How to set up a bowling tournament

Written by stephen barron jr.
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How to set up a bowling tournament
Bowling tournaments can be fun an exciting if they are organised correctly. (bowling image by reynald lassire from

Bowling tournaments draw people based on the level of competition and options provided. The success of a tournament is decided by the wide appeal of the tournament to bowlers and how competitive the groupings of bowlers are. If the formatting of the tournament is fun and bowlers have several opportunities to win prizes, then interest will be high in entering and competing in the tournament year after year. The tournament should also have an easy sign-up and registration process to maintain an efficient and organised event.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • computer
  • bowling centre

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    Setting up a Bowling Tournament

  1. 1

    Select a bowling centre to host your event. Make sure that there is enough room at the centre to register bowlers and enough lanes to accommodate the number of bowlers taking part in the tournament.

  2. 2

    Set the types of event or events you will have for bowlers to compete in during the tournament. There are several types of events such as forty-frame game, association format, no-tap, or match play. The more events you can host based on the number of lanes in the bowling centre selected will be more likely to draw in more bowlers with varied tournament preferences.

  3. 3

    Select the registration method and deadline. If you allow for mail-in entries or web entries make sure that there is a simple method to register bowlers and collect money. Websites with easy online payment options are the best method to make sure registration is complete and money is collected. The deadline should be firm so that the tournament can set up easily with few adjustments down the road for late entries.

  4. 4

    Determine the competitive level of the tournament. This exercise determines what bowlers are allowed to compete and what types of bolwers are excluded. Some events look to attract pro bowlers while some are for amateurs and young beginners. Some tournaments are open to all competitors regardless of experience. Some bowlers prefer an open format, while others like a more balanced and equal level of bowlers to compete against.

  5. 5

    Determine if there will be a handicap system. If there is a handicap system this will allow bowlers to compete against more experienced and better bowlers, and have an enhanced shot to beat the more experienced bowler. Tournaments often provide options to bowlers to compete in handicap events and non-handicap events, also known as scratch events.

  6. 6

    Organise a plan for the day of the event. Make sure there are enough people to check bowlers in for the event and that there are people directing bowlers to the lanes that bowlers are scheduled to bowl on.

Tips and warnings

  • Bowling tournaments often become more popular each year it is held. A tournament that is competitive and gives bowlers a chance to win an event will keep them coming back year after year.
  • A bowling tournament that is poorly organised and confuses bowlers when it comes to rules of the tournament or scheduled times for games will cause frustration and possible lack of interest to return the following year. Make sure the plan for the day of the even is adjusted based on experience and welcome bowler feedback to make sure the event becomes better each year.

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