There are four questions on the minds of competitive bowlers at every event in the world:
1. Who chose this condition?
2. What right did he or she have to do this?
3. What was the motivation of the person choosing?
4. Were the lanes conditioned the same from week-to-week, day-to-day, squad-to-squad, or was an adjustment made to change the outcome of the event?
It seems to me, that in order to make a dent in our psychological attitudes, these four questions need to be answered, and the answers need to be accepted.
For question number four we now have a solution. In the past, the lane maintenance person’s word has been questioned because of perceived changes in ball reaction. He/she never wins that one. We have found that there are many reasons why the lanes may be done the same, but ball reaction is different.
With the invention of Kegel’s Sanction Technology™, we can now prove the pattern is exactly the same every time. This is a huge step forward in understanding bowling's technical challenges because it eliminates the applied oil pattern as a variable.
Therefore, if the ball reaction is perceived by the players to have changed from the previous fresh condition, we can then look at variables other than the applied oil pattern.
When Kegel is in charge of conditioning the lanes for tournaments and events, we follow what we call the “Process Verification Procedure.” What this means is the process of cleaning and conditioning the lanes is verified. This ensures to the players that the same procedures are being followed each and every time we perform lane maintenance for an event.
Process Verification Procedure (PVP)
- Inspection of the lane cleaning.
- Ensure the oil program is correct in the lane machine computer.
- Perform the oil calibration check. This is a procedure where the oil that would normally go onto the lane is captured into a graduated cylinder for exact measurement. The amount of oil is calculable and verifiable from the desired oil program.
- Walking with the lane machine to ensure the machine operation is the same on each lane. This is done by looking at the valve time, the speed of the machine, and the total run time of each lane.
- Look on each lane to make sure the oil pattern distance and the look of the oil pattern is the same on each lane.
- Taking lane tapes at specific distances to make sure the lane machine applied the oil pattern as intended.
- The tournament technical delegate/representative and lanes person then signs-off that nothing in the procedure has changed and is as intended.
By performing this procedure time after time, we not only protect the integrity of the lanes person, we also protect the integrity of the player, and most importantly as it relates to lane conditioning, the sport of bowling.