TBA statement on USBC National Tournament exclusion rule

By Tenpin Bowling Australia
April 1, 2022

In light of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) announcement this week regarding the banning of six storm bowling balls previously approved for competition, Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) has made the decision not to follow suit.

The USBC made the decision that six Storm manufactured ball models would no longer be approved for use in USBC national tournaments including the USBC Masters, U.S. Open, USBC Open Championships, USBC Women’s Championships and all PWBA Tour events.

These ball models remain USBC approved. Each USBC competition, whether tournament or league, has the option to adopt USBC’s national tournament rule prohibiting the use of these balls or to continue to allow their use.


TBA National Bowling Manager Morty Douglass said while the national organisation tries to align its rules and regulations with the USBC, in this instance, it would not.

“The management of what could become a two-tier ball approval list has little upside for the sport of tenpin bowling in Australia,” Douglass said.

“Furthermore, the impact of this type of system would dramatically increase the responsibility and workload of our volunteers that run events all over Australia. 

“As a strong supporter of volunteers, I am unwilling to adopt what could be the forerunner to a two-tiered equipment system and add a considerable workload to our Tournament Promoters and volunteers across Australia,” Douglass added.

At the moment, Rule 601 of the TBA League, Tournament and General Playing Rule Book for Bowling Ball Specifications state:

Bowling balls used in any competition accredited by TBA must be listed on the current USBC Approved Ball list. All balls manufactured prior to January 1991 have been previously approved.

Since the six balls are still on the USBC approved list, TBA will continue allowing bowlers in all accredited tournaments and leagues across Australia to use equipment that is on the USBC Approved Ball list or Balls manufactured prior to January 1991 will be allowed.

Please note that the recently announced USBC rulings that the Storm Spectre and Purple Hammer bowling balls (manufactured in 2016 and 2017) are no longer on the approved ball list, which means they do not meet the requirements of Rule 601 and are illegal in TBA leagues and Tournaments. Read these statements in more detail here and here.

TBA will continue to monitor the current environment around equipment.

A link to the USBC Approved Ball List can be found on this page here. 

If you require any further clarification or have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with National Bowling Manager Morty Douglass at [email protected]