2021 PBA World Series of Bowling XII

Pattern Breakdown: Analyzing The Six 2021 World Series Of Bowling Patterns

Pattern Breakdown: Analyzing The Six 2021 World Series Of Bowling Patterns

The World Series of Bowling concludes the Florida winter swing, and a total of six patterns will be contested on throughout the event.

Mar 7, 2021 by Matt Wozney
Pattern Breakdown: Analyzing The Six 2021 World Series Of Bowling Patterns
TAMPA, Fla. – The 2021 PBA World Series of Bowling concludes the Florida winter swing of the PBA Tour, and a total of six patterns will be contested on throughout the event.

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TAMPA, Fla. – The 2021 PBA World Series of Bowling concludes the Florida winter swing of the PBA Tour, and a total of six patterns will be contested on throughout the event.

Three patterns – Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion – will be the animal patterns used for each respective championship as well as combined for qualifying for the PBA World Championship.

Bowlers who advance in the PBA World Championship will bowl on the Earl Anthony 43 pattern. And for the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, all advancing teams will bowl on the Mark Roth 42 and Marshall Holman 37 patterns in a dual pattern tournament format.

The lane surface is AMF HPL, which means high friction in the front part of the lane as bowlers progress through their block. Topography in the building is fairly drastic pair to pair and will be a popular topic of discussion these next two weeks

Let’s dive into the details of all of the patterns.

PBA Cheetah 35

Kicking off the World Series of Bowling will be the Cheetah pattern. The shortest pattern out of group, the Cheetah is 35 feet long, almost perfectly flat with a 1.32:1 ratio, and one of the lowest oil volume totals we’ve seen on the PBA Tour in some time at 20.59 mL. 

Notoriously on short PBA patterns, the ratios are very close to 1:1 which means hitting your target will be extra critical. Urethane will be a popular option to control the backend of the lane and still hit the pocket with a strong reaction. Once urethane becomes too early, cleaner reactive covers will help get the ball through the fronts. 

But as much as you want to get the ball clean through the front part of the lane, the ball reaction down lane becomes even more important because the shorter pattern will lead the ball to “burn out” and lose reaction. At that point, continuation through the pins will be important when playing deeper angles on Cheetah. 

Scores will be high on Cheetah as it has been for years. This pattern is always exciting to watch since ball speed will be much higher, location of the ball near the gutter will be frequent and the pin action will be more dramatic than usual. 

Allen Says 'A Lot Of Hook' On Cheetah

PBA Chameleon 39

The second event will feature the Chameleon pattern, which is 39 feet in length, has a medium volume at 25.29 mL and has a ratio of 2.47:1.

Talking with bowlers after Saturday’s practice session, the Chameleon is seen to be the toughest out of all of the patterns. Urethane had good looks around the 8-10 board area at the arrows for some bowlers to start. Seeing this can make the pattern much tighter throughout the block and see a lot of low scores. We could see a lot of players starting with urethane to at least explore the pattern and save themselves from splits and bad leaves. 

“Normally, guys want to get farther left and get to a fresher part of the lane,” said PBA Hall of Famer Tommy Jones. “But it is really hard to do that on this pattern because the lane surface hooks so much in the front.”

Jones Thinks Chameleon Will Be Low Scoring

PBA Scorpion 42

The Scorpion pattern has a length of 42 feet at a total oil volume of 26.73 mL. The ratio of the pattern is at 1.87:1.

There are a lot of ways to attack this pattern. Bowling ball choice, according to the player’s style, will be critical. The tighter ratio will continue to be tough for the players on targeting as well as the wacky topography of the pairs on top of it.

“It’s pretty slick right now,” said Tom Daugherty, who has great knowledge of this center. “The fact that we are bowling five game blocks may keep the scoring pace down a little bit. They seem to open up a little bit later after we got some play on this pattern.”

Daugherty Says Scorpion Could Be Tricky

PBA Earl Anthony 43

This pattern will be used for the World Championship cashers rounds, match play rounds and the stepladder finals. At 43 feet in length, the longest of all six patterns, it has a ratio of 2.5:1 and a total oil volume of 26.20 mL.

Talking with 2018 PBA Player Of The Year Andrew Anderson, he said, “On this pattern, we are going to be using tighter angles and cleaner, weaker bowling balls. This building hooks quite a bit.”

Bowlers will be starting left much earlier than most of the patterns and it will be interesting to see how left they go during the match play rounds to make the TV show.

PBA Mark Roth 42

This 42 foot pattern is the easiest out of the six patterns with a 5.11:1 ratio and an oil volume of 23.47 mL. It falls more into a challenge category than sport pattern so players will be able to open up their angles quite a bit and bounce off the friction. This pattern will be used on the left lane during the Roth-Holman match play. 

PBA Marshall Holman 38

Previously known as a 37-foot long pattern, the Marshall Holman jumps up a foot to 38 feet with an oil volume of 24.10 mL. With a ratio of 3.04:1, this pattern is more difficult than the Mark Roth 42 but not as much as the other patterns the bowlers will already face in Tampa. This pattern will be used on the right lane for the Roth-Holman match play.

Final Thoughts

In recent years on the PBA Tour the patterns have been over 30 mL in total volume to handle the higher rev rates and the abundance of surface used early in the block to control angles.

For this event, however, with multiple five game blocks, the oil volumes are mostly medium and even low specifically on the Cheetah 35 pattern at 20 mL. 

With the lower friction, the more-than-abnormal lane topography and slicker approaches that have given fits to the bowlers already this weekend in Tampa, look for low scores and challenging conditions for the world’s best these two weeks.

Perfect games could be expected more on Cheetah but not much on the other patterns. The Chameleon looks to be the toughest pattern, so expect spare shooting to be the key to make the cut for that pattern.

It’s going to be an exciting week at AMF University Lanes in Tampa, just down the road from University of South Florida. Tune into FloBowling starting Sunday at Noon Eastern.