The Professional Bowlers Association has announced plans to introduce a newly-revamped library of 16 different lane oiling patterns
for the GoBowling! PBA Tour’s 60th anniversary season, creating a wide variety of challenges to test player skills at the highest level.
The lane maintenance program, pioneered by the PBA more than 40 years ago, has been reviewed in depth and modified to take into account current technology, PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger (right) said in announcing the new patterns.
Several of the revised patterns will make their debuts during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Properties, in Reno, Nev., Nov. 7-19. WSOB IX is collectively the opening event of the 2017-18 GoBowling! PBA Tour schedule.
“The new library of lane oiling patterns will include eight animal pattern lane conditions and seven legends patterns, three of which will be used as major championship patterns, plus the Chris Paul pattern,” von Krueger added.
“Each pattern has specific characteristics including the distance oil is applied down the lane, how it is applied across the lane and the volume of oil applied to each lane.”
Two new named patterns will debut in 2018. The “Dragon 45” is a 45-foot pattern in the animal pattern library that figures to provide a high level of difficulty for PBA players. And for the first time, the PBA will have an official “house shot” design named in honor of the PBA’s long-time celebrity bowling partner, Chris Paul. “CP3 42” is likely to become the PBA’s highest-scoring pattern.
The library of lane oiling patterns was designed by PBA Head of Lane Maintenance Sean Parry with the assistance of Brunswick, PBA’s Official Lane Maintenance partner. The oiling patterns will be used exclusively throughout the GoBowling! PBA Tour, PBA50 Tour and PBA Regional program’s 2018 seasons.
Illustrations of the 16 revamped oiling patterns along with more detailed information can be found here. Each pattern’s name will be followed by a number indicating the length of the pattern in feet as it will be applied on a 60-foot lane.
The new Cheetah 33, Chameleon 39, Scorpion 42, Shark 45 and Earl Anthony 42 patterns will debut at the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX presented by Eldorado Reno Properties in Reno in November.
The Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s 2018 Big February events will feature the Don Johnson 40 pattern at the PBA Tournament of Champions in Akron; the Carmen Salvino 44 at the Barbasol PBA Players Championship in Columbus, Ohio, and the Dick Weber 45 at the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic in Indianapolis.
The Mark Roth 42 will be used for the Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship in Columbus and for the PBA League competition in Portland, Maine.
In addition to the new Dragon 45, the oil pattern library also will include the Wolf 33, Viper 36, Bear 39, Johnny Petraglia 36 and Don Carter 39 patterns. The Badger 52 will be removed temporarily from the rotation. Plans for the use of these patterns will be announced later.
“For decades, the PBA lane maintenance program has helped define the greatest players in the sport of bowling,” said PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark (right).
“This revised menu of oil patterns and the strategy of their release and implementation is in line with our core values, including integrity, complete transparency and recognizing both challenges and opportunities advanced technology presents. Most of all, we are proud of these diverse conditions that will demand a combination of player skills.
“Along with the distinct characteristics of the bowling centers and lane beds where the PBA conducts competition, these patterns will be a platform for champions while entertaining and educating fans.”
In addition to providing physical definitions of oiling patterns, the PBA uses visible blue oil on most telecasts, allowing fans to see the oil pattern and how the pattern changed during competition, providing another layer of education to the sport’s challenges.
“The PBA recognizes that every oiling pattern will present a different challenge depending upon the type of lane surface, weather conditions, the viscosity of lane conditioning oil and other factors,” von Krueger said. “Every condition is also subject to change due to bowling ball traffic during competition which moves the oil around.
“But defining the physical aspects of each pattern is a valuable tool for players, tournament hosts and fans. Solving those characteristics is the challenge that makes bowling such a great sport.”