LIGBT Rules & Policies

(As September 1, 2019)

Entry fees: Member entry fees will vary by event. Most events (2-squads) with a $1,000 guaranteed top prize will feature $75-1st entry and $65-re-entry fees.  Two-day, 5 squad events, with a $3,000 top prize, will feature entry fee of $80 per squad. Super Tournaments (7 squads over 3 days) will feature $80 per squad entry fees. The marathon entry fee is $85 (no re-entries.) ANYONE THAT PARTICIPATES IN A 2-SQUAD  EVENT OR MAJOR MUST BE A MEMBER PRIOR TO BOWLING. MARATHONS WILL ALLOW NON-MEMBERS TO COMPETE, WITHOUT PAYING THE MEMBERSHIP FEE. All entry fees paid by credit card (prepaid or walk-in) will incur a $3.00 per squad processing fee. The LIGBT runs several special events per year that may feature different entry fees than listed above.

Preregistered Entries: To pre-register an entry it must be done 2 hours prior to the first squad of that day the event is running. Bowlers may prepay or preregister on-line at or by phone: 702.530.0708.        

Refunds: If a bowler prepays & doesn’t bowl they will receive a full refund minus the $3.00 processing fee. Once a bowler throws a ball for score they will not be entitled to a refund.

Squad Times: Most 2 squad events are scheduled to be at 1pm and 3pm. To respect the starting times the 1pm practice session will begin no later than 1:15pm. Bowlers checking in after 1:15pm will receive limited or no practice. Once practice is over no entries will be accepted.

Guarantees: In 2-squad regular handicap events (sport shot and house shot events) the top 4 prizes are guaranteed to pay a minimum of $1,000-1st / $500-2nd / $300-3rd / $250-4th. iIn sport shot events 1 in 4 bowlers per squad is guaranteed to cash for $75 and 1 in 8 per squad will advance to the finals and cash for a minimum of $100. In house shot events, where we use two age divisions (49 & under/50+) 1 in 6 each squad per division will advance to the finals.  The highest handicap series without bonus pins each squad is guaranteed to earn 1 bye and skip the first round of the finals. All handicap marathon events will guarantee $1,000-1st / $500-2nd / $300-3rd / $250-4th with all cashers earning a minimum of $100. The same prizes will be guaranteed in the scratch marathon with 50 or more paid entries.

In major events (5 squads) top prizes will guarantee a minimum of $3,000-1st / $1,500-2nd / $750-3rd / $500-4th with all finalists (1 in 8 per squad) earning a minimum of $150 and all squad leaders earning a minimum of $200. One in 4 bowlers will cash each squad for $80. In Super Tournaments (7+ squads) top prizes will pay a minimum of $5,000-1st/$2,500-2nd/$1,250-3rd/$1,000-4th. All finalists (1 in 8) are guaranteed to earn a minimum of $150 and all cashers (1 in 4) will earn $80.

The LIGBT reserves the right to adjust the guarantees if there is an Act of God (inclement weather) or bowling center management causes the event to restrict entries.

Payout and Finalist ratio – Most  events and house shot tournaments that are 2 or more squads will advance 1 in 8 each squad to the finals. One in 4 bowlers per squad will cash for a prize of $75. Marathons will payout using a 1 in 5 payout. When determining the number of bowlers that advance in a squad, bowlers that have already advanced to the finals, and complimentary entries, will not be counted.  Bowlers may cash in every squad they bowl. In Beat-The-Board Tournaments 24 bowlers are guaranteed to make the finals regardless of entries. Double cashing is not allowed!

Byes: When determining who wins the bye BONUS PINS ARE NOT COUNTED. In 2-squad events the top series (scratch series plus handicap) will earn 1 bye (can come from either division in house shot events.)  NOTE: In major events all squad leaders earn 1 bye. Only bowlers with a minimum of 9 qualifying games, prior to the start of the tournament, can win the bye. If a bowler leads a squad after making the finals in a previous squad they will earn the bye but will not earn cash on the previous entry. If a bowler leads multiple squads they will earn a cash prize on their second entry or thereafter they lead a squad. The maximum number of byes any bowler can earn in a tournament is one.

Wildcard Bonus: In sport shot events and majors an extra spot in the finals will be won by the non-finalist with the highest 6 game series (must bowl both squads and have at least 9 qualifying games prior to the event.) One wildcard bonus will be awarded in 1 day events and 1 per day will be awarded in most majors.

Qualifying Formats: In regular 2-squad events entrants will bowl 3-games across 6 lanes. One in 8 entries per squad will advance to the finals and 1 in 4 will cash for $75. When determining who advances you add the 3 game scratch scores plus handicap (90% of 210 in all events) plus any bonus pins earned.

Finals Formats: Most 2-squad events finals will consist of 2 rounds (with 80 entries or more) plus a shootout. BONUS PINS ARE NOT USED in the finals of sport shot events. In sport shot events all finalists will bowl together. The first round of the finals will cut to the top half (scratch game plus handicap.) The second round will cut to the top 4. In most tournaments, a senior bowler (age 50+) is guaranteed to advance to the shootout. All finalists that have a re-rated average must use their real average in all final rounds and shootout. Finalists that have less than 9 games will also have their average adjusted based on the games they have bowled including in that day’s event minus 20 pins.

NOTE: Final formats may be adjusted if center has Sunday night leagues and lanes are not available to run the regular finals format. The finals format used for each event will be announced prior to qualifying.

Major Finals Formats: In most multiple day tournaments (majors) the finals will use an elimination format. The first round in majors will cut using a 1 in 4 ratio. The 2nd round will cut half the field and the third round will cut to the top 4.

Women Guarantee: A minimum of 1 in 8 women per tournament are guaranteed to make the finals. If not enough women (1 in 8 of total women entries for all squads combined) advance additional women will be added to the finals until the 1 in 8 ratio is reached. A minimum of 6 women entries must be recorded for this guarantee to be in effect.

Senior Guarantee: In most tournaments (except tournaments that use a match play finals format or sport shot events that are running at the same time as other senior events) a senior bowler (age 50 & over) is guaranteed to advance to the final shootout as long a senior has advanced to the finals. If a senior did not make the finals none will be added to the shootout. If a senior advances to the shootout through the final rounds, no bowler will be added. If no senior advanced to the shootout the last remaining senior in the finals will be added to the shootout. If more than 1 senior was alive in the last final round a senior was alive, the high senior game bowled (including handicap) in that last round will determine which senior is added to the shootout.  

Prize Fund Breakdown – Linage rates usually are $4 per game. A maximum of 12.5% will be taken for expenses. An escrow account will be funded by taking $3 per entry for future tournament prize funds if entries allow. All $10 entry discounts (recruiting or membership bonus) will be deducted from that day’s prize fund. All prize money is returned 100%.

Complimentary Entries: The LIGBT will occasionally offer complimentary entries to sponsors, hosts, or super recruiters. Additional complimentary entries are awarded to bowlers that tied for the cut but lost due to the tie-breaker rule, members that brought in sponsors, or given to bowlers if an error was made in a previous event. No prize money will be generated from these entries and lineage costs will be deducted for these entries from the prize fund.


Ties  a. Qualifying – If there is a tie to make the cut the highest handicap game (with bonus pins in sport shot events) will break the tie. The bowler that didn't advance will earn a free entry into a future tournament. b. Byes: If there is a tie for a bye the higher handicap game (without bonus pins) breaks the tie. c. Elimination Finals (regular events)- a tie for the cut score will be broken by advancing the bowler with the higher qualifying series with bonus pins.  If the qualifying series is tied the tie will be broken by the highest handicap game in the qualifying series including bonus pins except in house shot events. In Major and Super tournament finals, if there is a tie to advance in the finals, all ties will advance to the next round and the scores bowled in the next round will break the tie and also determine if the winner of the tie advances to the next round. The bowlers that loses the tie will earn prize money of the round they would have been eliminated. The exception to this rule is if there is a tie in the round prior to the shootout the tie will be broken with a 9th/10th frame roll off.  

Match Play finals: If there is a tie in a head-to-head match a 9th/10th frame roll off will break the tie. Each bowler will receive 20% of their handicap for the roll off (fractions dropped.) Desperado: If there is a tie for the cut score a 9th/10th frame roll off will break the tie.  

Membership Fees: The LIGBT is a member’s only club for all events and an open tournament for marathons. The annual membership fee is $30 and everyone paying a membership fee or renewal fee will receive $10 off their next tournament. Youth bowlers competing for scholarship money will not be charged a membership fee. Employees of an LIGBT host center will not be charged a membership fee. All marathons and house shot tournaments are considered open tournaments and do not require a membership fee (non-members welcome).  If a non-member wants to compete in a marathon they must meet all eligibility requirements unless they are only bowling in the scratch division. Everyone that competes in a major event must be a member of the LIGBT.

Membership Cancellation policy: There are no refunds of membership fees for any reason

Eligibility: Anyone that is an amateur bowler is allowed to participate as long as they meet all LIGBT average rules. Events that feature a scratch only option will allow anyone to compete in the scratch event. In handicap events NO CURRENT PBA MEMBERS OR PAST PBA/SENIOR PBA/PWBA CHAMPIONS ALLOWED. Certain exceptions on the PBA rule may be made if the bowler doesn’t have an unfair advantage.  Amateur bowlers must have a composite average of 230 or under their last 2 years of sanction play to bowl. All winter, summer, and junior league averages will be considered. If a bowler does not have a league average the past 2 years they may provide a current league sheet to determine a starting average (minimum 21 games.) All averages must be verifiable on or via the most current league sheet. Bowlers with a Sport League or PBA league average will have their average adjusted for handicapping purposes based on the USBC conversion chart. Youth bowlers may use their junior league or high school averages but their incoming average will be adjusted in the future. Youth bowlers are welcome to participate and have the option to bowl for scholarship or cash.


The LIGBT will no longer will separate house shot averages. All bowlers competing in a house shot event or marathon will use their sport shot average for handicapping purposes.

New Members: Bowlers joining the LIGBT that have a league average the past 2 years which can be verified on will use their highest certified composite league average minus 20 pins to determine their handicap. New members must notify the LIGBT if they have been re-rated by another tournament the past 10 years or their current average is more than 10 pins higher than their highest book average the past 2 years. New members that don’t have a sanctioned league average the past 2 years, but are currently bowling in a league, may participate as long as they bring proof of their average to the tournament and they have a minimum of 21 games bowled in the league. Bowler’s that cannot prove their actual average may still bowl at the discretion of the tournament director.

Minimum Average for New Members: Male bowlers joining the LIGBT cannot receive more than 63 pins per game (140 average) in sport shot events and 54 pins (150 average) in house shot event. Female bowlers joining the LIGBT cannot receive more than 72 pins per game (130 average) in sport shot events and 63 pins (140 average) in house shot events. Once a member has 50 eligible sport shot games the minimum average rule is waived.

If a new member, with less than 9 eligible games, makes the finals their handicap will be adjusted based on the qualifying series they advanced with plus eligible games already bowled with the LIGBT MINUS 20 PINS. New members may not earn byes until they have 9 eligible games registered (games bowled in LIGBT finals count when determining your club average.) 

DETERMINING A NEW BOWLER’S AVERAGE UNTIL THEY HAVE 9 ELIGIBLE GAMES: All bowlers that have less than 9 eligible sport shot games will have their average determined by taking their incoming average minus 20 and multiply the number by 9. Take the total and add the eligible games bowled and divide by the total # of games. This will be the new bowler’s average for handicapping purposes until they have 9 eligible games in the club. This average cannot fall below the initial incoming average minus 20 pins.

Eligible games: Games that are 30% or more below your tournament average or any series less than 75% of your tournament average will not count.

New member averages cannot change in the middle of a tournament unless they make the finals. After a bowler has 9 eligible games they have an established club average which is how your handicap will be determined for future LIGBT tournaments. This average cannot drop more than 20 pins below your incoming average until you have 50 eligible games in the club.

LIGBT reserves the right to adjust a member’s average up or down and permit non-eligible bowlers to compete as long as they do not affect the competitive balance of the club.

CURRENT MEMBERS WITH 9 OR MORE GAMES: Once a member has 9 eligible sport shot games they will be handicapped based on the games they bowl in sport shot events. Your average cannot drop more than 20 pins from your incoming average until you reach 50 eligible sport shot games. Once you have 50 or more eligible sport shot games you no longer have a maximum drop and your average will be based on your last 50 sport shot games you bowled (including finals games) in LIGBT sport shot events. All qualifying games bowled after you make the finals in a tournament will not count when determining your average. Games that are 30% or more below your tournament average, or any series less than 75% of your tournament average, will not count. ALL BOWLERS HAVE A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO COMPETE TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY. ANYONE PURPOSELY “SANDBAGGING” WILL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE LIGBT.


AUTOMATICE AVERAGE ADJUSTMENTS: All average adjustments are now done by LIGBT’s software using the following formula: All bowlers that have competed in a minimum of 5 sport shot events will be eligible for an automatic adjustment. When a bowler fails to cash in less than 20% of their last 5 sport shot events (cashing in 1 or no events), their tournament average will automatically drop 5 pins. When a bowler has a cashing ratio of 20% or under for their last 5 sport shot events the software will then look at the bowlers last 10 sport shot events. If a bowler is cashing less than 20% of their last 10 sport shot events (2 or less) their average will drop another 5 pins per game (10 pins total per game). The maximum adjustment allowed is 10 pins per game. You lose your 10 pin adjustment once your last 5 sport shot events cashing percentage is above 20%.  The LIGBT will still manually re-rate a bowler if a bowler has an unfair advantage, is deliberately not shooting their best score, or for medical reasons. NOTE: AVERAGE ADJUSTMENTS ARE NOT USED IN HOUSE SHOT EVENTS OR MARATHONS.

Handicap: All handicaps will be determined using 90% of 210.

BONUS PINS: To keep a competitive balance the LIGBT will award 1 bonus pins per game (extra handicap) when a bowler fails to make the finals in a tournament (or fails to cash.) 

  1. You earn 1 bonus pin per game when you fail to make the finals on an entry. In events that have a 1 in 8 to the finals and 1 in 4 cashing all bowlers cashing but not making the finals will not lose any bonus pins. Bowlers that do cash in the 1 in 4 ratio will not earn a bonus pin.
  2. You earn up to 2 bonus pins per game per event (when you re-enter & don't cash on either entry.) 
  3. In tournaments with more than 2 squads the maximum number of bonus pins you can earn during that event is 2 per game.
  4. If you cash or make the finals in a tournament you will not earn bonus pins from any of your non-cashing squads in that event.
  5. In tournaments that do not use bonus pins (marathons and house shot tournaments) bowlers will earn bonus pins if they fail to cash but will not lose them if they do cash.  
  6. You lose 6 bonus pins per game when you advance to the finals & all of your bonus pins if you advance to round 2 or further. 
  7. The maximum number of bonus pins you can earn is 12 per game (36 total.)
  8. Bowlers cannot "bank" bonus pins once they reach the max of 12 per game (36 total.)
  9. Bowlers will never have negative bonus pins.
  10. The LIGBT will freeze bonus pins at the sport shot event prior to a major tournament. This means you can earn bonus pins if you don’t cash but can’t lose any if you make the finals.
  11. Bonus pins are used in qualifying only and not in finals or side action.
  12. Bonus pins are NOT USED in house shot tournaments or marathons. 
  13. Although bonus pins are not used in house shot events, bowlers that didn’t make the finals in a house shot tournament will earn 1 bonus pin per squad (maximum 2) and will not lose any bonus pins if they make the finals. The bonus pins earned in a house shot event can only be used if the bowler competes in a sport shot tournament.

Appropriate Apparel - slacks, jeans, shorts. Bowlers asked to wear shirt w/collar but not mandatory.
Not requested - fleece, sweats, or exercise pants, gym shorts, or headwear.
Enforcement - LIGBT dress code will be enforced at the discretion of the LIGBT Tournament Director. Bowlers with a dress code infraction will be allowed to bowl one time but must follow the dress codes in future events or they will not be allowed to participate.

Score sheets - All LIGBT players are responsible for their own score sheets at all times. Lost score sheets will result in a score of zero for qualifying or finals. Any player who hands in a score sheet with an incorrect score, whether they wrote the score or someone else did, will be disqualified from the event and will be suspended for 3 months from the LIGBT.

Proper Handicap – All bowlers are responsible they have been issued the proper handicap and bonus pins during qualifying and finals. If there is an error in the handicap or bonus pins listed on the score sheet it must be reported to a tournament official. If the mistake is discovered after the prize money is paid out the bowler is responsible to return all prize money erroneously rewarded. Failure to return the money will be a cause for immediate termination from future LIGBT events and LIGBT reserves the right to take legal action to have the money returned.

Bowling on the wrong lane: When a bowler throws a ball on an incorrect lane the following rules will apply: If the bowler threw a strike they must redo the frame on the correct lane. If the bowler threw anything else but a strike the bowler must complete the frame on the incorrect lane and will bowl their next frame on the same lane.

Lane breakdown: If a game cannot be completed on the lane started, due to a malfunction, the bowlers will be moved to a “breakdown” pair and given 2 practice balls on each lane. No refunds will be offered to anyone that has to move to a breakdown pair which may be a fresh pair but oiled with the same pattern as the other lanes.

Settee Area - Only LIGBT players are allowed in bowling settee area during competition. Others may be allowed in adjacent settee areas at the discretion of the LIGBT. COMPETITORS GOING TO THEIR NEXT LANE SHOULD NOT ENTER THE SETTEE AREA, OR PLACE THEIR BALLS ON THE RACK, UNTIL THE CURRENT BOWLERS HAVE FINISHED THEIR GAME.

Conduct - All complaints or concerns regarding the tournament must be discussed with the LIGBT tournament director in private. Destruction of property, profanity, obscenity - any gestures which are offensive at any time during the event will be cause for immediate disqualification or loss of membership.


Playing Rules; The rules of The LIGBT and those of the USBC will govern all participants of the tournaments. The "rules" are found on the official tournament flyer, in the rules section of, and posted at host centers during competition. Tournament management will determine matters not covered by those rules and regulations. Any rules not covered in the application or on the website will be decided by tournament management and be considered final and binding. Tournament management reserves the right to refuse any entry for any reason. If a bowler provides false information the bowler shall be liable to return any prizes won. There shall be no liability on the part of Pinacle Events, Inc., the host center, sponsors, to any entrant as a result of false information furnished.

Bowling Balls - unless otherwise designated, all bowling balls approved for use by USBC are acceptable for use in LIGBT events. Plugged balls are allowed. Only balls that have been released to the public may be used in competition.

Use of abrasives/polish on ball surfaces - balls may be sanded or polished prior to LIGBT competition. It is recommended this be done away from the settee area or in pro shop. Once a squad begins, balls may not be polished or sanded until squad is completed.

Delivery: Bowlers may only throw the ball with the left or right hand. Once they start their first game they must use the same hand they threw their first ball with for the rest of the squad. Any bowler that switches hands in the middle of a squad will be disqualified with no refund given.

Powder substances - All powder or lubricating substances may be used on hands. NONE of these substances may be applied to the bottom of bowling shoes during competition at any time.

Warm-up sessions – With 4 or more on a pair all players will be given 10 minutes of practice prior to qualifying. Prior to all final rounds everyone will be given 5 minutes of practice. Delay - In the case of a breakdown or delay of 10 minutes or more, the LIGBT tournament director may allow players two shots prior to re-start on opposite lane. Tournament director must be notified of breakdown and these shots must be approved by LIGBT tournament director

Re-Racks - Players will be allowed 2 re-racks per game. Additional re-racks must be approved.

Lane Courtesy - Bowlers shall be permitted a maximum of 2 lane clearance to the left and right.

USBC rules - All rules not covered by LIGBT will be governed by official rulebook of the USBC. LIGBT events are not sanctioned.

No coaching allowed during official LIGBT competition.

LIGBT rules are subject to change between events at the discretion of LIGBT management.

Tournament Conduct and Refund- If by war, terrorism, fire, tornado, gas shortage, water damage, or labor unrest, etc., or act of God, it becomes impossible to conduct or complete the tournament as publicized, all unused portions of the entry fees will be returned if a prize fund was not paid out. If a tournament is affected by weather conditions or an unseen problem (lane availability, etc.) the guarantees will be dropped and the prize fund will be paid out "based on entries." In multiple day tournaments if any of the days of qualifying are affected by weather or other problems the tournament guarantees will be dropped and the prize fund will be based on entries.

Consent- Participants are hereby informed that portions of the tournament shall be photographed, broadcast, recorded, televised or otherwise exhibited to the public. They consent to such exhibition and to the use and to the licensing of others to use their respective names, voice sketch, motion picture, video tape, thereof and in any advertisement, publicity or promotion thereof, to release all rights, title, and interest they or any of them may have thereafter, waiving forever any claim or right to be compensated or to other consideration on account of cash use, exhibition or reproduction.

Non-solicitation- No products or tournaments may be promoted at host site without permission from the LIGBT.