Fouls and violations

A foul is committed when a part of the player’s body crosses the foul line and touches any part of the lane during their delivery. Although the ball counts as a roll, no pinfall will be credited, and the pins will be re-spotted if the player has a second roll. League and tournament authorities are allowed to use officially sanctioned automatic foul detection devices, or employ a foul line judge.

Illegal pinfall

When any of the following conditions occur, the delivery will count, but a pinfall will not be scored for the roll:

  • A ball knocks down pins after leaving the lane.
  • A ball rebounds off the rear cushion.
  • A pin is knocked down by a human pinsetter.
  • A pin rebounds after coming into contact with the body of a human pinsetter.
  • A pin is touched by the mechanical pin setting equipment.
  • The player commits a foul.

Dead ball

A ball will be declared dead if any of the following conditions occur:

  • It is noticed that pins were missing from the rack after the ball has been delivered.
  • A human pinsetter interferes with any standing pins before the ball reaches the pins.
  • A downed pin is interfered with before it stops rolling.
  • A player bowls in the wrong lane or out of turn.
  • A player is interfered with by other players, spectators or moving objects. The player can accept the resultant pinfall or have a deadball declared.
  • A delivered ball is obstructed by a foreign object.

When a dead ball is called, neither the delivery nor the resultant pinfall are recorded. The pins will be re spotted as they stood and the player will re-take the shot.