The 5th oil Pattern I want to discuss is the "Chameleon Oil Pattern". It's a tough one to play on because there are a lot of different angles you can play from and like a chameleon, you must keep changing your angle and sometimes the ball you are using. It looks like this:
The pattern is 39 feet long and the darker area on the picture is where the heaviest oil will be. The scoring is usually low to medium depending on your style and the ball you are using.
Large adjustments may be needed so my recommendation for Strokers is to stand on board 5 and start from there, and moving in five board increments to the left as the oil wears off. Play between the 5th and 15th board and you can try playing more directly into the pocket when the pattern is fresh.
Tweeners should start a bit more to the left of the Stroker and needs to be more accurate on their target, or the ball may get stuck in the oil and not come up into the pocket.
Crankers can start in the center of the lane or even slightly left of center, and play the inside track. It will be a tough pattern in the beginning but get will get easier as you go along. You may need to move even farther left and play a deeper line. It may be good to also change to a ball that breaks farther down the lane if you have one, otherwise the ball may cross over to the 1-2 pocket, or you may wind up with a few splits.
As with any oil pattern, as the oil breaks down and carries farther down the lane, you could even change to a straight ball if you have one. If you bowl the same oil pattern in one bowling center and then go to another center and play the same pattern, it can vary slightly depending on the lane oiling machine.
As always, let your ball be your guide and make notes for yourself when bowling on these different patterns as to what is happening and what adjustments you are making because it can be confusing, especially if you're a new bowler.
Do try bowling in some tournaments when your confidence is good because that will help you to really improve on these different oil patterns. Don't be fearful, everyone who is a great bowler all had to start out somewhere, and they improved by bowling in different centers practicing and participating in these tournaments to get a lot of experience on several types of lane conditions. How will you know your full potential unless you push yourself outside of your normal comfort zone?
Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing "Understanding the Mental Game of Bowling"-Part 1
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.