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USBC Blue Oil Pattern



By: bowlingball.com, 12/3/15

USBC offers several types of oil patterns you are likely to experience if you bowl leagues or tournaments at various bowling centers.

One such oil pattern is the USBC Blue Oil Pattern.

As the USBC has publicly stated:

“While all three patterns (Red, White and Blue) are “house” shots, they provide a variable range of difficulty.

USBC Blue pattern is designed to provide the greatest level of challenge as the application of oil is crowned the least of all three (although still more than Sport Bowling). Of the three patterns, the Blue pattern will yield the lowest scoring pace.”

The Blue pattern is also offered in three different versions. Each version meets the need of different centers using a variety of lane surfaces as well as other factors. Blue patterns may be typical of something you would see at a State or County USBC Tournament.

The Blue Pattern requires accuracy and speed control skills by a given bowler to score well because of the least amount of oil application in the middle of the lane.

Because of the lesser amount of oil in the middle of the lane, The Blue Pattern will breakdown more quickly than a Red Pattern which is most typical of a house shot.

The oil breakdown will occur more quickly than a Red Pattern and will require fine tuned adjustments by the bowler in playing the lanes such as good speed control leading to skid distance control and control with consistency of the intended ball delivery path to the mid-lane and breakpoint.

Because of varying oil volume, the Blue Pattern can appear easier on some lane surfaces and more difficult on other surfaces depending on the strategy of the lane maintenance team in the given bowling center.

While the Red pattern often plays “over-under” for scratch bowlers, the White pattern is blended more evenly while still showing a crown of oil from inside to out and gradual taper from the foul line to the end of the oil pattern.






The Blue Pattern, however, can also be crowned or tapered as is the White Pattern but to a lesser extent than the White Pattern.

Sport League conditions can be even more difficult than the Blue Pattern presents.

The choice in the oil volume and application of each Pattern is controlled by the bowling centers electing to use a Pattern other than the typical Red Pattern house shot.

The Blue Pattern applies oil to the lane for a distance of about 34 feet on the forward run of the lane machine and to about 42 feet distance from the foul line on the reverse machine run.

The combined oil is applied to the lane to a distance of 17 feet where the maximum volume of oil is applied to the lane surface.

Across the lane the oil is applied from the 10 board to the 10 board with a light oil application across the entire lane for the total distance of 42 feet.

If you know of a bowling center who presents the Blue Pattern for given competitions, it might be wise to bowl on this pattern and learn which equipment and angles of attack work best for your game, particularly as the oil transitions and as the linage rate increases.