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Bowling Automatic Pinsetting Specifications

Everyone who bowls understands the role an automatic pinsetting device serves when we are on the lanes. The device will clear the pin deck and re-set pins remaining after a strike ball delivery or will re-set a full rack of pins following a strike ball delivery. Easy enough. Behind the scene, however, there are many factors which go into reliable pinsetting operations such as bowling automatic pinsetting specifications. Although routine maintenance of pinsetting devices is an extremely high priority in customer service for all bowling centers, it is also important to note that bowling automatic pinsetting specifications are a requirement by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) as the rules and regulations standard-bearer for the game of bowling.

We at bowlingball.com would like to share some of the specifications regarding the pinsetting devices with you, our valued community visitors. All automatic pinsetting devices must be USBC approved and meet the following specifications:

  1. Be designed to operate under all situations normally arising in a certified league or tournament.

  2. Be constructed so that it can be installed on any USBC regulation lane.

  3. Such device must perform entirely automatic. A push button may be installed with easy access to bowlers which will operate the device in the event of certain emergencies. Emergencies are when a machine is unable to pick up a pin which has moved more than 1.75 inches off of the pin spot or when pins remain standing after the third delivery in the tenth frame or when there is an occasional machine malfunction.

  4. It must conform with all provisions of USBC rules and regulations pertaining to pinfall. The device must be able to return any pin to the same position to which it has been moved by a previous delivery.

  5. The machine must be able to operate under permissable voltage fluctuations existing in the community where it is installed and in use.

  6. The completed installation must comply with the requirements of the state or local inspection authorities.

  7. There shall be a minimum of three seconds between when the ball reaches the pit and activates the cushion or back stop and when the pin table descends and contacts the standing pins.

  8. The pit floor at the tail plank shall measure not less than 4.75 inches below the pin deck surface.

  9. The minimum distance from the end of the lane to the nearest point of the cushion shall be 25 inches. The measurement includes the width of the tail plank.

  10. Each automatic pinsetting device shall be equipped with a curtain or pin arresting device. The curtain and the cushion shall be so located and constructed that no pins may rebound from the curtain or cushion onto the pin deck.

  11. Each device shall (on the first ball cycle) place the bowling pins completely on the pin spot of the pin deck.

  12. In establishments using pinsetting devices, such devices must be checked annually by the local association manager or authorized representative at the time the lanes are being checked for certification to determine if pins are spotted correctly.


Reliable pinsetting is an important service we all have come to expect and enjoy when competing on the lanes. A great deal of preparation goes into providing reliable pinsetting service. Not only are these specifications required by USBC important, the routine and daily maintenance of these pinsetting devices at bowling centers everywhere are equally as important.


Lead mechanics at certified bowling centers are trained in automatic pinsetting device repair and maintenance. Formal pinsetting device maintenance schools are generally a requirement for bowling center maintenance personnel to become a lead mechanic. If you have any questions about the pinsetting devices, do not hesitate to consult the lead mechanic at your local bowling center to learn what to expect of these devices while you spend time on the lanes.

We hope this information about automatic pinsetting device specifications provides some useful insight? While you are visiting our site today, please check out the vast menu of bowling consumer products we offer at great prices, with no shipping charges, free insurance, and no hidden handling charges with prompt delivery right to your doorstep! bowlingball.com has become the No. 1 “e-tailer” of choice for bowling equipment by the consumers of America. Ordering is an easy process by following simple online instructions available 24 hours a day, every day of the year! Thanks for visiting bowlingball.com.