Storm Posts Update Regarding USBC National Tournament Exclusion Rule

Storm takes pride in our people, products, and process.

We’re humbled with the outpouring of support from the bowling industry throughout the United States and worldwide and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support towards bowling as we have for 30 years.
 
We strive to be honest and open in our communication demonstrating both empathy and integrity. Taking care of our customers is of the upmost importance.
 
All Storm balls are manufactured based on specific ball approvals granted by the USBC, and Storm’s materials and processes do not change at any point during the manufacture of approved balls.  Our testing has shown that many factors, including differences in surface finish, can cause variances in durometer readings. We intend to showcase our testing procedures at a future date.
 
The vast majority of all competitions in the United States and Worldwide have continued to allow the Storm, Roto Grip, and 900 Global balls that are affected by the USBC National Tournament Exclusion Rule to remain in play. These balls continue to be USBC approved for well over 95% of all other tournaments worldwide.
 
We understand that at this time, there are many customers who have questions regarding their products and the exchange process. We will be sharing the details of this voluntary process as soon as possible.
 
Our customers, pro shops, team around the world and the dedicated people who work at our manufacturing plant in the United States every day continue to be our priority as we navigate the USBC National Tournament Exclusion Rule.

Previous USBC Information With Some Follow Up To Most Asked Questions Answered

The United States Bowling Congress and Storm Products have agreed on a national tournament exclusion rule and ball exchange program for six Storm Products manufactured ball models. The agreement comes after USBC identified the models having a percentage of balls produced below USBC minimum 73D hardness specification.

ARLINGTON, Texas – 

USBC’s investigation showed a percentage of these ball models measured below the USBC-required hardness level of the approval samples submitted by Storm. Storm collaborated with USBC after being notified of this testing.

The affected models include:

Effective March 30, 2022, these balls models are prohibited from use in USBC national tournaments, including, but not limited to, the USBC Masters, U.S. Open, USBC Open Championships, USBC Women’s Championships, all PWBA Tour events, USBC Junior Gold and Youth Open Championships, USBC Intercollegiate Championships, USBC Team USA Trials, USBC Senior Masters and USBC Senior Queens.

Essentially, this mostly impacts the people who bowl the USBC Open Championships, USBC Women’s Championships and USBC Junior Gold & Youth Open. Only a small percentage of players compete in the other events like the USBC Masters and Team USA trials. 

These ball models remain USBC approved. Each USBC competition, whether tournament or league, has the option to adopt USBC’s national tournament rule prohibiting use of these balls or to continue to allow their use.

STATE, CITY & LOCAL tournaments and events may adopt the rule but I would imagine most to not adopt the rule due to hurting potential entries from members. 

Can I continue to use my bowling balls in league? 

YES! Also any honor score that has been shot will be allowed and all future awards will also be allowed using the bowling balls in question.

SANCTIONED LEAGUES can not adopt any rule changes without 100% written consent of every team captain USBC RULE 102C #2 Page 28. Moving forward also leagues can choose to allow or disallow before the start of new leagues to allow or disallow these bowling balls.

What if I purchased these bowling balls to use in the USBC National events? How do I exchange them? 

Storm will offer owners of the affected balls the option to exchange their balls for a new product. Information about the exchange program will be published later this week on stormbowling.com.

Can I still purchase these bowling balls and use them if this rule does not affect me? 

YES – Pro shops and online retailers with inventory can sell them until inventory is gone but as part of the agreement, Storm Products will discontinue sales of the affected balls. Storm will not be making any new ones for sale so the supply will be limited. 

USBC has concluded its investigation and will not be taking action on additional balls related to this production issue.

“Storm appreciates USBC working with us on this agreement, so we can put the issue behind us and focus on our customers,”

Storm Products President Dave Symes said. “Customer satisfaction has always been our top priority, and we will take care of our customers.”

This agreement does not change the status of the Storm Spectre. The Spectre remains unapproved and on USBC’s non-conforming ball list.

Go to BOWL.com/EquipAndSpecs to learn more about the equipment specifications.

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