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How To Understand The USBC White Oil Pattern
The Red pattern will resemble conditions found in today's league environment. There is a much greater volume of oil in the middle of the lane as compared to the outside.
The White pattern will be slightly more challenging than the Red pattern. The White pattern has a little more oil applied on the outer portions of the lane than the Red.
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The Blue pattern will be flatter overall with respect to oil application and is the most challenging shot of all three patterns.
While the Red pattern is considered a typical house shot, the White pattern may be utilized in centers hosting local or city tournaments as it is a step up in challenge level for the average player. It is also interesting to note that the White pattern can actually be the highest scoring pattern of the three patterns by high caliber players.
As the Red pattern has the tendency to play as an "over-under" or "block" condition for scratch bowlers, the White pattern is blended more evenly in oil application while still showing a crown of oil from the inside to out along with a gradual taper of oil from the foul line to the end of the oil pattern.
Because of the blended cross lane ratio of oil application on the White pattern, experienced players can open their lines from the release point to the break point on the White pattern more so than on the Red pattern because the Red pattern typically forces players into a "channeled" or "tunneled" path down the lane resulting from the oil procedure being wet/dry. The potential for high scores on the White patterns exists because of the strong blended or crowned pattern for those understanding how to line up properly.
By the same reasoning, the experienced player also understands when the condition breaks down, a more direct release angle to the break point, coupled with a possible change in bowling balls, will prolong the player's ability to hit the pocket very consistently on the White pattern. The Red pattern, of course, provides the highest overall pace of scoring because if lined up correctly, the pattern steers the ball to the break point.
Up-the-boards players may experience more difficulties in holding a good line to the pocket on the White pattern when the lanes are freshly oiled in comparison to the Red pattern. It is therefore necessary for the up-the-boards player to learn how to open their head lines to a somewhat wider delivery angle from the release point to the break point to take advantage of the lateral area the White pattern, the crowned oil pattern, provides on strike deliveries.
The Blue pattern is designed to provide the greatest level of challenge as the application of oil is crowned the least of all three patterns. The Blue pattern yields the lowest pace of scoring of any of the three patterns.
All three patterns are offered in three versions of overall oil volume and each center can select an option to match with the lane surface, the desired pace of scoring, and climate considerations. Each maintenance team at centers across the country will choose their own pattern based on their own individual needs.
None of the three patterns makes any specific provisions, however, 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. Each center maintenance team decides the distance of oil to be applied to the lanes regardless of the specific pattern chosen for use.
As a rule of thumb, the shorter the distance oil is applied to the lane surface, the closer to the edge of the lane is the break point and is the point where the bowling ball begins it's transition toward the pocket. The break point is located beyond the final oiling distance the lane machine applies oil to the lane surface, perhaps five to seven feet depending on the overall distance of oil application.
The longer the distance oil is applied to the lane surface, the nearer the break point is to the center of the lane and the less overall distance a ball has to travel and hook on the dry back end of the lane. On long oil distance conditions, the "carrydown" effect is lessened in comparison to a shorter distance oil application procedure. Because the taper effect of oil application down the lane leaves a very low volume of oil on the surface, it is easy to understand why the long distance oil pattern will not result in as much "carrydown" as will shorter distance patterns.
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 White pattern oil volumes. Also, by referring to the "Drilling Layouts" feature found on the home page, layout options are 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 White pattern lane conditions and how to improve your initial alignment and make adjustments on this pattern.
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