League Rules

Download RULES and FEES documents

Rules adopted at the beginning of the season during the start-up meeting.

For full USBC Rules



Studio City Bowling League (SCBL) is open by invitation only and will be a sanctioned Bowling League with the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). The league will strive to consist of an even number of teams. The league will expand to accommodate the greatest number of teams possible. This currently allows for a maximum of 20 teams, each team composed of a maximum of 4 members; any mix of males and/or females is allowed. The League officers set the teams from the sign-up requests given to the league during the sign-up period. The sign-up period for a given season will end 7 days prior to the start of that season. At the end of the sign-up period, the league officers will attempt to set the teams giving priority to the following in this order: 1) Returning Fall/Winter League bowlers. 2) Returning Summer League bowlers. 3) New bowlers who are sponsored by and accommodated within an existing team. 4) New bowlers not sponsored by and accommodated within an existing team. All sign-up requests after the sign-up period will only be accommodated if the league has not already been filled. There is no special priority after the end of the official sign-up period.


The League Officers, in negotiations with a suitable bowling venue, shall set the league schedule. For this season, the League will bowl on Wednesday nights at 9:00 PM at Jewel City Bowling Center in Glendale starting on May 18th. The final night of bowling will be the sweepstakes event on August 17th 2023 for a total of 14 weeks of bowling.


The management of this league shall be vested in the Board of Directors, which shall consist of the League Officers and Team Captains. A majority shall constitute a quorum. League Officers, elected at the start of the Summer season, shall serve in those positions through the following Summer season. The General membership shall adopt the League Rules and the Board of Directors may amend the rules through majority vote of a quorum. Where specific rules have not been adopted, the league rules contained in the most current USBC or subsequent organization Playing Rules Booklet shall apply.


The team captain's authority is contained in Rule 104 (USBC). The following is a reiteration and elaboration of the Team Captain's responsibilities:

1. Collect all league fees from team members and turn in the fees to the Treasurer before the end of the first game. This includes any shortages from prior weeks. Shortages are not allowed for more than two (2) week. Active Members more than 14 days in arrears of any dues, league fees, or special assessments may be suspended by the League Officers.

2. Find replacement bowlers for any vacancies on the team, temporary or permanent. If substitutes are used, captains must determine their eligibility to bowl. Substitutes MUST be sanctioned with the USBC. If not, obtain a sanction card from the Secretary, verify the substitutes average, have him/her complete the sanction card and submit the applicable fee if due. Substitute Fees are $10.00 per substitute per night for bowling and a one‐time annual USBC sanction fee of $30.00 (unless notified otherwise). League rules require that the current average of at least 9 games (or Book Average if current average is not available) of the substitute when added to the current SCBL averages of your present team members cannot exceed the current team entering average cap (see Rule 6). If you are the opposing team captain, you may challenge the use of a substitute if you believe the opposing team may be violating this rule.

3. Make sure all scores for each bowler have been filled in on the recap sheet and all totals have been calculated and entered on the recap sheet. Sign the recap sheet at the end of the 3-game match and submit both copies to the desk.

4. The team captain is a voting member of the Board of Directors, and is expected to attend any additional formal meetings called by the League Officers.

5. The team captains shall make their e-mail and phone number available to their team and to the other team captains for notification purposes.


The amount to be paid by each bowler each night, whether you bowl or not, shall be $24.00. Of the $24.00, $18.00 (as negotiated with Jewel City management & voted otherwise, as appropriate) is for bowling lane fees and sheet service fees, with the balance to be placed in the league treasury for prize funds, trophies, league expenses and officer’s fee. Bowling fees for the last two weeks of the season shall be paid by each member before completion of the THIRD week of the schedule. If, by the beginning of the fourth week of bowling these fees are not paid, this will be considered a shortage and Rule 15 (Bowling with Shortages) will apply in its entirety.


An account shall be maintained for the league’s funds at a banking establishment approved by the President and Treasurer. All funds collected will be deposited weekly. Withdrawals from the account shall be made only with the joint knowledge of any two officers of the league.


Entering averages are for the purpose of determining team eligibility only. The team maximum entering average will be set at 750 for four roster bowlers. During season play, this average may be exceeded only by regular roster bowlers as averages are being reestablished weekly.

The entering average shall be based on continuation of the bowler’s prior SCBL season (21 game minimum). If no prior season exists with SCBL, the last known USBC Book Average season will be used (For multiple leagues, the highest average will be used). For these established bowlers, the Entering Average will also be considered as their starting Book Average.

Established bowlers will begin the season using their Book Averages for the first 9 games bowled.

Non-established bowlers will enter at 150 and shall establish their average and handicap after the first night of bowling (three games).

For all bowlers, after 12 games bowled, the computer performs a one-time algorithm to recalculate the bowler’s true average and reapply the appropriate handicap to the first 12 games bowled solely to determine any Season High scores (game points are not affected). Afterwards, averages are calculated weekly.


The handicap allowance shall be 90 percent, and shall be based on the difference between each individual's average and a scratch figure of 210. The team handicap for each scheduled match shall be the total of the individual handicaps for the players in the lineup.


A substitute may be used by any team provided the substitute’s current average of at least 3 games in the league (or Book Average if current average is not available) when added to the current league averages of the team members who are bowling does not exceed the team average cap (see Rule 6). Substitutes must be sanctioned with the USBC and must comply with all terms in Rule 3: #2.

Substitutes are not allowed for any position week or for the Sweepstakes event.

Substitutes must have at least 9 games bowled in SCBL in order to bowl the two weeks prior to the final position night.

Substitutes may participate in side pots as long as they have an established average consisting of at least 9 games with SCBL.

Pacers are allowed to bowl with a team with an available opening, but their scores do not contribute to the teams scoring and are not eligible for team or individual awards. Pacers may not participate in side pots, and their scores are not included on the recap sheet. Pacers are not required to be sanctioned with USBC.

Substitutes and pacers shall pay $10.00 per 3 games bowled. If the regular team member being replaced arrives to bowl, payment for any games not completed by the substitute or pacer shall be reimbursed. Fees are collected from the substitutes and pacers by the Team Captain and place inside the team pay envelope, notated in the far‐right column under title: SUBS/PACERS. Funds will be deposited along with all other fees on a weekly basis and used for the bowlers as necessary.


Two (2) regular team members must be present and able to bowl when bowling begins each week or the team’s games will be forfeited. If a team has one or more official vacancies, only (1) team member must be present and able to bowl when bowling begins. Tardy bowlers may enter the game provided the anchor bowler (fourth position) on each team has not completed the third frame. The blind score will be erased and the tardy bowler will bowl the entire game. The automatic scoring machine will insert the bowler at various intervals until the tardy bowler has caught up with the rest of the team. In any case, the tardy bowler will be allowed to pace for the remainder of the game unless the team has already filled the position with a substitute or pacer. The tardy member will bowl the next game as the regular member.


When a game is declared forfeited, the team present shall bowl as though the game was actually contested, and shall complete a team frame on one lane before starting the next frame on the adjoining lane. In the case of a forfeit, the team present must bowl at least their team average less 40 pins in order to win points by forfeiture. Points not won for failing to bowl the prescribed score will not be credited to either team. (reference to USBC Rule 109e) If a team must forfeit any game during league play, total team series will automatically be forfeited.


Absentee or vacancy scores may be used only when a team has a legal lineup. The absentee score shall be the absent member's average less 10 pins. When two regular members are absent and only one substitute is available, the absentee score of the absent member with the most games bowled shall be used. When two absent members have the same number of games, the lower absentee score shall be used. The handicap shall be figured on the actual average of the designated absentee(s). Teams are encouraged to use substitute bowlers for any absent or vacant bowlers to allow more people to bowl, and to keep the games more competitive. Bowlers wishing to substitute in the league should check in with the league officers at the beginning of the night.

When a team has an official vacancy, a vacancy score of 130 shall be used. Such score shall be the basis for the handicap. Handicap for vacancy is set at 72 (90% of: 210 minus 130).


If a bowler needs to drop from the league, two weeks written notice must be given to the League President, unless a replacement bowler is found earlier. A bowler dropping from the league for other than medical reasons shall forfeit all prizes and monies that they may have been eligible to receive at the end of the season. Any bowler dropping from the league for any reason other than medical will also forfeit the prepayment of the last 2 weeks of the season. The League's Board of Directors may review other situations and will make a decision regarding sufficient cause.


When a team is unable to field a legal lineup (see USBC Rules 109a & 111b).

In situations requiring postponement or pre-bowling of a scheduled match, the postponing Team Captain must notify any League Officer for approval at least 24 hours in advance (7 days for pre-bowl) of the scheduled league bowling. This notification should be made in person, by e-mail or by phone. Scores of the pre bowl for the opposing team cannot be revealed until completion of the match. The team shall bowl as though the game was contested and shall complete a team frame on one lane before starting the next frame on the adjoining lane. Bowling must be completed one week prior or one week after the scheduled bowling date. If a team does not provide sufficient notice or unable to make-up the match within the time period as stated, then that team’s match will be considered forfeited.

At least three (3) regular team members must be present on a four-person team or two (2) on a team with one or more official vacancies when bowling a make-up or pre bowl. No substitutes are allowed. Absent bowlers shall be scored per Rule 13.

If a mechanical breakdown or other unforeseen circumstance forces the closure of a lane, the bowlers shall continue their match by bowling on an available pair of lanes. If another pair of lanes is not available, then the teams shall either continue their match and bowl on a pair of lanes that become available or shall be given 2 weeks to makeup the match either together as a pair of teams or each team individually. If a team is unable to make-up the match within the time period, then that team’s match will be considered forfeited.

In all situations where a match is bowled outside the normal league time, reservations must be made with and approved by the bowling alley in order to bowl. The bowlers must accommodate the bowling alley’s availability and schedule.

No make-up bowling will be allowed the week prior to a position week.


The league shall bowl the four (4) point system. Standings shall be determined on a point basis, with one point awarded for each game won and one point for the team high series in each match. In the event of any tie in the standings, the team with the higher total pins shall be rated higher.

A Playoff will occur when a tie exists for a trophy position at the end of the league schedule. USBC Rule 113 will be followed.


No bowler will be able to bowl with a shortage of more than two (2) weeks listed against his/her name without express prior permission from (2) of the league officers, these consisting of the President, Vice President (if President is not available) and the Secretary/Treasurer. Should it be found an individual bowled in violation of this rule, the result will be a forfeiture of the games in which he/she bowled.

Bowling fee shortages resulting from teams with no roster bowler, either at the beginning of the season or team members quitting during the season, will be carried by the league with no penalty to the individual team during sanction league play once the vacancy becomes official. Other shortages shall be deducted from the responsible individual’s prize fund.

The Treasurer will provide a list of the teams and individuals with shortages at the beginning of bowling each Thursday, and shall enforce any violations of this rule.


A protest involving eligibility or playing rules should be brought to the attention of the President or presiding league officer. To determine individual or team eligibility regarding financial discrepancies please bring this to the attention of the Secretary/Treasurer. If a protest is unresolved, all protests regarding eligibility or playing rules will be handled in accordance with USBC Playing Rules, Rule 119.