June 6, 2012
Cheetah Oil Pattern
The Cheetah oil pattern has a length of 35', making it the shortest of the PBA animal named patterns. With heavy oil in the front 10' quickly changing to nothing, the ball will skid slightly before breaking early and hard. While similar in layout and only three feet shorter than the NCAA #3 pattern, the heavy front end oil of the Cheetah extends half as far down the lane, providing more room for the ball to grab. Often shots on this pattern need to flirt with the gutter before hooking toward the pocket in order to get the best entry angle to carry all ten pins. If you can play close to the gutter to avoid hooking past the pocket, scores on this pattern are typically high.
Plan of action
I don't often throw close to the gutter, but it seems that the first few patterns of this league are going to force me to become comfortable with that sort of line. One advantage I do have is that I do not typically throw a big hook, so I should be able to play a little further left of the channel than some of the other bowlers and eliminate the threat of dumping the ball in the gutter. At the same time, I cannot be afraid to put the ball out there if needed, placing a premium on my accuracy. In the end, the line I play is going to be contingent on how much hook the ball generates on its own.
Since there isn't much oil on the lane to begin with there should be little need for adjustments to counter changing lane conditions. Once I find a line that is working well, I may have to play with hand and wrist adjustments to get the right amount of revs on the ball. The lack of oil also means that I will be looking to my plastic ball for spares including the 4-6-7-8-9-10 pins. This pattern seems to put an emphasis on repetition, which has been a weak point for me, so I think it will be great practice.