Lee Owen: US Bowling Congress suspensions on rise

By Lee Owen

The Daily Advance

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Since the merger of the ABC, WIBC, and the YABA into the current United States Bowling Congress, enforcement of suspensions has been on the rise. Many bowlers that join leagues do not realize just how easy it is to be suspended from competing in league or tournament play, but as long as the rules are followed it is no issue.

Usually, it is monetary issues that contribute to suspensions, but it can be rules violations as well. In most leagues, there are bylaws that are in place to run a league properly, and these bylaws dictate how much will be paid each week, handicap, number of bowlers, and even how many weeks you can be behind in your dues.

Leagues cost a set amount per week to bowl, with a portion going to the house and a portion going into a prize fund.

Most bylaws will state how many weeks an individual bowler can miss paying before they begin to forfeit their games. Usually it is anywhere from 1-3 weeks missed payments before they are required to catch up their money.

At the end of the season, if the bowler has still not caught up their owed monies, the league president has the option to submit a suspension letter to the USBC for this violation. The USBC then takes the matter into consideration and will most of the time side with the league.

Suspensions last for 12 months in most instances, and after 12 months, the bowler can then write to the USBC and request that their suspension be lifted and be reinstated into the USBC.

One rules violation that can result in suspension is allowing a suspended bowler to bowl in league play. Any team that allows a suspended bowler to bowl with them in league play is subject to disciplinary action, and will most of the time result in the subsequent suspension of all bowlers that were aware of the suspension and allowed the play to continue.

The best way to avoid a suspension is to simply keep your monies in order and communicate with your league officials. A lot of time, a league official will not report you to the USBC if you communicate with them and work to get caught up. Get to know your officials.