BOWLING LEAGUE - METHODS FOR CALCULATING PRIZE LISTS    
                                                                                    (Updated  2012-09-10   just removed 1 search keyword)

Also see additional information regarding lots of other aspects of bowling league competition.
The bowling league prize fund can be distributed by paying by team position or for points won.
Points might be an incentive for competition, but can also lead to a wide spread between teams.
It is recommended to setup a prize list that will be equitable, so all teams enjoy the competition.
Another consideration would be to keep the weekly personal cost reasonable, to avoid bowler loss.
Examples here will show how to divide the league's money fund among the teams and also how
individual teams can distribute  money  for individuals, based on their own weekly involvement.
When determining proposed prizes, the various awards will probably need additional adjustments,
until all of the numbers work out for the best possible plan for distributing the funds available.
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The USBC League Operations Manual (2011-Jul Rev) has several items about league prize funds.
(Pages 31) Adult "Suggested League Rules" includes the following:
     #6.) A prize list, drawn up by a committee appointed by the league president, must be
            submitted for approval by the league board of directors / full membership (select one)
            within five weeks after the league begins.     (Refer to USBC Rule 117a.) 
Also available is a separate Prize List PDF regarding fairness, when to adopt and how to vote.
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 EXAMPLE:   League has ten 5-person teams and will bowl 30 weeks of team competition.
   (League "lane and other center fees"  have already been determined and set aside.)
    League Fund    $1.00 x 50 persons = $50. per week x 30  = $ 1500.
    League determined some money to be set aside to cover:     ( -  360.)  might need adjustment
          Prizes for High Scores (Games & Series, for Teams & Individuals, Handicap & Scratch),
&  Other Achievements: Most Improved Bowler, High Average, etc.
&  Possibly Secretary & Treasurer Salaries, Banquet expenses.
   Balance available for Team Position Awards for Full Season    $ 1140.
                                                                              Divided by 2   ($   570. for Each Half)
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1.)   TEAM POSITION CALCULATIONS:
To divide the money, three formulas can be used with the following definitions:
   N    The number of places to be paid (teams)
   M    N-1
   $USED    The Money Total Used for All Places
   $DIFF    The Money Difference Between Each Position
   $LAST    The Money Paid to the Last  Place Team
   $FIRST    The Money Paid to the First Place Team
   K    (N x M) / 2
   Formula (1)  $LAST    [ $USED    -    ( K x $DIFF) ]    /    N
   Formula (2)  $FIRST    [ $LAST    +    ( M x $DIFF) ]
   Formula (3)  $USED    [(N x $LAST)    +    ( K x $DIFF) ]
The following examples show how these formulas can be used for various $DIFF values.
    For this league:    N = 10,  M = 9,  K = 45,  $USED    =    $570.
If we use $DIFF = $4:
Formula (1)  $LAST    = [570.   - (45 x 4)] / 10    or [570  - 180] / 10   or 390./10 = $ 39.
Formula (2)    $FIRST    = [  39. + ( 9 x 4)]    or [39 + 36]    = $75.
Places 1-10:    $75, 71, 67, 63, 59, 55, 51, 47, 43, 39.
Formula (3)    $USED    = [(10 x 39.) + (45 x 4)]    or [390. + 180]    = $570.
If we use $DIFF = $2:
Formula (1)  $LAST    = [570.   - (45 x 2)] / 10    or [570.  - 90] / 10    or 480/10  = $ 48.
Formula (2)    $FIRST    = [  48. + (9 x 2)]    or [48. + 18]    = $66.
Places 1-10:    $66, 64, 62, 60, 58, 56, 54, 52, 50, 48.
Formula (3)    $USED    = [(10 x 48.) + (45 x 2)]    or [480. + 90]    = $570.
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As the team positions are usually determined by total points accumulated, if 2 teams have earned
the same point totals, the 2 positions would be combined and the money would be split evenly.
Example:   (positions 5 and 6, original values 58. + 56. = 114. / 2 = 57.  each)
The team place money would then be:   Places 1-10:    $66, 64, 62, 60, 57, 57, 54, 52, 50, 48.
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If the league was using 3 rounds instead of 2 halves, the $1140 available would be divided by 3.
The formulas would be recalculated with $Used = $380 for each round. 
If the calculated total dollars for each round results in a dollars and cents amount, the number
can be rounded to an even dollar amount and any extra money could be added for other awards.
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2.)   TEAM  POINTS  CALCULATIONS: (League awards 7 points, 2 for games, 1 for series)
For Each Half Season:    (15 weeks X 7 points X 10 teams X 0.5 = 525 points available)
$570. available / 525 points = $1.0857 payout per point (Adjust to a reasonable number.)
Adjust to an even number, to ease payout for split point ties.  (Try using $1.00)
525 points X $1.00 = $525.00, plus extra money left over $45.  ($90. for full year)
525 points X $1.10 = $577.50   ($7.50 over amount allocated.)  ($15. for full year)
  $1.10 probably better value (Adjust the set aside $360. some way.)
If 3 Rounds Used:           (10 weeks X 7 points X 10 teams X 0.5 = 350 points available)
$380. available / 350 points = $1.0857 payout per point (Adjust to a reasonable number.)
350 points X $1.00 = $350.00, plus extra money left over $30.  ($90. for full year)
350 points X $1.10 = $385.00   ($5.00 over amount allocated.)  ($15. for full year)
  $1.10 probably better value (Adjust the set aside $360. some way.)
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Other Considerations:
If the League has an uneven number of teams
, there will be additional adjustments:
A.) Team Position calculations example work ok (Split season N=9, M=8, K=36, $USED=495)
B.) USBC Rule 104d describes points considerations - - Earn, Draw or Bye situations.
Teams may be required to bowl at least their team average less 10 pins per player, if they don't,
some points may be "classified as unearned" so some money may be set aside at season's end.
(You could consider a "ghost team" team winning those points, so use 10 teams for calculations.)
USBC Questions & Answers section also indicates items that could cause other adjustments.

If the League used Handicap Based on Team Average Difference between Team & Opponent:
That method only determines which of 2 teams bowling together won points for team games or series.
The higher average team received zero handicap and the other team received a calculated value.
Every team did not receive correct handicap for every game bowled, every week, during the season.
Awards for High Games/Series have been distorted, as there was no common basis for comparison.
                   Achievemnets deserving recognition are not recognizable and are overlooked.
The championship points competition my involve just a few of the league's teams.  An important
tool to keep all of the league's teams involved in all aspects of competition has not been utilized.
In addition, leagues should also re-consider further impact if using total pins as a tie-breaker.
The league should seriously consider adopting the recommended handicap method, for next season.
Several Bowling Industry leaders received requests to improve handicap instructions on recap sheets.
The problems are explained in the following PDF that can be used for league discussion.
                                             http://userpages.bright.net/~eslam/LeagueSheet.pdf

Captains have responsability to distribute prize money to team members, in a timely manner.
(Teams with additional members usually prorate for the number of games actually bowled.)
Calculations Example:     Nbowlers x Ngames x Nweeks = Total Games Possible
                                      5       x       3      x      30     =             450
                               Bowler Games     /  Total Games  = Share of prize $75.
3 members A-B-C each had 90 games       /       450           =  .20                 $15. each  ($45. used)
1 member   D                 had 51 games       /       450           =  .1133             $  8.50
1 member   E                  had 75 games       /       450           =  .1666             $12.50
1 member   F                  had 54 games       /       450           =  .12                 $  9.
Note: Bowlers also receive credit for weeks they paid and an absentee score was used for them.