How To Play on PBA Del Ballard Oil Pattern?

Understanding PBA Del Ballard Oil Pattern..

Are you a big fan of Del Ballard Jr., the 13 PBA titles holder? Then I have come up with great news! PBA has collaborated with him and designed the Del Ballard oil pattern. This is a PBA Hall of Fame sports pattern. Also, it is one of the shortest PBA Experience (the USBC Sport Bowling program) patterns. So is your local bowling house using this bowling lane pattern recently? Are you not sure how to pull off the PBA Del Ballard pattern? As your true loyal friend, I have got your back! I’m here to answer all of your regarding this oil pattern. So without further ado, let’s get started.

What is PBA Del Ballard oil pattern?

The sports oil patterns that are accredited by Professional Bowling Association (PBA) are some of the most challenging patterns. As challenging as they can get, bowlers tend to love what they come across and defeat all odds using the right and precise strategy. However, the majority of the bowlers are often afraid of the longer patterns. So PBA has some shorter patterns so a bowler can enjoy all kinds of bowling oil patterns.

The 35 feet Del Ballard oil pattern is a very popular Legend Pattern by PBA. Because it is less than 37 feet, it falls under the short oil pattern category. The total amount of the Forward Oil is 15 mL and the Reverse Oil is 14.75 mL. So you will see the Volume Oil Total of 29.75 mL on the lane.

The Total Boards Crossed in this bowling oil pattern are 595 Boards, where the Forward Boards Crossed are 300 boards and Reverse Boards Crossed are 295 boards. And, of course, you will get 50 uL of oil per board. The condition and its transfer type will vary from house to house because they are customizable. So when you’re playing in a PBA tournament with this pattern, the experience will be much different than your nearby bowling center’s.

How to attack the PBA Del Ballard oil pattern?

Scoring a decent average on a short oil pattern is not an easy job. Shorter patterns are just as challenging as longer ones. So, are the strategies different when it comes to attacking a short oil pattern? Of course, it is! From ball selection to target arrow, everything will be different for you. To score well on a short pattern, like the PBA Del Ballard, your bowling techniques should be different. On the PBA Del Ballard, what you want to do is— you want your bowling ball to be rolling forward off the back of the pattern.

A great way to figure out where to start would be the Rule of 31. As mentioned above, the pattern length is 34. So let’s subtract 31 from 34. That gives you (34-31) = 3. So for Del Ballard, the 3 board seems to be a sweet spot for your bowling ball’s breakpoint. Uh-oh, there’s a catch.

Most of us are afraid of throwing our bowling ball when this is what the rule of 31 indicates. Is there any hack to survive that? Well, you will have to imagine the gutter as part of the lane instead of fearing it too much as your breakpoint is going to be closer to the gutter than to the middle part of the lane. So is that really necessary? It’s important because that’s going to allow the ball to exit the pattern the most correct way, and your ball is gonna hook on point.

I have personally played on the PBA Del Ballard oil pattern once, and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun for me. Not because I couldn’t score nice but because my ball was getting so close to the gutter every time I was throwing it down the lane. Every time it got close to the gutter, it almost gave me a heart attack. But hey! I was a beginner back then. If you have been bowling for a while now, you have nothing to worry about.

Do you remember Del Ballard’s gutter ball? That’s exactly how you’re going to play on this pattern. You will have to achieve great accuracy in your ball throw so it doesn’t get into the channel. On your breakpoint, the bowling ball will come flying off the back of the pattern and it’s going to hit the pins really hard. This will allow more strikes and a higher margin of error. You just gotta do it right.

Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?

The key to success on the PBA Dell Ballard pattern is using the right equipment. Short patterns like this one has no oil on almost half of the lane. Hence you’ll need a bowling ball that can skid through the high oil volume on the head of the lane. The ball shouldn’t grab immediately onto the lane while leaving the oil part half way down the lane and face higher level of friction.

So what kind of bowling ball will be the best for the PBA Del Ballard oil pattern? A bowling ball with a shiny coverstock, I’d recommend going for a urethane ball when you decide to bowl on such shorter oil patterns. A good benchmark bowling ball for this bowling oil pattern can be the Motiv Venom Shock Pearl. I use this ball on the 33 feet PBA Wolf pattern all the time and I absolutely love it.

A fine substitute for that ball is Motiv Purple Tank or Motiv Tank Blitz. Both of these balls have sanded covers, but you can always change that to polished. Another nice yet less aggressive bowling ball that is perfect for the tough short pattern is the Brunswick Kingpin Max. The ball is going to deliver a predictable motion and great traction even when the lane gets extremely difficult.


There you go, homeboys! That’s all I have to say about the PBA Del Ballard oil pattern. With the right bowling ball and the right aim, you will be unstoppable on this pattern. Don’t be scared to play close to the gutter and when the lane gets more difficult, just move a bit inside. I hope this article will be a great help to prepare for your upcoming challenges on this short pattern. 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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