In competition, a short oil pattern requires a bowler to approach a game with a different strategy than they would if they were lining up on a longer pattern. The bowler must quickly adapt their game to suit the condition they’re about to face. To be prepared for any type of oil pattern, it’s important for a bowler to practice ahead of time, working through their arsenal and figuring out the best way attach the pattern and understanding what each bowling ball gives them on a particular pattern.
To help you better understand how your reaction is affected by oil pattern and ball choice, bowling coach Hank Boomershine offers some simple guidance for noticing trends as both a coach and player. He recommends that a bowler begins with their benchmark ball and make adjustments with each throw to figure out what works best for their shot on a short oil pattern.
With a short oil pattern, a ball will tend to hook very quickly depending on your game and equipment choices, so it is necessary to determine during practice whether you will need to go with a stronger or weaker ball to better navigate the oil pattern and attack the pocket.
Making a change
After throwing her benchmark ball, Lindsay decides that she might need to go to a weaker ball that will give her a smoother reaction and help her consistently find the pocket on the shorter oil pattern. This is an example of a bowler properly diagnosing her unique technique and making an educated choice about her equipment selection. Hank stresses the importance of getting a good dialogue going between a player and coach during practice, as the decision making on a ball choice will need to transfer over to competition when the coach isn’t around to help.