Now, onto some happier bowling news: blue oil! I was actually thinking about the possibility of visible oil patterns earlier last week before the announcement that the WSOB would be using blue oil for its televised finals and was shocked to see it had come to fruition in less than a week's time (you're welcome!). The visible oil will allow television viewers the opportunity to see how a sport pattern looks and breaks down throughout a PBA stepladder final. Of course some are already complaining that visible oil patterns are the end of bowling as we know it by taking one big variable out of the equation and letting the bowlers actually see the transition. I think it is the exact opposite. This is the PBA's way of telling the couch-riding bowlers at home who think they could do better to shut up.
|photo from 11thframe.com|
If all goes well, though, I see a great future for visible oil. Whereas the PBA is using the blue oil as a way to emphasize difficulty, I see this invention as a teaching tool. All junior leagues should utilize the blue oil as a way for youth bowlers to learn how a typical house pattern looks and breaks down and how these changes affect their balls' reaction. While the colored oil is not good at showing the amount of oil in each area, it will still give newcomers one less thing to try to understand when learning about patterns. This philosophy could also apply to Sport leagues, perhaps by using blue oil the first week a new pattern is used.
One of the great difficulties of bowling is that we don't see the variables that effect each throw. Imagine golfing on a course where all 18 holes are in the exact same place, but the trees, sand traps and water hazards are invisible and move around each shot. This new oil will let bowlers and non-bowlers better understand the changes that take place during a game and, perhaps, give us all a greater appreciation for how we read and adjust to these changes when we can't see them.