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Bowling Centers

1. What are the lane pattern requirements for Sport Bowling leagues/tournaments?
Due to the multitude of lane machines, lane oils, and lane surfaces, specific criteria was developed for Sport Bowling leagues and tournaments to follow to ensure that the pattern they develop is within the specifications listed below.


A.
 The Sport Bowling pattern oil ratio requirement shall be a maximum of 3:1 regardless of the type of lane surface or the age of the lane surface.


B.
 Prior to Sport Bowling league/tournament competition (including Team USA Experience), the following must be done  (See USBC Sport Bowling Manual, Chapter 2):

  • Each lane shall be stripped prior to oiling of the Sport condition.
  • Tapes will be taken at 22 feet and two feet before the end of the pattern.
  • The ratio of oil shall be no more than 3:1
  • The ratio shall be defined as the average amount of oil (in units) between boards Left 18 to Right 18 divided by the average amount of oil (in units) between boards R3-R7 & L3-L7, respectively.
  • The amount of oil measured on the outside boards (average of R/L3-7) at 22 feet must be greater than 10 units, and the amount of oil measured on the center boards (average of L18 to R18) must not exceed 80 units of oil.
  • The maximum amount of oil from boards R8 to R17 and L8 to L17 shall not be greater than 130 percent of the average of boards L18 to R18.
  • The minimum amount of oil from boards R8 to R17 shall not be less than 70 percent of the average of boards R3 to R7.
  • The minimum amount of oil from boards L8 to L17 shall not be less than 70 percent of the average of boards L3 to L7.
  • There is no pattern length minimum or maximum.
  • There is no lengthwise ratio requirement.
  • All other USBC requirements are still in effect (i.e. three-unit minimum)

2. How are Sport Bowling lane patterns calculated? Sport Bowling patterns are based on:


A. Ratio calculations
 - the minimum/maximum amount of oil from boards L8 to 17 and R 8 to 17.  The ratio calculation is the average of boards L18 to R18 divided by the average of boards R3-7 (for the right side) and L3-7 (for the left side). This will give you the ratio of the pattern at the specified tape distances.

For example:
Center Average (L18 to R18) = 40 units 
Right Average (3 – 7) = 20 units 
Ratio at this distance = 2.0


B. Minimum/Maximum Percentage Calculation
 - the minimum/maximum amount of oil at 22 feet.  The minimum/maximum amount of oil calculation removes the possibility of creating a "walled" type pattern in Sport Bowling competition.

For example:

·         L18 to R18 oil readings are 38.7, 39.2, 40.5, 41.0, and 40.5.  The center board average is 40.0. Multiply 40 units of oil by 130 percent (1.30) to determine the maximum amount. The maximum amount you can reach is 52.0 units of oil.

·         R3 to R7 oil readings are 18.2, 21.0, 19.8, 20.6 and 20.4.  The right board average is 20.0. Multiply 20.0 units of oil by 70 percent (.70) to determine the minimum amount. The minimum amount you can go to is 14.0 units of oil.


C. Minimum/Maximum at 22 Feet.
 On all Sport Bowling patterns at 22 feet, the amount of oil measured on the outside boards (average of R/L3-7) at 22 feet must be greater than 10 units, and the amount of oil measured on the center boards (average of L18 to R18) must not exceed 80 units of oil.

These specific calculations must be completed to ensure that a Sport Bowling pattern follows all compliances set out in the Sport Bowling Manual. A spreadsheet is available on the Sport Bowling section of bowl.com that will assist with the calculations.  Click on the following link to directly access the 3:1 Ratio spreadsheet, http://bowl.com/sportbowling/index.jsp.


3.   How does my bowling center register as an Official Sport Bowling center?  
The center must register on bowl.com.


A.
 Visit the Sport Bowling section of bowl.com by clicking on Sport Bowling under the Bowlers tab at the top of the bowl.com home page.


B.
 Click on the center registration link on the right side of the page.


C.
 Fill out the short form.  You will need to know:

  1. Your center's USBC certification number (5 digits);
  2. The center contact information including e-mail address and telephone number.

D. Hit "Submit."  If your center was Sport certified last season, this completes your center's registration process.  If this is your first year to host a Sport Bowling league/tournament, please go to FAQ #7.


4. How do we obtain promotional items for the Sport Bowling program, such as Sport Bowling brochures?  
Promotional items for Sport Bowling can be obtained by calling Customer Service at (800) 514-2695, extension 3177 or e-mailing the Bowling Information Center at bowlinfo@bowl.com.


5. How do we obtain a copy of the Sport Bowling Manual?  
The Sport Bowling Manual is a useful tool that helps ensure all center, association, league or tournament Sport Bowling specifications and requirements are met.  The Sport Bowling Manual can be downloaded from bowl.com:


A.
 Click on the Sport Bowling Tab under the USBC tab at the top of the bowl.com home page.


B.
 Click on "Rules/procedures" in the second window.


C.
 Click on "Sport Bowling Technical Manual" and you can down load to your computer and/or print.


6. Who do we contact to purchase a Brunswick Computer Lane Monitor for our Sport Bowling league/tournament/center?  
Contact a Brunswick sales representative at 1-800-yes-bowl (937-2695). Brunswick will provide you the current price of the Computer Lane Monitor system for all Sport Bowling leagues and tournaments. When placing an order, be sure to mention that you are a USBC Sport Bowling certified center to receive the special discount.


7. This is the first year my bowling center is hosting a Sport Bowling league.  What does my center have to do?


A.
 Once the center has registered online (see FAQ #3 above), the center will need to oil a pair of lanes with any Sport Bowling pattern.


B.
 Pull test tapes on that pair of lanes. This must be done at 22' and 2' before the end of the pattern.   For example, if the Sport Bowling pattern is 40', then the tapes must be pulled at 22' and 38.'


C.
 Use the test tapes to generate graphs for both lanes and send:

  1. Graphs

o    Faxed to 817-385-8262; or

o    E-mailed to sportbowling@bowl.com

 

  1. Tapes are mailed to:
    United States Bowling Congress 
    Attn.  Sport Bowling
    621 Six Flags Drive 
    Arlington, Texas 76011

 

This step is required to ensure that the center is capable of putting down a Sport compliant pattern in advance of Sport Bowling leagues and/or tournaments.

NOTE: If you do not have access to an optical reader and software to make graphs, you may send us the tapes and we will read them for you. When mailing tapes, be sure to include a note stating where the tapes are from, what event the tapes are for (week #5 of the Team USA Experience League at Lonesome Lanes, WY), and a contact person, including telephone number.


D.
 The test graphs or tapes must be sent to USBC Headquarters, Sport Bowling, at least two weeks prior to the start of leagues or tournaments.


E.
 If needed, USBC will provide technical support to assist the center in meeting this requirement either by e-mail (sportbowling@bowl.com) or telephone (1-800-514-2695, ext. 3177).


F.
 Once the pattern is in compliance, the league can begin Sport Bowling competition.  Graphs or tapes from one (1) lane are to be sent weekly to USBC Headquarters:

  1. Graphs

o    Faxed to 817-385-8262; or

o    E-mailed to sportbowling@bowl.com

 

  1. Tapes are mailed to:
    United States Bowling Congress 
    Attn.  Sport Bowling
    621 Six Flags Drive 
    Arlington, Texas 76011

For reference, see the USBC Sport Bowling Manual, Chapter 3.


G.
 Upon completion of registration and submitting test tapes your center will be certified for Sport Bowling leagues and tournaments until the end of the current bowling season. You will be sent "Certified Sport Bowling Center" decals for your center windows.


8. Do we have to send in test tapes each year as proof of a compliant lane condition? 
Test tapes are only required the first year that your bowling center hosts a Sport Bowling league/tournament, however tapes are always required before any Sport Bowling certified competition.  See FAQ #7 above for instructions on submitting test tapes the first year.


9. What is the process for submitting tapes/graphs?  
Tapes or graphs are required to be submitted to USBC Headquarters for your league on a weekly basis.  See USBC Playing Rule 206a.


10. What happens if we fail to submit weekly tapes or graphs?  
Failure to submit tapes or graphs may result in your bowling center's Sport Bowling certification being pulled. Sport Bowling retains the right to withdraw a center/league's Sport Certification:


A.
 If the center fails to meet the requirements of USBC Playing Rule 206a, which includes submitting graphs or tapes every week of competition.


B.
 If the center accumulates two warnings within a 12-month period for non-compliance.  See USBC Playing Rule 206b for the complete directive.


Sport Bowling tapes/graphs may be sent as follows:

  1. Graphs

o    Faxed to 817-385-8262; or

o    E-mailed to sportbowling@bowl.com

      

  1. Tapes are mailed to:
    United States Bowling Congress 
    Attn.  Sport Bowling
    621 Six Flags Drive 
    Arlington, Texas 76011

Leagues

11. How does my league certify as an official USBC Sport Bowling league?


A.
 The league must register on bowl.com once the bowling center has registered and certified as a Sport Bowling Center. (See FAQ #3 above for center registration.)

  1. Visit the Sport Bowling section of bowl.com by clicking on Sport Bowling under the Bowlers tab at the top of the bowl.com home page.
  2. Click on the League registration link on the right hand side of the page.
  3. Fill out the short form.  You will need to know:

o    The center certification number (5 digits);

o    The type of league (Youth, adult, or both);

o    The league name;

o    The league's start and end dates; and

o    The league contact person including name, telephone number and an e-mail address.

  1. Hit "Submit."

B. Also fill out the USBC League Application, the same form that is used for any USBC league. Be sure to mark the application as a Sport Bowling league appropriately.


C.
 All league members must pay or provide proof of payment of the Sport Bowling membership dues ($15 for adults; Junior Gold membership for youth) in addition to all required standing USBC membership dues.  For reference, see USBC Playing Rule 201.


D.
 Completed forms must be turned in to your local USBC association manager within thirty (30) days of the start of the league.


E.
 After completing these simple steps, your league will be a certified Sport Bowling League ready for competition.


NOTE:
 League & Membership Application forms may be obtained from your local USBC association manager or the Bowling Information Center at USBC Headquarters

 

12. What is my league required to do weekly?  Each league must make weekly arrangements for tapes and graph inspections before the league begins.


A.
 Tapes will be taken at 22 feet and two feet before the end of the pattern on one lane. For example, if your Sport Bowling pattern is 37', you will take tapes at 22' and 35'.  If you do not have access to a reader and software to make graphs, you may send us the tapes and we will read them for you.


B.
 Tapes or graphs must be forwarded to USBC Headquarters on a weekly basis. If sending graphs, tapes must be retained for 30 days to allow for possible review by USBC Headquarters.  For reference, refer to the USBC Sport Bowling Manual.


13. Once the lanes are conditioned for Sport Bowling competition, may I practice prior to the start of my league competition?  
It is critical to the integrity of the Sport Bowling program that the lane conditions present at the start of certified competition, comply with Sport Bowling lane dressing specifications.   Once lanes are conditioned for a Sport Bowling league or tournament, there shall be no bowling prior to the start of the competition, except for a reasonable amount of practice balls authorized by the competition, not to exceed 30 minutes.  See for reference,USBC Sport Bowling Manual, Chapter 2.


14. Is there one standard league format for Sport Bowling?  
Each Sport Bowling league is required to follow the rules and specifications established by USBC for Sport Bowling competition (see the USBC Playing Rules). Beyond those requirements, the league has the flexibility to establish its own format. For ideas on various league formats, visit the Unique Format Section on the Sport Bowling page of bowl.com.  Should you have a question regarding a specific format and whether or not it is acceptable for Sport Bowling, feel free to contact the Sport Bowling Team at USBC Headquarters, 1-800-514-2695, ext. 3177.


Tournaments

15. How do tournaments certify as an Official Sport Bowling tournament?  The steps to register a Sport Bowling Tournament are as follows:


A.
 Ensure the center is a registered Sport Bowling center. (See FAQ #3 above for instructions on registering your center.)


B.
 All USBC certified tournament applications are submitted on-line at bowl.com,http://bowl.com/tournaments/index.jsp.


C.
 Check the Sport Bowling box on the tournament application.


D.
 At the completion of these steps your tournament will be a Sport Certified Bowling Tournament.


E.
 It is recommended that each tournament make arrangements for tapes and graph inspections before the tournament begins.


F.
 Your tournament must have an inspection prior to each squad where the lanes are dressed.

  • Tapes are taken at 22 feet and two feet before the end of the pattern on one lane before every fresh oil squad.
  • Graphs are to be forwarded to USBC Headquarters as soon as possible but no later than the last day of tournament competition.
  • Tapes will be required upon request.
  • Tapes must be retained for 30 days following the last squad of the tournament to allow for possible review by the USBC Headquarters.

16. Can a tournament specify that Sport Bowling averages are not allowed?  Leagues and tournaments are permitted to specify that Sport Bowling averages cannot be used for its competition - the exception to this would be USBC association championship tournaments. USBC association championship tournaments cannot specify Sport Bowling averages are not allowed, but as with all tournaments, the average may be subject to a higher adjustment by tournament management.  Rule 319a allows the tournament manager to specify which league averages are to be used in the tournament. Rule 319c also allows tournament managers the ability to adjust an average upward prior to participation.


USBC Sport Membership

17. What are the costs/fees associated with Sport Bowling?  All bowlers participating in USBC Sport Bowling leagues must:


A.
 Pay the $15.00 adult Sport upgrade or applicable Junior Gold membership dues in addition to all required standard USBC membership dues.


B.
 Participants in Sport Bowling tournaments are not required to be Sport Bowling members unless the tournament rules state otherwise.


C.
 USBC Life Members are also required to pay the additional $15.00 Sport Bowling dues.


NOTE:
 Junior Gold membership includes Sport Bowling membership for youth bowlers.


18. If I bowl in a summer Sport Bowling league and pay Sport Bowling membership dues, when is the next time that I'll have to pay membership dues? 


A.
 If you are a current USBC standard member, you can upgrade your standard membership to Sport Bowling status.  A Sport Bowling upgrade is only valid until the end of the current league season.  For example, if you upgrade your membership on June 1 in order to bowl in a certified Sport Bowling summer league, the upgrade is only valid until that league ends. As such, you will be required to pay Sport Bowling dues again when the next league season begins – usually in late August or early September.


Awards

19. What types of awards are given to honor scores bowled in Sport Bowling leagues and tournaments?  Sport Bowling members are offered exclusive awards providing the lane specifications comply with Sport Bowling conditions, including Clean Series, 75 pins over average (game), 300 game, 800 to 899 series and 900 series.  See USBC Playing Rule 204 for a total list of all Sport Bowling awards.


20. Will I receive a Sport award if the lanes do not meet the minimum requirements for a Sport Bowling pattern? 
If the lane conditions do not comply with Sport Bowling lane dressing requirements, an award from the standard USBC program will be issued where applicable.  See USBC Playing Rule 203 for further reference.


21. What average is used for Sport Bowling awards?  
Averages used to qualify for the Sport Bowling special achievement award scores may be either standard or Sport Bowling averages.


22. Can my Sport average be used for USBC standard league/tournament awards?  
Averages established in Sport Bowling competition may not be used to qualify for awards earned in standard league or tournament competition.


23. If I bowl in a USBC standard tournament and my Sport Bowling average is adjusted, will I qualify for USBC standard tournament awards?
  Yes, providing all of the tournament eligibility requirements are met.


24. What National Sport Bowling award can I earn?
  Each season the male and female adult and youth bowler who has the highest national sport average based on a minimum of 48 games will receive recognition and an exquisite Crystal Bowling pin.


25. If I bowl in a Sport League and also bowl in a standard league, will I earn both a Sport award and a standard award?
  USBC Sport bowlers remain eligible to receive regular recognition in standard leagues/tournaments for the same achievement in accordance with the USBC rules governing standard bowling.  For example, a member bowling a 300 game in a Sport Bowling league will receive the Sport 300 award. If at another time the same member bowls a 300 game in standard competition, they would also receive the standard 300 award.


26. May I purchase additional Sport Bowling awards?
  Bowlers will be allowed to purchase additional Sport Bowling competition award items if the score was approved as a Sport Bowling award achievement.  See for reference USBC Playing Rule 204.


Youth

27. Can Youth bowl in certified Sport Bowling competitions?  All youth bowlers may participate in certified USBC Youth Sport Bowling events and adult SINGLES leagues/tournaments (See FAQ #29 below for adult singles events). Many of the youth tournaments use Sport Bowling lane conditions including the Junior Gold Championships.  For additional information, see USBC Playing Rule 400.


28. If I am a Youth Sport Bowling member may I compete in adult leagues/tournaments where cash awards are given? 
USBC Playing Rule 400 only allows youths to participate in adult singles competitions with cash or bond prizes and/or merchandise prizes valued in excess of $500 provided they submit the USBC Singles Competition Prize Waiver prior to participating in such a competition.  See USBC Playing Rule 400 for information on the USBC Singles Competition Prize Waiver.


Averages

29. If a bowler only bowls in a Sport Bowling league, how is his/her average adjusted for standard leagues and tournaments?  Because Sport Bowling conditions are more challenging than typical standard conditions, a bowler's average under Sport conditions will typically be lower. We have confirmed this through the analysis of scores from Sport Bowling leagues and tournaments. In an effort to equalize competition during standard tournaments, an Average Adjustment Table has been formulated for bowlers who ONLY have a Sport Bowling average.  See USBC Playing Rule 202a for the Average Adjustment chart.


30. What is a Sport Bowling Average Adjustment Chart?


A.
 The Average Adjustment Table has been formulated through evaluation of Sport League bowlers on various Sport lane conditions. As additional data is obtained, slight changes to the scale may occur yearly. If so, the updated scale will be appropriately distributed.


B.
 The Average Adjustment Table is not considered a "re-rate" of the bowler; it is to allow for a fair adjustment to what would be expected of the bowler during competition on a typical league and tournament condition.


C.
 The Average Adjustment Table does not supersede the abilities of a tournament director to further adjust any bowlers' entering average upward into a tournament per USBC Playing Rule 319.

For reference, please see USBC Playing Rules 202b, 202c, 202d and 202e.


31. If I have an established USBC standard average and a USBC Sport Bowling average, what average is used in a standard tournament/league?  
If a bowler has an established standard average, that average shall be used for all standard tournaments unless the tournament rules' eligibility requirements state otherwise.


32. Will Sport Bowling affect my average?  
Very likely, but if you step up to the challenge you will be satisfied you tried. This level of competition will be an exciting challenge - one that should improve your game.


33. How often will USBC examine Sport Bowling to ensure that its specifications are still appropriate?
 This is an ongoing process.  We are in a position to make constant adjustments to the technical requirements when/as the need arises.


Miscellaneous

34. Are there any equipment restrictions for Sport Bowling? As part of the technical requirements for USBC Sport Bowling, the program has no equipment restrictions at this time.  However, league rules may be adopted to restrict equipment, i.e., two-ball leagues, plastic ball leagues.  Visit the league formats section on the sport bowling page on bowl.com for some great league format ideas.

United States Bowling Congress | 621 Six Flags Drive | Arlington, Texas 76011 | 800-514-BOWL.