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.
Prior to 2016, it was USBC’s protocol to release the full lane graphs and associated details about all oil patterns that would be employed at the Junior Gold Championships. Their pattern selections would be derived strictly from the World Bowling library. However, starting with the 2016 tournament, USBC no longer released oil pattern information until after the tournament was complete. They also expanded their pattern selections to cover any Sport-compliant condition.
CDYST Lane Conditioning Guidelines
The current 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 collegiate and adult-level tournament competition. Since there is a big difference in the scoring pace of a typical house shot and a USBC sport-compliant pattern, we take the following compromise approach to lane conditioning:
Standard Format: Several years ago, Kegel introduced their Navigation Series oil patterns, which have three levels of difficulty. We have always employed patterns from the Kegel Challenge Series (or with comparable oil ratios) for these tournaments. Since these patterns have oil ratios ranging from 3:1 to 5:1, they are only USBC Sport-compliant if the ratio is less than 4:1 (3:1 was the previous USBC Sport standard until 2017). While they provide a challenge for our bowlers, they also provide a competitive environment and have yielded multiple honor scores during CDYST competition. In light of the USBC’s changes to their lane conditioning protocols, we still employ challenge-level patterns for these tournaments; but we are not limited to just the Kegel Challenge Series patterns.
Junior Gold Qualifiers: Since these events provide the opportunity for CDYST members to qualify for the USBC Junior Gold Championships, we employ USBC sport-compliant lane conditions with ratios less than 3:1 in order to provide a comparable challenge to what our bowlers will face at the National Finals. Consistent with our objective to prepare our bowlers for success at the next level, the lower oil ratios place a greater premium on consistent shot-making and intelligent decision-making.
Similar to USBC protocols, the CDYST furnished full pattern details prior to all tournaments during our first six seasons. However, starting with our 2016 - 17 season, our bowlers are furnished with only one of the following pattern length categories prior to each tournament:
Short: The oil pattern length will be 37 feet or less.
Medium: The oil pattern length will be between 38 and 42 feet.
Long: The oil pattern length will be 43 feet or more.
Following the completion of each tournament, the lane graph will be released at the bowling center and a link will be supplied on our website so that our bowlers may learn from their experiences on the lanes. Please click here to access the patterns used at our events this season.
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.