How to Bowl on Kegel Middle Road Oil Pattern?

Understanding Middle Road Oil Pattern

Think of the most neutral bowling pattern. Can you mention one? Don’t worry if you can’t. I have come with just the pattern you want in your life. The Kegel Middle Road oil pattern— is known to be centrism in nature because of its characteristics. This makes the pattern not too tough or too easy. So, if you’re sick of playing on the THS and looking for some moderate-level challenges, this pattern from the Kegel Challenge Series is just the thing you need! So how do you play it? What ball to use? Let me answer all of your questions.

What is Kegel Middle Road Oil Pattern?

How much do you enjoy playing the  Kegel Navigation Patterns? Honestly speaking, apart from a few sports patterns I love almost all of them, especially the moderately challenging ones. The Middle Road oil pattern is the perfect one that matches this description. So how easy or tough it is? Before I answer that, you should know that officially, there are in total 3 versions available for this bowling oil pattern.

One is the Middle Road V2 (5239), which is 39 feet in length with 50 uL of oil on every board. The Total Volume Oil is 24.05 mL (Forward Oil Total is 16.45 mL and Reverse Oil Total is 7.6 mL). The Middle Road V2 has a 5.25:1 oil ratio. The Total Boards Crossed in this pattern are 481 Boards, where the Forward Boards Crossed are 329 boards and Reverse Boards Crossed are 152 boards.

Next, we have the Middle Road (4239) which has two versions. One with 40 uL of oil per board and another with 50 uL of oil per board, and both have the same distance which is 39 feet. The Total Volume Oil of the Middle Road (40 uL) is 22.72 mL (Forward Oil Total is 11.68 mL and Reverse Oil Total is 11.04 mL). For this version, the oil ratio on the lane is 4.14:1.

Lastly, the Middle Road (50 uL) which is most commonly used everywhere. The Total Volume Oil is 22.85 mL (Forward Oil Total is 11.9 mL and Reverse Oil Total is 10.95 mL). The oil ratio on this official version is 3.96:1. Despite being the most popular one, bowlers seem to enjoy the Middle Road V2 more because being the least flat.

How to bowl on the Middle Road oil pattern?

As mentioned earlier, the Middle Road is not an easy-peasy pattern, so you have to follow a few rules to gain success. A nice way to start on any pattern is using the ‘Rule of 31’. So,  go ahead and do that. Pattern Length – 31 = Exit point, 39-31=8. Subtracting 31 from the PL gives you an idea of the area where your ball is more likely to exit the oil pattern and have the breakpoint.

But where do you play to get your ball to exit the oil pattern around the 8 board? Let’s use Mo’s breakpoint formula. The corner of the highest red bar of a pattern and then subtract 3 from that number. For the Middle Road oil pattern, the corner of the highest red bar is on 14. So if we subtract 3, (14-3=11) it’s gonna indicate your starting point on the 11 board. So starting close to the 2nd arrow is definitely a better option to play this pattern.

From what I can see from the velocity and oil volume is that the level of the forward oil is more than the reverse oil, meaning your bowling ball will skid longer through the oil because that is what forward oil does. Hence, to be in the safe zone, you should stand around the 11 board and hit 8 to start out and when needed make adjustments off that.

If your house has wooden lanes, the play will be a bit difficult. I played on the synthetics and I’ll say it seemed quite easy. On the synthetic lane, you get some hold in, but it isn’t too much. Since the inside of the pattern is mostly oiled, you don’t get enough bounce on the outside, especially at the beginning. If you’re planning to play the track area, you should keep your breakpoint a little outside (let’s say 6 or so, but not any farther than that). This will solidly hit the pocket the way you want to.

When you notice the Middle Road has started to break down, you should prepare yourself for making necessary adjustments. One thing to note, the pattern seems to open up your angles the longer you play on it. So as the lane transitions, you can move a bit to the right and play a bit from the outside, again not too much. Honestly, there are many ways you can play the pattern depending on style. You can either shoot straight or hook the ball throughout the lane from the start while keeping the breakpoint the same.

When I played this pattern in a tournament, it seemed like straighter is greater.  I used a ball that had controllable backends and played around the second arrow. Most of my breakpoints were near the 8-10 boards. When I attempted to play a little out with more swing to the ball, my ball didn’t make it. I ended up with some ugly spares. The more I moved inside as the lane transitioned, the more trouble I got into. So learn from my mistakes. Sticking to the area you started is the best thing to do to play this pattern flawlessly.

Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?

Time for some ball recommendations. As mentioned, you need a ball has offers controllable backends. Therefore, balls that tend to skid or flip on the lane would be out of the question. So clearly, you need something smooth through the fronts and also has great continuation at the backends. Ebonite Mission is a great benchmark ball for the Middle Road oil pattern. Some alternatives for that ball would be the Radical More Cash (blue), DV8 Turmoil Solid, or the Brunswick Method.

If you have any of these bowling balls in your arsenal, take them with you— Brunswick Twist, Columbia 300 Freeze, Ebonite Cyclone, Storm Tropical Heat, Columbia 300  Speed, DV8 Hell Raiser Blaze, Radical Beyond Ridiculous, etc. Make sure the ball you’re using isn’t being too crazy on the lane. Keep an eye on its controllability and ball reaction to the lane.


Overall, it’s a fun recreation pattern, not too difficult, not mindlessly easy either. It’s right in the middle. So the name Middle Road is fully justified. I hope this guideline was helpful enough for you and gave you a basic idea of where to start on the Kegel Middle Road oil pattern. Now, all you have to do is prepare yourself for your upcoming challenges. Good luck, mates!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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