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Highlighted USBC Rules Changes...

  Effective 8/1/2019  

Only a dry towel can be used to clean a bowling ball during competition.



Note:  Should a foreign substance appear on the outer surface of a bowling ball which cannot be removed with a dry towel, an approved cleaner may be used with consent from a league or tournament officer.   

What does this mean?  Even if a ball cleaner was previously approved for use in competition, that is no longer the case.  No liquids may be applied to the ball in any way once competition has started.  Only a dry towel may be used to clean a ball during competition.  This rule does not alter what can be used to clean a ball before or after competition.  

  Effective 8/1/2020  

Elimination of balance holes: bowlers may have up to five holes for gripping purposes and all must be used on every delivery.


No-thumb bowlers (aka 2 handed bowlers) would need to mark by scribe, engraver or tool near the intended center of palm with a plus (+) mark

The general concept is that if a ball has a hole, it must be utilized during every delivery to be considered a legal delivery.  NO WEIGHT HOLES ALLOWED.  For no-thumb (aka 2 handed) bowlers, only one plus (+) symbol is allowed on a ball and it must be covered by the palm of your delivery hand.  No-thumb (aka 2 handed) bowlers will not be able to utilize a ball that is not marked unless they decide to use a standard delivery.  

USBC conducted extensive research and surveyed bowling's stakeholders when determining these changes.  To protect the future of the sport, USBC determined the need to eliminate balance holes and set new specifications for oil absorption.  Also, USBC research shows that these specifications will slightly limit hook potential resulting in slower transition of oil pattern, less moves for bowlers, and lower oil volume with same scoring pace.  


Visit BOWL.com/BowlingTechnologyStudy to learn more