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ITRC will benefit all of bowling

Gene Kanak
USBC Communications
Published: November 6, 2009 | Bowl.com
Upon completion, the International Training and Research Center will stand as the premier research and elite-training facility the sport of bowling has to offer. As such, it will be an invaluable resource to entities such as the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications department, Team USA, Junior Team USA and international bowling teams from World Tenpin Bowling Association countries; however, the benefits of the ITRC will extend far beyond the groups listed above. In fact, in one form or fashion, they will touch all two million plus USBC members.

The training center's research area will feature six lanes for research and testing of bowling equipment, a robotic ball thrower and a computerized ball tracking system. These tools will leave the Equipment Specifications and Certifications team better equipped than ever before to conduct its groundbreaking research. That research allows the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications Committee to examine the bowling environment to make sure all USBC members are provided with a fair playing field, which leads to a more positive experience for bowlers and greater credibility for the sport.

"As bowling's national governing body, USBC is responsible for examining every aspect of the bowling environment to make sure the playing field is fair and credible," said Neil Stremmel, USBC Vice President National Governing Body. "The new training center will allow USBC to live up to that responsibility by conducting more advanced research than has ever been possible before, and that will lead to a better bowling experience for all USBC members."

The membership experience also stands to improve because of the training center's ability to serve as the televised finals venue for major USBC tournaments such as the U.S. Women's Open, which will be held in the training center Wednesday, May 12, 2010.

This is made possible because the training center will have four lanes equipped for live televised finals broadcasts. The ability to host the finals of its own tournaments will allow USBC to provide members and spectators with a much greater participation and viewing experience than in the past, which will bring more visibility and respect to the finals of these events and the talented bowlers who are fortunate enough to participate in them.

But the lanes of the International Training and Research Center will not be reserved only for the sport's elite. All USBC members and certified coaches will have the opportunity to take to the lanes. The training center will be available, for a fee, to any USBC bowler or coach wishing to take his or her skill set to new heights.

Bowlers will have the opportunity to work with USBC experts in coaching and exercise and strength/conditioning to improve their bowling skills and bowling-related physical fitness. Coaches can increase their knowledge bases and viability in the profession by taking part in coaching clinics that upgrade their levels of certification and give them hands-on exposure to some of the sport's newest and most-advanced coaching resources, which include a state-of-the art biomechanics package and grip and foot pressure technology.

"The bowler training and coaching clinics offered at the International Training and Research Center will be the most thorough and advanced USBC has ever been equipped to offer," said Rod Ross, Head Coach-International Training and Research Center. "People who train here will truly experience the highest level of expertise the bowling world as to offer."

Those people also will have access to the training center's on-site pro shop. The pro shop will sell merchandise and offer bowlers the highest level of accuracy in regard to ball fitting, drilling layouts and arsenal development. Plans also call for it to be made available as a training venue for pro shop professionals, who will be able to attend International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association (IBPSIA) seminars that will increase their knowledge bases in regard to machine operation, bowling ball dynamics and modern drilling and layout techniques.

So, from beginning bowler to elite coach or ball driller, the International Training and Research Center truly will have something to offer all USBC members.

"USBC staff will use this facility as part of their jobs the most on a day-to-day basis, but the center will always have times available as a resource that can be enjoyed by all USBC members," Stremmel said. "The training center was built for the betterment of the sport and for the members who take part in it. I am looking forward to seeing our members on campus as well as in the training center taking advantage of this outstanding facility; they're in for a real treat."

For more information on the International Training and Research Center, visit bowlingitrc.com.

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