How to Bowl on PBA Johnny Petraglia oil pattern?

johnny petraglia oil patternThe 14 PBA Tour titles winner, Johnny Petraglia Sr. is one of the legends that we still remember to this day. PBA has come up with a bowling oil pattern named after him. If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you have a league game or tournament coming. Well, you’re in the right place at the right time. Today, I will guide you through everything you need to know regarding the Johnny Petraglia oil pattern. So, before you pick a random bowling ball up and start playing make sure you do it right after reading this piece.

What is the Johnny Petraglia oil pattern?

Ever since the Johnny Petraglia oil pattern is approved by the Professional Bowling Association (PBA), it has gone through many updates. First, it was introduced as a 36 feet pattern. Then the length was changed to 37 feet and this was used till 2019. In 2020, it was updated again. Now, the pattern is 46 feet in length. As you can see, this medium pattern is now one of the longest PBA oil patterns.

This USBC Hall of Fame pattern has 50 uL of oil on each board. If you are soon to face this bowling oil pattern, be prepared to see an oil ratio of 9.58:1, which is almost similar to the house shot pattern. The number 9.58 indicated the amount of oil that will be on the middle part of the lane, and 1 indicates the amount of oil you will find on the outside part of the lane close to the gutters. The type of conditioner and the way of oil transfer are customizable.

How to attack the PBA Johnny Petraglia oil pattern?

When the Johnny Petraglia pattern was 37 feet, players were bound to play farther right (or farther left if left-handed). After the pattern distance was updated to 46 feet, players moved toward the middle of the lane. So using the Rule of 31, you will have an idea about where you should play.

So, take the PL (pattern length) 46 feet and subtract 31 from that. It gives you 46-31 = 15 boards. The number indicates that you should play somewhere around 15 boards. However, you don’t strictly have to have your breakpoint at 15 board. This is just an estimation.

Using the accurate bowling strategy and bowling ball, you can move a bit farther right/ left from the 15 board. But try not to go too inside, otherwise, you won’t be able to hit the pocket right and that will leave you with some nasty spares. Your exit point on Johnny Petraglia oil pattern could be anywhere between 16 and as far right as 10. I’d say, it’s safer to play on the 12-13 boards and keep your shots straight so it doesn’t hook too much down the lane.

Hooking your bowling ball on a long pattern like Johnny Petraglia is risky. The ball will shift to the corner and you will end up with half the pins still standing at the end of the lane. If you think, you can start around 8 board and attempt to hook your bowling ball, well, you gotta try that during your practice first. If I were you, I wouldn’t do that. So, yes, I will discourage using a high-hooking ball on this oil pattern.

To befriend the pattern, you are gonna need end, and accuracy on the PBA Johnny Petraglia oil patternTo befriend the pattern, you are gonna need excellent ball speed, controllable backend, and accuracy on the PBA Johnny Petraglia oil pattern. If it is your practice session, see whether you’re striking in the middle part of the lane or not. If you think you gotta move a little left or right, make adjustments according to that. But as soon as you notice the lane breaking down, move a bit inside and expect a different exit point of your ball.

Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?

So, what kind of bowling ball will be the best for this PBA sports bowling oil pattern? It is a known fact that most PBA tournament players or professionals love playing with aggressive bowling balls. How suitable is that for the Johnny Petraglia oil pattern? IMO, a medium to a high-performance ball with controllable motion and backend reaction would be the best possible bowling gear for this particular oil pattern.

You want a ball that is not going to lose its energy as it travels down lane and when it reaches the pocket, it will cause enough pin movement. Using a straight bowling ball is not gonna make your ball flip and it will gradually lose its energy even if you throw it hard to get a higher ball speed. Also, try to avoid bowling balls that hook at an extreme angular shape at the breakpoint. This will also jeopardize your shot.

For the PBA Johnny Petraglia oil pattern, a good benchmark bowling ball would be the Radical More Cash with a 500 Siaair micro pad finish. When you’re using this ball, don’t get it too right when the oil is still fresh on the lane. The ball makes a beautiful curve at the breakpoint without making any angular shape.

Another great bowling ball for this pattern is the DV8 Grudge Hybrid (500 Grit Siaair). With this ball, try not to overthrow. The ball itself is very strong, so any aggressive move will make you end up with spares on the lane. Brunswick Nirvana is a nice alternative bowling ball to use on this pattern. Since this ball is a bit early-rolling, you should stay more up the back to control the downlane reaction.

If it is your first time bowling on this pattern, do keep some spare balls in your arsenal. One of my favorites for this pattern is the Radical The Spy bowling ball. Make sure it is sanded to 500, otherwise, the ball won’t go straight as you intend it to.


And scene! That’s all for today, folks! The key to success is to keep up the consistency. If you can throw your bowling ball right on point, nothing can stop you from winning the trophy. So, to achieve success in your future endeavor keep on practicing. And, as always, good luck!


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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