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Lane Play Strategies For Sport Patterns And Tournaments

By: 4/28/2017

It’s Sunday. Sunday’s are for bowling! You’re probably missing out on a day of football or activities with the family, but you’re going bowling. Not just any day of bowling, but to bowl a tournament. A tournament on a sport shot that you’ve been practicing all month for. This is your Super Bowl, the day of the month where you put a fat entry fee down and bowl for lots more than what you put in.

Sport patterns are laid out at most competitive sport/challenge leagues and tournaments all around the United States and worldwide today. These patterns will range anywhere from 32 to 54 feet, and will be different shapes. Remember, the lower the oil ratio, the more difficult the pattern will be. A typical house shot ratio can be anywhere from 7:1 to 8:1 or maybe even greater. Sport shot patterns ratios will vary from recreational to challenge and also includes all the PBA and WTBA patterns as well. These ratios will start out at 3:1-4:1 all the way to a flat even pattern at 1:1. Short patterns are 36 feet and lower, medium is 37 to 41 feet, and long is 42 feet or more.

So short patterns are 36 feet and lower and will normally hold under 20mL of oil. Cheetah and Wolf are the top two when it comes to the PBA patterns. Sydney, Stockholm, Beijing and Los Angeles for the WTBA patterns. For a two-handed bowler, urethane and plastic are going to be absolutely a must - possibly a weak reactive resin ball for when you face carry down. This shorter length provides increased friction on the backend of the lane and usually offers less hold towards the middle part of the lane. Breakpoints on short patterns are generally to the outside.

Medium patterns are 37 to 41 feet in length and will normally be 21 to 26mL of oil. Some medium patterns include Athens, Montreal, Seoul and Viper. These patterns allow for the largest variety of equipment choice. Yes that includes urethane for any two-handed bowler addicted to the outside part of the lane. The breakpoint on any medium pattern is generally between the 8-12 boards, using moderate launch angles. For myself, I would go with an IQ Tour, HyRoad and Rocket from Storm, as well as the Swerve from Columbia 300 and the Chosen One from Pyramid Bowling. All of which serve different purposes and would all make great weapons of choice for me on a medium pattern.

Long oil patterns are 42 feet and longer in length and will normally hold 26mL of oil or more. Strong high performance bowling balls are key on these patterns, which include London, Mexico City and Badger. The breakpoint on long patterns will be around the 12th board, with shallow launch angles, Inside lines usually yield the best results. Two-handed bowlers love the inside part of the lane - it’s where we are most deadly. On a long pattern I’d start with a really high performance aggressive ball such as the No Rules from Roto Grip or the Force from Pyramid Bowling. Both of these bowling balls will start up quickly for you and maintain the continuation one needs to succeed on a long pattern.

So there you have it, your strategy is set. All eleven of your players are on the field, ready to go win the Super Bowl. Know your pattern, know your lines, know your equipment. Practice, practice, practice. And, take home the cash!

Hello everyone and greetings from the Bowling Mecca of the World, also known as Las Vegas! My name is Nick Pollak. I am 18 years old and I’m a two-handed bowler as well as a USBC Bronze level coach. I am thankful to have been invited to join the team to write about the sport I love. I look forward to sharing many articles with you and hope to interact with many of you to get feedback and topic ideas you would like to see.

Did I mention I am a two hander? I wasn't always but that all changed in January of 2015 when my one-handed mechanics became a tremendous liability. For each and every one of my fellow two-handers, it should be noted that we are all different in our styles of approach, rev rate, speed and release. I look forward to sharing my perspective of the sport I love, as a competitive bowler and as a two-hander.


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