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July 24, 2017 AT 9:00 am

The hidden oil patterns on bowling lanes

And here I was thinking there couldn’t possibly be anything mysterious about bowling lanes! Video from Vox.

Every lane has a pattern. In this episode of Vox Almanac, Phil Edwards explores how they change the game.

Bowling isn’t just about a great ball and good form — if you want to understand the sport, you have to understand the lane.

Every bowling lane, including the one in your neighborhood alley, is coated with an oil pattern to protect the wood. But these patterns aren’t just for protection — the way in which oil is applied to the lane can affect the speed and direction of your ball.

Read more.


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