Article Contents

  • 1. Oil pattern changes
  • 2. Other less obvious factors
  • 3. It’s a wrap

There seems to be a tendency to put these two together by thinking they are the same thing and really, they are two very different subjects.
Before going into detail about the difference between the two, please keep in mind that the photos presented here are from sport patterns and not typical house patterns. The information in this article, however, can be of use no matter what type of oil pattern you are encountering.

Oil pattern changes

The lane surface is the surface of the lane itself, whether synthetic, wood, Guardian, or Lane Shield. An oil pattern is the way oil is applied to that surface. There are many varieties of oil patterns. In the “Oil Pattern” photo, you will notice several arrows in the illustration. The red, white, and yellow arrows are pointing from the pin deck toward the foul line. That’s the direction in which lane machine applies the oil to the lane. The black arrow indicates the direction the ball is traveling.

Let’s go further into detail about the oil pattern. You can see that the red arrow is located on the dark blue color. That dark color blue indicates the highest concentration of oil. The darker the blue, the more oil applied. That heavy concentration of oil is being applied from the foul line to 18 feet down the lane.

Under the white arrow you will notice that the shade of blue is lighter. That means that there is less oil being applied to this part of the lane. The second layer of the pattern starts at approximately 18 feet and extends to approximately 30 feet down the lane. Following that you will notice that the shade of blue gets very light. This is the where the buffing of the oil pattern extends from approximately 30 feet to 38 feet down the lane.

The last thing to notice is the yellow arrow on the outside part of the lane. That shade of blue is extremely light. This means there is not a high concentration of oil on the outside part of the lane.

With this said, have you ever looked at the graph of an oil pattern on which are competing on and said to yourself, “This is not the oil pattern I am bowling ...

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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.