How to Play on PBA Mark Roth Oil Pattern [An Effective Guideline]

Understanding Mark Roth Oil Pattern

The 34 PBA titleholder, Mark Roth (April 10, 1951 – November 26, 2021) was one of the extraordinary professional bowlers. Best known for being the first pro bowler to ever convert a 7-10 split on live national television, Mark Roth has also established his name in many other ways. He has a few tournaments and championships named after him, but what most of us know him for is the PBA oil pattern that is named after him. So today, the PBA Hall of Fame (Legends) pattern we are going to talk bout is the PBA Mark Roth oil pattern. I will try to cover everything you need to know to play on this pattern. So let’s get started, shall we?

What is the PBA Mark Roth oil pattern?

The newly updated PBA Mark Roth oil pattern is 42 feet in length generating 27.9 mL of Total Volume Oil with a ratio of 5.45:1. The forward oil total is 15.35 mL and the reverse oil total is 12.55 mL. The Total Boards Crossed in the Mark Roth oil pattern are 558 Boards, where the Forward Boards Crossed are 307 boards and Reverse Boards Crossed are 251 boards.

The low-medium volume of oil and the moderately high ratio is indicating that there will be a high strike percentage on this pattern. There is an ever lighter version of this pattern where there is 40uL of oil on each board. The total amount of the Forward Oil is 1.28 mL and the Reverse Oil is 10.04 mL. So in total, the Oil Volume is 22.32 mL. Generally, the Ikon lane machine is used to lay out the oil. However, the type of oil and the application system are up to your choice.

How to attack the PBA Mark Roth oil pattern?

The PBA Experience patterns are usually a bit hard to play. Like most PBA patterns, the Mark Roth pattern has a high saturation of oil at the front part of the lane and some dry parts on the outside. Before you throw your bowling ball on this pattern, you should do some calculations. So let’s do that first, okay?

The ‘Rule of 31’ points out that you can expect your ball’s breakpoint to be somewhere around the, 42 – 31= 11 board. So if you stand close in between the 4th and 3rd arrow and start around the 3rd arrow your ball will make a move to the pocket somewhere around the 11 board. You don’t strictly have to follow that. The exit can take place a bit to the right at the 9 board or a bit left at the 13 board.

The Mark Roth is actually a pretty high-friction oil pattern, both on the inside and on the outside. Starting a little further out and then slowly migrating to the left, as the lane transitions, is gonna be a smart thing to do. For left-handed bowlers, I will suggest staying left to get out of the right-hander’s lay-down area.

So what is the best way to attack this pattern? Well, stay right as far as you can. There will be plenty of oil to the left for right-handed bowlers. The longer you keep playing on that oil, the more the oil will disappear and force you to move farther inside. You can continue doing that until the end of the block when the pattern is chewed up way too much.

To hit the pattern from the left, you should stay a bit outside, and instead of moving with your feet, you move with your ball. Another thing you can do is go for a weaker coverstock ball and throw it harder and make adjustments so that you can stay in the same place. This is because you do not want to get right where the right-handed bowlers have played. Why? Because after a few games, right-handers will chew up the front part of the lane, and that will make your ball roll too early and roll out and as a result, it won’t recover when you throw it to the left.

For right-handed bowlers, there will be fewer complications. You won’t have to throw your ball in the area where the lefties throw their balls. Since the pattern doesn’t have much volume on the outside, you will be able to see quite a bit of friction and therefore, a smoother hook.

Video: Scott Norton discusses the Mark Roth Pattern

Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?

To show off the performance of your lifetime, you should opt for a cleaner bowling ball for the Mark Roth oil pattern. A moderately strong shiny (if matter then not more than 1000 Grit) bowling ball will work best for the most part. And what about hook range? Well, on the hook spectrum, make sure they aren’t designed for extremely aggressive curves.

To play the PBA Mark Roth oil pattern there are some amazing bowling balls. A great place to start is the Radical Katana Dragon. If you don’t have that ball, some of my other recommendations would be— the Roto Grip Hyper Cell, 900 Global Reality (reduce the surface to 500/1000 Abralon), DV8 Grudge Hybrid, Motiv Venom Shock, Roto Grip Haywire, Radical Maximum Results, Track Mako (bring it down to 1000 Abralon), and also the original Brunswick Nirvana.


With the right tactics and the right piece of equipment, no oil pattern is impossible. All you need is enough practice to dominate on it. The PBA Mark Roth oil pattern may make you struggle a little but you will get the knack of it, and eventually will find it pretty easy. So boost your skill by playing this pattern. See ya later, my folks!


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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