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Bowling Lane Blended Oil Condition, Originally Posted: 1/2/2014; Updated: 1/3/2023

Knowing that proprietors use a typical “House shot” oil pattern when conditioning their lanes helps you understand how to play these conditions in competition. Most house conditions used extensively across the country call for a strong, blended condition.
Proprietors apply greater amounts of oil in the center of the lanes on house conditions resulting in either a blended or a block condition.
Since you will hear a common term around most bowling centers referring to a “blended” lane condition, it helps to understand a bit more about the blended condition.
A blended oil condition is an oil pattern where the middle portion of the lanes are built up with a greater volume of oil application than anywhere else on the lane.
Without a blend pattern setting in the lane machine, proprietors may apply much greater amounts of oil in the center of the lanes on house conditions than toward the edges of the lanes resulting in a block condition.
If the contrast from the oily center to the dry sides is very great, the resulting block condition can steer your bowling ball to the pocket.
The danger with the block condition is you may get a bowling ball over-reaction from over-skidding the ball when you miss inside your target line or a dramatic hook sooner than you planned for if you miss outside your target line. It can be tricky getting lined up and staying lined up on block conditions.
If the oil in the center portion of the lanes has a gradually reduced volume of conditioner applied across the lane diminishing to virtually dry outside edges, this type of oil pattern is commonly referred to as a blended condition. It can be more forgiving than the block pattern.

The advantage of blended conditions is that your bowling ball will react with a predictable motion when you miss slightly right or slightly left of your intended target.
The blended condition allows you to create “hold area” in the center of the lane when you miss inside your target without over-skidding your ball past the break point.
You also create “swing area” when you miss lightly outside your intended target without getting a sharply hooking motion earlier than you anticipate.
The strong blended condition is an easy condition to hit the pocket repeatedly when you learn to align yourself on this tapered oil pattern.
In fact, often times the professionals will prefer a blended condition to the block condition because their bowling balls will not over-react nearly as much on a blended condition.
Your pro shop professional can help you choose a drilling layout and a bowling ball coverstock to best match to the blended condition.
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