JUNIOR BOWLERS TOUR RULES - updated and in effect 8/1/23
JBT rules are constantly evaluated for clarity and fairness. Clarifications of existing rules may be updated at any time, and such clarifications will be noted
by an updated date above. Situations may (will) arise which are not explicitly covered in the below rules or individual event flyers. There are way more details than can fit on individual flyers. This is why we have rule 26.
1) Eligibility: 2023-24 Junior Bowlers Tour (JBT) tournaments are open to all male and female bowlers age 21 or under as of August 1, 2023, who are not current or former members of the PBA, PWBA, or any other professional bowling organization, regardless of ‘youth’ or ‘adult’ status in any other organization. JBT events are scholarship events, with all monetary prizes awarded as such, again regardless of bowler’s ‘adult’ or ‘youth’ status outside of JBT. JBT events are JBT Certified, and are not directly affiliated with other cityor state events, other USBC events, etc.
2) Divisions: There are two divisions in most events, scratch and handicap. Bowlers can choose to compete in either division. Any events with formats comprising more or less than two divisions will have separate details announcing that event’s divisions. In addition, at most regular season singles events, all females are entered free in a Girls Scratch subdivision, and all bowlers age 16 and under as of 8/1/23 are entered free in a U17 subdivision.
3) Handicap: Handicap division bowlers receive 90% of 200 in all rounds. Events with different handicaps will have separate flyers announcing that event’s handicap. The maximum handicap in regular singles events is 117 pins per game (70 average). Bowlers with lower than a 70 average may bowl, but max at 117 pins handicap pergame.
4) Formats: Classic format: All bowlers roll 5 games across 10 lanes. The top 40% of each division advance to a 3 game semifinal round matchplay in scratch). The top 4 bowlers then roll a stepladder finals. Matchplay format: All bowlers roll 5 games across 10 lanes. The top 40% of each division, to a maximum of 16, advance to a head to head matchplay bracket. There are many variations to these formats, and totally different formats, to keep events fresh and exciting. Most events start with the 5-game qualifying round, and then ‘branch off’ into different semifinal formats. For details on additional formats, please visit the "schedules" section of www.bowljbt.com, or pick up a flyer at any JBT event.
4a) Additional formats / variations: Additional formats or variations of the above are constantly being created and will have rules sheets when introduced. We also have a few events each year with still more different formats, such as our Doubles events, Pro-Ams, our Invitationals, the TPC, and more. These formats are always explained on separate entry blanks.
4b) two squad entries: In some events with two or more qualifying rounds, bowlers may re-enter the second squad to try and improve their score, with the better of the two scores taken, unless otherwise posted. The other card is 'thrown out', and does not count for averages, finishing place, etc., but DOES count for high game awards.
4c) late bowlers: bowlers arriving after the event begins may enter at any time, pending space availability, but receive zeros for all missed frames. Bowlers must be placed on the pair that is best available, subject to the director's discretion and the need to keep the event moving, and NOT necessarily the pair in the earliest frame.
5) Entry fee / scholarships: The entry fee is $60 in a standard regular season event. Entry breakdown: $35.00 Bowling fees (variable depending on house, excess lineage cost go toawards), $11.00 awards, $9.00 expenses, $5 year-end scholarship prizes. Optional scholarship programs are available as explained on additional materials, and are always returned at least 100%. Scholarships are managed by the Junior Bowlers Tour, and details regarding our program may be found on the ‘scholarships’ section of our website, www.bowljbt.com. Other events have prize funds as announced on separate flyers and the website.
6) Reservations: Bowlers may prepay for any or all JBT events, or prepay an amount of their choice to be used as credit at any JBT event. Walk-in entries also are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. All bowlers must check in at the latest 15 minutes prior to squad time, or risk losing their spot to wait-listed walk-in bowlers.
7) Returned checks: Returned checks are subject to a $30 return processing fee, plus any additional bank fees.
8) ATTIRE: Collared shirts or bowling related T-shirts are required. No tank tops, or clothing deemed offensive by the tournament director are allowed. Shorts ARE permitted, but must be of a neat denim or khaki-type material. Skirts / skorts are acceptable, and must be of a neat, clean material. Attire or equipment promoting alcohol or tobacco products will not be allowed. Bowlers not conforming to dress code will not be allowed to bowl beyond the round in which the violation is discovered. Bowlers wearing "JBT Pro Attire", meaning a 'name shirt' and slacks or neat shorts, or skirts/skorts for girls, will receive an additional 10 points at each event. JBT produced shirts with or without names are acceptable for the bonus.
8b) Bowlers not in acceptable dress code will not be able to advance to the following round. Thus, a bowler not in dress code during qualifying may not bowl the semifinals until the problem is resolved. Egregious violations of dress code will prevent a bowler from competing at all, subject to directors’ discretion. Bowlers who are out of dress code, whom directors accidentally overlook, will be given sufficient time after being noticed, of at least until the following round, to resolve the issue. Time allotted is subject to directors’ discretion. A one-event grace period is offered if no solution is viable, again subject the director’s discretion.
8c) Dress code bonus clarification: neat felt or cloth permanent name 'placards' that pin to a bowler's shirt are acceptable for the 10-point bonus. Effective August 2014, paper, duct tape, or other non-permanent placards, while you're welcome to wear them, will not earn you the bonus. Also, high school or college ‘team’ shirts, or anything of that nature, ARE acceptable for the dress code bonus.
9) Field Size Restrictions: Events are limited to the number of entries that the center can accommodate, in both space and allotted time. In the event a tournament sells out, additional time or lanes will be requested. In some centers, the size of the semifinal field must be limited due to space and time restrictions. Such limitations will be imposed on an equal ratio on each division, or at the discretion of the director, and announced before the event begins.
10) Awards: Plaques are awarded to the champion in each division, regardless of entries. Scholarship prizes are awarded based on entry counts in each optional program, with a 1:6 ratio and four prizes minimum at all standard regular season events. Honor scores: only 300 and 800 awards are automatically awarded.
11) Smoking / Drinking: There is to be no smoking during the tournament on or behind tournament lanes, to the extent that the event can control. Competitors may not smoke (including e-cigs or vapes) or drink alcohol at any time while entered in the event. Punishment for drinking is disqualification. Punishment for smoking is warning and/or disqualification, subject to the director's discretion.
12) Behavior: ANY DISPLAY OF BULLYING, FOUL LANGUAGE OR ABUSING EQUIPMENT will result in 1) warning, 2) forfeiture of JBT points, 3) forfeiture of pinfall, and/or 4) disqualification, subject to the sole discretion of the tournament directors. Please behave as the young professionals we'd like you to be seen as. You CANNOT, for example: curse at any volume, throw pencils, throw cups, throw ashtrays, slam balls onto ball returns when moving to a new pair, abuse personal equipment, drop personal equipment, abuse center equipment in any way, fold or tear scorecards, berate other bowlers, or impede the concentration of another bowler, physically or vocally. We have six year olds girls in our events- if your actions would not want to be seen around that girl by that girl's mother, you can't do it. Moreover, if a Pro can't do it in their event, you can't do it in ours. Sometimes, officials will miss an act of misbehavior- a bowler will 'get away with it'. It is regrettable that anybody 'gets away with it', but it happens. Do not feel 'singled out' if you get caught- be assured that we are trying our best to catch EVERYONE, and know that it was your actions that forced us into action anyway. Another person’s bad behavior does not excuse yours. The intention of this rule is not to turn bowling centers into libraries and witch hunts, it is intended to make JBT events a fun experience for all bowlers. Now smile, it’s just a game. All tournament officials as designated by the tournament director may raise or lessen penalties at their sole discretion at any time for any offense of any nature. Bowlers who bowl non-JBT events, especially adult events, are reminded that JBT events are designed for a professional, yet kid-friendly atmosphere, and to leave ‘adult’ behavior at adult events. Once again, bullying in any form is not tolerated, and its eradication is a focus of the bowling community at large that we are happy to join in.
13) AVERAGES: Returning bowlers of 15+ games in 22-23 JBT competition will use their finishing 22-23 JBT average at their first 23-24 event, prior to October 2. Otherwise: Bowlers are to submit the highest average of: 1) his / her highest 23-24 average in any form of competition (herein referred to as ‘league’), of 15 games or more. If none, 2) his / her highest 2022-23 league average, 15 games or more, AND highest 2023 summer league average,15 games or more, if any. Summer league averages higher than 22-23 averages will be split at your first event. Bowlers will use their JBT average after they have 15 games of JBT competition. Bowlers with less than 15 games of JBT competition will split the difference between their current JBT average and their entering average. Bowlers with none of the above must use 200 as an average. IF THIS IS YOUR 1st JBT EVENT PLEASE BRING AVERAGE VERIFICATION WITH YOU!! Any average discovered to be falsified or incorrect, on purpose or not, will result in that bowler’s forfeiture of all awards, JBT points and scholarship monies earned in that tournament and/or others affected by the discrepancy, and suspension from future JBT events, subject to the tournament director’s discretion. JBT management reserves the right to increase or decrease any bowler's average prior to the start of an event for any reason- the bowler will be notified of the change, the reason for it, and will have the opportunity to withdraw if unsatisfied with the re-rate.
13a) SPORT AVERAGES: In all of the above cases, the bowler MUST declare if a stated average is from a 'sport', ‘challenge’, 'pba experience', or any other leaguewhich advertises using non-house patterns. These averages MAY be re-rated using the standard USBC sport/challenge re-rate charts, subject to the tournament director’s discretion as well as the level of pattern being used at that event (there are endless variations to this- some events use multiple patterns, patterns play wildly differently at different centers, etc. In general, expect to bowl your first JBT event at your highest current average- your JBT average will be adjusted quickly each event.). Bowlers who have a sport average only, or use the sport average in their first JBT event average, who happen to bowl their first JBT event on a sport-type pattern may NOT have the sport re-rate applied to their average, subject to tournament director's discretion. In short-- bring all your possible averages with you, and be honest. You will quickly create a separate JBT average after at worst your first 3 events anyway. Any averages may be further adjusted at the director’s discretion prior to the start of any event.
14) JBT POINT SYSTEM: Points are awarded based on each bowler’s final standing in a tournament in the following system: 1st=100, 2nd=80, 3rd=70, 4th=60, 5th=50, 6th=48, 7th=46, 8th=44, 9th=42, 10th=40, 11th=38, 12th=36, 13th=34, 14th=32, 15th=30, 16th=28, 17th=26, 18th=24, 19th=22, 20th=20, 21st=18, 22nd=16, 23rd=14, 24th=12, 25th=10. Additional points are also awarded in the following fashion: All bowlers who compete in an event receive 10 points. The five highest games in the qualifying round, with handicap in the handicap division, receive 25-20-15-10-5 points respectively; bowlers may earn more than one award. In events that have round-by-round leaders, the leader after each round earns an additional 5 points, including all ties. The top 3 qualifying round leaders earn 20-15-10 points respectively. The top point scorers in each division at season’s end qualify for JBT Invitational Tournaments. The top overall combined all-conference point scorers qualify for the JBT Touring Players' Championship. Point total questions prior to the Invitationals must be brought to JBT no more than 72 hours before a conference's Invitational. Point totals to that point are then final at that point.
14a) point ties: If a tie exists for the 5th and final exemption spot heading into an Invitational, both earn the exemption. If there is a tie for the final spot into the Invitational, all tied bowlers are eligible.
14b) Invite top 5 no show / TPC eligibility/bye no-show: If a bowler earning a top 5 bye does not compete in an Invitational, the 6th place bowler does not then get the exemption, etc. Instead an additional spot will be available through qualifying. Similarly, if all eligible bowlers do not attend an Invitational (or TPC), the "first bowler out" does not receive a spot into the event, etc.
14c) TPC byes: The top 12 all-conference point scorers, plus ties, plus each Conference's scratch and handicap Bowler of the Year, plus 2023 Desert Open champions if otherwise eligible, earn a bye into the quarterfinals of the TPC.
15) Year-end events and awards: Plaques are given at the end of the season in each Conference (Arizona, Mojave, Mountain, Southern California, Pacific Northwest) in each division (scratch and handicap) for the following awards: Bowler of the Year, All Star Team, and Most Improved Bowler. Sportsmanship awards are awarded Tour-wide and not by conference. 50 game minimum for most improved and high average. Most Improved may be combined in the So Cal, AZ, and Mojave Conferences with multiple awards, since many eligible bowlers compete in one, two, or more of those conferences. ‘Outstanding rookie’ goes to the high point scorer who didn’t make the all-star team and is new to the division they competed in (‘new’ subject to the director’s discretion, plus ‘forced scratch’ events like Baker and some doubles combos won’t affect eligibility.)
16) Fouls: Foul lights are requested to be turned on at the start of all JBT events. Foul lights found to be malfunctioning may be turned off. In either case, it is up to the bowlers on the pair to dispute a foul where the light does not go off, or a non-foul where the light does. Procedures are as follows: A) The scoreboard is the default. If a bowler fouls, and decides to dispute it, it will remain a foul unless either 1) ALL bowlers on the pair who say they witnessed the shot agree that the bowler did NOT foul AND this is corroborated by the director, or 2) the foul light is determined to be malfunctioning by the discretion of the tournament director through 'card tests' and 'step tests’, in which case the original pinfall is restored. B) If a player is accused of fouling by another bowler on the pair (nobody else can accuse that bowler) but the foul lights have not gone off, it will remain a non-foul if the foul lights are determined to be working properly through card and stomp tests. If the foul lights were determined to be malfunctioning, and the player denies that he fouled, it will be ruled a non-foul , and a tournament assistant or parent who is not a parent of any bowler on that pair will be assigned to be a foul judge for that pair for the remainder of the game. Note that in either case, it is the bowlers' responsibility, not the parents' to be aware of a fouling situation. In either case, arguments over a foul (or other scoring) are VOID if play has continued beyond the frame in question. Be alert!
17) Respots: If a machine malfunctions and pins need to be reset, it is the bowlers' responsibility to know which pins need to be reset. If a bowler does not know which pins need to be reset, and it can not be determined by all the bowlers of the pair which pins need to be reset, that frame will be erased. Any disputes about pinfall are VOID if play has continued beyond the frame in question. Be alert!
18) Late entrants: A bowler arriving late, defined as the 'end practice' screen appearing on most scoring systems, will receive zero for each unbowled frame. A bowler may not be placed on a lane that causes undue delay to that pair or the tournament, at the tournament director's discretion, and thus a pair may or may not be available for late arriving bowlers. (i.e. all pairs have six bowlers and adding a bowler creates a seventh bowler that in the director's opinion will slow down the tournament beyond its allotted time.) Call the center if you'll be later than start time so we can do our best to have a spot for you. . In most cases, events cannot be delayed due to time and lane restrictions of the host centers- we know that unexpected travel delays happen, but cannot hold up the event for late arriving bowlers.
18 a) Squad replacements: At the start of a new block of multiple round tournaments, alternates will be called if a qualified bowler is not present. Qualified bowlers have until "practice time is over" is announced, with the corresponding 'end of practice' screen on most scoring systems, to appear. At that time, the alternate(s) spot(s) will be final. This is to avoid any gray area as to when the alternate spot is set.
19) Distractions: Requests for a re-shot due to interference will be granted on a case by case basis, subject to the sole discretion of the tournament director. Interference from another bowler will rarely be given- be aware of your surroundings! Interference from flash bulbs will rarely be granted- be aware of your surroundings! In general, only extreme circumstances such as actual physical contact with another player will receive a re-shot.
20) Lane Breakdowns / slow pairs: Tournament management reserves the right to take whatever steps necessary to have all bowlers complete their games as quickly as possible. In some instances, this may mean that bowlers will roll games on a pair of lanes they bowled on earlier, but if at all possible never the same pair twice in a row. In some instances, a pair will be 'dissolved', with bowlers moving to different pairs, if this is the quickest method of play, especially if only one pair is a game or more behind the rest of the field. In delays of 15 minutes or more, bowlers may be granted warm-up balls subject to the tournament director’s discretion.
21) Ties for advancing, finishing position, etc. are now broken by highest game (with handicap) throughout all previous rounds of the tournament. Ties that cannot be broken in this fashion are broken by one shot rolloffs in scratch and two frame, 20% handicap rolloffs in handicap. Any variations to this will be announced at each event and on individual event information.
22) Bowlers’ Responsibility: Entry into any JBT event constitutes acceptance of and adherence to all JBT rules. Each tournament or league can and does have its own rules- it is the bowlers’ responsibility to be aware of all rules and regulations. Each bowler is responsible for the accuracy of his/her scorecard. Incorrect and/or unsigned scorecards are subject to point penalty / disqualification on a case by case basis.
23) Event change / cancellation: In extremely rare occasions, an event may need to be cancelled, or the date or time changed. Notice of any changes to published schedules will be published online as soon as any changes are finalized. Although events may be changed at any time, it is the policy of the JBT to avoid schedule changes whenever possible. WEATHER: JBT events will go on in any kind of bad weather, etc., provided 1) the center is open or will open for us, and 2) the director can reach the center.
24) Scorecard last call / signature: At the end of the each round, an announcement may specifically be made stating "All Scorecards must be in at this time." 30 seconds after that, any scorecard not returned to the JBT office will be considered abandoned. This is so we do not announce a bowler for the semifinals or finals, only to find a better scorecard turned in later, and to remove the ambiguity from that situation. Similarly, all scorecards must be signed by both the bowler and another bowler. Any errors against the bowler discovered after qualifying or finals scores are announced will not result in that bowler replacing an already announced bowler- this is the point of signing the cards.
25) Legal delivery: ALL bowlers must declare their dominant hand before starting an individual event. What you throw your first shot of an event with is declaration. Bowlers may NOT switch hands during a tournament, even in the scratch division. In previous years, scratch bowlers WERE allowed to switch hands in a good-faith effort to score (i.e., a righty shooting a 2-8-10 lefty). This is no longer acceptable. Violations result in a) zero for the frame, and/or b) disqualification. Handicap division bowlers also must declare a 'dominant hand' before bowling (dominant hand is defined as the hand in which a- the fingers of which are in the ball, and/or b) the shoulder by which the delivery passes by). Bowlers who are able to bowl with either hand must notify tournament officials of which dominant hand is being used (or one handed/two handed) , so that separate averages (and points) can be kept for either hand. "Two-handed" bowling, which is perfectly legal, must adhere to the same 'dominant hand' rules. Young bowlers doing literal 'two hand' bowling' (i.e. no fingers at all in an undrilled ball) may be required to establish a new average when graduating to a fingers-in release. Each of the above situations is considered on a case by case basis.
25a) Equipment: All rules regarding equipment legality, drilling legality, surface legality, etc. follow the USBC rulebook unless otherwise posted (i.e. no abrasive surface changes mid-squad), balls must be drilled (and gripped) to pass all specifications (including the new specifications regarding two-hander no thumb deliveries), etc. Please see a director if you have any questions regarding your equipment.
26) Other rules: All rules not specifically covered above or on-site will follow the USBC rulebook. The tournament director reserves all rights. Management begs participants to come to us with problems DURING the event, WHEN they happen, so an agreeable solution can be reached immediately, instead of having bowlers leave unsatisfied.