From Luby Publishing's
BOWLERS JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL e-BOWLER NEWSLETTER
The USBC and bowling ball manufacturing company representatives have worked together during the past two years on a comprehensive study of bowling ball motion. Now complete, the cooperative research project's goal was to determine which characteristics have greater effects on the motion of modern, high-tech bowling balls as they roll down a lane.
One of the technical study's main findings is that the major factor in how a ball reacts on a lane is the chemistry of its cover material. Modern bowling balls can be constructed with extremely aggressive, porous chemical materials in the cover, giving the balls potential to easily gain traction and hook hard and sharp into the pins, despite heavy amounts of oil on the lane surface.
Left unregulated, modern bowling balls could have a disproportionate impact on scoring relative to player skill in the sport of bowling, a USBC press release said.
With that finding in mind, USBC has created a new manufacturing specification dealing with the porosity and chemistry of bowling ball surfaces. Recently approved and set to be implemented in April 2009, this initial specification sets precise limits for the first time on the gaps between microscopic indentations on the outer surface, or cover stock, of bowling balls. The distance between the tiny gaps has a significant impact on how aggressively a ball can hook on a lane. This component was determined to be the No. 1 factor that affects bowling ball motion.