Loading... Please wait...

Navigating Oil Patterns in Your Lane


As you pick up your ball after a good toss down the lane you may notice a slippery layer has accumulated on the outside of your ball. If you know what I’m talking about, you should know that it’s not a strange defect, it’s actually the oil that bowling lanes are coated in to ease your toss. Each bowling alley has a different technique when applying this oil to the lane and varying bowling allies may leave your ball resulting in different performances. Without the help of oil, the path your ball takes to the pins would be negatively altered and rarely run smoothly.

Oil Patterns

As mentioned earlier, each location may partake in their oiling process differently, but the main pattern the machine will create will include more oil towards the center rather than the outsides. This is because the average bowler will likely throw their ball down the center when attempting to hit all the pins. This oil pattern can also be used to hook the ball from the outside towards the pocket when attempting specific pins.

Types of Oil Patterns:

  • House Pattern
  • Sport Pattern

A house pattern is typically used during league play whereas a sport pattern can be seen for tournaments. The difference between the two lies in how much oil is disbursed throughout the lane. For a house pattern, you’ll likely have better odds of hitting a strike because a majority of the oil lies in the middle of the lane. During a tournament, competition is high and there tends to be a more experienced crowd of bowlers. With this being the case, the oil is spread out evenly throughout the lane to leave bowlers with less of a handicap in receiving a strike.

Now that you have a better understanding of what oil can do to help aid your bowling game, get to the lanes and start practicing! For more bowling tips, tricks, and equipment visit Striker’s website

Sign up to our newsletter

Share with us