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How To Choose A Bowling Ball Surface And Layout For Red Pattern


If you are trying to learn how to choose a bowling ball surface and layout for Red Pattern lane conditions, then it is important to know that any house lane condition is considered to be a United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Red Pattern unless otherwise indicated as a Blue Pattern or White Pattern condition. The USBC Red Pattern is designed to provide the greatest amount of bowling ball delivery forgiveness of any pattern approved by the USBC. The Red Pattern is found most typically in the vast majority of bowling centers today.

With a high concentration of oil, or volume of oil, applied in the center portion of the front ends of a lane, the Red Pattern also provides drier boards closer to the edges of the lane. The outside boards of the lane, or the portions of the lane nearest the lane edges are the driest boards and have a small volume of oil applied in those areas of the lane. The outside edges of the lane are the highest friction portions on the front end of the lane which encourage the bowling ball to gain traction and begin rolling or hooking sooner than when traveling in the heavy concentration of oil in the center portion of the lane. Therefore, with more oil in the center portion of the front end of the lane and less oil toward the outside boards, a bowler, if properly aligned, can miss the intended target to the right or to the left and the bowling ball will still result in hitting the pocket and possibly producing a strike.

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The Red Pattern, or house condition, is sometimes referred to as a "wet/dry" condition, a "block" condition, or an "over/under" condition implying that there is a great amount of oil in the center of the lane and a very small amounts toward the edges with little or no blend of oil to separate both extreme friction factors, very slick and very dry. The Red Pattern does not make any specific provisions for the distance the oil is applied to the lane surface. Normally, the application of oil ranges from a distance of 35 feet to 45 feet total distance where the lane machine no longer buffs in oil on the lane surface and where the dry boards begin across the entire lane on the back end of the lane.

How to choose bowling ball surface and layout for Red Pattern is best determined by some measure of experimentation and will vary from bowler to bowler because of the wide ranges of delivery techniques, various ball speeds, rev-rates, axis tilt, and launch angles of delivery. Regarding the ball surface, generally, using bowling ball middle-range surfaces from 1000 grit to 1500 or 2000 grit preparation by use of Abralon pads, as example, will work well because a medium texture of surface tends to modify ball reaction and produces a more stable and controllable ball motion on the Red Pattern than does highly polished coverstocks or highly textured coverstocks, such as 500 grit preparations.

Most experienced and talented players prefer to use a ball which tames the wet/dry type of lane condition than one which hooks too sharply on the back end when bowling on the Red Pattern conditions. Choosing a low differential or hook potential bowling ball with a fairly middle range of coverstock texture is a good starting option when bowling on a freshly oiled Red Pattern condition.  As the pattern tends to break down after reasonably high linage on given lanes, perhaps using a ball with a polished coverstock which will provide sufficient skid but yet not break sharply down lane at the break point to the pocket is a good switch selection.

At all costs, you must use a ball which will not hook too aggressively on the front part of the lane or too sharply on the back ends as to pull out of the portion of the lane where the Red Pattern oil ratios are designed to steer your ball to the pocket. Some attention must also be placed on maintaining sufficient ball speed so the ball holds its path to the break point without hooking too soon due to a slow delivery speed.

Using a drilling layout which will not encourage a strong back end reaction coupled with an early enough of roll in the mid lane to follow the oil path created by the Red Pattern is an important key for success. Strong layout patterns, such as placing the pin 3-4 inches from the PAP may not serve your interests as well as a pin placement 1-2 inches or 5-6 inches from the PAP with the mass bias marking placed in a position to reward you with a controllable and smooth arcing ball motion. Controllable ball motion reacts well the vast majority of the time and will help you hit the pocket with a high degree of regularity.

In fact, up-the-boards players typically choose bowling balls which do not hook a great deal so the ball will not move out of the oil pattern unpredictably, particularly when the oil distance is perhaps only 35 feet.  Using a modest grit preparation coverstock and a low differential ball with a layout which also promotes control as opposed to sharp hook on the back end is a great combination to begin a session with on Red Pattern lane conditions.

Although power players will take a wider angle from the release to the break point than an up-the-boards player, both types of players do not wish to see their ball move out of the oil pattern too soon or too late and break unpredictably to the pocket. The strategy is, therefore, to choose controllable bowling ball surfaces with layouts also promoting a controlled ball motion so advantage can be taken from the errant shot forgiveness the Red Pattern provides.

While visiting bowlingball.com, take some time to check out the Perfect Scale® ball rating feature which helps bowlers compare bowling balls by leading manufacturers and how they can match with various lane conditions including the Red Pattern. Also, by referring to the "Drilling Layouts" feature found on the home page, you will find layout options suggested by the manufacturers for the latest bowling balls in today's market including diagrams of the layouts. Finally, please consult a certified instructor or local bowling professional to learn more about the the Red Pattern lane conditions, about your bowling equipment, and layout strategies.

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