Rules & Policies

(As of October 2, 2023-Subject to Change)

Entry fees: Entry fees vary by event. The LIGBT has a policy of complete transparency and will post a financial after each tournament. An entry fee breakdown appears on the back of all flyers. Expense fees will not exceed 10%. NO EXPENSES ARE TAKEN FROM POTS AND ELIMINATOR MONEY. BRACKETS WILL USE A 12.5% EXPENSE FEE.

Complimentary Entries: The LIGBT occasionally offers 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.

Preregistered Entries: To pre-register or pre-pay an entry it must be done 2 hours prior to the first squad of the day the event is running. Bowlers may prepay or preregister on-line at or by phone: 515.637.5955.        

Refunds: If a bowler prepays & does not bowl, they will receive a full refund minus the $4.00 processing fee as long as they inform the tournament director prior to the event. Once a bowler throws a ball for score, they will not be entitled to a refund.

Guarantees: All event guarantees will appear on the event flyer which will be posted on and available at the host center. The LIGBT reserves the right to adjust the guarantees if there is an Act of God (inclement weather), a health crisis, or bowling center management causes the event to restrict entries. All prize funds are based on entries to protect the integrity of the payouts.

Formats: The LIGBT uses a variety of formats for its tournaments. The qualifying and finals format is listed on the event flyer.

Women Bonus: In LIGBT sport shot events there is a women bonus which guarantees 1 in 8 women advancing to the finals from both squads combined. House shot events do not offer a women bonus.

Senior Guarantee:  In LIGBT sport shot events a senior (50 and over) is guaranteed in the final shootout. In LIGBT house shot events there is a separate prize fund for senior (50+) bowlers. The senior guarantees for a specific tournament is listed on the event flyer.

Ties  a. Qualifying – If there is a tie to advance to the finals the highest handicap game (without bonus pins in sport shot events) breaks the tie. b. Byes: If there is a tie for a bye the higher handicap game (without bonus pins in sport shot events) breaks the tie. c. Elimination Finals- a tie for the cut score will be broken by a 9th/10th frame roll off (using 20% of a bowler's handicap.)  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.)   

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 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. The LIGBT may allow certain PBA regional members to bowl on a case-by-case bases but will make sure it does not affect the balance of competition. Amateur bowlers must have a composite average of 230 or under their last 2 years of sanction play to bowl in an LIGBT handicap event. 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 welcomed to participate in LIGBT singles events and will have their winnings deposited in their SMART account.


Handicap: In LIGBT house shot event the handicap used is 90% of 220. In LIGBT sport shot events the handicap used is based on 90% of 210.

BONUS PINS: To keep a competitive balance in sport shot events, the LIGBT awards 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 and do not cash on an entry.
  2. You can earn up to 2 bonus pins per game per event (when you re-enter & do not 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 make the finals in a tournament you will not earn bonus pins from any of your non-cashing squads in that event.
  5. 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. 
  6. The maximum number of bonus pins you can earn is 12 per game (36 total.)
  7. Bowlers cannot "bank" bonus pins once they reach the max of 12 per game (36 total.)
  8. 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 do not cash but cannot lose any if you make the finals.
  9. Bonus pins are used in qualifying only and not in finals or side action.
  10. Bonus pins are NOT USED in house shot tournaments.

Score sheets - All LIGBT players are responsible for their own score sheets, and the scores on the scoresheet, 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 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 average/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.

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.

Dead Ball Situations:

Bowling on the wrong lane: When a bowler throws a ball on an incorrect lane the following rule applies: 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.

Bowling Out of Turn: If a bowler bowls on the correct lane but not in the correct order their score will count. 

Dead Wood: If a pin is in the channel the bowler must consult other bowlers on their pair to determine if it is in play. If any other competitor feels the pin is in play, it must be removed before the shot is thrown.

If a competitor attempts a spare conversion while a pin is in play, and the ball contacts the dead wood before leaving the lane surface, they shall receive zero for the shot.

Missing Pins: If it is determined that any pin or pins were missing from the rack at which a competitor shot, they must redo that shot.

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.

All tournament bowlers shall conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times while in the host center, on the property of the host center, and on social media, before, during and after the event. Any criticism by a tournament bowler or LIGBT member who discusses the sponsor, host center, tournament staff, fellow competitors in an unfavorable manner, or who otherwise engages in actions unbecoming of an LIGBT member in the opinion of the tournament director, shall be banned from future LIGBT events.

Electronic media: The LIGBT regards electronic media, such as message boards, conversation pages, and other forms of social networking (such as Facebook and Twitter) as important tools of communication. Tournament participants may not use these platforms to defame or otherwise attack the integrity of the LIGBT, its members, staff, sponsors, host center, or host center employees.

Individuals are subject to disqualification from the tournament, and ejection from the host center, for engaging in improper tactics or conduct including, but not limited to, physical and verbal abuse toward another person or if a person is not "sober.".


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 - All bowling balls 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. If a competitor uses an ineligible ball the bowler will be disqualified from that day’s event. 

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.

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.