The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News


April 11, 2010

Bowling: Adjusting to lane oil can be tough for bowlers

OPINION — We all know that making the proper adjustment(s) is one of the major ingredients to better performance. And, when we speak of adjustments, we usually refer to conforming to the ever changing lane conditions. One must remember that you have to adjust to lane conditions and not vice-versa.

In attempting to adjust to lane conditions, it is necessary to review how lane oil (conditioner) has evolved into the friend or foe of the bowler. We know that conditioner has always been used as a wall to safeguard the surface of the lane from damage. But, how the conditioner is applied has always been a contentious subject for bowlers.

Lane conditioner has always been part of bowling. However, just like bowling balls, technology has played an important role in conditioner development. We’ve gone from shellac and lacquer to the urethane finishes. Much of the advancement has been due to safety reasons and costs (less flammable products and lower insurance rates).

For a bowling ball to be effective, it must go through three stages — skid, hook, and roll. The last stage is important. A ball needs to be rolling before it gets to the pins.

However, when lane conditions change, it affects the roll of your ball. Your ball may roll out or you might get too little or too much angle. In any event, it’s going to result in a decrease in pin carry.

That’s why it is so important to watch where your ball rolls after it goes through the pins. For example (right handed bowlers), a ball that leaves the pin deck on the 9 pin side means the ball entered the pocket with too little angle and deflected. Conversely, if the ball leaves the pin deck on the 8 pin side (once again right handed), it means the ball entered the pocket with too much angle. In either case, the bowler needs to make the proper adjustment to compensate for the change in lane conditions.

Lanes may change for a number of reasons. However, the most common is increased play. However, modern equipment adds to the problem. These balls soak up conditioner and consequently, the oil can be depleted at a faster rate. Although technology has kept up with the battle between new equipment and lane conditioner, bowlers still must find numerous ways to adapt.

Remember, be it league bowling or tournament bowling, you are going to encounter different styles and types of bowlers. Some may hook the ball, throw it straight or be somewhere in between. That means you are subjected to different lines, angles, etc.

Consequently, there will never be a defined oil pattern breakdown. You will end up forming different areas of oil and dry across the lane, and that isn’t beneficial to anyone.

You may also be faced with the many different types of equipment. Some bowlers may still be using plastic, (especially in mixed leagues), urethane, or the more modern equipment (reactive, particle, etc).

All of these factors play a major role in lane transition. Bowling balls pick up oil every time they are thrown. The oil is either completely removed or carried down the lane.

Now, combine this with the style of bowler. Someone who hooks the ball and uses high flaring equipment is going to change the oil pattern more quickly than a straight ball or medium hook player.

Bowlers can’t see transition, they have to experience it, and the only way to do that is by throwing the ball and observing its reaction. You may be fortunate and not have to make any adjustments. However, if you do, hopefully, you’ll make the correct one.

ä There is an excellent article in the March 2010 edition of Bowling This Month that should be required reading for league bowlers. It’s found on page 41 and is entitled “The Perilous Journey of a Champion Wanna-Be.”

It gives an excellent summary of bowling on league conditions and thinking your good and then experiencing the trials and tribulations of sport shots and tournament bowling.

If you subscribe to the magazine, take a moment and read it. If you don’t subscribe, perhaps your bowling center does. In any event, take the time to read it. You might learn something about the game and high averages!

Gabe D’Angelo is a local bowler and member of the Professional Bowlers Writers Association who writes this weekly column for The Herald

Text Only
  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall

    HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
    OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
    Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.

    June 22, 2014

  • Trophy time Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown

    It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
    Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
    “I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter