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Bowling Automatic Scorer And Automatic Foul Detecting Specifications

Just as with the automatic pinsetters, there are United States Bowling Congress (USBC) rules and regulations concerning bowling automatic scorer and foul detecting specifications. Learning a little bit of information about bowling automatic scorer and foul detecting specifications is a good way to understand the services these devices provide when you are competing on the lanes.

Let's begin by sharing with you some inside details about the automatic scoring device you have come to trust and use when you step onto the lanes. An automatic scoring device which meets the following specifications and has been approved by USBC may be used in certified competition:

  1. This device must record scores in accordance with USBC General Playing Rules.

  2. Any such device attached to approved equipment for automatically setting pins shall not affect their operational aspects to the point of altering score-ability.

  3. Such device must detect and score off-spot pins so they will not be improperly registered as fallen pins. An off-spot pin shall be defined as a pin that has moved, but one that an approved pinsetting device is still able to pick up and re-spot.

  4. A means of manual correction must be provided which is easily accessible to the bowler or scorer to allow for correction of a score for incidents such as bowling out of turn, illegal or improper pinfall, provisional balls, late starts, dead balls, blinds, handicaps, out-of-range pins, and any malfunction of the device, etc.

  5. The device must accommodate the existing pattern of bowling where the bowlers and/or team bowls on a pair of lanes, alternating after each frame.

  6. The device must provide a printed record which can be audited frame by frame. This shall include the exact pinfall on each delivery.

  7. Safeguards must be provided which prohibit inadvertent loss of scores from the device by human error or equipment failures.

  8. An automatic foul detector may be incorporated into the automatic scoring device if so desired. Each scoring device is to be presented individually to the USBC Equipment Specifications Department for evaluation.

Since the foul detecting device is tied to scoring in certified USBC competition, it is important to note that each certifed bowling center must have an approved automatic foul detecting device or provision or station a judge at the foul lines during certified competition. If an automatic foul detecting device is used it must be USBC approved and meet the following specifications:

  1. The foul detecting device must be entirely automatic. No manually operated push buttons, switches, levers, or other devices will be accepted.

  2. Any equipment necessary to operation of an automatic foul detection device must be flush with the division board if mounted therein.

  3. The automatic foul detection device must be able to operate under permissible voltage fluctuations existing in the community where the device is installed and in use.

  4. The device must be equipped with a visible signal. Such light signal shall be visible for not more than 15 seconds nor less than 10 seconds. It is also recommended that a sound signal be provided. Such signal should be of sufficient intensity to be heard in the bowler settee area.

  5. The beam of the detecting device shall be set not more than 1/4 inches beyond the approach side of the foul line. The foul line must not be less than 3/8" nor more than 1" in width, extend across the entire width of the lane at a minimum, and be distinctly marked or embedded between the lane and the approach. The completed installation must comply with the requirements of the state or local inspection authorities.

As we can see, the specifications required for use of automatic scorers and foul detecting devices are designed to protect the integrity of the game. Understanding the operational strategies of these devices will help you develop further insight into preparations taken by each bowling center to make sure your time spent on the lanes and in competition goes as smoothly and as effectively as possible. We hope this information proves useful?

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