The British Tenpin Bowling Association

BTBA Certified Centres - General



The Technical Department of the BTBA is currently lead by Paul Le Manquais reporting to the Vice Chairman / Governance

The Hd Tech leads a number of qualified inspectors in undertaking inspections requested by centres. These are normally undertaken on an annual basis but subject to major work i.e. a resurface, synthetic overlays or pindeck replacement, then an inspection should be undertaken ASAP after the work is complete. This assures that the work undertaken complies with current standards and is within tolerances. This can also act as an independent quality check for centre operators.

The inspector records measurements on the inspection spreadsheet which automatically grades the centre. The Hd tech has the remit to adjust the grading based on items that cannot be measure ie damage to the lane surface. This is done from supporting photographs supplied by the inspectors and notes added in the report.

It is important to understand that the BTBA grades the centre based on the inspection carried out on that day. Just like an MOT for a motor vehicle it could change the following day. The annual certificate states clearly upon it:

This is to certify that the equipment, including bowling pins provided for sanctioned leagues and tournaments meet the requirements of the British Tenpin Bowling Association.

The acceptance of this certificate carries with it the agreement to maintain all equipment including bowling pins so as to meet the requirements throughout the life of the certificate.

The Technical Director of the BTBA or his designated representative may inspect equipment used in sanctioned league or tournament play at any time during the life of the certificate to determine whether such equipment continues to meet BTBA specifications.


There are two types of lane inspection, Initial (including major work) or Annual.

An Initial inspection checks the following:

  1. Length of the lanes and approaches
  2. Targets (dots and arrows on both lane and approaches) are correctly placed*
  3. Assurance that the pindecks are correctly placed within the kick back panels
  4. That the pit depths i.e. end of the lane to the cushion facing and lane surface to the carpet are within specification
  5. Pin spots are correctly placed*
  6. Primarily on wood lanes
  7. Plus all the measurements taken in an annual inspectio

An Annual Inspection checks or measures:

  1. Depressions in the approaches
  2. Foul light operation and adjustment
  3. Crosswise tilts of the lanes at a minimum of 5 places and at least one on every synthetic panel
  4. Synthetic panel joints
  5. Protruding gutters or bumpers
  6. Pindeck crosswise and lengthwise tilts
  7. Pin spotting and condition of the pins
  8. Depths of the flat gutters and whether they are tightly secured
  9. Condition of the kickback panels and edge strips on the pindecks
  10. Distance between the wooden kickbacks


  1. Operation of hand dryers
  2. Lane dressing machine or the pattern laid
  3. Decorative state of the bowling centre
  4. Serviceability of the pin spotters other than pin spotting
  5. How approaches are allowed to be used by the centre
  6. Health and Safety issues
  7. ‘String’ Centres, although these can be checked for conformance to measurement standards if requested.
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The British Tenpin Bowling Association

c/o Newton Magnus Ltd.

Arrowsmith Court, Station Approach

Broadstone, Dorset.  BH18 8AT.

Regd. Office and postal address only

Telephone: 020 8478 1745