Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by USBC begins today

As part of a campaign to introduce its new Red, White and Blue lane patterns, the United States Bowling Congress is sponsoring the Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., which begins today. Click here for a full tournament schedule.

One of just a handful of open events on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour schedule, the tournament will be the first opportunity for amateurs and PBA stars alike to gain experience on these new lane conditions.

The USBC has developed the new Red, White and Blue program to fill the void between the "house shot" lane condition and those used in PBA Experience and other Sport-compliant leagues. The lane condition for most leagues is the typical "house shot" in which much more oil is applied in the middle of the lane as compared with the outside portion of the lane. Leagues conducted under Sport conditions, like those used in the USBC Open Championships and USBC's PBA Experience leagues, have a more gradual taper of oil from the middle to the outside.

On Sport lane conditions, or patterns, the best line to the pocket is usually defined by the length of the oil pattern on the lane. But no matter where you are lined up, the oil pattern demands repetition and accuracy to be successful. Because these Sport conditions have proven to be more difficult, the USBC allows an average adjustment from Sport conditions – a maximum of 18 pins based on statistical calculations – but bowlers might actually see an even greater difference than that between house and Sport conditions.

This is where the Red, White and Blue patterns come in.

Red patterns are similar to what is already found in your typical house shot. It is USBC compliant with a minimum three units of oil on every board at the end of the pattern, but there is a much larger volume of oil in the middle of the lane. White patterns are a bit tougher, with a smaller ratio of oil from inside to out. And while the Blue pattern is slightly easier than Sport conditions, it is more challenging than the White pattern.

Red, White and Blue patterns give the bowler a nice stepping stone to work their way from the house shot to a PBA Experience League. It helps educate them as to the role lane conditions play in their performance and how it affects their bowling. The USBC Open Championships use a Sport-compliant condition every year, so this program gives bowlers an opportunity to prepare for that test.

The Red, White and Blue program is being tested this year at a variety of centers throughout the country. Various local tournaments will be testing the White patterns in 2010 and a number of state championships will be utilizing the Blue patterns this coming year as well.

Proprietors will be able to easily implement this program because they can download the patterns for free and put out a condition which yields different challenge levels to meet the different needs of their customers. Associations will have the ability to provide conditions with equity for bowlers of all different skill levels.

Bowlers will see the value in Red, White and Blue because it will help them prepare for the big tests at USBC Championship events.

Bowling fans around the country will get their first glimpse of the project when the Pepsi Red White and Blue Open finals telecast airs Jan. 10 on ESPN.