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#198886 - 01/24/18 02:45 PM Rules About Fouling?
IronMike Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 12/10/13
Posts: 41
A/S/L: 28/M/North Carolina
Alright, I'm 99.5% sure I know the answer to this but wanted to check what everyone's opinion was. (this is kind of long, sorry; I've got a TLDR version at the end)

In our league last night, we were bowling against a guy whose temper did not pair up well with the 6 pack he put down. Half way through the first game he starts, quite literally, yelling to anyone in a 4 lane radius that would look at him "I don't understand this!! We have 10 bowlers here, and 12 balls on the rack!! How is that possible?! It doesn't make sense!!"

First off, yes it is annoying when there are spare balls clogging up the rack. There is a more tactful way to address this. More importantly, this was the first time we had a bowler that forgot to grab his extra ball; the other extra ball was theirs, a lady forgot to remove it after practice and was not using it and it had been there the entire game.

So, he stays angry, and in the 10th frame of the first game when it is pretty clear we will win, he challenges me on a 10-pin spare, saying I fouled. I don't ever foul - I generally have a shoe and a half between my slide foot and the foul line when I'm posted up. He elaborates, saying that because I touched the ball return it's a foul. When I shoot 10 pins on the right lane, I almost lean against the ball return and guide my starting foot up the side of it so that as soon as I pass it I can side step without tripping over it and shoot over the gutter (don't judge me).

My understanding is that this is not a foul, and you could stand on top of the ball return and toss the ball from there if you wanted to. I think he is confused because the rules say you can't touch any part of the lane or any equipment (bumpers, ball return, etc); however, this is referring to any equipment that is beyond the foul line. As long as you are not past the line, you can touch whatever. Is this correct? We argued for a bit and it resulted in my saying "Okay my bad I'll pay more attention to it". But I didn't actually change anything and continued to shoot the same way.

Lastly, in a bit of fun karma, we were winning the second game by about 60 pins going into the 9th after spotting them 100 pins. Same angry guy assumed they had lost, got angrier, and tossed both of his shots in the 9th straight into the gutter to sandbag a bit. He bowls in their 2 spot and has a 210 average. After their last 3 bowlers strike and we manage 3 opens in the 9th, he realizes he screwed up but throws a big 4 split in his 10th once he's trying again. We ended up winning the game by 9 pins rotfl

TLDR version: Is it illegal to touch the ball return during your approach?
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#198887 - 01/24/18 05:19 PM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: IronMike]
Mkirchie Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 01/14/07
Posts: 824
A/S/L: 38/M/New Jersey
That is absolutely not a foul. I would have gone onto youtube and shown him this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2XNkPHO3dg

By his logic, there was a lot of fouling in this game. I don't think he is confused, you basically described an angry, drunk jerk. Saying he was confused about the rule is likely giving him too much credit.

Mark
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#198889 - 01/24/18 06:12 PM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: IronMike]
mmalsed Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 1381
A/S/L: 43/M/Riverside, CA
You did NOT foul. Here's USBC's definition of a foul: A foul occurs when a part of the player’s body encroaches on or goes beyond the foul line and touches any part of the lane, equipment or building during or after a delivery.

So the ball return was beyond the foul line, then yes. smile But since nobody does the old ancient above-floor ball returns (which are AWESOME!) and the ball returns are well behind the foul line, then no, no foul.

Easy way to put it back on HIM - tell him to download the Bowl.com app onto his phone and show you how you touching the ball return is a foul. Ask him to define, using the USBC's rules, what a foul is. If it's in writing and he can find it, then it's all good; otherwise shut up.

Put it on him. You're good! smile

BTW - obvious sandbagging like that guy did is cause for disciplinary action:

USBC Rule 17a. Unfair Tactics
An individual can be charged with attempting to gain an unfair advantage in league or tournament play for the following reasons:

2. Misrepresenting an average to gain a greater handicap, or qualify for a lower classification in an event.
3. Establishing an average below the player’s ability to gain an unfair advantage in handicap or classified competition.

so - you know - they accuse YOU of fouling when you didn't . . . but then they sandbag (misrepresent an average, establish an average below the player's ability) - pot, kettle?
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#198890 - 01/24/18 06:35 PM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: IronMike]
Dylan585 Offline
2X Virtual League Champion

Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 292
A/S/L: 20/m/ny
A guy in my league who I dislike was bowling against me last night... His way of getting back at people hes [censored] at is by calling them out with every rule he can... Well my shot by the third game with my forza GT is to line up with my leg pressed against the ball return and then drift in front of it... The rules state it isn't a foul, nobody will ever say its a foul, this guy is just a drink [censored]
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#198893 - 01/25/18 06:22 AM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: IronMike]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9776
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
There is NO rule about your side in the approach. You can touch a ball return or a wall, if that be the case. However, you cannot touch the wall past the foul line. That is a foul. Or, any part of you or what is in your pocket that may fall beyond the foul line. Or your glasses.

Many houses have a line up the wall indicating the foul line, or a change in wall color or decor to show it.

There was a house with posts between lanes to hold up the roof. They were past the foul line. If you touched that post, it would be a foul as well.
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#198895 - 01/25/18 11:15 AM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: IronMike]
Dylan585 Offline
2X Virtual League Champion

Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 292
A/S/L: 20/m/ny
If I have a grip fly out and go down the lane is that a foul?
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#198896 - 01/25/18 11:38 AM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: Dylan585]
Mkirchie Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 01/14/07
Posts: 824
A/S/L: 38/M/New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Dylan585
If I have a grip fly out and go down the lane is that a foul?

Not at all, the ball or the parts of the ball cannot cause a foul. The grips go down the lane every shot regardless if they are in the ball or not. Objects not related to bowling that can fall off your body such as jewelry also cannot cause fouls.

What you should never do is go/reach past the foul line right after throwing a shot to retrieve the grip or for any other reason. This is not just about safely and slippery lanes. If you do not wait for your delivery to officially end, you will commit a foul if you go past the line/touch anything past the line. Someone who knows that could call it out even if you reach 6 inches past the line after throwing a shot. Your delivery is not over until you or another player is back on the approach in position to make the next delivery. Therefore, you can foul up to this time. Walk back and ask permission from the other team if it can be easily reached by you and doesn't require an employee of the lanes to retrieve.

Mark
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#198900 - 01/25/18 01:34 PM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: Mkirchie]
IronMike Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 12/10/13
Posts: 41
A/S/L: 28/M/North Carolina
Thanks all!

That's what I figured, but in the rules I just couldn't find anything specifically referencing the ball return so I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. And I didn't quite want to tell the guy to blow smoke until I was sure.

I also found out that there are some odd exceptions and potential argument points.

If you have a pen in your pocket and it falls out and onto the lane it is not considered a foul (same is true for anything in your pockets; keys, coins, etc). This also applies to jewelry.

However, if you are wearing a wrist brace or a hat and that falls onto the lane, it IS considered a foul. Kind of wonky.

So what if you've got a towel in your pocket? Would that be foul eligible material? My thought is no. However, if that towel is instead in your hand, I feel like that would be a foul. Weeeiiird.
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#198905 - 01/26/18 11:06 AM Re: Rules About Fouling? [Re: IronMike]
W9JAB Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 272
A/S/L: 66/m/Il.
Where I bowl not is a dry County,
Good part no drunk arguments,
Bad part, can't take advantage of drunk bowlers.
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