FRC Bowling Ball Competition

FRC Bowling Ball Competition

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The objective of this competition is to demonstrate the effect of fibers reinforcing concrete, to gain experience in forming and fabricating a fiber-reinforced concrete element, and to encourage creativity in engineering design and analysis.


The Competition is divided into two separate categories.

Follow and comply with the Competition Schedule, which can be found on the right hand side; click on the button to download. As part of the reservation process, ACI will assign a Team Name to each Team. Team Names will be assigned in three general groups in mid-December, mid-January, and mid-February.

Meet the dates and submittals for team reservation, registration, and convention activities. Teams are encouraged to arrive to the convention Saturday because the local time for competition on Sunday may vary.


The Competition has two categories for Prizes: Bowling Ball Design and Bowling Ball Analysis. Both Categories require knowledge and experience about concrete, fiber reinforcement, material behavior, and bowling. The intended analogy is a competitive bid (design) and competitive execution (analysis). The primary difference between the two categories is timing.

Design Competition

Design makes choices with predictions. The design portion of the competition occurs prior to convention. Design is predictive, saying "this is what the bowling ball will do." The predictions can be based on calculations and experience. The design category values compare each team's predicted values to their test results at convention, so the team is competing against itself. The team that wins will have the least difference between their predicted and actual results.

Analysis Competition

Analysis evaluates the design choices with testing. The analysis portion of the competition happens at the convention. Analysis is determinate and evaluates what the bowling ball did. The analysis will use actual data provided by the testing and competition. The analysis category compares results from testing of all the teams at the convention so the teams are competing against each other. The team wins with more points than the other teams.


A score will be awarded to each bowling ball for design and analysis. These scores will be converted into competition points based on relative importance and a 100-based score. The team rankings will be based on the number of competition points earned as a result of the bowling ball design and analysis. Both Categories of design and analysis have the same associated details. The six bowling ball tests and score percentages are listed and summarized with test intent.

  1. Specifications Test (10% of each Category)
    Evaluate how well each team does the paperwork submittals on time and as directed.
  2. Mass Test (10% of each Category)
    Produce each ball with the highest mass without going over the 5.5 kg limit.
  3. Diameter Test (10% of each Category)
    Produce a consistent spherical shape of each bowling ball.
  4. Bowling Test (30% of each Category)
    Score the highest in six-pin bowling rolled during the convention.
  5. Toughness Test (20% of each Category)
    Maximize the average value of the applied load at the five deformation points.
  6. Load Test (20% of each Category)
    Accurately predict the load at a 25 mm deformation.


Prizes will be awarded in both the Design and Analysis categories. First, second, and third prizes will be awarded in each category to the teams as defined in the rules. The awardees will each receive a certificate of recognition. Further recognition, if space allows, will be from ACI's website and Concrete International magazine. First-place prize money in each category is $750. Second-place prize money in each category is $500. Third-place prize money in each category is $250.


The Chair of ACI Committee S801, Student Activities, and the Chair of ACI Subcommittee 544-B, Education will appoint the competition and presiding judge.

This judge will appoint other judges from ACI Committee 544, Fiber-Reinforced Concrete, or volunteers as needed. Each test shall be handled by a group of judges appointed by ACI Committee 544 Fiber Reinforced Concrete, Subcommittee 544-A Education Production Application.

The judges will determine whether or not the rules have been followed. The decision of the judges will be final, and appeals will not be considered. The judges retain the right to use any means or method they feel are necessary to verify and enforce the rules and requirements of the competition. The judges retain the right to interpret, modify, or eliminate any section or sections of these rules as special circumstances arise. Judges may allow teams to compete that are ineligible for prizes.

Rules Compliance

ACI reserves the right to perform detailed examination and check entries for compliance with the competition rules. Examination will also be done after the competition. If examination shows that a team did not follow the rules, the team, their advisor, and teams from the same school will be disqualified. ACI Committee S801 will further document recommendations to sanction the team, their advisor, and/or school/university participation in future competitions.

For FRC Bowling Ball Competition official rules, click here.

Competition Inquiries

Answers to questions will be posted to the website, please include a screen capture with your question and send them to:
Rachel Belcher
American Concrete Institute
38800 Country Club Drive
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Fax: +1.248.848.3801