In 2000, the USBC introduced the Sport Bowling program to challenge bowlers with tougher lane conditions that are similar to those used on the PBA tour. Sport-certified conditions soon became mandated for the USBC Junior Gold Championships and nearly all other USBC National tournaments, most intercollegiate competitions, and many international events. According to current USBC regulations, a Sport-certified lane condition is defined as a pattern where there is no more than 3 times as much oil in the center of the lane (at 22 feet and 2 feet from the end of the pattern) as there is toward the outside of the lane on the left and right sides. More simply stated, the oil ratio cannot exceed 3:1.
The CDYST lane conditioning program has been designed to educate our bowlers about the challenges they will face as they advance in their bowling careers; so that they are well-prepared to make a smooth transition from the youth level to college- and adult-level tournament competition. However, since there is a big difference in the scoring pace of a typical house shot and a USBC sport-certified pattern, we take the following compromise approach to lane conditioning:
Standard Format: Nearly all of these events employ a named pattern from the Kegel Challenge Series, which have oil ratios ranging from 3:1 to 5:1. Therefore, they are not USBC Sport-certified. While they provide a challenge for our bowlers, they also provide a competitive environment and have yielded multiple honor scores during CDYST competition.
Junior Gold Qualifiers: Since these events provide the opportunity for CDYST members to qualify for the USBC Junior Gold Championships, we employ USBC sport-certified lane conditions, typically from the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) library of patterns. These are the same patterns used at the national finals and other Team USA national qualifiers. They provide a tougher challenge for our bowlers because the lower oil ratios place a greater premium on consistent shot-making and intelligent decision-making.
We wish to extend our sincerest appreciation to the pattern support staff at Kegel for their assistance in educating us about the technical aspects of oil machines and lane conditioning; helping us to match oil patterns with lane surfaces; and for designing custom lane conditions for some of our special tournaments.