USBC Announces Bold Move to Boost ‘Lane Integrity’ for 2015 U.S. Open

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Terry Bigham
USBC Communications

ARLINGTON, Texas – Bowlmor AMF, the largest operator of bowling centers in the world, in collaboration with the United States Bowling Congress and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, will provide a new level of lane integrity for bowlers at the 2015 Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open.

Bowlmor AMF worked with USBC and Lane Analytics to complete a comprehensive topography evaluation of the lanes at host-center, AMF Garland Lanes, ahead of the event that will take place Nov. 2-8 in Garland, Texas.

Each board of every lane was inspected and leveled every three feet in 18 locations per lane. As a result, 99 percent of the crowns and depressions plus cross-tilts are within twenty-thousandths of an inch of flat. This dramatically exceeds USBC’s minimum standard of forty-thousandths of an inch using three inspection locations per lane.

“Bowlmor AMF is committed to competitive bowling and playing a leading role in moving the sport forward in a positive way,” Bowlmor AMF Vice President of Leagues, Jay Lietman, said. “We are proud to create a world-class venue for the U.S. Open and strive to provide an exceptional experience for our league bowlers across the country as well.”

Details of the U.S. Open lane pattern also are designed to achieve a higher level of competition integrity. The lane pattern will not be revealed until immediately before official practice at AMF Garland Lanes. Additionally, there will be no re-oiling of the lanes between squads.

“From an integrity perspective, Bowlmor AMF has provided a venue of the same high quality you find with a custom installation such as the USBC Open Championships,” USBC Executive Director, Chad Murphy, said. “With no information being provided about the pattern in advance of the event and also no re-oiling procedure during the event, we have taken a step further to leveling the playing field. Multiple angles will need to be played throughout the event to be successful. It’s exciting to think about, and I’m looking forward to it.”

USBC plans to use the partnership model developed with Bowlmor AMF to improve lane topography for future host centers of championship events. Limiting the release of lane pattern information already is standard practice for the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour, Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships and. most recently, the 2016 Junior Gold Championships.

While many equate a golf scorecard to bowling’s pattern information, Murphy explained a golf scorecard doesn’t change, since yardages are always the same, but bowling patterns migrate on top of the lane with every shot, so it’s not static and is always evolving.

“The static piece in bowling is topography of the lane,” Murphy said. “In golf, the scorecard or yardage book that a PGA professional receives the morning of competition is the topography while the pattern is the rough, the speed of the green and the wind. In bowling, the lane map is the topography while the pattern is the factor that changes from shot to shot. For the 2015 Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open, we have done the work to ensure the lanes are in championship condition by making sure the lanes are well within specification. We also are delivering a scorecard to competitors. You can see a detailed report on the topography of the lanes at AMF Garland Lanes here.

“It is USBC’s role to create a level playing field where the athlete’s skill determines the outcome as we continue to build a future for the sport. We appreciate having a great partner hosting the U.S. Open to help make it possible.”

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