Major UK and international ten-pin bowling organisations

British Ten-pin Bowling Association (BTBA)

Established in 1961, the BTBA is the official governing body for ten-pin bowling in the UK, sanctioning and governing the sport. It was set up with the help of the American Bowling Congress (ABC) and has strong associations to the US, its rulebook being almost exactly the same as that used by the USBC. The aim of the organisation is to maintain and protect the integrity of ten-pin bowling in the UK by providing services and training for coaches, officials and players. The National Association of Youth Bowling Clubs (NAYBC) was set up by the BTBA to organise the sport for under 18-year-olds. It also presides over all official UK competitive tournaments, events and league play. The BTBA sanctions equipment such as pins and automatic foul line detectors, its official endorsement being seen as a guarantee of precision and quality all over the world.

Along with the USBC, the BTBA has a large influence over the rules of ten-pin bowling in countries spanning the entire globe, and is widely respected as one of the most important organisations within the game. Before the establishment of the organisation, there were no official guidelines for the sport anywhere outside of the US. The BTBA helped create a uniform set of rules and principles that minimised confusion and conflicts and brought the world in-line with the modern game of ten-pin bowling. Maurice Glazer, first General Secretary of the BTBA would go on to become President of the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), the world governing body for ten-pin and nine-pin bowling.

United States Bowling Congress (USBC)

The USBC was created at the beginning of 2005 to incorporate the American Bowling Congress (ABC), Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC), Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA) and USA Bowling into one integrated organisation. It is the national governing body for the US, but much like the BTBA, its influence is global. The ABC, which was created in 1895, was one of the first governing bodies in ten-pin bowling and, along with the WIBC – set up in 1917 as a counterpoint to the ABC – was responsible for laying down the ground rules for the modern version of the sport.

World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA)

Part of the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), the WTBA is the international governing body for ten-pin bowling across the world. Although it independently creates its own policies, they must not contravene any FIQ statutes. The WTBA enforces playing rules and equipment requirements, as well as organising all world tournaments and overseeing many of the lager international competitions. FIQ and WTBA member nations are organised into three geographical zones:

The WTBA also implements a world ranking system, World Ranking Masters, similar to the international ranking system in Tennis, based on performances in three ten-pin bowling tours throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.