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Posts: 11,702
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm joining a 2nd league on Monday's....4 person team.  They are currently having discussions on what constitutes a forfeit, and will implement a league rule which overrides the USBC rules.  Basically, to have a legal lineup, you need at least 1 bowler out of the four to show up to bowl, and that 1 bowler can be a sub as well.  The league also does not allow pre-bowling, or make ups.  The discussion is what happens if you are bowling against an absent team, and there is a does the point system work? 

Here is what the options that the board is coming up with to present to the league at the meeting:

A)  All points are forfeited.  The team showing up goes 24-0, and the team not there is 0-24.

B)  The team showing up bowls against the absent team, who gets their average minus 10 per bowler.  If the team that is there bowls poorly, it is possible for the absent team to go 17-7, and get rewarded for not being there, and getting points from a team bowling bad.

C)  Same as B, but the absent team gets zero points regardless, and the team that is there, only gets points that it wins.  So, using the above example, the absent team goes 0-0, and the team that is bowling goes 7-0.

I'm torn between choice A and B.  Choice A is logical, the team is not there, and they lose all their points, but it opens up the opportunity for sandbagging.  I kind of lean choice B.  It forces you to show up and bowl.  Or maybe do a hybrid thing, where you treat it like bowling the blind team, and just shoot for your average minus 10 to get your points?

What do you think?  Any other ways to look at this?


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Posts: 826
Reply with quote  #2 
Choice "A" is illegal per USBC rules. You can't just give teams points.

Choice "B" is illegal per USBC rules. A team can not get any points that is forfeiting.

Choice "C" is iffy, but  looks to be the most legal under USBC rules.

All the above are covered in USBC rule 110c.

You can not be certified and override USBC rules unless USBC has a stipulation in the rule book for that rule.

Also, the USBC rule book says no league can make a rule forbidding pre and/or post bowling entirely. Please see USBC rule 111b.

Fall Leagues: Monday - Five Star Lanes, Tuesday  & Thursday - Astro Lanes.
Balls: Motiv Trident Abyss, Motiv Forge Fire, Motiv Hydra & Motiv Hyper Sniper. All made in the USA.


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Posts: 11,702
Reply with quote  #3 
This is what Mark Martin (executive director of the Metro Detroit USBC) said:

Hi Keith,


Options A&B below would violate USBC Rule 110c. Option C would comply with USBC Rule 110c.


The 1 for the legal line-up in the 4 man league definitely will keep pre-bowls/postponements to a minimum. However as you pointed out earlier a league can’t have a rule which would have the effect of not allowing pre-bowls/postponements under USBC Rule 111b.


The league could be USBC certified, however if someone appealed a league decision regarding a pre-bowl/postponement then the decision could be overturned depending on the evidence.


I hope this helps.





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Posts: 3,848
Reply with quote  #4 
A team with a legal lineup (be it a USBC-defined legal line up or whatever your league decides is legal) has to earn their points, no matter if they're bowling another team or dealing with a forfeit situation.  They simply need to beat their (avg-10) for each bowler to win individual points, and (team combined avg - 40) to win the team points per game.

If you simply allowed a team to win all their points if the other team forfeits, then you run the risk of one team intentionally forfeiting to help out the team they're supposed to be bowling.  That's why the avg-10 thing try and prevent this situation.


Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #5 
I am concerned about a league rule allowing a legal lineup of only one substitute.  That means a team is competing without any of its regular members.  In this case, the League should change the rule to make a legal lineup always contain at least one regular team member.  

No league can have an absolute no-postponement rule.  There are times when bowlers simply cannot show up to bowl as scheduled due to circumstances beyond their control.  My local ABC / USBC office through the years has always justified allowing a postponement when a team cites heavy snow and icy roads as the reason for their absence.  

I understand the intent behind the unopposed "bowl your average -10" rule.  I also think it is a stupid rule and an overreaction to potential situations not nearly as extreme as rule supporters claim. 

The potential for sandbagging is real when a team bowls unopposed, but the actual effects are far less than the fear.  Midway through the season, when regular bowlers may have 50 games completed, someone bowling a series 150 pins under average would only increase his handicap by 2 or 3 pins per game.  A 5-man team all bowling that poorly would only gain about 10-15 pins handicap for the next week.  Later in the season, it becomes even harder to drop an average more than one pin per week.

Leagues can (and should) also have personal conduct and sportsmanship rules covering bowlers intentionally underperforming beneath their known ability.  Where there is evidence of a bowler or a team involved in sandbagging-type activity over an extended time period -- for example, a whole game or an entire series -- the League can declare the scores in question not be counted in the average and corresponding handicap calculation.  This type of rule is not meant to penalize a bowler for one-off situations like missing an easy single-pin spare in the 10th frame of a game already decided. 
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