1.  Every member of the NDYA Program is expected to show good sportsmanship and courtesy at all times.  This includes:          

          a.   welcoming all youth bowlers regardless of ability and skill levels;  

          b.  keeping accurate scores;          

          c.  using proper language (NO PROFANITY);          

          d.  respecting coaches, managers, scorekeepers, and other bowlers;          

          e.  using all lane equipment properly;          

          f  no playing of game machines during league play/ tournaments;         

          g   no use of tobacco products during league play/ tournaments;          

          h.  no use of electronic devices (cell phones, MP3 players, headsets, etc.) on

                the lanes or in the bowlers' area during league play/tournaments;           

          i.  no drinking of alcohol during league play/tournaments; and,          

          j.   obeying all rules of the NDYA and NDBC.

2.  NDYA members are prohibited from bowling, substituting, or pacing in ANY adult money and/or merchandise leagues/ tournaments.  NDYA members found in violation of this rule will be subject to permanent suspension from the NDYA on a case-by-case review by the Board of Directors.  

3.  Youth bowlers shall observe the eligibility RULE of their state high school athletic association.  

4.  NDYA members may be awarded merchandise prizes for NDYA-sponsored events:          

         a.  free games of bowling;          

         b.  bowling balls, bags, shoes, and wearing apparel;          

         c.  prepaid entry into a bowling event, providing recipient has qualified 

               through a previous event (not transferable);          

         d.  merchandise such as but not limited to trophies, medals, plaques, gift 

                certificates, movie tickets, CDs, etc., not to exceed a total value of $50 as 

                one prize; and/or,          

         e.  scholarships in any amount paid directly to an educational institution.


                       *** Under no circumstances may an NDYA bowler win cash. ***


1.  Any member of the NDYA violating the provisions of the NDYA Code as outlined below shall be liable for the penalties indicated, and anyone who is not a member of the NDYA but who has violated the provisions of this code shall be refused membership in the NDYA until NDYA approves their application.  A player suspended from or denied membership in NDYA shall be ineligible to participate in any and all NDYA sanctioned leagues or tournaments to hold any league or NDYA office, or serve as a Junior Coach until reinstated by NDYA.  

2.  Any youth that attempts to gain an unfair advantage by performing one of the following acts will be subject to penalties indicated:  

     a.  By directly or indirectly tampering with lanes, bowling pins, and or/balls so they no longer meet NDBC specifications.  Penalty - Suspension of membership up to 6 weeks.  

     b.  By misrepresenting an average either to gain a greater handicap or qualify for a lower classification in a sanctioned league or tournament.  Penalty - Suspension of membership up to 6 weeks.  

     c.  By establishing an average below their ability and thereby gaining an unfair advantage in handicap or classified competition.  Penalty - Loss of game or games including awards and suspension of membership up to 6 weeks.  

     d.  Using an assumed name or bowling under the name of another person scheduled to bowl in a sanctioned league or tournament.  Penalty - Forfeiture of all games in which such a player was used and all involved and found guilty shall be liable for suspension of member for up to 6 weeks.  

     e.  When a team knowingly uses a suspended player it shall forfeit all games in which the suspended player was used, and all involved and found guilty shall by liable for suspension of membership for up to 6 weeks.  

3.  Any youth that misuses funds entrusted to them as a league member, shall be suspended from 6 weeks to indefinitely, dependent upon the severity of the offense and the youth's willingness to make proper restitution.  

4.  A Youth Director may declare a member under their supervision ineligible for participation in NDYA-sanctioned competition for a period up to 3 weeks for infraction of NDYA rules, league rules, and/or the NDYA Code.  Youth Directors will seek NDYA Board approval for suspensions in excess of 3 weeks.  

5.  The Youth Director must advise the member in writing of the rule(s) violated, period of ineligibility, and that they are ineligible to participate in all NDYA-sanctioned competition during the period of ineligibility.  A copy of the Youth Director's letter must be given to the proprietor of the bowling center and the NDYA office.  The member or his/her parents or legal guardian may file a written request for a hearing with the NDYA.  When such a request is received, the NDYA shall notify the Youth Director and the member that the suspension shall be held in abeyance until the NDYA has conducted a hearing and rendered a decision.  

6.  A suspended bowler will be eligible for any award won on merit prior to the incident causing the suspension.  Should any bowler qualify for an award after the incident for which suspension is sought, and before a determination has been made, the question of eligibility of the suspended bowler to receive the award will be decided by the NDYA.  A suspended bowler is ineligible to receive a team award won by a team of which they were a member at the time suspension was invoked. 


No alcoholic beverages are to be consumed in the area where members are engaged in NDYA functions.



 Team Membership -

      a.  A league must have a minimum of 4 teams.  A team may consist of 2, 3, 4, or 5 bowlers.  If you have a 6-member team, all 6 bowlers will bowl every game, dropping the low score each game to determine the win or loss.

      b.  Legal Lineup

  • Option I - 3 bowlers for a 5-member team, 2 bowlers for a 4-member team, 1 bowler for 3- or 2-member teams.  Forfeit is granted to team opposing a team that does not have a legal lineup.
  • Option II - No team shall forfeit as long as one bowler of that team is present and able to bowl.  After 3 weeks, if any one bowler remains on the team, the team shall be disbanded and the one remaining bowler shall be placed on another team. 

Note: Scores rolled by non-NDYA members (i.e., non-sanctioned substitutes, pacers, etc.) do not count for league competition or for awards.

      c.  Absentee Score

  • Option I - Use bowler's full average and full 80% handicap.
  • Option II - Use bowler's average minus 5 pins, plus full 80% handicap. 

      d.  Vacancy Score (Blind)

  • Option I - Pee Wees - 60, Preps - 70, Bantams - 80, Juniors - 90, and Majors - 100. 
  • Option II - Use the league average, plus full 80% handicap. Add all averages together and divide by the total number of bowlers in the league.
  • Option III - For Prep/Bantam mixed leagues, use 65 plus full 80% handicap.  For Junior/Major mixed leagues, use 85 plus full 80% handicap.

      e.  Late Members will not be allowed to catch up, but will receive 1/10th of their average (dropping all fractions) per frame for each frame missed, number of pins not to exceed 10 per frame.  Such a game will count toward the individual's average and wins/losses.  A late bowler may enter a game at any point.

Bowling Shoes - All bowlers must wear bowling shoes.  In the event the child's feet are too small for bowling shoes and they deliver the ball from a stationary position, allow them to bowl in rubber-soled shoes.  Such shoes should be carried (not worn) into the center on inclement days.  Never allow a child to bowl in their socks or bare feet.

Bumper Bowling - At the discretion of the Youth Director, Bumper Leagues may be established for Pee Wees who bowl while gutter bumpers are in place.  Bumper leagues are recognized as official NDYA leagues with bowlers being eligible for several individual awards; however, some additional rules apply (see Awards Program for award eligibility):      

      a.  All members of the league will be sanctioned as bumper bowlers whether the bumpers routinely affect their scores or not.

      b.  At such time a bumper bowler transitions into a regular non-bumper league, the bowler must establish a new non-bumper average before becoming eligible for awards and before their scores count toward team competition.

Deadwood -
      a.  The deadwood must be removed from the playing surface (lane) and gutters after each ball is rolled, mechanically if possible.  Any pin (or pins) falling after the bowler activates the reset mechanism and/or any pin (or pins) knocked down by or falling after the action of the reset mechanism of an automatic pinsetting machine, shall not count as down.  Failure to remove deadwood or balls from the playing surface (lane) or gutters will be ruled as follows:

  • First Ball - The first ball is lost.  All pins knocked down by the first ball are respotted and the bowler rolls a second and third ball.
  • Second Ball - The second ball is lost.  All pins knocked down by the second ball shall be respotted and the bowler rolls a third ball.
  • Third Ball - The third ball is lost.  All pins knocked down by the third ball are lost and the bowler is through for that frame.

      b.  When an automatic pinsetting machine is in use, and the Number 7 pin and/or the Number 10 pin is knocked down by pins being cleard by the gutter belt, such pin(s) shall be regarded as down so long as the deadwood or reset mechanisms have not been activated.  Any pin or pins knocked down by the Number 7 pin and/or the Number 10 pin as a result of this action, shall also be counted as down.

Disputes - Any match that is under dispute must be made known to the opposing team captain and official in charge.  Play should not being until dispute is clarified and satisfied.  Should the players on the protesting team roll the next ball before the protest is made, no protest shall be given consideration.

Foul Line Rules - All fouls shall be handled in accordance with the following rules:

      a.  When a foul occurs on the first ball, the ball is declared dead, all pins shall be re-spotted, and the bowler rolls his second and third balls.  If the bowler knocks all ten pins down on the second ball it shall be counted as a spare.

      b.  When a foul occurs on the second ball, all pins knocked down by the second ball shall be counted as though knocked down by the third ball and the bowler is through for that frame.  If the bowler spared on the second ball and fouls, it is scored as a ten frame and the bowler is through for that frame.

      c.  When a foul occurs on the third ball, all pins knocked down by the third ball are lost and the bowler is through for that frame.

      d.  Should a bowler make a strike in the 10th frame and foul on the first roll-off ball, that ball shall be lost and the pins knocked down by that ball counted as though knocked down by the second roll-off ball.  Should a foul occur on the second ball, both the ball and the pins knocked down by that ball are lost, and only the pins knocked down by the first ball count.

      e.  If it is apparent that a player deliberately fouls to benefit by the calling of such foul, the bowler shall receive a zero for that frame.  Where an automatic pinsetting machine is in use and it is apparent that a bowler deliberately steps on the pedal or pushes the button that activates the deadwood removal mechanism to benefit by such action, then the act of the bowler shall be considered a deliberate foul, recorded as such and bear the same penalty as outlined in foregoing paragraphs.

      f.  Bowlers shall show lane courtesy to bowler(s) on an adjacent lane who is ready to start or in their approach.  Bowlers shall make every effort to bowl ball for ball (start approach as soon as the other bowler(s) on the adjacent lane(s) has completed their delivery).  Any bowler who waits for the bowler(s) two or more lanes away shall be deemed to have committed a deliberate foul and shall receive a zero for that frame.

NOTE:  The above foul rules shall be used for both manual and automatic machine pinsetting.

Illegal Pinfall -

      a.  A ball must hit a pin before leaving the playing area.  If said ball returns to playing area and knocks down pins, such pins are counted as down.  If a ball does not hit pins upon delivery, rebounds and knocks down pins, such pins must be reset.

      b.  If the first ball rolled rebounds from gutter and knocks down pins, the pins must be reset and two balls are then rolled.

      c.  If the second ball rebounds from the gutter, the pins knocked down by the second ball must be reset and the third ball is rolled.

      d.  If the third ball rebounds from the gutter, only the pins knocked down by the first and second balls are counted.

Inclement Weather - If inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances make it necessary to cancel league competition, a fun day should be substituted for those in attendance.  Bowlers should be notified that scores are not eligible for awards.

Playing Lanes

      a.  The lanes immediately adjoining each other shall be used in all games.  The contesting team shall successively and in regular order roll one frame on the one lane, and then change lanes for the next frame, alternating lanes each frame until the game is completed.  The teams must start the following game on the same lanes on which the 10th frame of the previous game was rolled.

      b.  At the option of the league, two frames may be rolled consecutively on one lane by each bowler on the team before alternating lanes.  Where this procedure is followed, the teams will start each succeeding game on the opposite lane from which the 10th frame of the previous game was rolled.

Pre-Bowling - Individual 

      a.  At the discretion of the Program Director and the center's management, bowlers may roll in advance of their scheduled match.  Such games must be rolled under league conditions and strict ADULT supervision.

      b.  Individual awards WILL NOT be recognized with NDYA awards for pre-bowled games.  Please make the bowler and their parents/guardians aware of this prior to their pre-bowling.  All pre-bowled games must be removed from ending averages when determining the Norm Fleury All-American Teams and the Evelyn/Archie Larochelle Awards.

      c.  A bowler may not roll games for a previous league session.

Pre-/Postponed Bowling - Team

      At the discretion of the Program Director and the center's management, team matches may be rolled in advance or postponed.  If granted, pre-bowled matches must be agreed upon by all members of both teams and be rolled under league conditions and strict ADULT supervision.  If granted, such postponements should be rolled off within 3 weeks of the date of the postponement and be rolled under league conditions and strict ADULT supervision.

Tie Games

      a.  Leagues should determine before the season which of the following methods is to be used to resolve ties:

  • Option I - Each team is awards one-half game won and one-half game lost.
  • Option II - Use 1st frame of next game, plus one-tenth of handicap, to break tie.  Last game tie or tie for series would be determined with one additional frame, plus 1/10th handicap.  Additional frames do not count toward individual or team scores.

      b.  In the event of a tie for the League Championship at the end of the season, the number of games required for a regular league session must be rolled, total pins including handicap for number of games deciding the winner.  In rolling-off for the Championship, all bowlers must be regular team members.  If a bowler(s) is not available, the team must take an absentee score.  Additional games do not count toward individual or team scores.

End-of-Season Awards

      a.  To be eligible for league end-of-season awards, bowlers must have rolled at least 45 games or 2/3 of the scheduled league games, whichever.

      b.  Most Improved Bowler award will be determined by the greatest number of pins of improvement from 5 league sessions until the end of the season.

      c.  A final standing sheet listing bowler's first and last names, number of games, total pinfall and average must be submitted to NDYA within 30 days of final week of league schedule.  Average sheets submitted after the 30-day period will not be considered in determining record scores.