Frequently Asked Questions

What Events are offered?

The Lilac No-Tap Tournament is now a "Singles" only event where Men and Women compete for the same Prize Fund.

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: