The World's Only Online Magazine Devoted Exclusively to the Business of Bowling
Some terms and concepts you should be aware of:
- Handicap: It would be not be fun for a good bowler to compete against a novice
bowler in competition. To make things more even, bowling has developed a
handicap system. Usually the handicap is determined by taking a bowler’s
average against a fixed number and then taking a percentage of that number.
Example, your average is 150. The fixed number in the rules is 200. The
difference is 50 pins. If the percentage of the number is 80%, you would get 40
pins added to your score each game. You may see the fixed number and percentage
listed and discussed as 80% of 200.
- Scratch: No, the bowler does not have an itch. This just means that the bowler
used their real score with no handicap.
- Bowling fee: This is the amount the bowler pays for their bowling and any other
fees. This term is used whether the person is paying for their league fees or
just came in to have fun in Casual Open Play.
- Prize fund: This is the part of the Bowling fee that belongs to the league or
the tournament. Almost all leagues and tournaments have this additional fee
that is used to give to the winners. The prize fund payout usually goes to more
than one team or bowler.
- Lineage fee: This is the part of the Bowling fee that goes to the bowling
center for the use of the lanes.
- League or tournament rules: These are the rules that the league or tournament
follow. These rules are in print and available to all bowlers before they start
bowling. These will include if there is a handicap, how many games are bowled,
money to be paid by the bowler, how the prize fund will be determined, etc.
- Cross lane: This is where the bowler will bowl on two lanes, the odd-numbered
frames on one lane and the even-numbered frames on the other. This is the usual
format for leagues and tournaments. It may happen during open play, both casual
and organized, if the bowlers request and lanes are available. (Ask the manager
about when this is allowed for casual open play.)
This is just the first part of the learning process, just to give you a feel of what is
happening at the bowl. During your training you will come to understand the
many other things that happen but the above will give you a good foundation.