Featured Story: Oil Patterns You Can See

Oil Patterns You Can See

You read that title correctly – it’s a sea of oil that you can see! The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) introduced lane oil you can actually see, and for the first time ever professional bowlers took their shot at a visible oil pattern.


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The brand-new blue oil made its debut on ESPN’s PBA World Series of Bowling telecast on Dec 1. It was there that professionals such as Pete Weber and Wes Malott took their shot at the new technology.

So why is this a big deal?

For those who aren’t familiar with how lane oil works, it’s applied to every bowling lane you’ve ever bowled on. How much oil and where it’s applied affects how difficult it is to roll a strike. Having a visual sense of where this oil is, and how it’s changing throughout the game, fundamentally changes the game.


On top of this, the visible oil makes bowling more interesting and engaging to the casual observer. While the pros are already familiar with how lane oil breaks down during competition, a less-experienced televised audience is able to see just how complex the sport really can be – allowing commentators to show why the pros make strategic adjustments throughout their game. 



 So this development begs an important question – will this visible oil be seen at a bowling center near you? Currently it is only being used for the PBA World Series of Bowling telecasts. USBC Equipment and Specifications will have to decide if it is appropriate for the blue oil to go public for additional certified competition.