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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently approved rules changes for next season in bowling that include toughened lane pattern guidelines.

“The NCAA Women’s Bowling Committee made the recommendation because the former oil ratios were not challenging enough,” this NCAA news release states.

NCAA said the new standards, which were approved during a conference call July 16, will adjust the oil ratio application to a range of 2-1 to 4-1 from the prior range of 2-1 to 6-1, with a recommended ratio range of 2.5-1 to 3.5-1.

NCAA also adopted a volume range — something it previously didn’t have — of 20 mL to 25 mL.

“The United States Bowling Congress has stressed ways of identifying playing and scoring conditions that will challenge players and place more emphasis on sport-specific skills such as adaptability and repeatability,” the release states. “The Women’s Bowling Committee felt the standards for NCAA competition needed to be raised. Committee members feel that applying total oil volume standards and lowering oil application ratios will provide a greater test for student-athletes.”

Three cheers for the NCAA for a much-needed change: no serious competition should ever take place on a lane pattern softer than 4-1 and ratios of 2-1 to 4-1 provide a nice range for decision makers depending on the lane surface they are working with.

The rules panel also adopted other changes regarding scoring and pinsetting errors, foul-detection devices, Baker format scoring, matches per day and pool play formats, and warm-up sessions.

Details are available in the NCAA release.

The 11th Frame: NCAA Adopts Tougher Lane Pattern Guidelines for Women's Bowling