Official Bowling Rules
Red = Rule Changes Effective Spring 2019
Blue = Rule Changes Effective Fall 2019
- Team rosters shall include a minimum of 6 players, including at least 2 of each gender.
- Each game shall be played by 4 players, which shall alternate between games such that everyone plays at least 1 game.
- The minimum number of players in each game is 3, including at least 1 player of each gender.
- All players must be registered with the team to play with that team, except in situations in which the team is short the minimum number of total players or the number of a particular gender. Unregistered substitutes are not permitted. Any team found to be playing with an unregistered player will forfeit the game. See: Late Registration below.
- When a team has fewer than the required number of players of a specified gender available, players of one gender may not be substituted for members of another gender. For example, if a team has 4 total players available at game time, but none are female, the team must either play short with 3 players or borrow a player from another team that is not their opponent per Rule Team 6. If no substitute can be found, the missing player's score shall be recorded as 150; this default score shall have no impact on any player's handicap.
- If the team has fewer than 4 players overall available, or has fewer than 1 of each gender available, that team may invite a registered player from another team other than their opponent as a substitute. Gender substitute rules still apply. This is permitted only during regular season games, and only if the team is short. A substitute from another team may only be used in the event of absence, not for the purpose of allowing rests or breaks for individual players. Substitutes shall use their existing handicap, or their handicap as calculated retroactively for the match if this is their first match. However, no games bowled as a substitute will affect that bowler's average or handicap. Only games bowled for their own team will affect that bowler's handicap.
- Late Registration: a team may add players to the roster until BEFORE the final regular season match, provided the team captain approves with the league fee pro-rated for the remainder of the season. No additions will be permitted after the regular season has been completed. All players must be formally registered with the League and paid in full prior to playing.
- Each team shall track the scores on the provided score cards and turn them into the League Manager once the match is completed.
- Handicaps shall be used, and will be automatically calculated by the computer system. (See "Handicap" section below to gain an understanding of how this will work.)
- Each of the 3 games played will count toward 1 point in the standings. For the purpose of head-to-head tie breakers in the standings, the winner of match shall be the team that wins best of three in the match.
- All equipment, including shoes and bowling balls shall be provided by the League, however players may use their own shoes or bowling balls.
- Teams must be ready to play and meet game start requirements at the posted game time. Any team not ready to play at this time shall forfeit, and the opposing team shall take a default win.
- If neither team is ready to play, both teams shall forfeit.
- Any team found to be playing with a player not registered with the League or team shall forfeit the game.
- Each match shall be composed of 3 games of 10 frames each against one opponent. The team with the highest point total will win the game.
- All players shall be handicapped as determined at the first game.
- Each team shall play 4 bowlers each game, at least one each gender.
- If a bowler is missing due having only 3 bowlers present, or nobody of one gender, and is unable to find a substitute from another team, a score of 150 per game shall be recorded for that missing player.
- If the 4th player shows up after the start of the game, they may not join mid-game. They may, however, join later games without penalty.
These will be automatically determined in the computer system when available. Handicaps are determined as follows:
- Determine your average. In league bowling, a minimum of three games is required to establish an average. To calculate your average, take the total number of pins and divide by the number of games. If you scored a total of 480 through three games, your average is 160.
- Determine the basis score. This will always be 90% of 210.
- Subtract your average from the basis score. If your average score is 160, subtract 160 from 210. 210 - 160 = 50.
- Multiply by the percentage. Take 90% of the difference between your average and the basis score. 50 x .9 = 45. Your handicap is 45.
- Your handicap will fluctuate from week to week. The basis score won't change, but your average might.
- The top 8 teams (after six weeks of play) will be placed into a seeded single elimination bracket.
- Substitutes are not permitted during any post-season game.
- One game will be one game during playoffs.
- If a tie happens, teams will compete a sudden death bowl-off. In the Bowl-Off, the Team with the highest amount of pins in the ensuing frame wins, if a tie still exists, this process continues until a winner is declared.
- Teams with more than 4 players present will still need to rotate their players as they continue to play. (Hint: Strategize how you want to rotate your players as you advance in the bracket.)