The change in the oil pattern brought much of the same for a pair of teams at the top of the standings. With only two weeks remaining before the playoffs, it's time to sting or be stung.
A common misconception is that arachnophobia is merely the fear of spiders, while in fact it applies to any arachnid, a class of invertebrates that includes spiders, mites, ticks, and yes, the scorpion. Which is why nearly half the league ran out of Harvest Park Bowl screaming and flailing their arms after they were told that the Scorpion pattern was put out on the lanes.
After they were rounded up and coaxed back into the center with a few strategic lies and some generic Ritalin, they were reminded that the Scorpion was only the name of one of the PBA oil patterns that the league is using for the summer.
After bowling on the Viper pattern for four weeks, the change to the Scorpion required the keglers to adjust their plan of attack. The Scorpion pattern applies 41 feet of oil as compared to the 37 feet utilized by the Viper pattern.
Four feet of oil might not seem like a big change, but it effectively means that the bowlers have about 20 percent less friction at the end of the pattern. Less friction means less hook on the ball, which forces bowlers toward the center of the lane. This was blatantly obvious on Monday, as errant shots to the outside of the lanes never stood a chance of getting back to the pocket.
How frightening was the oil change for the bowlers? Well apparently scary enough to keep three of the leagues' top four bowlers away from the lanes. With Darrell Hanson, HansonRealEstate.com, Juergen Siemers, Team 6, and Vaughn Karabedian, Team 7, all cowering at home, the league failed to produce a single 800 series on Monday.
Teammates Tim Piper and Tim Nelson of TopGradeConstruction.com came the closest with 794 and 793 sets, respectively. As a consolation prize, however, the duo led TopGradeConstruction.com to a league-high 49 points on the night. Close behind was Team 6, led by the high woman in the league, Patti Lancaster, who fired a 740 four-game set. The team won 48 points and all but locked up a set of byes in the upcoming bracket playoffs that take place in three weeks.
With only two weeks left to make the finals and lock up a bye or two, the bowlers will need to adjust to the new oil pattern quickly. Because as frightening as vipers can be, a scorpion can paralyze you with a single strike of its tail. So take cover in the inside of the lane and get over your arachnophobia.