Ball is behind increase in perfect games

Perfect games in bowling became so commonplace that industry leaders looked into why.

The United States Bowling Congress and leading bowling ball manufacturers joined together in a comprehensive study to analyze the factors that have an effect on ball motion. Findings in the two-year study have supported what most bowlers already knew: The high-tech cover stock on a ball has led to higher scores.

It's a matter of chemistry and porosity. The cover stock of a ball can be constructed of extremely porous material having more potential to cut through the oil on a lane and hook harder and sharper into the pins. The cover material has microscopic indentations, and the size of the gaps between the indentations has a significant impact on how lane oil is absorbed into the ball and how that changes the roll of the ball.

From the results, the USBC has created new specifications for ball surfaces effective in April 2009. Currently, the only specification for the ball's surface measures the hardness of the cover stock. The new specs look at the chemistry of the cover stock material and set precise limits for the space between the gaps in the stock.

The study determined this surface chemistry was the number one factor in ball motion, but it also measured and ranked 18 other variables. The coefficients of friction and oil absorption were found to have a significant impact on ball motion, and studies are now being conducted on those factors. The research has led to the beginning of a scientific database that will be the basis for future standards in equipment and lanes.

TRIPLE TOURNEYS AT McHENRY -- Saturday starts the triple tournament run of the Modesto USBC Adult Family Doubles, Junior/Adult Doubles and the Bowler-Veteran Link (BVL). McHenry Bowl will host. Squads are at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 on Saturday and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. Entry forms are at each bowl, and entrants can sign up before each squad start.

The Modesto USBC has added $600 to the Junior/Adult event for youth scholarships to the top teams. BVL entrants will vie for a local prize fund and spots to represent Modesto at the State Finals on April 4 in Bakersfield. The BVL is a national charitable organization that raises about $1 million annually to fund equipment needs and therapeutic supplies for veterans. All money earned locally stays in Northern California facilities.

'EVERYONE LOVES RAYMOND' -- Raymond Waring will go in for surgery Friday to remove the section of bone in his arm that is cancerous. He hopes to return home next week. The 'Everyone Loves Raymond' Garage Sale is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at McHenry Bowl. The family thanks everyone for their donations.

SPARE PINS -- The National Mixed Championships are running at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. The event runs on Thursday through Sunday until Nov. 9. Entry forms are at the bowling centers. ... Food collections are ongoing at McHenry Bowl for the Interfaith Ministries food pantry. Donations of non-perishable food may be dropped off at any time. ... The annual Pumpkin Shoot is set for Oct. 31 at McHenry Bowl. The party and tournament starts at 4 p.m. with check-in at 3:30. Bowling in the dark to spooky music, costume prizes in seven categories, fun door prizes, a pumpkin for everyone and refreshments are included. Call June or Kim at 571-2695 to sign up.

Dallas Kadry can be reached at or 571-2695.