Statement made on April 8th, 2020
USBC Rules Department
|This is a special combined edition of the Rules Extra and Tournament Flyer to discuss leagues and tournaments amid concerns about COVID-19.
USBC considers the coronavirus as an emergency situation and, therefore, the unanimous consent of all team captains (Rule 122) requirement for leagues to change the schedule does not apply. The decision to change the schedule may be made by a majority of the votes cast by the league board of directors (officers and team captains).
The league, before a decision is made regarding the league schedule, must come to an agreement with bowling center management concerning the league contract. Verbal or written, the league has a contract. Whether the center is closed by choice or because of governmental restrictions, league officers should contact the center before any league decision regarding a change in schedule is made.
The league needs to know if the center is going to charge lineage fees for the balance of the contract. Once the league has an agreement with the center, the league board of directors (officers and team captains) has a couple of options to consider. The decisions may be made via email, text, or phone or conference call during this difficult time.
1. Postpone the schedule and complete the league at a later date.
Some bowlers may choose to withdraw; USBC will not hold bowlers accountable for the fees required in Rule 114a. Any prepaid fees must be returned fully to a withdrawing bowler and should be done immediately. The bowler(s) also is entitled to a pro-rated share of the prize fund based on the number of weeks paid.
2. Cancel the league schedule.
All prepaid fees must be returned to the rightful bowlers. The standings are final as of the date the league decides to cancel. If the center charges lineage for the balance of the contract, it is deducted from the league prize fund. The league board of directors must also decide how the prize list will be adjusted. Click How to adjust a prize list for information on how to do so.
For split season leagues, because of the inability to hold a playoff, the league board may declare co-champions and divide any additional playoff money equally among teams in the playoff.
Tournaments also face the decision to postpone or cancel operations. USBC rules allow tournament management to make decisions regarding tournament operations. A tournament could continue operations if possible, postpone the tournament or squads or end the tournament as of the last date of competition.
1. Postpone the schedule and complete the tournament at a later date.
Although Rule 314 does not allow refunds, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic USBC is allowing tournament management to issue refunds or credit for a future tournament to any entrant(s) who choose to withdraw from the tournament. The same also would apply to bowlers who did not bowl in the tournament.
When a tournament postpones squads, and entries close prior to last squad and the tournament allows walk-ins, USBC will permit tournament management to allow walk-ins during the rescheduled squads. However, no additional squad times can be added when squads are rescheduled.
2. Cancel the schedule.
Tournaments may choose to cancel the remaining squads without penalty. The tournament is paid based on the standings as of the last date of competition and the number of bowlers that bowled. All other entries are refunded or credited to another tournament.
Tournaments that guarantee prizes may base the guarantees on the entries. Comprehensive tournaments that reschedule events after Aug. 1, 2020 must certify these events as a 2021 tournament.
For additional information, click FAQ to assist leagues, tournaments and state and local associations.