An Interesting question


New Member
After having a great weekend with my bowling friends, a interesting question was asked and a hour long debate ensued. Also,seeing the scores so low in Houston at the Non-Champion on Cheetah, the early reports from the New Mexico Open with a even cut, my question to the group is this : Has Named patterns or knowing what you are bowling on HURT or ENHANCED the sport of bowling? A thought on Houston and of course I wasn't there due to work but if Cheetah is played right it should be out by the gutter, did the guests play them wrong or did other issues like lane topography, hardness of surface,etc. come to play. A thought on the New Mexico open is to me an old school event where you so up to bowl on what was out there without knowing what is out there and execute shots.That Cut was even. All in all, the cream will always rise to the top. But I would love to know the thoughts of this group and the wise members of it.
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Im not a fan of announcing the pattern. Just an opinion from a scrub... but I know for a fact that people avoid certain stops because of the pattern.

Now, would those people still avoid the stop if they have no clue what the pattern is? Who knows? But back in the day, you showed up, made your adjustments, and whoever got it figured out the fastest had an advantage.

BUT, if you use the same patterns, but just dont announce them, then people who have bowled on them a lot will know what the pattern is in practice.

I know some people have different equipment and different layouts for the different patterns. Not announcing it may help the folks that dont get free stuff and cant afford an arsenal for each pattern. That, or the folks that DO get free stuff will just have to all buy pick-em-up trucks and lug all their arsenals to each stop. Three shots into practice: "Oh, I think this is Viper. Take these red bags out to my U-Haul and bring in the blue bags."
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I like what Michael York had to say here. If only there was a button to tell him so.....
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I see two sides of the coin for this. Knowing the pattern helps regionals because you don't bring the sane equipment to bowl on cheetah as you would for say shark. Now this only helps bowlers in my opinion that are either on staff or just have a bunch of equipment. The average bowler that bowls tournaments only has maybe 6 to 8 balls. They bring the same balls for every tournament so does knowing the pattern really matter? My opinion is the pattern shouldn't be known. Go out there and bowl on what's out there. When you bowl at different houses do you know what the house shot pattern is? Do you know length? Probably not. The other down side to knowing the pattern is playing thenm wrong or the shot isn't playing "as it should." For instance the cheetah pattern at the non champs last week. The shot was tough and the scores showed. But what if you didn't know it was cheetah? Maybe you would have tried something completely different than trying to play the gutter. Maybe playing 15-5 was the shot. Who knows. But I bet had the pattern name not been told the scores may have been different.
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I will give you one more example. Who remember the last RPI debacle. Pattern was suppose to be cheetah and instead they out chameleon on some pairs. What if the pattern wasn't known. No one would have complained. So what if the shot was different all you do is bowl. No one would have been able to complain either. But I guess this is the new wave of bowling. I wish we still had spray guns. This coming from a 24 year old.
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For me, I rather the pattern be announced, only because of "insider information". (not thats it going to help me) If no one other than the TD & Lane Man knew what the pattern was, I would be all for it but we know thats probably not going to happen. Also, after the practice session of a regional on Friday, the bowlers that lives in that city has a small advantage because he/she can go home and exchange/get other equipment. Its kind of like traveling out of town for a tournament and you have no clue of how many bowlers are signed up to bowl. (thats maybe not a good example) jmo
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My feelings is that oil patterns should never be publicized. As a couple of people have said, it can give an unfair advantage to bowlers that have access to a vast arsenal because they are on staff, or to those that have previous experience on a particular pattern.

My primary issue is that bowlers have become accustomed to being spoon fed on conditions today. Hmmmm, I am going to House A and they are running Shark.....I need Ball X to start and should play 25 to 10. And that is before ever throwing a single practice ball. Then, all hell breaks loose if the lanes paly differently than "EXPECTED". Instead of taking what the lanes give you, many bowlers would rather fight the shot and complain all day. Or, many bowlers will think, "Nope, I can't play on Cheetah, so I am not even going to enter."

Whatever happened to the lost art of "reading lane conditions and adjusting"? Or now I am really going old school here.....who remembers not only reading your own reaction but reading the reaction that other bowlers are getting on their shots. Maybe someone else has read the pattern better than you and adjusted much sooner. Isn't the ability to adjust and adapt what defines an "ELITE BOWLER"?
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Well-Known Member
Personally, I'd like to know the pattern at least after I arrive. If you only get 5 or 6 balls to practice, having a clue where to at least start and what ball to start with helps.

The thing I notice the most is that most patterns can play slightly differently to drastically differently from house to house.
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I been bowling a while and I remember making a cut in an old $10k in Houston with -60 for four games for high on my block. Bob Martin never told the players the shot but they would be hard. Thanks for the replies, and I personally think just bowling and no knowing what we or the players were bowling on would benefit shotmakers.
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I'd have no problem not knowing...... 12 years ago. However, today the game is so equipment dominant that you have to know what to bring or you're locked out on most sport/pba patterns before you start.

I don't want to drive to Greenville- if I did that sort of thing - take 8 balls only to find out that none of the tools in my toolbox match up. Sure you can grind them out and be plus and make a check.... but you'll be hard pressed to ever catch the person who matches up with the right ball. Even if you do throw it as well as him/her.

We have to face it that bowling balls, like golf clubs, are as big an indicator of success in bowling today as the shot maker. Why put people at a disadvantage to artificially drive competition level. All you're doing is giving people a coincidential advantage.

I like the idea of not knowing, and I'm not bringing more than the same 6 balls to any tournament anyways. Doesn't mean I'm not at a disadvantage though. If I was going to commit to bowling action/hard/pba tournaments, I'd want all the info possible to be able to succeed.
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hold the ball up or lower it and turn your wrist just a little and you can make 1 ball do the same thing as 3 others. Just saying!!!!!
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Sure you can Troy. But you're not likely to make a ball that doesn't match up into a "winner". Not the way patterns are engineered today. The cheetah pattern for example is designed to force you into a specific zone with a specified piece of equipment depending on your game. If all you have is skid/snap then you're doomed. To say "oh just adjust" is an archaic view of bowling.

Example: If I go Hanna's doubles tourney a few weeks ago with a bunch of polished stuff and it's a 45 foot pattern with a strong ratio you can do all the wrist positions and moves you want but you're still fighting an uphill battle and it has nothing to do with your ability. It's pure conincidence at that point that someone brought the right ball and you didn't.

I wish it was a simple as you want to make it sound. It's just not.
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Speed control is a huge componet also, at least with my game. I can finesse it or chunck it FAST. Plus using 14lb stuff helps out also... I just comment on what I have hit. Texas Masters pattern, Luci Pattern, and a 52 foot pattern used in Killeen earlier this summer. Cashed in all with the rocks I have.
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Troy, I do the same things. I don't have balls at my disposal. Take the same 6 everywhere I go. But that doesn't change the fact that the guys who have equipment that is newer or simply more options don't have an advantage over me. Knowing the pattern before a regional at least allows me to change a surface or at least prepare a gameplan to try and battle guys with that advantage. They're going to have that advantage whether they pub the pattern or not. At least I can prepare and catch up a bit if I know the pattern.
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Lane condition patterns should be announced. This gives everyone an even playing field ahead of tournament date. These patterns only give an idea of what your ball reaction should be but as everyone knows lanes surfaces are different and will cause the same pattern to react somewhat differently.

Professional golfers get to practice on the coarse before a tournament and are shown pin placements of all greens daily before each round is started.

Being a professional means knowing what to do when information is posted. This way, no one gets inside information that's not available to other bowlers....

Just my opinion...
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Well-Known Member
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Just being curious here...............when did the announcing of patterns become accepted as the norm? I have been bowling (or at least attempting to bowl) for more years than I care to admit; and I don't remember being told the patterns that I was about to bowl on.
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Well, I do know when I bowled a few PBA National stops in 85 and 86... Lane patterns were being posted in the paddock, so at least the National tour has been doing it for the last 28 years that I know of personally and I'm sure they were doing it before 1985....
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The ability to adjust is always required of all top level bowlers, no matter what the pattern is. Adjusting is always required after the first game, either from moving pairs or lane transitions throughout the block.

Bowling is a game of skill both physically and mentally... knowing what you need to do as far as adjustments is always based off the lane conditions as to the conditions when the block starts and as it transistions through the block. This helps bowlers prepare what ball and layout they feel will work best for them.

At the PBA level guessing is not good, knowledge is king!!!!... These people do it for a living!!
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