String v Free Fall Averages

Please refer to this statement by BTBA Chairman, Martin Webster. Tournament Managers are now requested to add the following words to their entry forms:

String Machine v Free Fall Averages

Following a decision by the BTBA Executive, Free Fall and String averages will both be accepted without differentiation for all handicap tournaments as from 1st August 2018.  BTBA members will therefore have the opportunity of competing in tournaments on both String and Free Fall.  Over 30% of all lanes in the UK are set to become String by the end of 2020.  They will be subject to the usual lane certification process.

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 “CENTRE CERTIFICATION” tab of the BTBA website, together with a explanation of the certification standards achieved.

Sanction application and draft entry form:

Download and complete the tournament sanctioning form by clicking the link – it will launch in a new window.  Complete the form and email it together with your draft entry form to  Note that a Tournament Sanction Fee (previously called TE fee) of a minimum £2 per person applies to all tournaments.

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   Non-members can pay a participation fee of £? but they will not be eligible for BTBA services.  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 at a cost of £25.00 Standard membership or £20.00 Juniors. 

(Words shown in RED are options which you may wish to include for your event)

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.”

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/NAYBC 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.

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 Jerry Moll at

2020 Unavailable dates for sanctioned tournaments:

As you can appreciate, it is important that support for our prime tournaments, namely the BTBA Nationals and the BTBA Inter-County Championships, is not diluted by other events running on the same dates.  With this in mind, please be aware that conflicting tournaments will not generally be granted sanctions for the following dates:

  • 59th BTBA Nationals: 14/15/21/22/28/29 March
  • 6/7 June IC Seniors qualifying
  • 5/6 September IC Adults qualifying
  • 17/18 October IC Seniors Finals
  • 7/8 November IC Adults Finals

Should you have any queries, please email