Incomplete Tournament Entry Adventures by Ed Cotter

Incomplete Tournament Entry Adventures by Ed Cotter


I’m going to depart from what I was originally going to write to another topic.  I will put part 3 up soon, I promise.  Ever enter a tournament and wonder if the shift you chose is the shift you’re bowling?  Why the average on your recap sheet is not your average?  Why you haven’t received your prize check yet?


The reason these questions are ask, the majority of the time, leads back to an incomplete entry.  I saw this with our recent State Youth Open and the previous (2007) State Open I managed.  There were a number of applications turned in that were incomplete.  Incomplete entries created a variety of headaches for tournament managers.  Let me address each question.


First, which shift am I bowling, I put down two?  If there’s an incomplete address or no address, the tournament manager has no way of mailing a confirmation letter to you.  This means that you’ll have to review the schedules that are sent to the bowling centers to see if you are bowling your first or second choice.  This process will function much better if a complete and accurate address is on your entry.  Ever take notice of the request for an e-mail address?  If you supply an e-mail address, a confirmation letter can be sent to your e-mail the moment the entry has been completely processed.  There are two major benefits to this, speed and less cost.  The speed benefit is you have a confirmation letter the moment the entry is completely processed versus waiting for snail mail to deliver the confirmation letter.  The cost benefit is that tournament management doesn’t have to factor in the cost of stamps, envelopes, paper, and ink.  The average cost to mail a confirmation letter is about $0.90.  Based on the number of entries I accomplished for the previous open, that’s over $100.  Let’s take that out of the expense fee and put it in the prize fund.  The choice is up to you the entrants.


Second, why is my average wrong on the recap sheet?  I won’t belabor this too much since this was a topic of a previous blog.  My point here is that if the average boxes empty, the tournament manager is not going to research what your average should be.  If the average is entered incorrectly, then it will be entered incorrectly on the recap sheet.  I will admit that I have entered a couple of averages incorrectly, which I fund during average verification.  Please make sure you verify your average on every recap sheet.  Don’t assume that stating it once will fix it every where.  It’s the bowler’s responsibility to verify their information as entered on each entry, even if it’s submitted by someone else.


Third, where’s my money?  This can be two-fold.  First, it could be incomplete or missing address information.  Second, it could be your team captain hasn’t given you your winnings yet.  The first issue is to make all information is entered onto the entry completely and accurately.  You may feel that you have already provided that information when you processed your USBC card.  Great, but it doesn’t hurt to be redundant.  You don’t have to if you’re not too concerned about getting your tournament winnings.  The second issue can be as common as the incomplete address information.  Individuals listing themselves as team captains are taking on a responsibility per USBC rules to distribute tournament winnings to their team members.  If you are wondering where your money is, ask your team captain first then tournament management.


I’m making a plea now since I’ll be running the 2010 MSUSBC Open.  You want timely confirmation letters?  Include an e-mail address on your entry and I’ll send your confirmation letter the moment I complete processing of your entry.  Make sure your average information is complete.  Enter requested average information.  If you don’t have a qualifying average then enter N/A for not applicable.  Want your money sooner?  Make sure your mailing address is enter completely and accurately on your entry.  You do this and I promise to make sure I expedite the portions of the process I can because you took the time to help me.


As always, good luck and good bowling and see you at the 2010 Maine State USBC Open at Family Fun Bowling Center.

3 responses to “Incomplete Tournament Entry Adventures by Ed Cotter

  1. Ed,

    I only have one comment about this blog and it has to do with Tournament Prizes.

    My entry forms are always complete including address information. I am always listed as the captain on all of my entry forms. Yet in past Tournaments (both state and local) when tournament winnings are paid for my Doubles events occasionally these checks are sent to my doubles partner. Eventhough, They were on my entry form, I was listed as captain, and I paid for the entry in full with a Check from my Bank Account. These checks should be sent to the person who submitted the entry form. Can you explain to me why they wouldn’t or shouldn’t be ???

    • David,
      You bring up a good point. I use WinLABs for all tournaments I manage. When awarding prizes, WinLABs creates files for each bowler and collectively adds any earned prize money, for a particular entry, into one check for each bowler. USBC does have a rule (304 – Authority of Team Captain) that states it is the team captain’s responsibility to ensure that prize money is distributed within 30 days of receipt. I have done the same thing as you, entered a team using my own money and collected team member money later.

      The flip side is, what about re-entry teams that are put together during the tournament. That means someone has to step up and accept team captain responsibility. These applications are usually not complete. This is due to the crunch of completing one shift and preparing for the next. There isn’t a lot of time to debate. The application is accepted and processed so the team can bowl in the desired shift.

      I’m all for sending checks for a particular entry to the team captain listed on the entry. Since USBC has addressed this as a team captain responsibility, the team captain should be able to perform their responsibilities. How many team captains know this rule?

      There could be an increase in complaints of where is my money, because money for each bowler has been distributed to each bowler rather than the team captain. We’re (EMUSBC) guilty of that in our association tournaments. Maybe we should adhere to the intent of the rule.

      As with most USBC rules there are no teeth (penalty) to the rule to prevent team captains from just collecting the checks and distributing them when they feel like it. Before we completely change this, I would need to see some action (penalty) that could be taken against a team captain that just doesn’t feel like fulfilling their responsibilities to the team.

      We have to look out for all bowlers. I will wager that there is a very small portion of bowlers that understand or even know what is covered in the USBC rules. That’s where I think USBC has to go back to giving rule books, at minimum, to all team captains. Limiting them to league officers is not helping the bowling community. How many bowlers are going to investigate rules if they don’t have a book or on-line? I think we know the answer to that question.

  2. I would be all for each bowler getting a check for their own prize winnings for each event team, doubles, or singles. This would solve the issue completely. My Issue is when someone other than me receives prize money for events which I was listed as the team captain. As the team captain I have a responsibility to the bowlers I compete with, when the check goes to someone other than me, I still have that same responsibility as the team captain, but I don’t have the Prize Money.

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