As previously mentioned, there are several oil patterns that are used around the country, some for PBA Bowlers and some for special tournaments. I have already mentioned several of the PBA Animal Patterns:
Cheetah and Wolf Patterns which are 33 feet long, Viper-36 feet, Bear-39 feet, Chemeleon-39 feet, Dragon-45 feet, Scorpion-42 Feet, and the Shark Pattern which is 45 feet long.
There are also Legend Patterns named after legendary Professional Bowlers. The Johnny Petraglia Pattern is 36 feet long, the Don Carter Pattern-39 feet, Don Johnson-40 feet, Earl Anthony-40 feet, Mark Roth-42 feet, Carmen Salvino-44 feet, and the Dick Weber pattern is 45 feet long.
I'll discuss only a few of them and if you would like more information on specific patterns, please go online and you can get information and pictures of the other ones. I haven't had much experience on these Legend Patterns but wanted you to be aware of them in case you have the opportunity to bowl on any of them in the future.
The Earl Anthony Pattern is named after one of the greats and my favorite bowler. Before his professional bowling career, he was a minor league baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Earl Anthony was extremely famous and very popular during the 1970's through the 1990's. The guy was a lefty and extremely disciplined in his style, accuracy, and timing. It was like watching a machine bowl, he was so perfect and amazing! He earned 43 titles during his career, was player of the year six times, and he got into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1981. He was the first professional bowler to earn over one million dollars and had 25-300 games (none on TV unfortunately). Sports Illustrated magazine named him the second greatest athlete in history in the state of Washington (the first was the NBA star, John Stockton).
My husband was bowling in a tournament long ago, and we both got to meet Earl Anthony. We had a chance to chat for a few minutes and even got his autograph, he was such a nice fellow. Unfortunately, in 2001 he fell down a flight of stairs visiting a friends home in Wisconsin and died at only 63 years of age.
The Earl Anthony pattern is about 40-43 feet long, and instead of the oil narrowing, it gets wider closer to the pin deck, which forces the bowler to make shots from a variety of angles. Right handed bowlers should play a deeper tighter inside line, and the lefty's have a slight advantage because Earl was a lefty. The oil is heavy on the first fifteen feet, dryer 15 feet-29 feet, then oily again to the end of the pattern. The darker the color, the heavier the oil.
Mark Roth was also a very famous Professional Bowler in the late 1970's-2000's. He won 34 PBA titles, and 8 of them just in 1978, giving him the record for the most won in a single season! He was the first pro bowler to pick up the dreaded 7-10 split on national television on Jan 5, 1980 which I was able to watch, pretty awesome indeed! I was so excited when he converted that monster! He was also known for his unusual 6 step delivery and Cranker Style. I got to meet him in person and even made him a cheese sandwich in the deli I worked in, in Brooklyn NY. Bob Simonelli had a pro shop on 50th and 7th ave and some of the pros would occasionally come into our deli for sandwiches.
This pattern is about 42-46 feet long. It has a lower volume of oil than some of the other patterns and was originally designed for plastic balls which were more popular back during Roth's prime.The right handed bowler should try to stay to the right since most of the oil is in the center and front part of the lane, so the higher friction area (hooking area) will be to the outside of the lane. As the pattern breaks down, the bowler needs to move left to keep getting a bit more oil. Don't use a ball that is very aggressive on this pattern.
Lefties should stay to the left as long as possible and can move slightly to the right but not too far, otherwise they will be bowling in the area where the righties are playing, and the pattern will be broken down quickly. Instead, try to change your speed or the target you are using.
The Dick Weber Oil Pattern was named after one of the most famous professional bowlers, Dick Weber. He was very popular during the late 1950's through the early 2000's. He was one of the original founding members of the Pro Bowlers Association (PBA), has won 30 PBA titles, 6 titles in the PBA's Senior Tour, and is considered a pioneer in the sport of bowling.He is a member of the ABC and PBA Hall of Fames. You may have seen his son Pete Weber on TV who is also considered one of the top bowlers out there.
The pattern is about 45 feet long and is constantly changing so you will need to make larger adjustments.
Just remember, the longer the oil pattern is, the less the ball is going to hook, and in most cases you can usually play closer to the outside part of the lane where it's drier so the ball can hook. When there's a lot of oil, you can use straighter shots or the ball will just end up skidding. Remember, the ball needs to be in the rolling phase for the strike to happen more often.
When there is less oil on the lane, the ball will hook more, so you want to speed up the ball if you can to cut down on the hook.
Playing on these patterns in tournaments will help you get more experience, and taking notes will help you understand them better. Also remember NOT TO PANIC if you can't figure out the lanes. Try to find someone you're bowling with that has a similar style to yours and observe what they're doing so you can get some idea of where to stand and what target to aim for. YOU CAN DO IT!!
Join me back here again next week when I'll be doing another Checkpoint!
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Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.