Important information for sanctioning County trials events

In addition to the important information below for all tournaments, please also check 2 specific things on entry forms for Inter County trials. These are common mistakes seen and by checking and including them correctly, it will avoid any unnecessary delays getting your event sanctioned.

  1. Please refer only to the “latest Inter County Championships Rules & Regulations” (which were published in January 2024)
  2. Please ensure you list the correct county eligibility criteria (which are also included in the above mentioned ICC rules).


County Eligibility

The tournament is open to current members in good standing with the BTBA or Affiliated Association.
BTBA members require an existing Standard or League (post 14th August 2023) BTBA membership to participate in the County trials.
If selected for the County squad, BTBA Members will need an existing Standard or Competitive (post 14th August 2023) Membership to play in the Open and Senior ICC 2024 qualifiers and finals. Youth Bowlers can play in the Youth Inter County Championships with a Junior or League BTBA membership.

To be eligible to represent the County you must…

  1. be a current member in good standing with the BTBA or Affiliated Association; and,
  2. be eligible to hold a British Passport or have lived continuously in the UK for at least 2 years;

and either…

  • have been born within the County boundaries; or, 
  • have resided within the County boundaries for not less than 1 year at the time of registration (6 months for members of the Armed Forces); or,
  • be an “orphan bowler” (where neither the County you were born in or reside within has a local association, but you bowl in a league within our County) 

All county eligibility, including determination of county boundaries and definition of orphan bowlers can be found in the most recent BTBA ICC county rules at

Important information for tournament managers

Selection of venue:

Tournament managers applying for tournament sanctioning should firstly determine that the proposed bowling centre holds a current gold, silver or bronze level certificate as is required for the type of event to be held.

There is a list of bowling centres lane certifications shown under the “LANE CERTIFICATION” menu of the BTBA website, together with an explanation of the certification standards achieved. Centres that are not certified will not be available for selection on the tournament sanction request form. Please email for further info if your centre is not available.

Capturing personal data on entry forms:

To minimise the amount of personal data captured on entry forms, please only request relevant data needed to organise and run the tournament. In particular, tournament managers should consider why they need any particular data point.

Two examples are:

  • Date of birth – Do you need to ask for a full date of birth to register for a tournament? Requesting the year of birth only is usually sufficient to confirm that a bowler is eligible to play in youth or senior tournaments, or to calculate age bonus, when the cutoff date is age at the end of the year.
  • Address – Do you need to ask for every bowler’s address on an entry form? An email address or phone number are usually sufficient if all correspondence is done online. If you need to send something by post to a bowler (eg a prize cheque), you should request only the addresses you need from the bowlers after the event. Prizes can usually be paid by electronic funds transfer without the need for a physical address. Confirmation of eligibility to bowl for a county can also be by tick box on an entry form, and if needed, postcode only.

Sanction application and draft entry form:

Complete the new tournament sanction request form by clicking the button below.

A draft entry form can be attached to the sanction request.

A Tournament Sanction Fee (previously called TE fee) of a minimum £2 per person applies to all sanctioned tournaments.

Any further correspondence or questions can be sent to


As the new style membership cards do not show expiry dates, there is no need for them to be produced at registration on tournament day. To reflect this, your entry form should include this statement:

This tournament is sanctioned by the BTBA and the BTBA’s General Playing and Tournament Rules will govern this event.  BTBA Membership will be checked on the BTBA database which is accessible at

Entry forms should also include the following:

For Adult/Senior BTBA Recognised Tour Events (BTBA TenpinTour, BTBA Tour, English Sport Bowling Tour)

The tournament is open to BTBA & any other national association members who are in good standing. Non-members will be permitted to play upon payment of a fee equivalent to the annual BTBA competitive membership subscription, currently £35.00. Anyone wishing to join the BTBA on the day will be able to do so online at and pay by direct debit or credit card.

Junior/Youth Bowling events:

Prior to bowling all Juniors must have at least a BTBA Junior Membership. Only entrants who are BTBA members before participation in the tournament are eligible for BTBA awards

Other Tournaments:

The tournament is open to BTBA & any other national association members who are in good standing. Non-members will be permitted to play upon payment of a day membership to the local association of £10.

Tournament Managers of Junior/Youth events and general events that include Junior/Youth divisions, please note that your entry forms must now include the following wording:

Before, during, and after the event there could be photography, filming or video taken of participants and medal winners by anyone attending the event, either as an official, spectator, parent or guardian. If you (as a participant, parent or guardian) object to this, you must make your objections known to the tournament manager prior to the event starting and reasonable adjustments will be made.

String Machine v Free Fall Averages

Further to this statement from the BTBA, tournament managers are now requested to add the following words to their entry forms where averages are requested (ie for calculating handicaps):

Both Free Fall and String averages will be accepted without differentiation.

Fees on Entry Forms – what to include

Entry forms and advertising materials must list the following separately, per event:

a. Prize Fund (if charged)
b. BTBA Tournament Sanction Fee of £2 per bowler
c. Total entry, per individual per event

Please do not circulate your entry form until it bears the sanction number.  Unless there are any queries concerning your application, you will be emailed (normally within 48 hours) a sanction certificate with the tournament finance report (TFR).  This needs to be completed and returned to no later than 30 days after the end of the tournament.  Please also include a set of results and, if possible, let us know what oil pattern was used.

Once the event has been sanctioned, entry forms will be available on the BTBA/YBE websites.

Checking participants membership details:

The traditional system of cards being checked for validity at tournament registration will no longer be necessary.  On receipt of entry forms, tournament managers should check bowlers’ membership status in advance of the tournament by reference to the online membership list.  This is accessed at by selecting the “membership” tab, then the “member search” option.

Bear in mind, if the event you are running allows bowlers to enter on tournament day, you will need to be able to access the online database in order to check their membership status.  This will also apply for any bowlers whose membership has expired between your receipt of their entry form and the day of the event.

Juniors/Youth bowlers playing in Adult events must have a Standard BTBA membership prior to bowling in the event. A Junior membership is not sufficient for an adult tournament.

Within 30 days of the end of the tournament –

  • Prizes must be fully distributed.
  • Any participation fees (fines) or BTBA joining fees collected must be paid to the relevant Local Association.
  • Bank transfer of applicable sanction fees must have been made to the BTBA or NAYBC.
  • The TFR (tournament finance report) must be emailed with the tournament results and, if possible, the oil pattern used to The TFR can be electronically signed.  Please date it using the date on which you paid the BTBA fees and do not submit the form before your payment has been made!

IMPORTANT: When arranging a bank transfer to BTBA please include a reference which will allow us to identify your payment.  For payment of sanction fees, quote the tournament sanction number.  For coaching licences, quote LIC plus the BTBA number.  For Nationals entries, quote NAT plus the team captain’s name.

Should you require further information about any aspects of tournament sanctioning and payments, please email Paul Loberman at


2024 – Dates to avoid for sanctioned tournaments:

As you can appreciate, it is important to support our prime tournaments, namely the BTBA Nationals and the BTBA Inter-County Championships.  Other tournaments will generally not be granted sanctions for the following dates in 2024. However, with the tournament calendar getting more crowded and difficult to find suitable dates and venues, exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis:

  • 18/19/24/25 May BTBA Senior Nationals
  • TBC 1/2/8/9 June – IC Seniors qualifying
  • 15/16/22/23 June – BTBA Nationals
  • 7/8 September – IC Adults qualifying
  • 19/20 October – IC Seniors Finals
  • 9/10 November – IC Adults Finals

Should you have any queries, please email