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Thread: No specifications or guidelines?!

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    High Roller Phonetek's Avatar
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    Default No specifications or guidelines?!

    It occurred to me last night thinking about the various centers I've bowled. I know of one where I constantly kicked the ball return with my leg kick. Not on purpose of course. I posed the question if there are any specifications or guidelines on how far the ball return his had to be away from the foul line?

    I learned there are no specs for this. They can be right up against it or x feet away. I haven't seen them in a long time but there are still some above ground ball returns out there. Again, both are fine.

    Approach length also had no specs they need to follow. They can be 10 feet or 25 feet or whatever, it doesn't matter. Dots on the approach... There is no specs for how many you have and they actually aren't required to have any at all.

    There is no measured standard for how far from the foul line they have to be either. So that said, if you go to a new center and suddenly you keep fouling or your unusually far from the line, it may not be you doing something different. It may simply be a different length than your used to.

    Also, it's not a requirement for them to have 7 arrows on the lane. Some apparently have only 5? I know of one place that had none. Again, not required. We all know of course know about range finders. They definitely aren't required and it's a manufacturer thing. AMF typically don't use them but Brunswick does. With synthetic that doesn't always hold true these days. With wood it 100% did. Again, not required.

    The lane width, length, number of boards there is absolutely guidelines and specs. Every lane has to be in spec if they are certified. That I knew.

    I found all this other stuff completely fascinating! I knew some centers varied with the number of approach dots. I never knew all this other stuff. It never ceases to amaze me, just when you think you know a ton about bowling, something like this comes up and you realize how little you know. A shock to me given how many years of my life I have spent in bowling centers and now working in them. I hope you guys find this fascinating as I did. Of course most of you purposely already knew this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    It occurred to me last night thinking about the various centers I've bowled. I know of one where I constantly kicked the ball return with my leg kick. Not on purpose of course. I posed the question if there are any specifications or guidelines on how far the ball return his had to be away from the foul line?

    I learned there are no specs for this. They can be right up against it or x feet away. I haven't seen them in a long time but there are still some above ground ball returns out there. Again, both are fine.
    Yes I don't believe there is any rule governing the ball return lift placement, I believe that is because it's in a non play area it's between the approaches.

    You need to look at the USBC Equipment and Specification Manual
    https://bowl.com/uploadedFiles/Equip...NTERACTIVE.pdf

    Approach length also had no specs they need to follow. They can be 10 feet or 25 feet or whatever, it doesn't matter.
    Yes they do.

    USBC Equipment and Specifications Manual
    Approach
    Extending from and exclusive of the foul line there shall be an unobstructed level appraoch
    which shall be:
    1. Not less than 15 feet in length.
    2. Free from depressions exceeding 1/4 inch.
    3. Not less than the width of the lane.



    Dots on the approach... There is no specs for how many you have and they actually aren't required to have any at all.
    There is no measured standard for how far from the foul line they have to be either.

    Also, it's not a requirement for them to have 7 arrows on the lane. Some apparently have only 5? I know of one place that had none. Again, not required. We all know of course know about range finders. They definitely aren't required and it's a manufacturer thing. AMF typically don't use them but Brunswick does. With synthetic that doesn't always hold true these days. With wood it 100% did. Again, not required.
    Yes while not required. There are spec's governing those marking and there is a max. number of them there can be.

    Lane and Approach Markings or Designs

    Lane and approach markings shall only be permitted in accordance with the following specifica-
    tions:

    1. Measured from the foul line, a maximum of seven guides may be embedded in or stamped
    on the approach at each of the following points: 2-6 inches; 3-4 feet; 6-7 feet; 9-10 feet;
    11-12 feet; and 14-15 feet. Each series of guides shall be parallel to the foul line and each
    guide shall be circular in shape and shall not exceed ¾ inch in diameter.

    2. At a point 6-8 feet beyond the foul line and parallel thereto, there may be embedded in
    or stamped on the lane a maximum of 10 guides. Each guide shall be uniform, circular in
    shape, and shall not exceed ¾ inch in diameter.

    3. At a point 12-16 feet beyond the foul line, there may be embedded in or stamped on the
    lane a maximum of seven targets. Each of the targets shall be uniform and may consist of
    one or more dowels, darts, diamond, triangles, or rectangular designs. The overall surface
    covered by each target shall not be more than 1¼ inches in width and six inches in length.
    Each target must be equidistant from one another and set in a uniform pattern.

    4. At a point 33-44 feet beyond the foul line, there may be a maximum of four targets. Each
    target must be uniform in appearance and shall not be wider than a single board or longer
    than 36 inches.

    5. Embedded markings or designs shall be of wood, fiber or plastic and shall be flush and level
    with the surface of the lanes and approaches.

    6. When the markings are stamped on wood lanes, they shall be applied to the bare wood and
    then covered with lacquer, urethane, or similar liquid transparent material generally used in
    resurfacing. All such installations in any one center shall be uniform as to design and mea-
    surements and at least on natural pairs of lanes.
    7. Glow/Cosmic bowling may only be certified on lanes that meet all of the specifications listed
    under Lane and Approach Markings or Designs.
    8. Glow/Cosmic lane designs must only be visible in glow conditions.
    9. In an area within two inches, but not closer than one-half inch of the foul line, there may be
    an advisory about crossing the foul line. The wording/lettering/symbols of the advisory may
    be 1 to 1½ inches tall. The advisory shall run parallel to, and shall not extend more than
    two inches from the edge of the foul line. The advisory must be first submitted to the USBC
    Specifications Department for prior approval.
    10. For certification process, a center shall have each lane numerically numbered and not dupli-
    cated. The number may or may not be visible to the general public but must be easily seen
    by the inspector, e.g. on the back side of the masking unit.
    Last edited by bowl1820; 11-12-2021 at 09:42 PM.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Talent without training is nothing." Luke Skywalker

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    High Roller Phonetek's Avatar
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    Okay, bad choice of words. There are specs and guidelines. I think I should have said "Industry standard" when it comes to the approach and lane markings. There obviously a maximum they can have but they still aren't required and there isn't just ONE way of doing things.

    If I'm reading it correctly there isn't a exact specific distance from the foul line either, merely a given space where the dots can be. It's not uniform from center to center. Again, enough variation to effect where you end up of you always line up at what you thought was the same place as always. I totally forgot about the dots right near the foul line. I only pay attention to them to find out if I'm drifting which I don't. My son does and he does it a LOT!

    As far as approach length, it's a minimum of 15 feet but no maximum. So if you want a 25' long approach you can if you're so inclined.

    All and all there is a lot of variations across the board. Something I in particular never thought of or really noticed much. I just adapted, moved on and never thought about it again. It just surprises me, especially given that if I had to guess I've probably bowled at between 70-100 different centers in my lifetime if not more. These are things I think many of us may have took for granted that ALL lanes AND approached were created equally. The lanes themselves are but it seems to end there. I still think it's fascinating.

    Aside from what I always called the "Extra dots" meaning more than 7 across on the approach which is what was most common at the places I regularly bowled. The extra ones still throw me off at first. I have them at the center I'm at now so I'm getting used to them.

    Range finders were one of those things I really never noticed until I came back to bowling in recent years. I may have before but never cared about them. Now I do and I'm glad when they are there.

    Thank you for doing what you do Bowl and bringing forth the actual specs and guidelines. This whole thing has been greatly educational for me between the conversation that prompted my post and your input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    Okay, bad choice of words. There are specs and guidelines. I think I should have said "Industry standard" when it comes to the approach and lane markings. There obviously a maximum they can have but they still aren't required and there isn't just ONE way of doing things.
    If I'm reading it correctly there isn't a exact specific distance from the foul line either, merely a given space where the dots can be. It's not uniform from center to center. Again, enough variation to effect where you end up of you always line up at what you thought was the same place as always. I totally forgot about the dots right near the foul line. I only pay attention to them to find out if I'm drifting which I don't. My son does and he does it a LOT!
    While there may be some variation in dot distance from the foul line and different numbers of dots (Do to different manufactures and old style lanes). I doubt most players will run into houses with wildly different markings.

    Whenever you go to a new center, you should always step off your approach distance from the foul line and in regard to the dots. the middle dot is always on the 20 board, no matter what center your at. So you measure from there for your left or right position.

    Once your starting point is found, reference that to whatever markings they have and you won't have trouble standing on the wrong spot.

    As far as approach length, it's a minimum of 15 feet but no maximum. So if you want a 25' long approach you can if you're so inclined.
    Nothing wrong with that.
    A player measures their starting point from the foul line, that distance doesn't change just because the approach is 25' or 50' at a different center. So how much space is behind them doesn't particularly have a bearing on the player.


    Aside from what I always called the "Extra dots" meaning more than 7 across on the approach which is what was most common at the places I regularly bowled. The extra ones still throw me off at first. I have them at the center I'm at now so I'm getting used to them.
    I've never seen a center that had more than seven dots across the approach(or lane), if it did that would violate USBC rules. Because there's a seven dot maximum.


    Range finders were one of those things I really never noticed until I came back to bowling in recent years. I may have before but never cared about them. Now I do and I'm glad when they are there.
    I'm guessing your referring the 4 down lane markers, Those are not Rangefinders they are Break point markers and are not actually part of the Rangefinder system.

    The Rangefinder ® system by Brunswick which was invented by Lowell Jackson back in the 1930's consists of the Arrows and Dots in the heads and approach.

    To learn more and see the Original instructions (Which would be outdated now) on how to use it see:
    http://www.bowlingboards.com/entries...finder-you-ask

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Talent without training is nothing." Luke Skywalker

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    Bowl1820, Thanks so much for the info on using the Arrows and the Dots! I tried to find that kind of thing several years ago and gave up.
    I tend to use the dots for lining up for my first ball and that has worked satisfactorily for me.
    As for spares I tend to use the arrows for shots left of center and often target 34 feet down lane for shots right of center at the front tip of the range finders. Today I must have had eight 10-pins and got each one by rolling the ball on about board 19 and targeting board 10 at 34 feet. Essentially the ball rolls over board 19 at the foul line and angles four boards each 15 feet down the lane till it hits the 10-pin on board 3. It was working well today anyway... Now I'll have to study the info you posted on how to use the dots and arrows a bit better than before...

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    Quote Originally Posted by djp1080 View Post
    Bowl1820, Thanks so much for the info on using the Arrows and the Dots! I tried to find that kind of thing several years ago and gave up.
    I tend to use the dots for lining up for my first ball and that has worked satisfactorily for me.
    As for spares I tend to use the arrows for shots left of center and often target 34 feet down lane for shots right of center at the front tip of the range finders. Today I must have had eight 10-pins and got each one by rolling the ball on about board 19 and targeting board 10 at 34 feet. Essentially the ball rolls over board 19 at the foul line and angles four boards each 15 feet down the lane till it hits the 10-pin on board 3. It was working well today anyway... Now I'll have to study the info you posted on how to use the dots and arrows a bit better than before...
    Your welcome, But remember now those instructions are from the 1930's. So are not exactly update for modern equipment.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16” over 1 3/4” up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium rev’s.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Talent without training is nothing." Luke Skywalker

  7. #7

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    In regards to ball returns, if I could wave a wand over every bowling center, I would move the ball returns completely off the lanes and have them come up behind them, sort of where most computer control stations are now, so that the entire approach area was free from any kind of obstacle. I have seen lanes like this, overseas. I believe in Japan.

    Because of the varying length of ball returns these days, you have a varying amount of area in front of the ball returns in each house. Since we can't standardize that distance, I'd just like to see the returns moved backwards and off the approach altogether.

    Also, I grew up bowling in a center with above-ground returns and couldn't fathom going back to that. One of the houses I bowl in now (Strikes at Wind Creek, a casino) has 16 lanes and every four lanes, going right to left, the next set of four lanes moves forward about 10 feet. This means, among other things, that lefthanders can't loft the gutter cap on lanes 4, 8 or 12, because there's a wall between 4 and 5 and on lanes 8 and 12, the adjacent lanes (9 and 13), the foul line of the lane to the right stops 10 feet prior to the lane on the left. Yes, it's just as screwball as my description made it sound.

    Jess

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