Bowling Rules – NJ

Markets: New Jersey

Format: Bowling


  • 2 players, required to start a game.
  • Self regulated games – there will be a Field Manager to record scores and settle disputes.
  • Teams will bowl THREE (3) complete 10 frame games.
  • Games will be played 4 (four) on 4 (four) – with at least 1 female and 1 male player (e.g. 1 female and 3 male, 2 female and 2 male, 3 female and 1 male).
  • Handicap rule will be used in scoring (See below for more details).
  • The bowler may not cross the foul line on a throw.
  • No “lobbing” the bowling ball down the alley.
  • ALL bowlers are required to wear proper bowling shoes.
  • All players present must bowl at least one full game.
  • Standings – Each game of the night will be worth 2 points in the standings to the winning team based on total team handicap. The team that wins the series (total for all 3 games plus handicap) will also receive 1 point. 7 total points per night per night. (See Below for more details)

To level the playing field for all players/teams, we have gone to a Handicap Scoring System. All players and teams will receive scratch scores and Handicap scores. Scratch scores are the actual amount of pins that a person knocks down in a given game. A Handicap score consists of the amount of pins knocked down added to the person’s Handicap. A Handicap is figured by taking a person’s average and subtracting that average from 200. Then each bowler will receive 90% of that difference. A person’s handicap is updated and changed each week after the results from the previous week are tallied. 200 is the base average used to determine the handicap for all bowlers.Handicap Example: 

Bowler’s Average = 125; Base Average = 200; Difference = 75; 90% of 75 = 67.5; Handicap = 67 pins (No round up)
If above bowler bowls a 117, the handicap score is 184 (67 pins added)
If above bowler bowls a 150, the handicap score is 217 (67 pins added)This rule is standard for about 95% of all bowling leagues.SCORING/STANDINGS

Score sheets will be handed out each week with the Team Name, Team Average, Lane Number, Bowlers Names, Bowlers Average, Bowlers Handicap & Team Handicap. After each game, please fill in your scores on the score sheets. At the end of the night, please bring the white copy of the sheets to the front desk. The other copies can be taken by the bowlers for their records if they would like. Teams will play head-to-head against another team for three games each night. Each game of the night will be worth 2 points in the standings to the winning team, based on the team total with handicap included. The team that wins the series (combination of all games including handicap) will also receive 1 additional point. There are 7 possible points per night. If two teams have combined scores that tie they will split the points.

Please don’t forfeit. Your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game. Each team must have at least 2 players to start a game. Game time is forfeit time. Due to the extremely tight schedule, we strongly suggest arriving at the alley 10 minutes before game time for warm-ups. Practice starts at 8:00pm. There is approximately five minutes of practice time. Once practice ends, teams will begin the their match. Teams that do not have at least 2 bowlers from their team will forfeit the first game. If players show up at a later time, they may bowl the 2nd & 3rd games.

Substitutes are allowed during the regular season, but only roster players are allowed for the playoffs.If a new player(s) bowls and every other player has a handicap score established, the new player(s) will have theirs computed based on the number of games that they bowled that evening and their handicap will also be added in to the teams overall score.If a team plays with only 3 players, the forth score will be the missing players average minus 10 pins.


All players are required to wear proper bowling shoes. Players may choose to bring and wear their own bowling shoes; however, shoes will be provided for players who do not have the proper footwear. Bowling balls will also be provided at the alley, but players can choose to bring their own. Other equipment, such as wrist braces and gloves, will not be provided by ZogSportsNJ or the bowling alley, but may be worn by players.

If a player bowls out of turn or if a player bowls on the wrong lane (opposing team), that team will go into the electronic scoreboard and erase the frame thrown by the wrong player.

Players must properly throw the bowling ball down their teams designated lane. Field Managers will issue warnings to those teams/players that “lob” the ball down the lane or improperly roll the ball (i.e. backwards, between the legs, two balls at once, two people at once, etc.).

Games will be self umpired. ZogSportsNJ will have a staff member on site to assist in clarifying any rules questions, but we ask that you be on your best behavior and honest when making calls and recording scores.

ZogSportsNJ is a charity-focused, social sports club. Our goal is for you to have fun. We hope that you keep this in mind when participating. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by the umpire or ZogSportsNJ staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league.
  • Any player(s)/team(s) that are involved in a fight will be suspended from all ZogSportsNJ Leagues for life. Any teams suspended from the league will forfeit all remaining games. The field manager has the right to sit an unruly player if necessary.
  • Any excessive contact with an opponent will result in an ejection of the offender.
  • Any player verbally abusing the other team/field manager will automatically be ejected from the game without a warning.
  • A player ejected for ANY reason will be suspended for the next game. If that player is caught playing in that game, the team will forfeit.


Standings will be based on points won for each game played and for each night’s series winner.The final week of the league is a playoff/position week. That schedule will be posted after the scores have been recorded for the final week of regular season play. During the playoff/positional playoff week of play, teams will be seeded to play the team closest to them in the standings. Any team that is within four points of the top team will have a chance at winning the league. All other teams are playing for final positioning.


To forfeit, please fill out this form.

Forfeits ruin the experience for everyone. ZogSports exists to give you an opportunity to play and build community and forfeiting is a huge bummer. If your team absolutely needs to forfeit, you must let us know in advance so we can contact your opponent so that they don’t unnecessarily travel to the gym/field.

If you do not inform us of a forfeit your team could face penalties in your league’s standings. Once ZogSports is notified of your forfeit, it is final (you cannot change your mind) and the other team will be notified.

If your decision is not made until after 4pm, you should still try to reach ZogSports, and we will make efforts to contact the other team. If we can reach them in time to keep them from showing up, no extra penalty. If you do not do this, your team will be eliminated from the rest of the schedule. If a team does not show up for bowling, the opposing team must bowl within 40 pins of their team average (without handicap) in order to win the game. They must bowl within 120 pins of their team series (without handicap) to win the extra series point.

Example: Name Average

John Smith 120
Jane Doe 143
Wally Walrus 102
Snooki 166
Team Average 531

In the above example, the team average is 531. Therefore, the team must bowl 491 (without handicap) each game in order to win. They must bowl a 1473 three game total (without) in order to win. The team that does not show up will receive NO points for that night.

There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other ZogSports players to field a full team) and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play.

CODE OF CONDUCT: The Participant’s Code of Conduct applies to all ZogSports participants. You can access the ZogSports Participant’s Code of Conduct HERE.

Markets: New Jersey