Bowling alleys in the United States are undergoing a significant change by replacing traditional pin-setting machines with a string-based system. Unlike the conventional machinery, this system utilizes strings attached to the tops of bowling pins, pulling them upward into holes for resetting. While European bowling establishments have been using string pinsetters for years, the recent certification of these systems by the U.S. Bowling Congress for tournament and league play has sparked controversy among bowlers.
The introduction of string pinsetters has not been universally embraced, with bowlers expressing dissatisfaction during the testing phase. The physics of pins suspended on strings alters the game experience, lacking the satisfying crash sound upon impact. Factors like the radius of gyration and the coefficient of restitution influence the movement of tethered pins, leading to a different dynamic compared to free-fall pins. Despite the U.S. Bowling Congress asserting that the differences are negligible based on new research, bowlers remain divided on the effectiveness of the string-based system, highlighting the gap between theory and practical experience.