Two-Handed Bowling: Adjusting for Oil Pattern Length

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Adapting to Oil Pattern Length

If you’ve played at a number of bowling alleys, you might have noticed the oil patterns on lanes tend to vary in length. Some patterns are extremely short, others are frightfully long. Because of this, no two lanes will roll the same. In order to play each lane properly, you’ll have to adjust the way you throw the ball, whether you opt for one- or two-handed bowling.

To give you a sense of how oil pattern length affects choices for two-handed bowling, Anthony Simonsen demonstrates his technique and walks us through his thought process for playing three types of lanes:

Short Oil Patterns

Anthony first assesses his method for two-handed bowling on a lane with a short oil pattern, which he tends to attack with a urethane ball by using the outside of the lane. Anthony talks about what he generally targets when he sets up for a shot, looking down the lane at his ideal breaking point and working his line back from there.

Medium Oil Patterns

Next, Anthony describes how he sets up and throws on a lane with a medium-length pattern. He discusses his choice of ball and the part of the lane he targets, stressing the importance of getting angles exactly right because lanes with medium-length patterns carry a smaller break pocket.

Long Oil Patterns

Finally, Anthony tells us why he favors a nearly straight shot on the lane with a long oil pattern. Regardless if you prefer one- or two-handed bowling, it generally makes the most sense to stay inside the track because longer patterns offer less friction and don’t allow the ball to hook much.

No matter the type of oil pattern, whether long, short or somewhere in between, it’s essential to adjust your feet, eyes and breaking point to suit the conditions. When you can accommodate for all oil situations, you’ll be able to pick up points that others might drop.

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