Rule Of 31 In Bowling Ball Selection Simplified

Rule Of 31 In Bowling Ball Selection Simplified

Amateurs to professional bowlers makes effort in getting the knowledge and knowing the techniques and skills of playing a game on a bowling lane, particularly when things are not going according to the plan.

Till now, you might have found an easy area to play on lanes, but when it does not goes according to the plan, it might makes you think about what to do next? Getting the insights on rule of 31 are majors every player requires to understand to make alterations and be prosperous on the lanes.

Insights on Rule of 31 and Ball Motion

Rule of 31 for Oil Patterns

The rule of 31 in bowling game is a plain formula that requires the standard length, deducts it by the number 31 and ultimately leave you at the place where the ball should get out of the pattern. For instance, a house shot that is being extinguished for most tournaments is almost 40 feet long.

Now, consider that 40 and deduct it by 31 in order to apply the rule and you will get a 9 consequently for the leaving point or break point. The 9 number is the panel on the lane which is 40 feet as for a pattern length and at that point the bowling ball will leave the oil pattern and start to hit resistance and hook.

It is very crucial to understand that a bowling lane is almost 60 feet in terms of 40 feet long, consequently there is a 20 feet of bowling lane left without oil initially, along with no bowling balls launched on the pattern.

The lane that is 20 feet without oil is reviewed friction in view of the fact that the ball that slides on the oily surface of 40 feet will now grab on to the surface on the last 20 feet of lane due to the friction.

A simple comparison for this is to assume yourself on an ice ride or ice driving on an ice, regardless of whatever you are doing, you car will definitely slide for the reason that you are on a slide.

But, once your car leaves the ice over the pavement, it now holds the road and you can control your car again. Having a knowledge of pattern length of a bowling lane and a rule of 31 provides you a standard idea of where exactly your ball needs to go or where you have to throw your ball in order to get into the pocket.

Ball Movement

Generally, there are three stages of ball movement and that is hook, skid and roll. With a view to strike, your ball is required to go through all these stages.


  • The hook stage takes place starting from arrows to the range finders and this is the place where you will start to see the changing it’s position and direction.
  • Another phase that is skid stage, takes place starting from the foul to the arrows. This stage linearly commands the directional way of the ball. At this point, the bowling ball is at relatively high speed and also has it’s a considerable amount of axis of rotation within this phase.
  • Another stage is roll phase and it takes place only when the bowling ball leaves the oil pattern and enters the friction, or relatively dry area of the lane. The ball in it moves in a straight line and rolls end over end. The axis rotation of the bowling ball has completely lost and now is moving on a lane with a relatively low speed.

Most of the time when you leave the pins at the corner, the ball at that time is in a hook stage when it strikes the pocket, making the ball to divert it’s position instead of moving through the pocket as it has to be in the rolling stage.

This is the exact point where the choice and surface of a bowling ball applied to it plays a key role in order to get maximum number of strikes on a bowling lane.

When playing next time, make sure that before the ball leaves your hand, before your throw, watch the bowling ball carefully and take notes of that position and then decide what alterations requires to be applied to stay a bit more competitive.

Acknowledging to attain a strike with rule of 31

With the aid of adequate knowledge of a bowling ball movement and the rule of 31, you can properly exercise your swings and then ultimately get the exact idea of where you can throw your ball within the oil pattern on a bowling lane to attain a strike.

So, finally you are required to get familiar with the rule of 31 to have an ideal game.

This rule of 31 is considered as the best and most famous mathematical equation in the world of bowling game, and is utilized by all the proficient within a bowling alley and tournaments and leagues that are hosted by PBA and other authoritative major governing bodies in a bowling association.

Oil Patterns on a Bowling Lane

Oil patterns or lubricant arrangements on a bowling lane are the levels of oil applied over the bowling lane by an equipment called as the lane machine. The patterns of oil on these bowling lane counts on the volume of oil the total length of a bowling lane that is being slathered on.

These oil patterns are then situated on a bowling lane in order to give a skid phase to the bowling ball to drive very fast all over the bowling lane of 60 feet. Alternatively, the ball would then loose its speed before heading towards the headpin at the end of a bowling lane within a game.

PBA Oil Patterns

Entertainment patterns or house patterns are mostly restricted to being applied at domestic and entertainment bowling centers. But, when we talk about the big leagues and tournament entertaining centers, things might get difficult.

The majorly utilized oil pattern in the proficient bowling association tournaments and leagues is the match pattern, which ultimately makes the bowling lane more disposed to bowler error.

The motion of ball and the bending of ball need to be accurately precise; otherwise the ball will not have a strike. This ultimately aids in making the margin of faults little and making it most challenging oil patterns in proficient bowling.

Regular Oil Patterns

No matter if it is a domestic bowling alley or an appropriate bowling center, one that stays throughout the bowling alley is the mean house oil pattern within a bowling lane.

Now, as we know the length of a standard oil patterns of bowling lane, you must be thinking what exactly oil patterns are utilized normally by domestic by domestic and little bowling alleys that are usually not at all hosting considerable number of tournaments and leagues.

As reported by the resources, most alleys in a world choose house patterns that are reviewed as bowling ball friendly. These oil patterns then aid the bowling ball tilted into the pocket at the end of a bowling lane to assist the players hit a strike in view of the fact that these bowling alleys are made for entertainment purposes and not for the official tournaments.

Most Challenging Oil Patterns

As reported by PBA officials, the most challenging oil pattern utilized in a bowling ball is the US Open Oil pattern. This pattern is actually made for the leagues and tournaments that are carried out by the PBA themselves, which already implies that it is goanna be tough.

The oil pattern is reviewed as a flat path in view of the fact that an even layer of applying the oil all of the 39 boards of a bowling lane from one gutter to another, making it quite tough for players to attain the right strike and then knock down all the pins present at the end of the bowling lane.

With every passing year, this oil pattern seems to have an alteration here and there, but the ground of oil pattern stays the same. As we already know, the length of it is somewhere around 40-42 feet and it is very long and it will be even difficult for the players to attain a clean shot. This is the reason; it is reviewed as the toughest and most challenging oil pattern utilized in professional tournaments across the world.

Critique of the Rule 31

Many players warn against considering it as an infallible or an official rule by bowling lanes with shorter length comparatively or bowling lanes that are very long. This rule is only effective for game patterns as compared to that of standard house shot that many of the players will face in a tournament or a league play.

But, all the same, it is still a very crucial and useful standard rule of thumb that you should know about and get ready to make use of it when appropriate.

As you can easily see sometimes even PBA players utilize this rule of 31 to sustain wherever they want to bowl each pattern. For players, it is usually automatic whenever they observe the length of a bowling lane and the oil. It is typically not believed or assumed whether they are bowling inside or may be outside of the bowling lane.

They utilized this rule of 31 to get themselves settled within a game, then the applied alterations and ball changes. It is reality, we can apply the same rules and ultimately make our matches easier and more plausible.

Final Considerations

In bowling game, the rule of 31 has too much to deal with oil pattern of a bowling ball with respect to the bowling lane that are rolling on. If you are perfectly aware of this rule of 31 for your bowling game advantage and to judge the game perfectly by knowing the lane conditions and oil patterns.

I really hope that you get a lot from this piece of writing and that you will apply these insights of the rule of 31 precisely in your upcoming bowling games in a bowling alley in order to strike down all the pins and have a perfect game.

FAQs Of Rule Of 31 In Bowling Ball

Which is most challenging oil pattern in bowling?

Badger, which is known as the longest animal oil pattern of almost 52 feet long by PBA. You are required to play straight while maintaining your break point much closer to pocket at the end of the lane. Another lane which is 40 feet long, called as bear and is known as the most challenging lane in a bowling alley.

Which player is known to have the most games?

Well, A player named as Fero Williams is the one to have the most 300 games. According to the records by USBC, he has rolled over almost 135.

Is it possible to see the blue oil?

The PBA has actually launched the lane oil that is now visible for the PBA players and they took their strike for the first time with a visible oil pattern.

What does the term Cheetah Bowling mean?

This measures around 35 feet and also is the shortest of all the five patterns in bowling alley. But sometimes these are utilized on the lane surfaces that are usually well worn, it practices to maximize the surface on the lane with comparatively less wear.

Is it illegal to do sandbagging while playing a bowling ball?

A rule was generated by USBC in order to avoid the illegal attempts in bowling game. A player can be accused of encountering to attain an illegal advantage in a tournament or league play for the given reasons: “Tampering with the bowling lanes, bowling balls or bowling pins in a bowling alley no matter if it is directly or indirectly, no longer meet the expectation of the specifications allotted by USBC.”

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