Start to Finish – Part 1

Can you read an oil pattern graph?

Start to Finish - Part 1

The majority of time, at least here in the U.S., the lanes are stripped and oiled with a fresh oil pattern just before the start of league. Some of you may be thinking, “What is an oil pattern?” Some of you may already know. To make sure there is a clear understanding, the oil pattern will be explained fully.

Even though it may seem complicated at times, oil patterns are not as difficult to understand as you might think. First, you must learn how to read the graphs that will be used. Second, you must understand that oil patterns only display how oil is applied to the lane, which does not necessarily mean that is how the lane will play when competition begins. Remember last month’s article about lane surfaces? Now it is time to move on to a typical oil pattern, known as a “house condition”, or a “walled up oil pattern”. Let’s start off with what a fresh oil pattern; how to read it, and understand it.

Oil pattern graph – freshly oiled

Fresh Pattern

The oil graph shown here is a fresh oil pattern generated off of a lane reading software program. It is of a typical house condition that is used throughout the U.S. Oil patterns are determined by how and where the units of oil are applied to the lane. Surprisingly, there is no one exact measurement for a ...

Bill Hall

About Bill Hall

Bill Hall is a Silver Certified USBC coach with Bill Hall Bowling. He has worked for the PBA Tour from 1980 to 1998 and coached internationally from 1998 to 2012. Bill has now returned to his home in Las Vegas and has recently introduced the new fitting technique Tri Grip. Bill is also the founder of Blend10 Bowling.