From a distance, bowling seems like an easy game to play. Most of us assume that the game is all about adjusting one’s position and hitting directly at the pins. There is, however, more to the game that meets the eye. Apart from fixing your style for you to hit more pins, the condition of the lane is a factor that affects how easy or hard it is for you to achieve your target. Understanding oil patterns is a crucial element that every bowler should be familiar with before they can start playing.
How does the lane affect the game? During bowling, most people focus on the weight of the ball they are using as well as the length of the lane and pay less attention to the condition of the bowling lane. Lanes are made of different materials such as synthetic or wood. The oil in them makes them glow with a polished sparkle. Though the shiny boards add aesthetic value to the game, they are not there for decoration purposes alone. Learning about bowling lane oil patterns can help you improve your skill at the game. Understanding oil patterns begins from knowing the use of the oil on them as well as how different materials affect the performance of the bowling ball. This will form part of our discussion today. Enjoy!
Why do bowling lanes contain oil?
Oil is used to protect the lane. Bowling balls are heavy, and the lane would get damaged without polishing it with oil. Any lane, whether synthetic or wooden, may not be able to withstand the massive impact of bowling balls without the oil. Amateurs in the game can even cause more damage to the lane without the inclusion of oil on it. The oil prevents the formation of burn spots or dents due to the impact of the bowling ball. It, therefore, reduces the risk of injury during bowling.
Since oil is a lubricant, it is used on bowling ball lanes to enable this game. Without the oil, your ball would not make it to the end point. Bowling is also a game that comes with different levels of gameplay. Bowling oil patterns are of different types giving the lane a grip on specific points, thus changing the difficulty level. Understanding oil patterns can help you correct your movements as you play, so that is easy for you to hit the target spot and knock the pins.
The bowling oil patterns you should know about
Oil on lane offers a minimum hook to the balls. Some of the parts on the lane contain more oil compared to others. These are known as the saturated regions, while the ones with less oil are known as dry areas. The saturated region provides less hook to the ball while the dry areas offer additional hook, thus limiting the movements of the bowling ball.
If you are a bowling beginner, you should play on a lane with house patterns. These are forgiving and gives room for errors. The lane has more oil on the center than the outside region. If you play on such a lane and throw the ball too left or right, the grip from each side brings the bowling ball towards the center since the outer part has less oil. When you throw the ball straight, it will move straight since the well-saturated center offers minimum friction. USBC oil patterns are widely accepted at different bowling centers.
During tournaments, professionals use lanes with sport patterns. This is more difficult and leaves room for minimal errors. Understanding oil patterns like this one can help you boost precision during throws. Sport patterns contain wet spots on both the outer regions and center. You have to be strategic as you make your throws. Most of the professional tournaments make use of PBA oil patterns while others get patterns from brands such as Kegel.
Using oil patterns on lanes to increase your chance of succeeding in bowling
Before you start your game, there is a strong need for understanding oil patterns. Bowling centers offer this information to the public. Feel free to ask about the name of the oil pattern used on a lane. Once you request a map, make use of the rule of 31 for you to make the necessary calculations. Oil patterns extend up to a certain length. You need to identify this length then subtract 31. This gives you the correct length at which the ball should break towards the pocket. You need to adjust your style or stance, depending on the specific lane you are using. Oil patterns have a significant impact on how you play the game, and ignoring this can never make you better at the game. You should also do a lot of practice in bowling for you to perfect your skill with time.
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