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Differences In The USBC Red, White, And Blue Oil Patterns

Understanding differences in the USBC Red, White, and Blue oil patterns begins with the knowledge that the Red pattern is a widely accepted house-condition at the vast majority of bowling centers across the country. It is important to know that all oil patterns are considered to be a United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Red Pattern unless otherwise indicated as a Blue Pattern or White Pattern condition.

The USBC Red Pattern is designed to provide the greatest amount of bowling ball delivery forgiveness of any pattern approved by the USBC. Understanding differences in the USBC Red, White, and Blue oil patterns is to simply know that the Red Pattern yields the highest pace of scoring in comparison to the Blue and White Patterns, all of which are approved for sanctioned competition in leagues and tournaments.

bowlingball.com wishes to provide the following information for each of the three oil patterns as described below:

1. The USBC Red Pattern is designed to provide the greatest amount of bowling ball delivery forgiveness of any pattern approved by the USBC. The Red Pattern provides more oil toward the center of the lane surface than toward the edges of the lane.

On the Red pattern, a bowler can, if properly aligned, miss the intended target and the bowling ball will still result in hitting the pocket rewarding the bowler with a very good chance of producing a strike.

The Red Pattern is sometimes referred to as a "wet/dry" condition, a "block" condition, or an "over/under" condition implying that there is a great amount of oil in the center of the lane and a very small amount toward the edges with little or no blend of oil to separate both extreme friction factors.

2. The White pattern will be slightly more challenging than the Red pattern. The White pattern has a little more oil applied on the outer portions of the lane than the Red. As the Red pattern has the tendency to play as an "over-under" or "block" condition, the White pattern is blended more evenly in oil application while still showing a crown of oil from the inside to out with a gradual taper of oil from the foul line to the end of the oil pattern.

The White Pattern uses a blended cross lane ratio of oil application and experienced players can open their lines from the release point to the break point, control ball skid, and hit the pocket consistently. The potential for high scores on the White patterns exists because of the strong blended or crowned pattern for those understanding how to line up properly.

3. The Blue pattern will be flatter overall oil application and is the most challenging shot of all three patterns.

The Blue pattern is designed to provide the greatest level of challenge as the application of oil is crowned the least of all three patterns.

The Blue pattern yields the lowest overall pace of scoring of any of the three patterns. The Red, White, and Blue patterns are offered in three versions to meet the needs of bowling centers with a variety of surfaces and climate considerations. The Blue pattern is typically something you see at a USBC State Tournament The Blue pattern provides a "stepping stone" up to the conditions used in the USBC Open Championships or in Team USA Experience Leagues.

Blue patterns require bowlers to make quality deliveries to achieve good scoring levels. Speed control, loft control, and consistent releasing action are key factors when bowling on the Blue pattern. The bowling ball coverstock chosen texture and the drilling layout are critical variables needed to match with the Blue pattern.

Serious and competitive bowlers should seek out opportunities to bowl on the Blue pattern to learn more about playing the lane condition and which bowling equipment works best.

The Red, White, and Blue patterns do not make any specific provisions for the distance the oil is applied to the lane surface. Normally, the application of oil ranges from a distance of 37 feet to 45 feet total distance from the foul line.

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