Tournament Prize Funds – By David Charron

I have bowled in many Local and State Association Tournaments and also have seen the prize fund list of many of the Tournaments which I did not compete in and I must say the differences in Prize Fund Distribution from Tournament to Tournament is very troublesome to me. Now what I mean by this is not that I feel not enough of the Entry Fee is being paid out (We all know how much of our entry fee is going into the prize fund before we enter), or that not all of the Prize Fund is being paid out (USBC Rules Mandate that every single penny that is collected as Prize Fund must be paid out), I am simply talking about the way in which a prize list is determined and the actual prize fund dollars.

Prize Funds should not be overly top heavy and they should not be overly bottom heavy. What I mean by that is this, let’s say you have 100 Entries in a Tournament and you are going to pay 10 Places and your entry fee is $25.00 and you have $15.00 going into the prize fund for each entry. You have a total of $1,500 in your prize fund.  The 2 Prize Funds below represent both a prize fund which is top heavy (Left) and one which is Bottom Heavy (Right).

 1st        $660.00           44.00%                        1st        $190.00           12.67%

2nd       $330.00           22.00%                        2nd       $180.00           12.00%

3rd        $165.00           11.00%                         3rd        $170.00           11.33%

4th        $  97.50             6.50%                         4th        $160.00           10.67%

5th        $  60.00             4.00%                        5th        $150.00           10.00%

6th        $  45.00             3.00%                        6th        $140.00             9.33%

7th        $  41.25             2.75%                         7th        $135.00             9.00%

8th        $  37.50             2.50%                         8th        $130.00             8.67%

9th        $  33.75             2.25%                          9th        $125.00             8.33%

10th     $  30.00             2.00%                        10th      $120.00             8.00%

Now I will show a couple of examples proper prize fund for this fictional Tournament. Both would be considered acceptable when compared to the above Tournament Prize Funds.

 1st        $375.00           25.00%                       1st         $360.00           24.00%

2nd       $285.00           19.00%                        2nd       $265.00           17.67%

3rd        $210.00           14.00%                       3rd        $195.00           13.00%

4th        $150.00           10.00%                       4th        $140.00             9.33%

5th        $105.00             7.00%                       5th        $120.00             8.00%

6th        $  90.00             6.00%                        6th        $100.00            6.67%

7th        $  82.50             5.50%                         7th        $  90.00            6.00%

8th        $  75.00             5.00%                        8th        $  82.00             5.47%

9th        $  67.50             4.50%                         9th        $  76.00             5.07%

10th      $  60.00             4.00%                       10th      $  72.00             4.80%

There have been some recent Tournaments which come to mind which have less than desirable Prize Funds. For Instance in this most Recent Women’s State Tournament the Prize Fund for Singles was the following

1st        $  52.00                                   12th      $  28.00          

2nd      $  50.00                                   13th      $  25.50          

3rd       $  45.00                                   13th      $  25.50          

4th       $  42.00                                   15th      $  23.00          

5th       $  41.00                                   16th      $  21.00          

6th       $  39.00                                   17th      $  19.00          

7th       $  37.00                                  18th      $  16.50          

8th       $  35.00                                   18th      $  16.50          

9th       $  33.00                                   20th     $  14.00          

10th     $  32.00                                  21st       $    6.00          

11th      $  30.00                                  21st       $    6.00          

This is a prime example of a Prize Fund which is bottom heavy. The person who WON this event got $20 more than the Person who finished 10th.  The same was true for the All-Events in this tournament the Person Who WON All-Events got $12 more than the person who Finished 10th. There was a Men’s State Tournament in Lewiston Some time ago which had a similar Prize Fund, If I remember correclty the First Place Doubles Team paid like $175 and each place dropped $3 from there.

I would like to propose that the State Association take a lead role in preparing a Tournament Prize Fund guide that should be used by all Local and State Level Events so that we can have fairness and consistency in Prize Funds in the Tournaments we bowl in. Prize Funds in our Local and State Events should find a balance between Payouts for those who WIN Events and those who participate numerous times and “Cash” Frequently. This is what a fairly administrated Prize Fund is supposed to do.

This post is meant to be thought provoking, I am sure it will be unpopular with some bowlers. As always your comments and opinions are welcome and encouraged. Please post your responses and thank you for reading the Bowler 2 Bowler Blog. Good luck and good bowling I hope everyone is having a great Tournament Season. If your done bowling until September, Have a Great Summer.


One response to “Tournament Prize Funds – By David Charron

  1. David,
    I completely agree that MSUSBC should set the prize fund list percentages for all STATE level tournaments.

    I disagree with MSUSBC setting prize list distribution for the local association tournaments. The local associations are their own governing body and should be allowed to work as such as the direction of their bowling population.

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