New York at Frames - Feb-Mar 2011

Better Off Bowling Rules

Better Off Bowling has its own rules that are different from most leagues, so it is important for members and especially captains to understand how it works. It’s pretty simple!

    League Basics & General Fun

  1. Better Off Bowling leagues are first and foremost FUN and SOCIAL leagues. While we do have the occasional amazing bowler, primarily we are just about having a good time.
  2. Typically Better Off Bowling sets up drink specials at the bar, as well as an after-bowling bar with fun bar games and board games (Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, Adult Jenga, etc). None of this is required, but it’s a great way to get to know people outside your team.
  3. You can communicate with your team by logging into the BOB website and posting on your team wall. It’s a great way to set up a pre-bowling happy hour Meet ‘n Greet, or chat up another team.
  4. Signing up for a bowling season includes everything – the bowling, the bowling shoes, the drink specials, the league organization, the after-bowling bar fun, and the End-of-Season Party.
  5. All members play at the discretion of the bowling alley. If there is a major infraction (e.g., you are caught bringing outside alcohol into bowling alley, starting a fight, damaging equipment, or other silliness), you may be kicked out of the bowling alley and league, and your dues will not be refunded. To date, this has not happened at Better Off Bowling (although there have been a couple close calls).
  6. You can always email support@betteroffbowling.com with any question/or issue and we will get back to you quickly.
  7. Have fun and meet some awesome fellow bowlers!


  8. Teams/Scheduling

  9. Each team must be 6-10 people by the time registration closes, though not all are required to show up each week for bowling.
  10. Teams are not required to have a certain number or ratio of women or men, though most teams are co-ed (typically the league is just slightly more than half women). Any ages are welcome as long as they are 21 or older.
  11. Teams which do not have enough players may be combined with other ineligible teams or free agents to make them eligible. Or, in some cases due to a full season, refunded and removed from the season.
  12. The times listed on the season page are approximate. Depending on the number of bowling teams who register, some may change slightly or not be used at all.
  13. Bowling time slots for the first 5 weeks are determined randomly by a BOB scheduler program. As a general policy, most schedule related requests cannot be honored, but in special cases it may be possible – contact BOB Support prior to the close of registration.
  14. If you are unable to bowl on a specific week, you may switch time slots with another team as long as they agree to it. However, this is at your own risk if there is some miscommunication or confusion between you two. You will not be switching opponents, only times, and your score will still count against the same opponent. If you do this, please make sure both of your ENTIRE teams know, and inform your opponents and the BOB rep. You may facilitate this by posting on another team’s wall on the BOB website, or messaging the captain privately.
  15. The BOB season schedule comes out approximately 4 days before the first day of bowling. The 6th week is determined after Week 5 scores are closed 3 days after bowling.
  16. Team Captains can make any teammate a “Co-Captain” through the team page. They can also choose to make their team “Open” (anyone can join), “Approval Required” (a captain must approve any requests to join), or “Invite Only” (people cannot request to be on the team, they must be invited).


  17. Scoring/Timing

  18. Teams bowl one match (~ 1-3 games) against another team each week for 6 weeks.
  19. Each team has approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to bowl as many games as they can fit in that time. Typically that is 1-3 games.
  20. The “Team Score” that counts for your team is the sum of the top 4 scores from ONE game that you choose to submit (the game with the highest 4 scores). You may NOT mix-and-match scores from multiple games.
  21. Bowlers who are absent must be skipped on the bowling console (ask the front desk or BOB rep how to do this if you do not know how). Substitutes may not bowl for missing teammates and a player may not bowl under two names.

    If it should be discovered that a “substitute” was bowling for a missing bowler, or a teammate was bowling under multiple names, the team may be required to forfeit that game or take a zero as one of the counted team scores at the BOB representative’s discretion.
  22. If your bowling is shut-off before you finish your current game, existing scores may count, but they cannot be extrapolated out. For instance, if you bowl your first frame as a strike, then time expires and the lane shuts off, you cannot assume you bowled a perfect game (300). The most you can count your score as for that game would be a 10.
  23. If a bowler comes late, they may join in for that current game, or wait and join in the next one. Some bowling alley software will show the late person’s score as being in the first game, even though they only bowled for the second game. This is a bug in the software and the late person’s score should be counted in the game they actually bowled in.
  24. If a team fields less than 4 players, they may still bowl. However, the missing bowlers will be counted as 0’s. So if three bowlers showed up, the total team score would be: Bowler 1’s Score + Bowler 2’s Score + Bowler 3’s Score + 0
  25. There are no handicaps in Better Off Bowling.
  26. Each player must participate in at least one game if they are present the entire match. However, if they have participated in at least one game, a team may elect to skip members to finish their last game on time as long as that bowler voluntarily agrees to be skipped. This can only be used for the last game.
  27. In the event of a significant lane malfunction that costs 5 minutes or more, the team may request additional time. If possible (based on alley logistics/lane availability), the representative may award them their lost time, either on the current lane or moving them to a new one. They may not have more than 90 minutes of bowling in total.
  28. Forfeits (not showing up), are treated the same as a loss with 0 points.
  29. Team captains are required to enter in all scores by noon, three days after bowling (e.g., if bowling Sunday, then by noon on Wednesday). Scores not entered by then are counted as a zero. (Note: Better Off Bowling Reps can check to make sure no teams artificially inflate scores. Penalty is a zero for that game and another game at Rep’s discretion).


  30. Rankings and Playoffs

  31. Teams play 6 matches over the course of 6 weeks, with the first 5 matches being regular season games and the last match being BOB’s definition of “Playoffs”
  32. Each week you bowl against a team. The BOB website keeps track of your win:loss record, your team score average (team score being sum of top 4 bowlers in a game), and your individual average.
  33. Teams are ranked first by their Win/Loss/Tie ratio, and then by their team bowling score average over the weeks.
  34. On the last week, each team is matched up against their closest rival. The #1 ranked team plays the #2 ranked team for the championship, the #3 ranked team played the #4 ranked team for 3rd place, #5 plays #6 for 5th place, and so on.
  35. Individual scores are also recorded. Though a team may count only one single game for a team score, they may also submit an individual’s top score from a different game during the match if that is higher. Each week individual ranks are recalculated.
  36. Teams may not reset their scores after the first 15 minutes of bowling have elapsed, and they may only reset scores once (unless there has been a scoring malfunction which requires a reset). This is to prevent teams from resetting their scores until they get the best scores possible. Additionally, teams may not skip players such that there are less than 4 players if they have 4 or more players present for the same reason. This will be especially enforced in the playoffs.

    However - teams may use a "practice period" if they like, provided they reset the scores within the first 15 minutes. If it is during playoffs and the team is playing for the championship, they must let the BOB representative know beforehand that they will be using a practice time.