Illinois USBC BA  ---  Split State Tournament


At the 1982 IBA board of directors meeting in Springfield, the board, faced with declining participation in the tournament, thought perhaps a change in the tournament  was needed.


There was awareness of various reasons why the bowlers did not bowl, but largely it was due the distance involved to reach the tournament.  Illinois being approximately 400 miles in length, and 200 miles wide, involved a lot of travel time to certain centers.


The IBA board, particularly the tournament committee, continued to discuss the concept.  The decision was made to put the split state concept before the bowlers at the 1989 state tournament, via a questionaire.  The basic question, if they would bowl in the tournament if the tournament operated on the split state concept.  The majority voiced no objection.  Several stated that while they did not necessarily agree with the concept, they would still bowl, and only one person said they would not bowl, period.


After further discussions, and taking into account the opinions of the bowlers, the split state concept was adopted, effective with the 1990 state tournament.


Participation: In 1988 there were 457 five person team entries and in 1989, 523 teams. 


The first year under the split state concept, 1990, entries increased to 599 five man teams.  There were 980 five person teams for the 2006 tournament and 948 teams in 2007.  There was a slight decrease in 2008, due to the economy.


Operational Procedures For The Split State Tournament:


     1.    Divide the state into two sections. 

Illinois is divided on a north-south basis.

Other states might find it better for their area with an east/west split.


  1. Splitting the state in two sections, is done only for the purpose of selecting which bowling establishment(s) will host the tournament.


  1. The bowler determines which site they prefer to bowl.  Originally, with a championship roll-off between sectionals, the bowler could bowl in only one sectional, the bowler’s choice.  The reason for this—so that the bowler would not be the winner of the same event at both sectionals, creating a possible conflict.


  1. A later decision was made to eliminate the championship roll-off.  This then would allow the  bowler to bowl in both sectionals, which a sizeable number now do.


  1. While the bowler may now bowl in both sectionals, the scores from one sectional could not be used in the other sectional, such as for all events. 


Method For Selecting The Bowling Establishments, In Illinois


Currently, the north sectional bowling center must provide at least 32 lanes and the south sectional bowling center must provide at least 24 lanes.


The Illinois state tournament is bid out two years in advance.  Bids are sent out following the end of the tournament then in operation, and the contracted site for the last tournament is drawing close.  


Each USBC certified bowling establishment in the state, meeting our lane requirements, etc.,  are invited to submit a bid.  The bowling centers are advised that we will be selecting the bowling center sites for two calendar years.


The bid request, not only lists dates required, but also includes a questionnaire, detailing needs, operational procedures and asking for data regarding their facilities.  They are asked to complete the questionaire and return it to the iusbc ba.


A deadline for receiving bids is set, which the bidding centers are to return their bid

To the IUSBC BA association manager.


The association manager  makes up a worksheet, containing the pertinent facts of each establishment.  The establishments are identified with an alphabetical letter, and placed in their appropriate sectional, north or south.


There is a synopsis sent to each member of the tournament committee, approximately A month before their

selection meeting in August or September.  The members are encouraged  to review the bids and be prepared to

discuss the bids.


After the discussions, the evaluation process begins.  The Committee votes. 

The names of the centers  are revealed after the vote taken.


As a pre-caution, after the name has been revealed, if any of the committee members know of any possible problems

With the selection, it is brought before the committee and discussed.  If necessary, and/or the IUSBC BA director of that

area, could be contacted, to provide additional information.


All bidding establishments are notified of the selection decisions, not just the winning bowling centers.


A written contract is sent to the bowling center, with a specified time to return the signed agreement.

Championship Roll-Off Versus Sectional Champions:


Originally, Illinois held a championship roll-off between the winners of each event, scratch and handicap, two weeks after the tournament concluded.


The bowlers used the same average as used at the sectional.   No subsitution's allowed.  The reason, so no team, etc., would bring in a “ringer”.


The championship site is selected by the association manager, after the sectionals had concluded.   Keeping in mind the cities of the winners who will be competing, a neutral bowling center, and geographically location.


The roll-off date had already been printed on the tournament entry blanks, so everyone should be aware of the date.  After the site determined, the association manager contacts the participants by telephone and/or letter, advising them of the location, and the lanes they would be assigned.


The championship roll-off prize money, lineage and other expenses, are paid from expenses of the state tournament.


In addition to the prize money for the tournament, the winners of each event participated in the championship roll-off, for additional money.


The prize money for the roll-off was $100 (per person) for each of the winners and $50 for each of the runners up, plus a jacket, plaques or clock, etc.  This was later increased to ($200 and $100 per person), plus the other previously stated type award.  Also, the roll-off was televised (taped) for later showing, for two years.


To ensure that no one had a perceived advantage or disadvantaged by the number of games they would bowl, everyone bowled only a three game series. 


It happened on occasion, that a person won both the singles and the all events, etc., resulting in his opponents being two different people.  Regardless, this person’s three game series would be used against both opponents scores.  Or, a person might have been on the first place team, plus won another title—the same rationale would exist, his score from the team event would be pitted against his opponent(s) of the other event.  However, that competition was on the same pair of lanes.


After several years with a championship roll-off, interest declined, with a number of bowlers not caring to participate, citing a number of reasons, such as other tournaments, the national championship tournament, etc.,  plus, it made the season too long, or just not interested.   This resulted in  a number of championships awarded via forfeit.


The bowlers were questioned during the year 2000 tournament about possibly eliminating the roll-off.   Almost everyone was in agreement that  it was the best move, eliminate it.


The championship roll-off was discontinued, effective with the 2001 tournament.  The winner of each event, scratch and handicap, each sectional, would now be declared the champion in their sectional.


This also meant that the IUSBC BA, from expenses, would now have to send the scratch all event winners from each of the two sectionals, to the masters.




The first place winners, each event, each sectional, received an appropriate award, which in the past, had usually been a windbreaker type jacket, with the notation of year, and “champion” on the jacket.


On the occasion(s) someone won more than one event, that person would still receive only one jacket.


If you desire further information, or have questions, write, fax or telephone:


                                                            Dona Reinink

                                                            Box 724

                                                            DeKalb, IL 60115


            telephone 877.422.8687                         fax 847.960.5714                         e-mail: