenny says:

      Beverley; makes it harder for others to find a good line???. Isn’t that the point of in against you I don’t want you to find a good line. If you’re a true bowler you’ll find it out adjust. This is so upsetting to me. Bowling is as dying sport anyway maybe a good 50-60 years left. This is really going to drive people away from the game even faster. As long as your balls comply to all the regulations then it should be useable. Period!

    • Joe Pizza says:

      Not really. How do Urethane balls compare to reactive balls in terms of price? Which balls do the ball manufacturers invest most of their money? Reactive. What ball, Urethane or Reactive is being promoted most? How much money has been lost by the ball manufacturers from the PBA Players “Models of Equipment” using urethane? Lastly, the vast majority of league bowlers are making decisions on ball choice from watching PBA players. Humm. It’s making sense now huh?

  9. Dan G says:

    This is all stemming from whiny cry babies like Sean Rash… if you want to blame a urethane ball ruining the lanes just because you can’t adjust and figure out how to adapt, maybe you shouldn’t be bowling at that level.

    It’s not the ball, it’s the bowler…

      • Otis Rombowski says:

        Do any of you EVER use spell check? You all write a bunch of uneducated grade school dropouts. Have a good day. Oh, and stop whining. If you don’t like the rules of the game, no one is forcing you to play the game. Take up solitaire. That way you can control the outcome.

        • dvl1dg says:


    • Gary T Quillico says:

      Hmm silly PBA has to give explanation why
      First wrist gaurds that made no sense wrist gaurds been apart of bowling since the 40’s now no old urethane crazy as long as a ball meets all specs should not make a differance when it was made . So u can use a 25 year old resin like xcalibur or a 40 year old plastic ball but urethane nope crazy. Makes no sense. USBC needs to grab a pair and stop this non sense they own the two majors the pba covets .Let state again all these balls need to be in spec . the idea of the pba is to attrack bowlers of all styles in the end its about score so i say wear that wrist gaurd and throw any approved usbc ball from any year that works for you and bowl

        • [email protected] says:

          I Agree with you! Manufacturers are always talking about how their new ball is better than their old ball? That would mean my 1985 red hammer is inferior to them. If the new balls are that much better then maybe they should be outlawed like oversized drivers in professional golf. They are basically saying that the new balls cannot compete with the old technology and that does not sell bowling balls.

      • Joshua James says:

        It isn’t wrist gaurds…. it is mechanical supports like Scroggins wore, not a Robbys like Missy Parkin used.

  10. Don says:

    It is all about manufacturers losing money because people are using old urethane balling balls. They are not selling their high prise balls. If the ball still meets the hardest testing so be it. Get over it people there is nothing wrong with urethane.

  11. Alex Walker says:

    This has nothing to do with leagues, only the professionals. Same with the wrist supporters. Not applicable to anyone but the pros.

  12. Larry says:

    its time to move on. Urethane is old technology. 1st ball ever made was rubber, then plastic then urethane then reactive.
    if it were up to me i’d ban it in league play as well. nothing like bowling on a lane and the other team of 4 people are throwing urethane all over the lanes making it impossible to adjust.

    • Michael says:

      Nothing like telling my 69 year old mother to stop listening to the idiots, pull out her damn urethane ball, and then have her proceed to go out and shoot 650. Since then she uses it almost all the time and her average is up 10 pins after struggling most of the season due to a hip injury. Depending on the team I’m bowling, I’ll occasionally pull out urethane myself just for the hell of it. If you can’t deal with it, there are plenty of websites that will sell you the exact same ball and usually for less money than the one you’re whining about not being able to use because of “the other team of 4 people…throwing urethane all over the lanes making it impossible to adjust.”

      As far as the PBA, seems dumb to me but they can do whatever they want. Of course, in my very limited view, it seems that most of the time people are drilling up newer urethane balls anyway. I’m sure there are some still using those older purple hammers that don’t meet specs. You know how you fix that? Test them. Every tournament. Heck, we had to do that in our junior tournaments in the 90’s for every ball that went on the scorecard. It’s 2022 now. I’m sure that can still be done.

    • James says:

      You sir, just suck at bowling. My series average against teams that use urethane is over 700. I don’t mind it one bit.

      • [email protected] says:

        I Agree with you! Manufacturers are always talking about how their new ball is better than their old ball? That would mean my 1985 red hammer is inferior to them. If the new balls are that much better then maybe they should be outlawed like oversized drivers in professional golf. They are basically saying that the new balls cannot compete with the old technology and that does not sell bowling balls.

  13. Just Agitated says:

    This is absurd! So if you want to compete in a PBA tournament, so let’s ask this….are you going to also put a price cap on balls? Order online versus the 3 times mark up from bowling alley? Seriously makes me want to find something else to do in our spare time. What a joke!

  14. Kenneth Moore says:

    This Article is about the rule that is currently only for PBA National Tour competition only.

    I’ve been at this game for over 40 years seen a lot of changes good/bad. The PBA and WPBA are the elite of this sport and such are changes that sometimes help keep the playing field level as not to give one player/s advantage. Thus the everyday changes in how patterns are applied to the lane in the PBA makes one scratch their head at times. These challenging patterns sometimes make the players one dimensional in what type of ball to use.

    There will always be non-satisfied bowlers regardless of what equipment is available or used.

    The Ability to Adapt especially in Bowling at any level depends on a lot of factors.

    Think if you put age use on one type of bowling ball you should all. This would change the ability to have current equip if not a staff member or sponsored.

    If this rule is true and applied, time will only tell if this crosses over to WPBA tour or PBA/WPBA regionals..

    • dvl1dg says:

      If professional bowlers are as good as they pretend, they should not be having a problem with any kind of ball. Nuff said.

  15. Preston says:

    This is a dam shame. So should you ban two hand bowlers since they have an advantage with the revs they get compared to one hand bowlers??

  16. Ben H says:

    Its not about urethane, its about urethane that softens over time and are now illegal. If they were that soft when they were produced they would be an illegal ball out of the box. I think the headline is misleading. They are not banning urethane. They are banning old urethane balls.

  17. Jon B says:

    Banning any ball that meets all the specifications seems illogical. If all balls are inspected prior to competition then I don’t see a need for this requirement. I understand urethane changes the lanes differently however every bowler has access to this equipment. If any competitor feels it’s their best chance to win a match or event I believe it’s unfair to take that away. Unless the PBA would limit every bowler to 1 specific “PBA” ball to eliminate any potential advantage then I think they should allow the bowlers to bring what suits their game best.

  18. Zachary L says:

    Urethane seems to be the ball type of the future, and by banning them isn’t that kinda killing the future of the Pro Tour?

  19. Brett Cross says:

    I have a thought. Just go to plastic. It’ll separate the real bowlers from the ones that rely on the equipment.

    • Russ says:

      I love urethane and plastic. Be accurate, hit a mark repeatedly and pick up your spares. I no longer have the ball speed for this crazy hook in a box reactive stuff. Those that say “low end” reactive isn’t even close to the even/predictable roll of urethane or plastic.

      Adjust and move on 🙂

  20. Richard Gee says:

    So let’s ban all bowling balls not within the 2 year compliance that way the can sell more bowling balls. It is about money follow the money.

  21. Richard Gee says:

    So let’s ban all bowling balls not within the 2 year compliance that way the can sell more bowling balls. It is about money follow the money. So buy more balls

  22. Charles L says:

    I say create a rule only allowing conventional bowling with all 3 fingers in the holes like back in the day and no two-handed rev-lords. It’s an unfair and a disadvantage to me since I can’t bowl that way and get that many revolutions! Glad my days of thinking I could go pro are over… I’d hate to be buying so many bowling balls. #LongLiveMyBlackHammer!

    • Justin says:

      Several of the players will bring old urethane balls back into play. Typically they are still “new”, but have been laying around for years/decades. I watched one of the players use the Grenade ball that was manufactured in the late 80’s tp early 90’s on tv just last year (2021). The one announcer was telling a story about how they used to get stopped in the airport all the time when they went through the x-ray’s due to the core shape.

  23. Old Dan says:

    I am so tired of “ban this or that because it is not fair”. I did all the transitions since rubber. When reactive came along people wantedf to ban that! We who moved to reactive early had to struggle over the old urethane – but so what? That’s what being a bowler is all about. You do your best to adjest to conditions. Are you a bowler or not? If so, then deal with the changes and make the adjustments. If not? You decide.

  24. Craig Mittelstaedt says:

    I believe that rules are rules, made so that everyone is playing on an even field. If it is true that modern urethane bowling balls soften with use, and/or age, and if they no longer can pass a hardness test, then those balls should be disqualified. I would guess that today’s urethane is of little resemblance to the original urethane, so I think that the manufacturers need to adjust some of their manufacturing processes, and/or ingredients. A very similar problem exists with the longevity of many brands of reactive resin balls, which have been discovered in my bag split right in half, with 100 games and less on them. This is a real money maker for manufacturers when there is very little protection for consumers who unknowingly purchase high priced equipment that turns out to be junk. Shame on them! What has happened to our game in the name of profit?

  25. Jason says:

    This is such bull**** — here’s a better idea.. figure out how to make oil not be so little of a factor i.e. where the pros can’t just carve them up to their liking..

  26. Robert Gonzales says:

    I don’t see how this rule makes a difference to PBA tour bowlers. Its not going to discourage them from throwing urethane balls. Manufacturers will keep making the urethane balls and pros will just drill new ones. The best pros don’t pay a dime for their equipment so they can just throw the old one in the dumpster and drill a new one.

  27. Paul in Oregon says:

    It sounds like the PBA doesn’t want to spend the time to check balls. so new rule benefits them and most importantly the sponsors $ell more equipment. generally these dumb ass rules don’t effect league or regional play only big show Pros. as a regular bowler i couldn’t buy they high priced stuff their hawking regardless.

  28. Joe Pizza says:

    What are you waiting for Bowlersmart.com (Brian) from removing my last comment? What happened to the comment about the ball manufacturer’s running the sport and funding the USBC, PBA and probably Bowlersmart.com. Your a joke like the ball manufacturers. Oops. I forgot, you sell their products and have to be politically correct and can’t speak the truth. Losers…..

  29. Joe Pizza says:

    What are you waiting for Bowlersmart.com (Brian) from removing my last comment? What happened to the comment about the ball manufacturer’s running the sport and funding the USBC?

  30. Mark says:

    LMAO- Looks like Woke-Ness has come to Bowling now- Bunch of Snowflakes that sniveled enough about hurt feelings that the Wuss’s in charge went along with it- Grow a Damn Spine!

  31. Danny garcia says:

    Ok so my ball pushes the oil ? Your ball absorbs it ? Let’s ban bowling alleys with cosmic bowling

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