Mon . 19 Apr 2019

United States Bowling Congress

united states bowling congress open championships, united states bowling congress rules and regulations
The United States Bowling Congress USBC is a sports membership organization dedicated to ten-pin bowling in the United States It was formed in 2005 by a merger of the American Bowling Congress — the original codifier of all tenpin bowling standards, rules and regulations from 1895 onwards; the Women's International Bowling Congress — founded in 1916, as the female bowlers' counterpart to the then all-male ABC; the Young American Bowling Alliance, and USA Bowling The USBC's headquarters are located in Arlington, Texas, after having moved from the Milwaukee suburb of Greendale, Wisconsin in November, 2008 The move enabled the USBC to combine its operations with the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America BPAA


  • 1 Purpose
  • 2 History
  • 3 USBC Hall of Fame
  • 4 USBC in the Media
  • 5 USBC rule changes
  • 6 SMART Program
  • 7 References
    • 71 Notes
    • 72 Sources
  • 8 External links


The USBC is the national governing body for ten-pin bowling in the United States It has approximately 3,000 local associations across the USA serving over 2 million members Among its duties and responsibilities to these members are:

  • Maintain specifications, conduct research testing for, and certify: bowling lanes, lane dressings, pin setting and ball return equipment, bowling pins, bowling balls and other bowling-related products
  • Establish and publish playing rules, and provide counselors to help interpret them
  • Certify leagues and tournaments
  • Protect the financial investment of certified leagues through its league bonding program
  • Manage Team USA as it competes in international tournaments
  • Conduct championship tournaments: USBC Masters, USBC Queens, USBC Open Championships, USBC Women's Championships, USBC Youth Open, USBC Junior Gold Championships, USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships, USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships, USBC Senior Masters, USBC Senior Queens, Team USA Trials, USBC Senior Championships and Pepsi USBC Youth Championships
  • Provides 'Lifetime Achievement' awards, one award only for achievements 300 games and 800 series for three games, among others accomplished in USBC-sanctioned leagues or tournaments
  • Maintain historical records of bowler averages for use in USBC-sanctioned leagues and tournaments
  • Certify coaches for both youth and adult bowlers
  • Regulate and promote high school and collegiate bowling
  • Manage SMART Scholarship Management and Accounting Report for Tenpins, the only youth scholarship fund recognized by the United States Olympic Committee USOC and the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA, through a separate corporation


Moses Bensinger was influential in setting up the American Bowling Congress ABC in 1895 On September 9, 1895, the ABC was officially formed as a permanent organization at Beethoven Hall on east Fifth Street in New York City The ABC had their first formal annual meeting four days later on September 13 at the Elephant club on Fulton Street in Brooklyn and adopted the proposed constitution and by-laws The new organization took effect officially on October 15, 1895 It is a legislative body that enforces uniform bowlers' rules and regulations, through a set of by-laws and a constitution of Articles, for all in the United States to follow as the official standard for ten-pin bowling The ABC standardizes and governs all bowling equipment as well for modern ten-pin bowling It is much like the baseball National League and the Bicycle law in the United States This was a codification of the preexisting rules and regulations through the by-laws of the American Bowling Congress It eliminated gambling on contests, since then prize money could be earned honestly in tournaments This was done by a uniform method of scoring that was enforceable by the ABC bowling laws that then made it fair for all bowlers throughout the United States Bowling equipment made by the Brunswick Company, like the alleys, pins and balls, were uniform based on certain measurements and requirements set in place by the American Bowling Congress All the large national bowling centers with regulation Brunswick equipment were under the constitution and by-laws of the ABC organization by 1905

Historically, the membership of the ABC was all male white males only in 1916-1950, but beginning in 1993 women were permitted to join In 1916 the Women's International Bowling Congress WIBC was formed by a group of 40 women, and up until 2004 served as a partner organization of the ABC The Young American Bowling Alliance YABA was established in 1982, after previously existing as the American Junior Bowling Congress founded in 1958, to serve youth bowlers from pre-school through collegiate level Prior to the formation of the USBC, the national governing body for bowling was USA Bowling, which oversaw the participation of Team USA in international events These four organizations merged to form USBC on January 1, 2005

In 1994 86-year-old Joe Norris became the oldest player in ABC history to roll a 300 game

USBC Hall of Fame

The USBC Hall of Fame was formed in 2005 by the merger of the ABC Hall of Fame established 1941 and WIBC Hall of Fame established 1953

Through 2015, there are 412 Hall of Fame members in five categories:

  • Superior Performance 215
  • Meritorious Service 116
  • Veterans 49
  • Pioneer 20
  • Outstanding USBC Performance 12

Category introduced in 2011, with Jeff Richgels as the inaugural member

The USBC Hall of Fame has its home at the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas The induction ceremony is held annually in the spring

USBC in the Media

The USBC Masters, one of four major tournaments on the PBA Tour, is conducted by the USBC with the finals televised live on ESPN as a part of the PBA Tour The 2013 event was won by Australian Jason Belmonte

The USBC Queens, one of two major women's professional tournaments, is conducted by the USBC with the finals televised live on ESPN2 The 2012 event was won by Diandra Asbaty

The USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships, aka ITC, the national championship of collegiate bowling, is conducted by USBC and has been televised on a tape-delay basis since 2002 For the first time, in 2012, USBC also televised the Intercollegiate Singles Championships as part of a four-week series on CBS Sports Network Both events were televised in high definition for the first time in 2012

USBC was the presenting sponsor of the PBA Women's Series for three seasons, beginning with the 2007-08 season In the 2009-10 season, USBC changed the name of its presenting sponsorship to BOWLcom, the organization's website, which was re-launched on August 3, 2009 USBC did not renew its sponsorship for the 2010-11 season

In 2007, USBC acquired the rights to the US Women's Open from the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America BPAA The event, which had been on a three-year hiatus since the disbanding of the Professional Women's Bowling Association PWBA in 2003, was telecast for five weeks on ESPN in September–October, 2007 ESPN again held multi-week broadcasts of the event in 2008, while ESPN2 did the same in 2009 In 2010, USBC reverted to a more traditional format and a one-day stepladder-style TV finals, airing live on ESPN2 That event was held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, with Kelly Kulick winning Kulick became the first bowler ever to win the USBC Queens and US Women's Open in the same year USBC announced in May, 2010 that it would not conduct the US Women's Open in 2011, as the BPAA had agreed to resume its association with the tournament The TV finals took place June 30, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where Leanne Hulsenberg was crowned champion

In May 2008, USBC conducted a special, made-for-TV event called "Bowling's Clash of the Champions" The taped telecast was broadcast May 10 and 11 on CBS, marking the first time bowling had been broadcast on regular network television since June 26, 1999 The event featured eight male and eight female bowlers representing youth, college, senior, amateur and professional bowlers who had won recent USBC titles It was won by Lynda Barnes The event returned to CBS in 2009, when it was won by Chris Barnes, Lynda's husband

In 2009, USBC began showing championship competition live on its website, BOWLcom This offering, which is free to all users, was designed to give viewers additional coverage of events that they wouldn't normally see In 2011, USBC moved this coverage to its YouTube channel, YouTubecom/BowlTV BowlTV's coverage was primarily anchored by Lucas Wiseman before he left the organization in December 2015

USBC rule changes

USBC rule changes occur at the national convention, and take effect for leagues starting after August 1 of each year Rule changes are published in a new printed guide every two years Updated rulebooks are available online at bowlcom

SMART Program

The SMART program Scholarship Management and Accounting Report for Tenpins was established in 1994 in order to manage and store bowling scholarships until the youth bowler requests the use of the scholarships for college The bowling scholarships can be from winning tournaments to filling out scholarship application forms Recently the validity of the term "scholarship" for the SMART program has been questioned by the MHSAA Michigan High School Athletic Association The association questions where the education requirements are in earning the "scholarships" Most bowling scholarships earned are from winning a tournament, and are awarded as a cash prize in the form of a scholarship with no GPA or formal scholarly work necessary to claim the money once in college This in turn has caused the MHSAA to rule high school athletes "ineligible" due to "accepting cash, checks, or any other form of award over $25 in value" This rule is highly debated and has questionable means of enforcement To receive such scholarships, the athlete must simply sign into their SMART account and fill out the necessary information whereupon the money is sent directly to the schools, not given to the athlete themselves There are special circumstances which allow money be sent directly to the athlete



  1. ^ Miller, Mark "Preparations for USBC's new home in Texas begin" Article at wwwbowlcom, July 23, 2008
  2. ^ United States Bowling Congress "About USBC" page
  3. ^ Jones 2012, p 66
  4. ^ Riess & Gems 2009, p 13
  5. ^ Pfister 2013, p 47
  6. ^ Mitchell 2001, p 401
  7. ^ Martin & Lehman 1994, p 298
  8. ^ Cayton, Andrew R L, Editor; Sisson, Richard; Zacher, Chris The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia Retrieved September 26, 2016 In 1895, Moses Bensinger of the Brunswick Company founded the primarily mid-western American Bowling Congress 
  9. ^ Bunyan 2010, p 164
  10. ^ "New Rules for Bowlers" Brooklyn Daily Eagle Brooklyn, New York September 10, 1895 – via Newspaperscom  
  11. ^ "American Bowling Congress" Brooklyn Daily Eagle Brooklyn, New York December 30, 1895 – via Newspaperscom  
  12. ^ "Bowlers leave today for Buffalo Congress" Brooklyn Daily Eagle Brooklyn, New York January 19, 1902 – via Newspaperscom  
  13. ^ Belsky 2016, p 190
  14. ^ a b "American Bowling Congress / It will introduce uniform playing Rules throughout the country" St Louis Dispatch St Louis January 22, 1896 – via Newspaperscom  
  15. ^ "ABC Institutes Tourney Reforms" Indianapolis Star Indianapolis, Indiana January 1, 1911 – via Newspaperscom  
  16. ^ "A Bowling Congress" Brooklyn Daily Eagle Brooklyn, New York January 14, 1896 – via Newspaperscom  
  17. ^ Schmidt 2007, p 4
  18. ^ Grasso & Hartman 2014, p 27
  19. ^ "New Bowling Rules" The Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California October 12, 1895 – via Newspaperscom  
  20. ^ "BOWLING" Harrisburg Telegraph Harrisburg, Pennsylvania January 19, 1945 – via Newspaperscom  
  21. ^ Rotary International 1960, p 57
  22. ^ Wiedman 2015, p 9
  23. ^ Nauright & Parrish 2012, p 407
  24. ^ "Among the Local Bowlers" Pittsburgh Daily Post Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania September 11, 1903 – via Newspaperscom  
  25. ^ "Western Bowlers Firm" Indianapolis News Indianapolis, Indiana January 27, 1904 – via Newspaperscom  
  26. ^ "Another Row at the Tourney" Minneapolis Minneapolis, Minnesota March 22, 1906 – via Newspaperscom  
  27. ^ "Tourney Trouble" Morning News Wilmington, Delaware March 23, 1906 – via Newspaperscom  
  28. ^ "Trouble Started in Bowling Meet" Salt Lake Tribune Salt Lake, Utah March 24, 1906 – via Newspaperscom  
  29. ^ De Puy 1908, p 552
  30. ^ Werner Company 1905, p 562
  31. ^ "Bowling Notes" Brooklyn Daily Eagle Brooklyn, New York October 25, 1900 – via Newspaperscom  
  32. ^ "American Bowling Congress restricts weight of ball to 16 1/2 pounds" Brooklyn Daily Eagle Brooklyn, New York February 24, 1903 – via Newspaperscom  
  33. ^ "On The Bowling Alleys" Chicago Daily Tribune Chicago, Illinois January 15, 1905 – via Newspaperscom  
  34. ^ "Champion Bowlers compete for $10,000 in prizes" Arkansas Democrat Little Rock, Arkansas February 19, 1905 – via Newspaperscom  
  35. ^ "Big Bowling Tourney Is On" Reading Times Reading, Pennsylvania February 20, 1905 – via Newspaperscom  
  36. ^ United States Bowling Congress "About USBC" page
  37. ^ wwwnytimescom
  38. ^ United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame official webpage USBC website Retrieved 2010-10-30
  39. ^ Cannizzaro, Matt December 30, 2015 "Adler, Durbin to join USBC Hall of Fame in 2016" bowlcom Retrieved January 8, 2016 
  40. ^ United States Bowling Congress "Hall of Fame" page
  41. ^ Australia’s Jason Belmonte Wins First Major, Tops Wes Malott in USBC Masters Title Match, pbacom on Feb 24, 2013
  42. ^ Official Queens webpage
  43. ^ Official ITC webpage
  44. ^ Official ISC webpage
  45. ^
  46. ^ USBC press release
  47. ^ USOC's official bowling webpage
  48. ^ USBC press release
  49. ^ BPAA press release
  50. ^ "Special event brings bowling back to network television" January 22, 2008
  51. ^ Bill Zuben
  52. ^ Bowling Digital
  53. ^ BOWLcom
  54. ^
  55. ^ Lucas Wiseman, the main voice of BowlTV, leaves USBC after 13 successful years
  56. ^ "USBC SMART Program Manual" PDF USBC SMART Program United States Bowling Congress Retrieved 2 May 2011 
  57. ^ Allen, Randy "MHSAA Bowling Coaches Rules Meeting PowerPoint" MHSAA Bowling Coaches Rules Meeting MHSAA Retrieved 13 December 2010 
  58. ^ "USBC SMART Program Manual" PDF USBC SMART Program United States Bowling Congress Retrieved 2 May 2011 


  • Belsky, Gary 19 April 2016 On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody's Favorite Games Artisan ISBN 978-1-57965-712-3 
  • Bunyan, Patrick 1 November 2010 All Around the Town: Amazing Manhattan Facts and Curiosities Fordham Univ Press ISBN 978-0-8232-3174-4 
  • Cayton, Andrew R L 8 November 2006 The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-00349-0 In 1895, Moses Bensinger of the Brunswick Company founded the primarily midwestern American Bowling Congress 
  • Gems, Gerald R January 2009 The Chicago Sports Reader University of Illinois Press ISBN 978-0-252-07615-2 Moses Bensinger, the heir to Brunswick, was bowling's biggest supporter He pushed the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company in the 1890s to manufacturer bowling equipment, hired traveling all-star teams to promote his products, and in 1895 helped organize the American Bowling Congress ABC 
  • Haller, Charles R 1 January 2001 German-American Business Biographies: High Finance and Big Business Money Tree Imprints ISBN 978-0-9703748-1-3 
  • Grasso, John; Hartman, Eric R 7 August 2014 Historical Dictionary of Bowling Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ISBN 978-0-8108-8022-1 
  • Jones, Jenny M 15 September 2012 The Big Lebowski: An Illustrated, Annotated History of the Greatest Cult Film of All Time Minneapolis, Minnesota: Voyageur Press ISBN 978-0-7603-4279-4 
  • Marquis, Albert Nelson 1911 The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Chicago, 1911 AN Marquis 
  • Martin, Susan Boyles; Lehman, Jeffrey 1 November 1994 Notable Corporate Chronologies Gale Group ISBN 978-0-8103-9217-5 1895 Sept - A group of bowlers and proprietors, organized and headed by Bensinger, meet to discuss the standardization of bowling rules and regulations, thereby forming the American Bowling Congress 
  • Mitchell, Julie A 2001 Notable Corporate Chronologies: A-K Detroit, Michigan: Gale Group ISBN 978-0-7876-5050-6 A group of bowlers and proprietors, organized and headed by Bensinger, meet to discuss the standardization of bowling rules and regulations, thereby forming the American Bowling Congress ABC 
  • National Cyclopaedia 1910 Moses Bensinger National Cyclopaedia of American Biography J T White Company 
  • Pfister, Gertrud 18 October 2013 Gymnastics, a Transatlantic Movement: From Europe to America Routledge ISBN 978-1-317-96542-8 Moses Bensinger since the 1870s, engineered mergers with business rivals and orchestrated the founding of the ABC, which standardized rules and equipment 
  • Rapoport, Ron 1 October 2001 Chicago: City in the Spotlight Towery Pub ISBN 978-1-881096-95-5 Bensinger was a founding member of the American Bowling Congress ABC, and he campaigned eloquently for a national bowling championship His vision became a reality in 1901, when the first ABC tournament was held in Chicago 
  • Riess, Steven A; Gems, Gerald R 20 February 2009 The Chicago Sports Reader: 100 Years of Sports in the Windy City Sport and Society Series 1st ed Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press p 13 ISBN 9780252076152 
  • Rotary International March 1960 The Rotarian Rotary International ISSN 0035-838X 
  • Schmidt, Doug 2007 They Came to Bowl: How Milwaukee Became America's Tenpin Capital Wisconsin Historical Society Press ISBN 978-0-87020-387-9 
  • St James Press 2006 International Directory of Company Histories ISBN 978-1-55862-581-5 Bensinger also was instrumental in organizing the American Bowling Congress in 1895 
  • Vierow, Howard L 1938 The Chicago Recreation Survey, 1937 Chicago Recreation Commission and Northwestern University The first regulation bowling alley in the city of Chicago was installed in 1891 in the Plaza Hotel, situated at Clark Street and North Avenue 

External links

  • Official website
  • United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame official webpage USBC website

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