1. League Format – This league is a USBC certified, open, scratch, singles, adult/youth travel league and will consist of 9 stops between September and March. The stops will vary by location and differ each year. The first eight stops (league stops) will consist either of three sets of two head-to-head games or a 6-game qualifying set followed by one of the following finals formats: the top eight bowlers in each division advancing to a single game bracket elimination final, top 8 low-man-out, top 5 low-man-out, or top 5 stepladder. The ninth stop (tournament stop) will consist of four sets of two head-to-head games or an eight-game qualifying set, followed by a finals format that will be voted on by the league at the February stop. To bowl the 9th Finals stop, an athlete must have bowled 3 of the first 8 league stops. All games are scratch, handicap will not apply.
2. Divisions – There are three age divisions: U12 Minion Division, U15 Junior Division and U20 Major Division. If a bowler was born on 8/1/11 or later, athlete will be placed in the U12 Minion Division. If a bowler was born between 8/1/08 and 7/31/11, athlete will be placed in the U15 Junior Division. If a bowler was born between 8/1/03 and 7/31/08, athlete will be placed in the U20 Major Division. Adult bowlers in the U20 Major Division must be SafeSport certified prior to competition.
3. Head-to-Head (H2H) with Bonus Pins – At designated stops, bowlers will be matched based on their current BST average or prior years BST average. Bowlers without a previous established Big Sky Tour average will use their highest previous season’s average with minimum of 21 games. Bowlers with no average will be given a 225 average to start. The remaining matches will be paired based on a total pinfall plus bonus pins. The winner of each game in the match play will add 30 bonus pins to their total pinfall. In the event of a tie, each bowler will add 15 bonus pins to their total pinfall.
4. 6Gm Qualifying Set (6GmQ) – At designated stops, bowlers will bowl 6 games of qualifying, moving one pair each game. Bowlers on right lanes will move right and left lane will move left.
5. Ties – During H2H, ties of consequence will be decided with the bowler with the higher entering average for that stop receiving the higher placing. In the event there is a tie with total pinfall at the conclusion of H2H or 6Gm Qualifying Set, a 9th/10th frame roll-off will be conducted. The higher seed will have first choice on ties between finishing first/last. Left lane starts first.
6. Top 8 Bracket Elimination Finals Format – The top eight bowlers will compete in a single elimination bracket. In Round 1, match #1 will be the 1st vs 8th, match #2 will be 4th vs 5th, match #3 will be 3rd vs 6th, and match #4 will be 2nd vs 7th. Winners will advance to the 2nd round with the winner of match #1 versus the winner of match #2 and the winner of match #3 versus the winner of match #4. The round 2 winners will advance to the Championship match. Two balls on each lane of practice will be allowed in each round. All ties will be decided by a 9th/10th frame roll off.
7. Top 5 Low Man Out Finals Format – The top 5 bowlers after H2H or 6GmQ will compete in 4 rounds. Each round the bowler witH the lowest score is eliminated from competition and the remaining bowlers advance until a winner is determined.
8. Top 8 Low Man Out Finals Format – The Top 8 bowlers after H2H or 6GmQ will be divided into an Odd Group (Seed#1,3,5,7) and an Even Group (Seed#2,4,6,8). After 3 rounds in which the bowler with lowest score is eliminated in both groups. The uneliminated bowler in each group will compete in the championship match with the higher seed having choice.
9. Top 5 Stepladder – The top five bowlers will compete in a Top 5 stepladder where in the first round the #5 and #4 seeds compete head-to-head and the winner advances to compete against the #3 seed and so on until a winner is determined.
10. Scholarships – All bowlers are eligible to win scholarship at the first eight stops, there is a $50 scholarship for 1st place and $25 for 2nd place in both the U20, U15, and U12 divisions. Scholarships will be awarded to all of the bowlers who advance to the finals at
the final stop and will be based on funds from entries, 50/50 sales and added money from sponsors. If added money from sponsors allow or more than 15 entries in a division, 1st will receive $100, and 2nd will receive $50. SMART Account# 14033.
11. Cost – The first eight stops will be $40. The final stop will be $50. Lineage is $3.75 per line, unless centers charge more, with all remaining money going towards scholarships and awards at the final stop.
12. Time – All bowlers must be checked in by 8:45am. Practice will start at 8:45am and competition play at 9am. Bowlers who have not checked in or have not called to announce their tardiness will not be allowed to bowl. If a bowler calls to announce their tardiness, they will receive scores of 0 in each frame until arrival. Weather will be taken into consideration if a majority of bowlers are late in arriving due to weather.
13. Ball Limit in Pit – Bowlers will only be allowed to have 2 balls on the rack and an additional ball in the settee area. If a ball is retrieved from outside the settee area, then one of the balls in the settee area must be removed.
14. Dress Code – Goal of this dress code is to prepare bowlers for tournament competition in which a professional athletic dress is standard. Appropriate bowling competition attire must be worn (knee length cargo or walking shorts are allowed but no basketball shorts or yoga pants and skirts must be longer than fingertip length), no hats. Youth participants shall not wear apparel or use bowling equipment depicting alcohol, tobacco, gambling, an illegal substance, or inappropriate language/gestures during competition. All final decisions regarding attire will be at the discretion of the league officers and the adult league advisor. Any violation will follow penalty protocol.
15. Language, Behavior, & Attitude – Travel league is a competition where bowlers from across the state of Montana come to compete, meet other bowlers, improve their game, and have fun. Any misconduct (i.e., inappropriate language, gestures, abuse to any equipment, etc.) will not be tolerated. Any violation will follow penalty protocol.
16. Penalty - First offense will result in a verbal warning from the Sgt-at-Arms. Second Offense will result in a second warning by the president or league advisor. A third offense will cause the bowler’s scores to be disqualified and the bowler to be removed from the competition for the remainder of the competition.
17. Junior Gold Qualifier – The 9th and final tournament stop will be a Junior Gold Qualifier and scores will not count toward their Big Sky Tour average. All Junior Gold Qualifier competitors will dress according to the Junior Gold dress code. The highest placing girl and boy in both divisions who attempting to qualify for Junior Gold will qualify for Junior Gold. Additional qualifiers will earn a berth to Junior Gold if funds are available to buy additional qualifying spots.
18. Points System – Points will be allocated to each athlete and awarded as follows: 5 Pts for each stop attended, 1 Pt for high game each game, 1 Pt for high series after 6 games, 3 Pts for #1 Qualifying Seed, 2 Pts for #2 Qualifying Seed, 1 Pt for #3 Qualifying Seed
and 3 pts for Champion. Ties will each receive full point(s) allocated. Prizes at conclusion of season tbd.
19. League Meetings and Elections – Two league meetings per year, a fall meeting, and a spring meeting. Fall meeting will be conducted at the first stop. Spring meeting and election of officers will be conducted at the Tournament Stop.
20. Big Sky Tour Board – Consist of six positions: President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, Sgt-at-Arms, Junior Rep, and Minions Rep. To be elected, athlete must be a Big Sky Tour League member in good standing and in the U20 Division, except for the Junior Rep who must be a member of the U15 Division and the Minion Rep must be a member of the Minion Division.
21. 18-Year-Old Athletes – For the 2023-2024 Big Sky Tour Season, athletes 18 years or older must complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Core Center for SafeSport Training within 45 days of initial membership. Athletes who will turn 18 during the season must complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Core Center for SafeSport Training within 45 Days of turning 18. 18-Year-Old members who fail to complete SafeSport within allotted time will not be allowed to bowl until he/she has completed the training.
22. 18-Year-Old Board Members – For the 2023-2024 Big Sky Tour season, board members who are 18 years or older must complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Core Center for SafeSport Training and the Registered Volunteer Program. Board Members who will turn 18 during the season must complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Core Center for SafeSport Training and Registered Volunteer Program before the next Big Sky Tour competition event.
23. BST Parent Committee – formed by the League to assist the League Advisor with the Points system, shirts and merchandise, technology, and any other happenings approved by the League.
24. Bank Account - The BST has an account at Stockman Bank. The League Advisor, the Assistant League Advisor, a member of the Parent Committee, the BST President, and the BST Secretary/Treasurer are account members of the bank account.
25. Rule 400 In Effect – There will be no monetary rewards or promise of monetary awards during competition play from anyone. Rule #400 will apply. Bowlers caught are subject to suspension from competition play and will be reported to USBC headquarters.
26. Electronic Devices – During completion play, no electronic devices are to be used by bowlers.
27. Spectators are not allowed in the settee area during competition play.
28. Certification – U15 # / U20 # / Jr Gold Tournament #
29. ALL USBC RULES ARE IN EFFECT!!!
2023-2024 Big Sky Tour Board of Directors
• President Jeremy Gallagher - Cut Bank, MT
• Vice-President Thomas Bice - Great Falls, MT
• Secretary/Treasurer Quinton Cayko - Great Falls, MT
• Sergeant-at-Arms Giovanni Zavarelli - Missoula, MT
• Jr Division Representative Jacob Fox - Billings, MT
• Minions Division Representative Hannah Black - Butte, MT