Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any changes for the 2024 Lilac Tournament?

While there are no major changes for 2024 as far as Rules are concerned, we do encourage all of our bowlers to READ them! Every year we have to disqualify bowlers for for simple and avoidable mistakes. 

    Venue: All of our events will be held exclusively  at ABC Gates Bowl, 645 Spencerport Rd in Rochester, NY. The center is run by Russ Vallone and Kelvin Parker. Not only accomplished bowlers and Pro Shop operators but well versed in what is good for bowling and how valued customers should be treated. The center underwent many changes and improvements and we are extremely happy and honored to be involved with them.

    Scheduling: The current schedule was developed based on what squads were needed to accommodate entries per weekend as well as allowing for oiling. Oiling 48 lanes, even with 2 machines (one of which the tournament purchased) takes over an hour. Our standard schedule is as follows:

   Friday- D&S only at 3:30 and 7:00pm
   Saturday- D&S at 8:00 and 11:15am, Team at 4:00pm and if needed, a second Team squad at 7:30pm.
   Sunday- Team at 9:00am, D&S at 1:30

 Additional squads will be added on our busier weekends in order to facilitate the number of entries and our oiling practice.

    Events:  Lilac: Due to entries, last year we combined Women’s Team with Mixed Team. This turned out very well with many women's teams cashing and for more prize money that would have been won on Women's entry alone. The Women's/Mixed Team event did so well in 2023, that for 2024 I've increased the Guaranteed 1st Place Prize to $9000, up from $8000.

    No-Tap: Due to the issue of scheduling the No-Tap around the Lilac, we made it a “Singles Only” Event in 2023, just as it was years ago. For 2024 we have scheduled squads any time Lilac Team Event is running. We can and will add additional squads when lanes are available and will run special squads for groups. Please call for availability for the weekend you and/or your group would like to bowl.

    Entry Fees: Entry fees are $60 per event for 2024. I know this is something no one wants to hear, but it seems to be the norm for almost everything nowadays. However, this is our business and as much as I hate raising prices, I hate having to borrow from the bank every year to make it even more. And one thing most people don't realize is that with any increase to the entry fee, due to our percentages, over 50% of that increase goes straight to prize money and right back to the bowlers.

     Payments: While we do accept advanced payment by personal check, any payment made within 2 weeks of bowling must be made with cash, money order, bank check, or credit card. As of our 2022 tournament, there is now a 3% Processing Fee added to all payments made by credit card. While a convenient way to  pay, it has become an unaffordable business expense for us. We had to do something and our costs are still well above the 3% we are charging.

    Contact Information: There are several ways to Contact us. By email at, by phone to our main office number at
585-247-2590 or Toll Free at 877-36-LILAC. (800-365-4522) We also invite you to view and Like our Facebook page where we post information and score updates during our events.

What oil pattern do you use for your events?

The patterns we use for the Lilac City Tournament are modified Kegel recreational patterns of my design. I use different patterns for each, one for Team and one for Doubles & Singles. For the No-Tap I use a pattern that is a little less forgiving. We do not give out or post the patterns as we are an amateur event. I do not feel posting would be fair as that would give an advantage to those who understand patterns or may be in a situation to load the pattern into a machine at their center to practice on. The majority of our bowlers, I feel, would not benefit in that regard. This is also why we allow a few minutes of practice to warm up and try a few different approaches to the pattern.

Do I need a 21 gm average or 42?

Quite simply, both! Bowler's will use their highest certified league average from the years listed on the form. By USBC Rules, an average becomes certified for use at 21 games, otherwise referred to as a certified book average. Once you have established 21 games or more in a league, this average qualifies for use for handicap. The 42 gm requirement simply states that ONE of your certified averages must be of at least 42 games. This is done to stop those who sub all the time, get a 21 game average in and stop. This is a sandbagger's trick to become qualified to bowl with an average usually much lower than their capability. There's more to it than that but understand the rule is in place to help protect YOU from those who don't care about the tournament, other bowlers, or fair play. So the bottom line is that your handicap will be based off the highest certified league average for the years listed in the rule as long as they are certified league averages of 21 games or more, but in addition, one of them must be for at least 42 games.

The USBC has banned some bowling balls. Are you enforcing this?

(UPDATED as of 4/2/22) Yes and No! For example, in March 2022 the USBC removed the Storm Spectre and certain Purple Hammers from the Approved Ball list for use in USBC Certified events. As a USBC Certified tournament, we must enforce these decisions. Note that while this ban includes ALL Spectre bowling balls, the Purple Hammer in this case only affects those manufactured by Ebonite in 2016 and 2017. These are designated by having a 6 or 7 as the first digit in the serial number. A couple of weeks later, 6 more bowling balls were affected. They are the Storm Phaze 4, Storm Electrify Solid, Storm Trend 2, 900 Global Altered Reality, 900 Global Wolverine and Roto Grip UFO Alert. The difference is, they are only banning these 6 for use in USBC National events. I have a feeling that this may be an ongoing practice, so in an effort to provide some clarity with respect to the Lilac City Tournament,
I will take the following stance.

We are only banning those bowling balls that the USBC has deemed illegal for use in ALL USBC Certified competition. (ie Spectre and 2016-17 Purple Hammer to date) If they just enforce the ban for their national events, but allow a ball’s use in league competition, and at the discretion of other events such as ours, I’m good with that and will allow them here.

All bowling balls non-approved by USBC will be listed in our tournament office. We encourage everyone to check their equipment and if in doubt, seek out the advice of your local pro shop prior to bowling our events. If in doubt, feel free to call our office. There is also a list of non-conforming bowling balls can also be obtained from the USBC at

Are there any bowling ball issues to be aware of?

Yes! First is the CLEANING of a bowling ball and the second regards WEIGHT or BALANCE HOLES

CLEANING: First, there are products illegal to use on a bowling ball at any time. These include products such as Acetone, Cutex, Armor All and WD-40. A complete list can be found here:

Also, as of 8/1/2019, you cannot clean the surface of a bowling ball AT ANY TIME once competition has begun, with anything but a CLEAN TOWEL. No cleaners, approved or not. Any ball cleaned with anything but a clean towel will be removed from play. Can you pat the finger holes with a rosin bag and wipe it off? NO! Can you clean a ball between games? NO! A note that since our Doubles and Singles are bowled consecutively as one set, cleaning is not allowed between these events.  You can clean, sand or polish your ball prior to starting and during practice. Once a ball is thrown by the bowler for score, competition is deemed as started.

I want to point out that during COVID, the USBC allowed Isopropyl Alcohol to be used during play but has since rescinded that option. In addition, should a foreign substance or residue get on your ball that cannot be removed with a towel, such as from the machine, you may request from the tournament management to be allowed to clean it. Approval from management must be obtained first.

BALANCE/WEIGHT HOLES: As of 8/1/2020, Balance and/or weight holes are illegal. Any hole in a bowling ball must be used for gripping, and all holes must be utilized during, and for each delivery. If a bowler choses to not use his thumb, there can be no thumb hole in the ball. A bowler cannot have a thumb hole in the ball for certain shots, i.e. spares, and not use it other times.  Any hole not used with each delivery is considered a balance hole and deems the ball illegal.

Note: I do not make the rules, but as a USBC Certified Tournament, must and will enforce these rules from USBC. If uncertain about something, please ask!!

Where can I find a list of Bowling Balls not approved for use?

Here is the link at the USBC Website for that:

Where can I find a list of Approved and Non-Approved bowling ball cleaners?

Here are the links at the USBC Website for that: