About Us

Welcome to the official site of the British Universities Tenpin Bowling Association (BUTBA).

The British Universities Tenpin Bowling Association promotes and organises inter-university bowling competitions all over the UK, and provides help and support for ALL student bowlers. Through its previous incarnations as initially the UAU then as the UCTBA and latterly as BUCS Bowling, our organisation has been the caretaker of student bowling in this country since the 1960s!

The main aims of BUTBA are to promote the sport of Tenpin Bowling, to increase participation at student level across the country and to provide an environment in which bowlers studying in higher education can compete fairly and safely.

We also provide a playing environment for those who have graduated, with recent (or not so recent) alumni being eligible to compete in the ex-student bowling tour, which runs alongside the student one.

We arrange annual student and ex-student tours consisting of:

  • A couple of introductory events utilising short or fun formats, and with relatively low entry fees, designed to introduce new members to competing on our tours.
  • A series of ranking tournaments (usually 8 or 9) bowled in different centers across Great Britain. These are standalone events utilise a wide range of different formats (usually handicapped to allow bowlers of all abilities to compete successfully!), and each tournament is hosted by a different university member club. At each tournament however, competitors also have the chance to gain ranking points which count towards their individual overall ranking, which itself determines qualification to the annual Invitational Events (see below).
  • The BUTBA cup is a student only event which pits University against University. Clubs participate in the CUP throughout the year in group stages and a final to determine who has the best strength and depth in their club.
  • The BUTBA National Championships, this is our flagship event of the year, with teams from all over the country competing with each other over the course of a full weekend to determine which are the best student teams and individuals in the country. There is an equivalent event for ex-students too.
  • Two Invitational events, the BUTBA Masters and the BUTBA Challenge Match. The Masters events are used to determine who the best individual bowlers are on tour, both student and ex-student, whilst the Challenge Match pits a team of the best students against the best ex-students to determine who’s the best!
  • Additional events with unorthodox or fun formats. For example, each year we run a bowling marathon tournament, whereby teams get to bowl for 12 hours non-stop! University against University. Clubs participate in the CUP throughout the year in group stages and a final to determine who the club of the year is.

All of these events give a great opportunity to bowl competitively and represent your university throughout the year. It is also a chance to get to know bowlers from other universities and improve your own bowling by competing against them.

If you are a club captain and would like to join us, please contact the committee and we can give you any assistance. If your university does not have a club, then we can help you to try and find other bowlers in your university and set up a club with the help of your Students Union. Alternatively, we can put you in touch with other local clubs who you can bowl with as an honorary member. For a full list of the Universities that have Tenpin Bowling teams, please go to the member clubs page.