Killian rolls 300; bowling on medium sport patterns, part 2 | Sports


Scott Killian is the latest 300. On Sept. 14, while competing in the Miller Lite Classic League at Ten Pin Alley, he accomplished this feat. His scores were 198, 300, 215 for a 713 series.

• Let’s continue with our discussion about bowling on medium oil sports patterns and begin with volume.

The amount of oil in a medium oil pattern is one of the issues that influence how much friction you really feel. Higher level patterns can provide extra grip on the lanes and allow you to play farther inside, but not in all cases. That manages to be a bigger issue of the lanes themselves.

More significantly, higher quantity patterns will probably change your ball choices to something that hooks more, so you can obtain some early grip on the lanes to handle the oil.

Ball choices can vary. Only bowlers with a greater rev speed will be able to use urethane. Most bowlers will lean in the direction of powerful symmetrical choices or weaker asymmetrical equipment.

Taper (the lengthwise slope of a pattern) influences the scoring element. On medium patterns taper is the most variable other than the lanes themselves that influences whether or not you can move inside fast.

A lot of taper will usually be more accepting of severe angles through the front. This permits bowlers to go inside quicker, or perhaps start there. A lesser amount of taper will guarantee that you will need to play straighter.

We mentioned the scoring element on medium oil sport shorts. With the difference in the oiling patterns of medium oil the scores can fluctuate significantly. When there is a lot of taper, scores are going to go up.

This might change your scoring approach. You might go from “playing safe” to “maximize scoring.” But your best strategy is to start your block on the safe side, and at some time, you can make the choice to capitalize on your striking.

As always, oil is no doubt the most difficult change to determine. You may see a number of different balls being used and some might be scoring. But what else do you know about those balls? Without asking the person throwing the ball, do you have any idea what kind of layout the bowler has?

As a general rule, lower viscosity oil (oils with less thickness) are apt to play slicker since the ball doesn’t slow down as much. When competing on this type of oil, you might want to consider going to a symmetrical ball with a high differential core, or even an asymmetrical ball for those who have lower rev rates.

If you are bowling on higher viscosity oil (oils with more thickness) you may consider equipment with smaller, weaker cores with the higher rev bowlers leaning in the direction of medium differential equipment. If you are a lower rate bowler, you should consider a higher differential symmetrical ball. But the ball(s) will probably need a weaker layout.

You also need to pay attention to the lanes. Lanes with a lot of friction, like those located in older centers or even recent AMF synthetic lanes, will usually require weaker balls with higher pin layouts.

Also be aware that lanes don’t wear out equally. Some centers have more open play, and the friction is usually greater in the middle part of the lane. That usually means it is a good idea not to play that part of the lane unless it is totally necessary.

Centers with more league play will probably produce higher results on medium situations, as the surface wear is closer to the part of the lane you are apt to play.

To wrap up this rather technical discussion, the important thing to remember is knowing your game and your equipment so that you will be able to make the right choices and score well. But that is always the clue for good bowling.

GABE D’ANGELO is a member of the Mercer County Bowling Hall of Fame and Professional Bowlers Writers Association who writes this weekly column for The Herald.

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