Reading Bowling Oil Patterns, Lane Graphs, Understanding Terms & Other Factors

Understanding Oil Pattern, Lane Graphs & The Invisible Factors

By BowlersMart IQ Metro Detroit Head Instructor – Mike Calhoun

In today’s game there are already so many variables that come into play and now throw in an invisible opponent on top of that and it can make you go crazy.
 
We are all guilty of blaming the laneman, or the center for the shot being different or inconsistent. (Topography is another factor, but we will save that for another day) Well I am hopefully going to shed some insight and understanding on these factors to help you better conquer this invisible opponent.
 
Some league nights or different squads in tournaments tend to make us feel there is more oil than the previous weeks or squads. Sometimes it is just the opposite and they feel extremely dry or more playable. If you ask the laneman, he will tell you he did the exact same thing as the previous weeks, so let me give you some insight on why this is possible. If the oil is cold when being applied, the lubricity is greater and less will cycle through the machine, resulting in less applied to the lane. Now if the oil is warm, this will result in thinner lubricity and allowing more to funnel through the machine thus applying more oil to the lane surface. Now throw in different sets of lanes, different teams you are facing, different styles, surfaces and then throw the weather on top of that and it can lead to subtle change. Now you already know any minor change in the oil pattern will result in how to attack it, so just because you shot 750 the week before standing on the big dot using such ball, does not mean you can do this every week and when you cant doesn’t mean it is a different shot applied. It just means other unseen factors played a role that week.
Now how to decipher an oil pattern graph. I am going to go over just some keys which i think are the most important to pay attention to. We look at the oil graph sheet and we see forward oil, reverse oil, oil pattern distance and reverse drop brush.

FORWARD OIL:

Is the path forward from the foul line to the pin deck.

REVERSE OIL:

Is the path from the pin deck to the foul line.
 

DISTANCE OF OIL PATTERN:

Is the total length of the oil pattern being applied
 

REVERSE DROP BRUSH:

 
This feature allows us to apply oil further downlane with volume during the forward pass.
 
Here is how these factors break down into understanding;
 
FORWARD oil applied is the total distance  of the oil pattern. Another feature you will see are the columns next to it so for instance columns 1 & 2(start/stop) this tells you what board the machine starts on the left and ends on what board on the right. Example if the machine goes board 3L to board 3R  we use the term 3:3.
 
REVERSE oil applied on the way towards the foul line and applied over the forward pass. Think of it as a layer of cake, more layers(oil applied) the flatter the pattern will be.
 
To know the TOTAL volume just add the forward + reverse total oil= TOTAL VOLUME
 
DISTANCE: The total length of the oil pattern.since there is 60 feet from foul line to head pin, it will give you a rough idea for your break point.
 
REVERSE DROP BRUSH: This is a huge factor in looking a the oil pattern graph in a way this feature was design to apply oil further down the lane and also making patterns more symmetrical in a way. Now with that being said we know there is 60 feet from foul line to head pin so if you have a pattern distance of 44 feet and a reverse drop brush distance of 42 feet your break point would be later, and just the opposite if you have 44 feet and a 35 feet reverse drop brush your break point will become earlier.
 
REMEMBER THE SURFACE YOU ARE BOWLING ON IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AS WELL! NEWER SURFACES WILL BE SLICKER, OLDER WITH BE HIGHER IN FRICTION CONTENT. THIS IS A HUGE FACTOR ON DETERMINING WHAT SURFACES YOUR ARSENAL WILL NEED AND ALLOW YOU TO FINE TUNE AND BE MORE PREPARED!
 
Well i hope you enjoyed this article,and i hope you have more understanding of the variables, and in turn understand your expectations.

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