June 27, 2012
Scorpion Oil Pattern
The Scorpion oil pattern has a length of 41' and resembles a slicked up house pattern with copious amounts of oil in the front end. Early on the pattern is easier to read and straighter lines are preferable, but after a few frames the heavy oil will be redistributed and pushed even further down the lane. This places importance on a good practice session to find your line and also building a good foundation early in the game. Once the pattern changes, it could take some time to locate or break in a new angle, so starting off well is key. Because of the constantly changing conditions, scores on this pattern are typically low to medium.
My research has shown that there are two big transitions on this pattern. The first happens early in the evening as the heavy front end oil is carried down the lane. Lines will tighten and straighten up a bit as the backend shortens even more. After another game and a half to two games the pattern begins to break down and lines can begin to move a little further inside. Missing outside is not an option on the Scorpion as the shorter backend and heavy oil will not allow for the ball to come back to the pocket.
Plan of Action
The common theme throughout the animal patterns is learning how to read the lanes and adjusting appropriately. I cannot wait until my line is completely gone before adjusting, or else I will get left behind. At the hint of my line breaking down I need to be on the lookout for what adjustment or new line will work best. I may have to sacrifice scoring during the first week so that I can gain knowledge to help me anticipate adjustments in the other two. This pattern leaves you at the mercy of the other bowlers as much as it does your own skill because they could be pushing oil into your line, forcing you to adjust even earlier than expected.
I think that this might be the first time where my lack of a complete arsenal may hinder my performance. With such a long and oily pattern, balls that can generate a big hook will fare better in the shorter backend and allow for more possibilities as the lanes break down. I don't throw a big hook, but I might be able to get a few more revs and slow my ball speed enough to make some difference. Hopefully I can work a direct line to the pocket with enough revs on the ball to carry all ten pins.