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2018 PBA Animal Patterns Part II 10/25/2017

In Part I of the PBA Animal Patterns we recently reviewed in my last article here, we have probably the harder of the four animal patterns on to speak about now. Shorter distances once again... One remains the same and one is a pattern brand new to the PBA and bowling world. Needless to say, by the end of this article, I hope we are not burned, stung, bitten, or have the ability to change the colors...

The PBA Chameleon pattern returns to the PBA in 2018 once again. It is 39 feet in length, four feet less than the newest one unveiled a couple years ago. With 24.78 mL of oil and a ratio of 2.19:1, this pattern I have heard can be nearly considered a “modified house shot.” I can see how it could be or couldn’t be. Since the ratio is 2.19:1, there will be less room than your typical house shot. The pattern will be less tiered, so shot-making will obviously be much more precise. The Chameleon will give you more room to play than the Bear pattern we recently reviewed, but you still have to play it as a sport shot, and attack it much differently than you would your typical house shot. For one-handed bowlers, you can use upper mid-performance products and play a tight hook to the 1-3 pocket or 1-2 for the lefties. Two-handed bowlers can use upper-mid performance products, depending on layout, but more so mid-performance products to start and adjustaccordingly to how the pattern plays.

Don’t get stung again because the PBA Scorpion pattern returns to the PBA, or shall we say the PBA Wes Malott pattern!. Unveiled a couple years back at 47 feet in length, this new PBA Scorpion is 42 feet in length, with 25.45 mL of oil and a 2.05:1 ratio. Essentially a flooded pattern, with much less room.Those big, bad asymmetrical products in your bag are going to be ready to play. Most one-handed bowlers will take some surface to their products as opposed to two-handed bowlers who will either go with their high performance asymmetrical products or upper-mid performance bowling balls with aggressive layouts that will want to bite the lanes.

Before I get to the new pattern, the PBA Shark pattern returns and yes, it’s the only one of the five that is remaining true to the characteristics it has presented itself over the last couple years. The PBA Shark is 45 feet in length, with 24.43 mL of oil and a ratio of 2.35:1. Basically, this pattern is going to be very direct and doesn’t give away the pocket. Most all one-handed bowlers will be using their asymmetrical products and two-handed bowlers I have seen over the last couple years use anything on fresh mid-performance and up. I still would recommend beginning with an upper mid-performance product and going from there. Honestly, I’m sad they did way with the PBA Badger pattern. Maybe it will make a cameo soon!

Finally, the PBA Dragon pattern is the newest installment into the long line of PBA animal patterns. At 45 feet in length, the PBA Dragon is 24.58 mL of oil and a ratio of 2.03:1. So less room, but not by much than the Scorpion pattern. More length and that means more surface. Honestly from the graph shown of the patterns, the front part of the lane isn’t concentrated with much heavy oil, but the heavy oil in the center of the lane goes longer by a couple feet than the Scorpion. Only as a suggestion that I can make as a USBC coach, one-handed bowlers use asymmetrical products to begin and two-handed bowlers will go with the upper-mid performance or high performance bowling balls. Again only a suggestion. I can give a more in depth full article review of the Dragon pattern once the PBA bowlers hit it up, or when I get to get it oiled out for myself in a practice session or a tournament I bowl featuring this pattern.

I do encourage all bowlers to bowl the PBA Experience leagues in their hometown, or if your local center doesn’t offer this league, try getting it in there. I’m sure there are many bowlers who watch the PBA on T.V. and want to try these patterns out that all the professionals bowl on. Remember for all the great content we talk about make sure to subscribe to us here at, it’s where bowlers go.

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