Are you soon going to play in a tournament where they will use a WTBA approved oil pattern? Let me guess, it’s the London oil pattern? Then, you have come to the right place. The World Tenpin Bowling Association independently formulates its own bowling oil patterns. One of the most popular is the WTBA London oil pattern. It is known for being a high-scoring long pattern, but there is a catch— the pattern is not too easy to play. However, with special tips and tricks, nothing should be impossible, right? So without any further delay, let’s learn more about the WTBA London oil pattern, shall we?
What is the WTBA London oil pattern?
The WTBA London is as classy as it sounds. Because of having a 44 feet long oil pattern distance with a 1:2.44 ratio, it is considered a tapered longer pattern that is not too easy. With Kegel’s Flex Lane Machine, oil per board is changeable on this pattern. Both tanks of the machine contain the Kegel conditioner that is applied on the lane.
Now, you must be wondering whether this lane is going to have a heavy or a medium condition. Well, WTBA London is pretty slick. The Total Volume of Oil on this pattern is 26.55 mL, where the Total Forward Oil is 23.65 ml and the Total Reverse Oil is 2.9 mL only. Therefore, in terms of oil, it is in the middle range. The Total Boards Crossed on the WTBA London oil pattern is 531 boards (usually 473 Boards- Forward and 58 Boards- Reverse).
How to attack the Statue of Liberty oil pattern?
Before anything else, let’s find out where your breakpoint is going to be. According to the Kegel Training Centre, we should use the ‘rule of 31’. The formula is Pattern Length – 31 = number of boards where your bowling ball is going to exit the pattern. So, 44 – 31 = 13. If you’re intending to hook your bowling ball, you gotta start somewhere around the 16 board and that’s how you will see your breakpoint at the 13 board.
An accurate speed is the essence of this bowling oil pattern. If you throw really hard on this pattern, you’re gonna have a tough time. It will go too left (for right-handers) and not too much to the outside. If you roll your ball on the lane a bit too quick, you’re gonna see the consequences of your ball not going back into the pocket. The skids will be too much with a fast-moving bowling ball. That’s why you have to be softer with your speed using a medium bowling ball with shiny coverstock to let it get through the fronts. Make sure your speed gets matched up to the ball and still comes off at the end of the pattern.
Your moves are going to be parallel on this pattern as it’s the front lane that will get broken down the most. If you like to use the surface more than others, you’re gonna break down the lane even faster. Whether you do it fast or not, after you notice some changes in the pattern, move to the left and angle your bowling ball through the front as the down lane will get too tight. There will be only 16 feet past the end of the pattern to the pin area. That’s not enough to really open it up.
Like most long patterns, you shouldn’t move too far outside. You’re more likely to have the most success on this pattern using a late hooking ball pretty straight down the 11-12 boards. If you start around 13-14 board, you’re not gonna have your breakpoint anywhere farther right than 10 board. So try to keep it inside and once the breakdown occurs and move to the parallel right and yes, stick to the same ball to maintain consistency in ball motion.
If you want, you can move a bit to the left. However, you will have to shoot from the outside of the lane with a smooth sandy ball. The more you start on the left side of the lane, the smaller your room will get. So if you move too left, and the more you play on this pattern, you are gonna face some unwanted troubles. So stay on the right as long as you can.
A simple reminder: There will be a lot of traffic on the right side of the lane. This can lead to some overhooks that you don’t want. And then with the overhooks, you might get some Brooklyns, if not, some washouts or even splits.
You gotta keep an eye on the midlane reaction throughout your game. Because the volume is quite low and everyone will use the surface, you’ll do the same almost constantly. Unless you have a low rev rate, I’d recommend using a strong rolling symmetrical cored ball (definitely not skid-flip), on the fresh oil. The trick is to not give the pocket away on the long. Maintain a constant breakpoint and an entry angle to keep you lined up longer by going straighter.
Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?
A nice benchmark bowling ball you can use on the WTBA London oil pattern is the Columbia 300 Messenger bowling ball (Red/Black). Professional bowlers who have won titles playing on this pattern claim that a medium shiny/pearl ball with surface on them, let’s say, 1000 Abralon is the best thing to use to defeat all the odds.
A great alternative to the previously mentioned ball is the Storm Pitch Purple. Since it is a pretty late hooking ball, you’re gonna enjoy throwing it on such a tapered oil pattern. This kind of bowling ball will allow you to get the ball through the front and you can just chase it left and then, just come around it a little bit more.
For the WTBA London oil pattern, you can use any of these amazing bowling balls—Storm Electrify Pearl, Storm Match Up Black Pearl, Hammer Raw Hammer Black Solid, Storm Fast Pitch. All of these balls have a matte cover (out of the box) with a symmetric core, which is just the thing you need.
Remember, using a mid-level bowling ball won’t solve all of your problems. You have to be very mindful of your ball’s speed. Don’t be too aggressive or quick, and don’t be too slow. The results will never be satisfying and you can just forget about having any strikes.
Remember, the key to success on the WTBA London pattern is speed. Not too fast, not too slow. During your practice session, work on your speed and make it perfect. Don’t use a ball that is too crazy once it gets on the lane. Follow the guidelines I have added in this article and you will be alright. As always, Good luck!