Reduce Out of Range Pins

Most of the time the cause of OORs is oil on the pin deck. This can be caused by conditioner carry down, or by a problem with the lane machine’s cleaning system. To test the lane machine, first complete a test clean on a few lanes and look at the result. If the lanes are not totally clean there is a problem with the cleaning system. Identify and correct the problem.

Remember, some conditioners are very hard to clean from the lane surface. One possibility may be there is not enough cleaner solution being used to properly clean the pin deck. If your machine’s cleaning system is functioning properly, but the pin deck is not getting thoroughly cleaned, increase the cleaning solution at the end of the lane. Some lane machines have the option of spraying the pin deck; if not, spray cleaner solution by hand and let the lane machine pick it up.

Carry down during play can be more difficult to control. The most troublesome carry down is produced by bowlers using non-flaring bowling balls. These balls transfer long stripes of oil from the oil line to the back of the pin deck. When enough stripes are transferred, the pin deck surface will lose friction. In addition, too much oil at the end of the oil pattern will speed up this effect. Oil two feet from the end of the oil pattern should be kept to 20 units or less. This is attainable by buffing for at least 10 feet and by applying the maximum oil thickness during the machine’s return travel. Conditioning lanes in this fashion allows the balls that create the most carry down to deposit some of the oil in the buff area, reducing the amount of carry down. This will also reduce the chance for OORs.

The next step is to inspect your pins. If they are sliding on the nylon ring, OORs will increase. When a pin is new the wood and the nylon ring are normally exactly the same height — in fact, in some cases the wood may protrude slightly. Wood has much more friction than nylon. When the pins age the wood will wear more quickly and the pin will start sliding on the nylon ring. If the pins are working in a dry climate, the wood will lose its normal water weight and pull up into the ring. Cleaning the pins will help keep some humidity in the pin and help resist shrinking. (Do not soak your pins in water, as this will damage them!)

Finally, try our pin deck treatment. Apply it to the pin deck after every cleaning of the lanes. This product will not cause problems with the lane surface, bowling balls or pin setting equipment. It will add friction to the deck and cut down the dreaded OORs.