Lane Transition – Part 3

Lane Transition – Part 3 by Ed Cotter


In Part 1, I discussed the effect of different ball types had on lane transition and in Part 2, I discussed the different lanes surfaces.  One thing every bowler has to contend with and has little control offer is the environment.   The environment is the atmosphere of the bowling center.  Whether it is the temperature or the humidity, both can dramatically affect lane transition.


Hot and cold affects all liquids the same way.  Temperature affects a liquid’s viscosity.  The thickness, how easily the liquid moves, is greatly impacted.  You may have heard the phrase, ‘moving as fast as cold molasses in January.’  Well this is accurate in the regards to lane oil.  The cooler the temperature, the thicker the lane oil is and the less likely it is to remain in place after a ball has rolled through.  Thicker oil is less likely to move back and recover from the ball rolling through it.  To illustrate this, find a dusty area and run your finger through the dust.  The dust in your finger’s path is removed.  Did the dust to the sides of the path fill in the path?  Not likely.  This is what happens to thicker oil.


Conversely, thinner (warm) oil will recover better with less carry down.  The oil moves better and is pushed more than it’s carried.  To illustrate this, put a thin layer of water in a plate and run your finger through it.  Can you see the path your finger made?  Not likely.  The water moved as your finger passed through and recovered the area touched by your finger.


Both these illustrations are a little extreme, but they present how temperature will affect the lane oil.  Humidity tends to do the same thing are temperature.  The more humidity present, the thinner the oil, while less humidity tends to create thicker oil.  What the direct affects are haven’t been studied.  That doesn’t mean they can be ignored.  Lane transition is affected by a multitude of factors, not just the type of ball cover stock.


Knowing and accounting for all these factors will help you understand and adapt to lane transition that is occurring. 


Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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