ARLINGTON, Texas – Kegel and the United States Bowling Congress extended their partnership agreement to have Kegel as the official lane maintenance provider for USBC championships events.
Since 2006, Kegel has provided lane maintenance equipment and supplies, along with technical and on-site support, for USBC events from the youth to professional level. Kegel also handles lane maintenance for the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, which is supported by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) and USBC.
“The United States Bowling Congress is thrilled to continue its long-standing collaborative partnership with Kegel,” said Nick Hoagland, who has led USBC’s lane pattern development program for the last three years and works closely with the Kegel team. “Kegel’s lane machines, lane care products, expertise, and on-site processes help to ensure fair and competitive championship environments for USBC and PWBA events. This announcement is not only great for our organization, tournaments, and members, but for the sport of bowling.”
The USBC Open and Women’s Championships, the premier events for USBC adult members, the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships, plus the four sectional qualifiers, and the Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite International and Survivor are among the events Kegel supports with its latest lane machines and cleaners.
“Kegel and USBC share the belief that providing bowlers with a fair and reliable playing field is the most important factor at every championships event,” Kegel CEO Chris Chartrand said. “We appreciate USBC for entrusting Kegel with the responsibility as the official lane maintenance partner at the national events and we look forward to continuing our work with Nick Hoagland.”
USBC determines lane conditions for every USBC tournament while Kegel provides equipment maintenance and technical support.
Other events in which Kegel provides on-site lane maintenance include the USBC Team USA Trials, USBC Masters, USBC Queens, U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, USBC Senior Masters, USBC Senior Queens, Super Senior Classic, USBC Senior Championships, Bowlers Journal Championships, and the Bowling.com Youth Open.
Founded in 1981, Kegel is based in Lake Wales, Florida, where it has a 74,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility and 12-lane training center.
ARLINGTON, Texas – Jason Belmonte, the world’s No. 1 bowler and four-time Professional Bowlers Association Player of the Year known for his powerful two-handed style, teamed with NASCAR star Aric Almirola to unleash the fastest strike in the sport of bowling.
With Almirola driving Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang, Belmonte took aim at the 10 pins that were set on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s start/finish line and delivered what can only be described as a thunderous strike.
“That was easily one of the most fantastic strikes I have delivered in my bowling career,” said Belmonte, who used a specially designed Storm bowling ball to blast the pins. “I’ve had the chance to ride with Aric before and I put my total trust in his ability to get me perfectly lined up for the shot.”
Almirola said delivering a strike while going 140 miles per hour is not exactly easy without the right equipment.
“If you need a strike, it helps to have one of the all-time great bowlers in the seat next to you,” Almirola said. “I know Jason is a two-hander, but I think the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford probably generates a little more power. It was a great challenge, and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to team up for that strike.”
Almirola is in his second year with Stewart-Haas Racing and eighth year competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He met Belmonte at the Go Bowling! at The Glen race at Watkins Glen International in 2018. Belmonte served as the PBA ambassador at the race.
The two met again in early 2019, joining forces for the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by Go Bowling! in January. At the celebrity tournament, Belmonte brought up the idea of attempting the world’s fastest strike.
With GoBowling.com, Smithfield, the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Hass Racing, and Storm Bowling, the bowling ball company that sponsors Belmonte, the wheels were put in motion.
Stewart-Haas Racing provided the specially wrapped and outfitted No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang to safely accommodate Belmonte for the attempt.
Storm produced 12 “Pro Motion” rock-solid bowling balls to withstand the 140-mph launch from the racecar and Go Bowling! provided the branded pins for the attempt on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval Course, which will host the Sept. 29 Bank of America ROVAL 400 on Sept. 29.
“GoBowling.com was excited to team with Aric, Jason, Stewart-Haas Racing and Storm Bowling on this amazing feat,” said John Harbuck, president of Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm of the bowling industry. “Our partnerships in the racing world have been very effective as we seek to put bowling in front of consumers. I’m certain the video of the world’s fastest strike will give us even further reach.”
The parties met Sept. 4 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to attempt at the world’s fastest strike.
The pins were set up at the start/finish line and the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford Mustang started its run halfway around the road course to get enough speed for the attempt.
While the first few attempts were a little off-target, Belmonte showed he can read any lane condition – even a road course lane – and struck on the fifth attempt from his passenger seat.
The nationwide premiere of the Go Bowling! World’s Fastest Strike video is set for Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. (Eastern). Go to GoBowlingWorldsFastestStrike.com to watch the video.
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ARLINGTON, Texas – After reviewing feedback from industry partners, the United States Bowling Congress Equipment and Specifications Committee has revised the implementation dates for the new bowling ball specifications announced earlier this year.
The Equipment and Specifications Committee determined the specification allowing increases in static weights for bowling balls without balance holes will begin this fall to allow for a smoother transition for bowlers.
Starting Aug. 1, 2018, bowling balls weighing more than 10 pounds will be allowed to have up to three ounces of static side, thumb or finger weight and up to three ounces of top or bottom weight, provided the ball does not have a balance hole.
Bowlers still can have a bowling ball with a balance hole until Aug. 1, 2020, but any balls with a balance hole must stay within the current static weight specification of one ounce for finger, thumb or side weight, and three ounces for top or bottom weight.
The specification eliminating the use of balance holes still will go into effect Aug. 1, 2020.
“After hearing from all stakeholders, the committee decided it was the right move to make the static weight specification an option starting this fall,” Andrew Cain, chair of the USBC Equipment and Specifications Committee, said. “Bowlers now have a two-year window to work with their pro shops to ensure their equipment will meet specifications on Aug. 1, 2020.”
With the elimination of balance holes as of Aug. 1, 2020, bowlers may have up to five holes for gripping purposes and all gripping holes must be used on every delivery. A bowler who chooses not to use a thumb hole would need to mark by scribe, engraver or tool their intended center of palm with a plus (+) mark to indicate their grip orientation.
Bowlers who do not use their thumb for delivery and decide to use the higher static weight specification cannot have a thumb hole – it would be classified a balance hole – and immediately will be required to follow the specification requiring them to mark their intended center of palm.
The USBC Equipment and Specifications Committee did decide the gripping rules that become effective Aug. 1, 2020, will have an exception for house balls, for bowlers who use house balls and might not have the strength to use all gripping holes.
House balls are defined as balls supplied by the center where the competition is taking place, have a polyester or basic urethane cover, a differential RG of less than 0.025 inches and the ball is not specifically drilled to fit the bowler.
The dates for implementing the new specification for the oil absorption rate of bowling ball coverstocks do not change. The initial step on the oil absorption specification will begin Aug. 1, 2018, when bowling ball manufacturers are required to submit oil absorption data as part of the USBC bowling ball approval process. The specification requiring a bowling ball’s oil absorption rate to be more than 2 minutes, 15 seconds (2:15) for the ball to be approved will take effect Aug. 1, 2020.
However, because all current bowling balls will be grandfathered in regardless of oil absorption rate, the Equipment Specifications Committee determined the production of balls that do not meet the 2:15 oil absorption time limit must be stopped as of Jan. 31, 2022.
The new bowling ball specifications announced in April were designed to sustain the playing field both currently and in the future.
The Equipment and Specifications Committee has delegated authority from the USBC Board to make changes to equipment specifications.
Visit BOWL.com/EquipAndSpecs for more about the specification changes