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Rules & Regulations
Celebrating 45 Years of Community Sports Service

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 The Portland Community Bowling League is a private organization, providing fellowship, unity and communication and dedicated to creating an environment of pride and a sense of belonging. The membership is comprised of those individuals who bowl continuously throughout the season, and shall be non-partial in regards to sex, creed, race, age or sexual orientation.  Attendance and participation means acceptance of the rules and regulations and any exceptions deemed necessary by League Administration.

  • The PCBL operates as a nonprofit organization but occasionally contracts for goods or services with league members and/or outside vendors.   As with all leagues, some administration positions are paid a nominal fee for their services as outlined in the rules below.

  • All scoring and financial records are kept for a minimum of 90 days as stipulated by USBC standards.  If you have any questions regarding results or payouts, please address them to League Administration within that 90 day time frame.


1.  Sunday League Rules & Regulation have developed over several seasons as working rules meeting our community standards for play.  Rolling of a participant's first ball indicates acknowledgement and acceptance of Sunday League's Rules & Regulations.

2.  Sunday League Rules & Regulations are considered continuous from season to season.  Unless requested by 67% of the membership before the end of the Spring season, there is no annual review of rules.  "General Play Rules" may be considered for consideration of revision for the following  season by special request vote of the membership.  Any request to alter or change a rule must be approved by a two thirds majority of all Sunday League active membership present on the day of voting.

2(b) League Administration may, at their discretion, add a rule for clarification of existing conditions to Season & Team Formation; Weekly Fees; Awards Presentation; and any other section other than actual General Play Rules (see below).

3.  The league is an active member of the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO) since 1983. 

4.  The Sunday League is not a sanctioned USBC league, and in actuality is a 45 year community service begun by the League Executive Director/Founder and current League Secretary/Advisor for the benefit and pleasure of agreeable participants.  (Agreeable participants are defined as those individuals who understand that this League is not governed by USBC rules and is an independently begun and self-sustaining community event for fun and entertainment.)  The Sunday League follows USBC guide-lines for actual "play" (refer to Sunday League General play rules for specifics), and its averages are published nationally in the IGBO yearbook, effectively making your average acceptable in most IGBO affiliated tournament.

. The Sunday League and its leagues are governed by an Operating Board, most with 10 years of experience with our community bowling leagues.  There are no annual elections of officers (see rules 5c & 5d).  Nominations are open every two years (odd years) to either continue with the current slate of officers or to elect new Leadership. Nominations take place in the 12th week of bowling, with the elections taking place in Week 13.  (This timing is in place so as not to bump up against nominations for Sportsmanship Awards and Potluck signups and to eliminate too much paperwork at season end for our bowlers.)  A change in leadership can also be requested by 67% of the League.  In the event of the resignation of one of the officers, the remaining officers may elect to fill the void with an acting role until the next election.  The "acting" officer may be chosen from among the existing officers, (serving in a dual role), or from among the league membership. (See rule 5d)
b. The Sunday League will oversee and organize all bowling events.  The Sunday League Operating Board through the League Secretary/Treasurer manages the league funds (which includes collection, banking and accounting) and will ensure funds are used for league bowling to assure compliance with award presentation agreements, and securing continuance of the activity.  For league fund protection, the Sunday League Secretary/Treasurer is the only signer on the League Bank Account.
 c. The Operating Board may appoint as "Acting Administrator" any individual who by experience and maturity can comfortably lead and manage  any of the leagues under the administration of the Sunday League.    An "Acting Administrator" oversees the league operations in the stead of the appointed Administrator, and reports to the Operating Board. 
d. The current Operating Board consists of a League Administrator, a Vice Chair, On-Site Treasurer and a League Secretary/Treasurer, and an Activites Officer.  Positions of Chair and Vice-Chair are nominated and voted on by the membership in the Spring Season of each "odd" year.  This provides continuity and experience to the Board.  The Operating Board may appoint replacements to the Board for resignations and/or empty positions.  The decision to replace, is a mutual decision between the remaining league officers on the Board.  An officer can serve in two capacities on the Board (i.e. Administrator & On-Site Treasurer or other).
e. The League Administrator oversees the League, and is responsible for the promotion of the league.  The Vice Chair is the support role for the League Administrator in their absence.  The onsite League Treasurer accepts league envelopes  and maintain the payment record of league bowlers.  The onsite League Treasurer will also prepare the funds for deposit.  The onsite League Treasurer is compensated at the rate of fifteen cents (15 cents accounting statements, and final awards preparation.  In combination with maintain the website,  and photocopies of weekly standings, the League Secretary is compensated at the rate of fifty cents (50 cents) per bowler per session.
f.  The Founder retains in perpetuity, the position of Executive Director/Advisor to ensure the continuity and continuance of the league in the vein in which he created it.  He advises and helps guide the elected administration of the league.  Because this league was begun as a personal venture to provide an outlet for fellowship and communications between the men and women of the gay and lesbian community, as long as the Founder wishes to maintain a function for our community in this capacity it will continue to be his right.  While this is a league, it maintains it's function as a social organization providing unity, communication and fellowship for all members of our community and beyond.

6.  The Rose Bowl Classic is an annual invitational tourney open to international competition for cash and awards. The event will use scratch scores and handicaps. This event is self sustaining and Sunday League funds are not crossed over for eventual use as prize funds except as announced at Season End parties, as allowed by King Pins.  The Rose Bowl Classic is operated by a separate Committee..


1. Each Sunday League Bowling season is split into halves, Fall & Winter.   Each half-season will consist of  14-16 league dates.

2. Any bar, organization, business or group of individuals may enter a team.

3. The Sunday League Board oversees the Sunday noon league. Weekly dues are $20.00 per session.  Membership is limited by the number of available lanes and participation will be limited to the first pre-registered teams meeting the following requirements: 1.) Names,  phone numbers and addresses of the 4 team members; 2.) a permanent team name; 3.) Designated Captain; 4.) registration fee of $43.00 per person which prepays the first and last session plus a $3.00 administrative fee (total of $172.00 per team). 
 This fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. Any bowler
beginning the season, and later drops, loses his/her final session $20.00 whether paid by that person or by the team. That $20.00 covers computer set up and team scoring re-adjustment costs.

3a.  Should a member have pre-paid for the entire season and drops out by mid-season for work, health or other critical neccessities (other than just not incorrigibility with team members), they are entitled to a refund of their remaining dues, less what has already been used plus membership fee.  They forfeit any rights to season end payouts.

4. Team Captain's responsibilities:
    a. An accurate totaling of individual and team scores
Arranging for alternate bowlers in cases of absentees.
    c. Collecting weekly fees of $80 and paying to On-site Treasurer.
    d. Insuring that all team members read and understand the Sunday League & Regulations.

5.    Alternates/Substitutes may be used whenever a team member cannot be present, or in the event that a team member should drop out.  (Alternates/Substitutes negotiate with the their team as to who will pay for their fees for sessions.)   If a Sub or Alternate joins a team after the league beginning, to  replace a dropped member, they must pay in advance, their final league date dues and a $3.00 membership fee.

5a.  For definition purposes: Alternates are considered as part of a team and should pay their own way, unless there is a prior arrangement amongst the team.  SUBSTITUTES are typically floaters who offer to aid a team by bowling with them to give the team a compliment of bowlers.  There is no hard fast rule, but it is typically the proper etiquette for the team requesting the Substitute to pay for the Substitute, as it is the missing bowler's responsibility to have paid.  Alternates who bowl more than half a season (8 of `14, or 9 of 16 seasons are entitled to partial reimbursement for the number of weeks they bowled.

6. For purposes of definition: An Alternate is an individual who bowls only with the designated team and must pay the $3.00 membership feeAlternates must be claimed by the 10th Session of the season in order to bowl in the final two weeks of bowling, including the final playoff round.  (An alternate must have an established history with the team within the final four weeks of the season.)  A Substitute is a bowler who is willing to fill in on any given team for various sessions. See rule 5a above.

7.   A Team cannot change its team name after the 3rd Session.  (Most documentation, lane sheets, house and league computations have been set for the season by the 3rd Session. 


1.  The Sunday League endeavors to follow many guidelines of USBC for  general play.  Specifically, ABC Chapter II regarding Game Definition, scoring, fouls, pinfall, forfeiture and bowling balls (Rules 2, 3a-h, 4a-d, 5a-f, 6a-b, 7a-c, 8,9,10,11,12,17a, 18 & 19).  Additionally, Chapter IV League Rules regarding actual bowling, order, failures, forfeitures, dismissals, scoring and averages (Rules 105a-b, 106a-g, 107a-b,d, 108a-b, 109a-f, 110, 111b-e, 112,113, 114a-c, 116a-b, 118a-c).  All of Chapter V regarding equipment and Chapter X  regarding handicap procedure.

A legal lineup for a team is four (4) members, plus a limit of two (2) regular alternates.  (An alternate is defined as an individual who bowls only with your team as a regular fill-in for a missing     bowler.)  If a team member is absent, and no alternate is available, the absent bowler's average, minus ten (10) pins (plus full handicap) is used to calculate the team score, but only a.) after a current year average has been established and b.) only four times throughout the season half.
All league sessions must be bowled as scheduled unless authorized to "pre-bowl" by League Administration.  All teams must bowl the final session of each half of a season - there are no pre-bowls for that session.  No subs can be used on the final position round day.  There are no makeups after a scheduled date.  If a whole team miss occurs on  any given date without extreme cause, they forfeit that session's games and any points and must pay their regular dues plus a $2.50 late fine per bowler.
A team must pre-bowl together at an agreed upon scheduled time.   There is NO individual makeup bowling: The team bowls as a whole  unit or uses a designated sub. We understand that last minute emergencies can cause a team to bowl a sudden makeup.  However, it is common league courtesy to notify the team that your team was to bowl and allow them the opportunity to bowl against you  during a makeup session.  The opposing team must be able to fit  into the schedule of the team making the request.
If an alternate is used, their score is used in place of the regular bowler. (This rule also applies to Substitutes.)  If the alternate has a verifiable established average with another league, that average will be used.  If the alternate/substitute has no previous average from any other league, the alternate's handicap will be calculated after 3 games have been bowled.  Until the alternate has 2 sessions (6 games) with the Sunday League and a set handicap, an adjustment of 10 points off the manually calculated handicap will be assessed.  Handicaps for substitutes/alternates will not be retroactive to previous
If there are not at least 2 regular members present, the game is forfeited; no makeup allowed.
f. If a team has a vacant spot at anytime during the season, it is the responsibility of the team to locate amongst their own friends or the community to fill the vacancy.  The team is allowed a score of 120, plus 80 pins of handicap for the first three sessions of vacancy.  After those three sessions, whether or not the position has had an occasional substitute, the vacancy score drops to 110, with 80 pins of handicap.  In another three sessions, the score drops to 100, with 80 pins of handicap.   The drop of 10 pins re-occurs after every three weeks.  This rules was voted upon by the membership in 2000 in hopes that it would encourage teams to replace their vacancies.  (It didn't seem quite fair that full paying teams have to deal with a full 600 series provided indefinitely.)
g. If a lane breakdown requires a team to move to a new pair of lanes, it is at the discretion of League Administration whether or not they can practice on those new pair of lanes dependent on the conditions in which they had to move.  The team should be offered at that opportunity, and the team may refuse to practice for the sake of timing. 
h. During the first 2 Week of a New Season, while averages and handicaps are being set for the season, if a team should be missing a  player, a blind score of 120 plus a handicap of 80 will be used per game, to calculate the team score. Teams cannot use a missing bowler's average minus ten from a previous season until they begin bowling again.
During the opening 2 weeks, when teams are still joining, and shuffling players, post makeups and individual makeups are allowed to bring teams and individuals up to speed with the rest of the league.  All post bowls for any of the first two weeks of scores must be accomplished prior to Week 3 to allow for Standings calculations.
j. PRE-BOWLS:  The Sunday League tries to be flexible and allow for various commitments of our team members outside agendas.  However, we do need to draw a line as to how many sessions any team can pre-bowl.  That limit is set at 4 per half.  That is 29% of the fall, and 25% of the spring sessions.  Any sessions beyond 4 are considered forfeits.
All teams MUST BOWL in the final session of the season or forfeit.  During the final session of the season, regular team members or a regular team alternate must be used.  No outside substitutes can be used. Alternates need to have been claimed by at least the 10th session of the season in order to be considered an alternate on a team.  There are no replacements or substitutions during the final two weeks of bowling.
l. Team formation and membership is the responsibility of the forming team captain/leader.  League officials are not responsible to interfere and referee any team disputes.  It is in the team's realm of authority to maintain or relieve any member who is not compatible with team values, morals or compatibility.  Should this happen, it is the "removed" team member's responsiblity to either find another team or to leave the league.  There are no refunds of fees or sessions paid in these instances.

3a. INDIVIDUAL AVERAGES: A bowling average is determined by dividing the total number of pins credited to a bowler, by the number of games bowled in the season.  Individual handicap will be 90% of 230, with a maximum handicap of 120.  Handicaps are set after two sessions (6 games) of bowling with the Sunday League. (Substitute or regular Bowlers entering the league at mid-season will have their handicap calculated after 6 games.)
b. For the first 2 session, handicaps for returning bowlers will be their final highest average from the prior year.  New bowler's handicaps will be calculated after the first 2 sessions have been bowled and retroactively placed in the first 2 session score tabulations. Thereafter, the handicap will be calculated from the cumulative bowling scores.
c. Because the Sunday League bowls in two halves the rules have been amended to reflect those bowlers returning in January for the Winter-Spring league.  In the beginning of the second half in January, returning bowlers will "continue on" with their averages from the first half.  Bowlers returning from the previous Spring season, will use their old handicap for the first two sessions until they have established a new average/handicap.  Brand new bowlers, who have never bowled in either the immediately previous Fall, or prior Spring, will still require 2 sessions to establish an average.
d. All averages are reported to IGBO for publication in their national book.  Most IGBO affiliated tournaments will use your un-sanctioned Sunday League average should it be higher than a USBC sanctioned average.  For purposes of season handicaps reported, averages will a composite score of both season halves.
e. Four misses throughout the season and a team member is out of competition for individual awards, even if the team should win.

4. PUNCTUALITY: Bowlers coming into a regular league session after the 3rd frame will begin in the frame currently underway, and will lose the opportunity to regain those lost pins in opening frames.  Any team creating a stall tactic to wait for a missing or late bowler will be penalized with the loss of points for that particular game.

5. BLIND SCORES:  When a team is missing a third or fourth bowler, and it is an unpaid position, the league will provide a blind score of 120 pins plus 80 pins of handicap for the missing bowler.    It is expected that the team will find their own teammate from among their friends.  However, after 3 sessions that blind score drops to 110 with the handicap remaining at 80; and after 3 more session drops to 100 with the handicap remaining at 80; and continues at that level until the team places a bowler into that position.

6a. WEEKLY FEES: The TEAM CAPTAIN will be responsible to collect weekly fees of $80.00 each session and bring those funds to the LEAGUE ON-SITE TREASURER. FEES PER TEAM PER SESSION ARE $80.00, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS PRESENT.  Either an alternate pays fees or the missing team member pays for the missed date.  NO RAINCHECKS!  NO EXCEPTIONS!  A TEAM MAY BE REFUSED PLAY, WITHOUT FULL LEAGUE FEES.  (We must fulfill league guarantees to the Bowling House or lose our contract.)


c. As stated previously, new members coming into the league after the first session must pay their final week's dues in addition to the current week in which they are bowling.  The same holds true for any sub or alternate bowling in the final session.  Even though the team has paid its first and last week's dues, the setting up and computer handling of subs and alternates creates extra computer time.

d. Individual or team scores will be withheld from weekly tallies until missed fees are paid.  Members who are two sessions delinquent in fees for missed dates will be suspended from league activity and their average cannot be used...a blind score fo 120 with 80 pins of handicap will be used. Members who are not current on league fees will be excluded from receiving trophies or awards.

e. BOUNCED CHECKS will require full reimbursement by the next league date or the bowler may be barred from participation.  Because we are non-profit with free checking, banks now charge us a $25.00 handling charge per bounced check.  If a bowler bounces two checks, the league will no longer accept checks from that individual.

f. Should a team member change teams during a season, moving their league dues to a new team creates too many complications in accounting for both the team they leave, and the team they join.  A departing team member (leaving the league) loses their payments and is not entitled to payouts.  Payments are applied to teams and not individuals.  It should be clearly understood by each bowler that league end payouts are based on team, not on individuals. Additionally, subs and alternates are not entitled to payouts.   This rule also applies to an individual bowler who either leaves of their own accord or is dismissed by a team due to incompatibility.

g. Substitutes and Alternates are not automatically entitled to season end payouts.  It is left up to each team to determine if they wish to reimburse a substitute or an alternate out fo the season-end cash distribution.  This is between the team and the individual.,Under our long standing rules to be a qualified member of the league, an individual must have paid their $3.00 administrative fee by the 10th Session, at the latest.  This can be a complicated decision, but if there is no 4th member left by season send, any alternate is paid based on a formula of how many sessions they actually bowled.  The original team meber forfeits their payments to the prize fund by virtue of their leaving the league.  The league understands that in special circumstances such as health, excpetions can be made, and will be determine the League Administration..  Only four (4) awards presented per team, in spite of various alternates or substitutes. 

h. Qualified Payouts: Each team member is required to pay $20 per week, plus an initial $3.00 membership fee.  Throughout the season, the PCBL publishes a Payment Record for each team.  If a team is short funds at season end, their payout envelopes are adjusted to reflect the funds that are short.   Should this situation arise from a team short a member, where they gain a team member before season end, that new member will be awarded a payout based on a percentage of their payments into the prize fund.  If applicable, any previous payments by a departed team member are not transferable (see rule Section B, Rule 3(b) or Section 7(d) for further detail).  

7a. DISMISSAL - Team or Player. A player or team may be dismissed from the league for any of the following reasons:
    1. Conduct derogatory to the best interest of the league.
    2. Starting or being involved in a fight on the lanes for whatever reason.
    3. Continued violation (Two or more violations) of any Sunday league rule(s).
    4. Team with two weeks past due in league fees, or an individual with three or more weeks past
       due in league fees
 b. Inflammatory Conduct on the part of any bowler during bowling activity, disruptive to team play is considered grounds for requesting that the bowler leave the premises.  If the bowler refuses to obey the request of league administration, they can face permanent dismissal. Should a request to leave be issued, the bowler's score is "fixed" where play ended for purposes of determining the team score.
c. Any bowler who either arrives or appears under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, and is acting obnoxious enough to disturb fellow bowlers, will be asked to leave the premises. Should they refuse to leave, they will be permanently dismissed from the league.
d Any bowler who withdraws from the league of their own accord,  or is dismissed by Sunday League action, forfeits all previously paid league dues, and any other prize money for which they may have been eligible.
For dismissal procedures, the Sunday League Administration will use USBC rules 115a/b "as a guideline," except for any that directly refer to USBC involvement.  Where appropriate, the general membership may be asked to participate with their opinion to the Board.

8a. RANDOM DIVISIONS: Whenever possible the Sunday league will be divided into divisions, decided by random draw of Team Captains. Dividing Sunday teams does not mean that you will be bowling only teams in your Division.  The Sunday League uses a pre-set schedule pre-determined by USBC.  Using our Divisions is only a means to allow for more random winners of awards.  The dividing level will be 14  teams - 2 divisions; 21 teams - 3 divisions; 32+ teams - 4 divisions.
b. AWARDS PRESENTATIONS:  Team awards will be given at season end to the top teams in each division.  The PCBL typically awards dated silver dollars in place of trophies.  Since 2008, the price of silver has been outpacing gold for percent of increase.  It may become necessary for league administration to limit the Silver award to only the top first, or possibly second place teams of each division.  Should silver continue to climb, brass medallions may be substituted as awards to 2nd or 3rd place team members.  Because the pricing of silver fluctuates daily, the determination for silver awards presentation will be made by the league administration midway through a season
c. Depending upon the pricing of silver, at season-end, ties in divisional races may be decided by determining overall team handicap series score for awards presentation.  If budget permits, league administration  may choose to recognize and honor ties, at their discretion.
d. Season records (high scratch series, high scratch game, high handicap series) both men's and women's division, will be awarded a $10.00 prize award for placement.  To spread out the cash awards presentation, if a bowler wins in one category, they cannot win in the next category.  The award goes to the next highest.
e. Season records high for Team Scratch Team Total, and Team Handicap Team Total will be awarded $40 per team, resulting in a $10.00 per member payout.
c. All cash disbursements will be based on the overall standings of the entire league, not the divisional races.

9. Any rules regarding scoring and bowling activities shall be referred to the Sunday League Administration for determination of ruling.     (USBC rulings may be used where appropriate.)

10. Bowling is for everyone's enjoyment.  Let's keep it enjoyable by acting appropriately.  Non-bowling announcements are at the discretion of the administration and shall be kept to a minimum.

11. Our Association is inclusive and not restrictive.  We favor the participation of any "straight but not narrow" individuals who wish to bowl with us including family members, and friends.


Dependent on the size of our league, when it is appropriate, we may feature the following options:

Each session, league officials sell raffle tickets at 2 for $1.00; 5 for $2.00; 16 for $5.00, or 36 for $10.00.  If there are two colors of tickets sold, during the 3rd game pne ticket of each color will be drawn by a non-bowler.  The first ticket drawn will be for cash, and the second ticket will be drawn for cash or a prize (product or gift card).  Because the PCBL makes every effort to return a large cash prize each Sunday, the secondary prize will vary in value depending upon the split.  Traditionally, The Secretary-Treasurer has acquired prizes at discount for the secondary drawing.   The remaining funds are placed into a General Holding Account to be returned to the bowlers in cash and prizes at season end.  A portion of our fees may be used to support season end league payouts or donated to the Rose Bowl Classic for general sponsorship.  .

 Some of the proceeds in this account will be held in reserve for advertising and promotion of our league, the purchase of league pins, 200 Game pins, plaques and or disbursed in cash drawings to regular Sunday League members at the year end awards party.

Due to some confusion over Ticket Selling, we have adopted the following operation rules for Raffle Ticket Sales. 

1. The Raffle Ticket Coordinator is the role of the Vice Chair of the League.  The Coordinator will follow any standing rules for ticket selling.

2. On opening day, the Raffle Ticket Coordinator will have each team draw for a date of when they will sell raffle tickets.  Should there be an odd number of teams, the team bowling the "Bye" team will be responsible for ticket sales. Should a team have already sold tickets as a "Bye" team, but end up on the final day again bowling a "Bye" team, they still will be responsible to fill that role of ticket sellers.

3 The Raffle Ticket Coordinator will follow the standard rules of the League in selling tickets and the drawing of the tickets.  The winning tickets must be drawn by impartial parties, typially a front desk person.

4. All collected funds will be handed to the On-Site Treasurer for totalling and for determination of disbursement amounts.

Get more FUN for less money in the
Portland Community Bowling League
Still have Questions?  Contact us through any of the methods below!

Our email addresses: 
Jimmy Grundman, Administrator

PDXbowl@comcast.net (Tom)

Mailing Address:
Portland Community Bowling League
619 Main St
Oregon City, OR 97045

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