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Oil application guidelines approved in bowling

The new standards should make the game more challenging for college bowlers

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules changes for next season in bowling, including adjustments to the oil ratio application guidelines and modifications to competitions with pool play matches.

The NCAA Women’s Bowling Committee made the recommendation because the former oil ratios were not challenging enough.

The new standards, approved during a conference call July 16, will adjust the oil ratio application to 2.0:1 for a minimum standard and 4.0:1 for the maximum. The recommended ratio ranges are 2.5:1-3.5:1. The previous ranges were 2.0:1-6.0:1.

Lower oil ratios make the sport more challenging for bowlers.

The total volume of oil application patterns range from a minimum of 20 milliliters to a maximum of 25 milliliters.  Previously, there was no standard in NCAA bowling for the total volume of oil applied to the bowling lanes.

The United States Bowling Congress has stressed ways of identifying playing and scoring conditions that will challenge players and place more emphasis on sport-specific skills such as adaptability and repeatability.

The Women’s Bowling Committee felt the standards for NCAA competition needed to be raised. Committee members feel that applying total oil volume standards and lowering oil application ratios will provide a greater test for student-athletes.

Scoring and pin setting errors

Obvious scoring errors are allowed to be corrected upon the mutual consent of both coaches.

Examples of when scores can be corrected include miscalculations of pins knocked down by the scoring system and/or pins knocked over by a ball that has bounced out of the gutter.

Coaches will also be allowed to re-rack pins if obvious errors have occurred upon the mutual consent of both coaches. 

Examples of pin setting errors include when the wrong number of pins reset between frames or when extra pins need removal from the pin deck.

Scoring, malfunction of foul-detection device

If the automatic foul-detection device malfunctions (for example, it detects a foul when none occurred), the player will be credited with the pins knocked down and the score she earned.

If the foul is disputed, the player will complete the process for a provisional ball. If a malfunction of the same lane occurs again during the same match, the player will be credited with a corrected score.  If not, the player score stands.

It is recommended that foul detection devices should be examined regularly for possible malfunctions.

Baker Format scoring

The panel approved a new rule that changes Baker total pinfall to a minimum of five Baker games for a match.

Baker scoring is a method of combined team play in which in all five players bowl together to make one game. In Baker scoring, player No. 1 bowls frames 1 and 6; player No. 2 bowls frames 2 and 7; player No. 3 bowls frames 3 and 8; player No. 4 bowls frames 4 and 9; and the fifth player bowls frames 5 and 10.

Previously, competition pool play scenarios evaluated team game total pinfall and Baker total pinfall scores equally. However, minimum match requirements consisted of  50  frames in a team game match and 40 frames in a Baker total pinfall  match  (the minimum  formula  necessary  to  determine  a  Baker  total pinfall match winner was four games).

Increasing Baker total pinfall matches to a minimum of five games will provide more equal performance evaluations between the two pinfall scoring formats.

Matches per day and pool play formats

During an event, pool play may be extended to the final day of competition. Matches throughout all pool play rounds may consist of the same competition format to provide for equal performance evaluations.

Additionally, pool play portion of a competition can have a maximum of six matches per day.

These rules changes standardize the contests during pool play rounds.

Daily warm-up session

A daily warm-up session must be allowed to take place for all teams that wish to participate prior to the first scheduled match.

The warm-up session will be broken into three parts:

  1. a 12-minute open practice
  2. a three-minute intermission to change lanes
  3. a 10-minute practice session for any of the competitors on their assigned lanes.