Introduction to the Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Bowling Ball Competition
This is an introductory summary and overview of this competition for general interest and for determining participation by student teams. The numerous links on this page are for understanding the details of this competition and how to participate. At the convention, this competition typically has hundreds of participants and observers with lots of excitement.
What is involved with this competition?
Generally, the teams follow the rules, meet the schedule, and compete at the convention. Teams design and construct bowling balls from a fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) mixture. The types of FRC mixtures permitted for the competition are defined in the competition Rules. Before the competition, teams have several schedule deadlines to meet for registration and other paperwork submittals, as well as design and construction of their bowling balls. This process typically starts 5 to 6 months before the convention competition. Teams must attend and meet the convention schedule to compete with two bowling balls—one for bowling and the other for destructive testing.
What is the objective of the competition?
The objective of this competition is to demonstrate the behavior of fiber reinforcement within concrete, to gain experience in forming and fabricating a fiber-reinforced concrete element, and to encourage creativity with compliance in engineering design and analysis.
Who can participate?
Students currently enrolled in a home school, high school, or an undergraduate college or university program are eligible to participate. Students from a qualifying school form a Team. A Team must Register on the ACI website to compete in the competition. Teams compete at the ACI Concrete Convention against themselves and other qualifying teams. ACI does not require but does encourage ACI chapters, schools, or locations to hold their own competitions to select teams for representation at this international competition.
When and where is the competition?
This competition is typically held every 2 years.
How is the competition judged/scored?
There are two categories of prizes for this competition: Bowling Ball Design and Bowling Ball Analysis. Both prize categories require knowledge and experience about concrete, fiber reinforcement, material behavior, and bowling. For each category, scores are awarded in each of these following tests: specifications, mass, diameter, bowling, and toughness. Each of these test scores are combined and converted within each category to give each team a ranking.
What are the competition prizes?
First-, second-, and third-place prizes will be awarded in each category to the teams as defined in the Rules. Prize money for each category is: First-place $750, Second-place $500, and Third-place $250. The awardees will each receive a certificate of recognition. Further recognition, if space allows, will be from ACI's website and Concrete International magazine.
Who are the competition judges?
The Chair of ACI Committee S801, Student Activities, the Chair of ACI Subcommittee 544-B, Education, and the Chair of Subcommittee 239-E, Education, will be the three Presiding Judges. These judges will appoint other judges from these ACI committees and competition volunteers as needed. Any decision made by the Presiding Judges regarding the competition will be final and appeals of these decisions will not be considered.
What happens if a Team does not follow the Rules?
The judges will determine whether or not the Rules have been followed. ACI reserves the right to perform detailed examination of and check entries for compliance with the Rules. Further examination may also be done after bowling and crushing of the balls. If examination shows that a team did not follow the Rules, the team and their advisor will be disqualified. ACI Committee S801 will further document recommendations to sanction the team, their advisor, and/or school/university from participation in future competitions.
How does a Team ask questions about the competition?
Read all of the documents in the links provided on this page before submitting any questions. Historically, answers to almost all competition questions have been “read this document at this location.” Please avoid getting this answer “read this document at this location” by reading all of the documents. For directions on submitting any questions, read the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) document found at the FAQS link on this web page.