More than six years ago, as part of its ongoing effort to improve Center Certifications, USBC began to study its current lane dressing rules.

The American Bowling Congress (ABC) instituted the rule regarding lane dressing, which states lane dressing could be applied in any amount and any distance if there is a minimum of three units, in 1992.

After review of a report from the Equipment Specifications and Certifications team, the  Equipment Specifications Committee has ruled to suspend the three-unit rule indefinitely.

Click HERE to read the news release.

Click HERE for the USBC Oil Pattern Report.


USBC implemented requirements for lane inspections for the 2018-2019 season and will adjust specifications for new installations for the 2019-2020 season based on research conducted by the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications team.

The latest research included analysis of more than 3,300 center inspection reports, with the final data expected to encompass more than 4,200 centers.

After reviewing the data, the Equipment Specifications and Certifications Committee has determined it will extend the data collection for another season. To get additional center certification data, all centers that have a proper inspection with the three required signatures and supply the data to USBC Headquarters will be certified for the 2019-2020 season.

Click HERE to read the news release.
Click HERE to learn about the changes announced during the 2017 USBC Convention regarding the lane inspection program.


Several studies into the certification process have been conducted by the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications team.

Click HERE to see the report published December 2018
Click HERE to see the report published April 2017
Watch the video below regarding Lane Inspection Study announced April 2017


Click HERE for answers to some Frequently Asked Questions relating to the lane inspection and certification process.


In addition to setting and enforcing specifications for bowling equipment, the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications team also helps uphold the credibility of the sport and makes competition fair by analyzing lane inspection data to ensure that USBC standards are equitable.

USBC local association officials visit bowling centers in their areas annually and use a variety of tools and instruments to perform a physical inspection of the lanes and their adjacent components such as the channels, channel depths, pin spots, and pin deck. Center inspections may begin April 1 and must be completed by Aug. 31.

As part of the certification process, associations also perform inspection of the oil applied to lanes in bowling centers to ensure they meet USBC guidelines for oil application; lane oil inspections may also be done randomly outside of the certification process. Sometimes referred to as conditioner, lane oil protects the lane surface and affects the difficulty level of the sport. Lane oil inspections ensure playing field uniformity per USBC guidelines so that USBC league bowlers in Maine are competing on lanes in the same shape as bowlers in California.

USBC rules state that bowling centers must renew their certification by Sept. 1 to host any USBC certified competition for that season.


Center Inspection Report - Please see the summary of revisions here
Center Re-Inspection Report
Computer Lane Monitor - Manual Read Set-up and Zero Tape Procedure 
Lane Measuring Tool Instruction Manual 
Tape Reader and Take-up Device Operators Manual 
Lane Inspection Program Training Manual - New! - Includes instructional video links

Lane Inspection Video
A look at the tools needed and how to perform the lane inspection process starting in 2018.


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