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Pick Your Spot At The Bowling Arrows

Picking a spot at the bowling arrows makes the targeting process much simpler as opposed to sighting at the pins. Learning to use the bowling arrows as the location in selecting a specific sighting target increases your ability to develop accuracy while watching your bowling ball roll virtually the entire distance of the lane.

The arrows are located about 15 feet past the foul line toward the pins and are in a triangular configuration. The purpose of the triangular configuration rather than a straight line configuration is to sight more closely when using the outer arrows as your spot when the lanes are oily, and to sight at a further distance down the lane when the lanes are less oily.

Sighting closer to the foul line at the outer four arrows (the first two arrows on both sides of the lane) helps you get your bowling ball rolling quickly and reduces skid length in the front end of the lane.

Sighting at the center arrows (the center three arrows) is typically done when there is a breakdown in lane oil causing your ball to hook sooner than intended. Moving toward the center of the lane as a sighting location restores ball skid when lane oil remains on the center portion of the lane surface.

Sighting slightly further down the lane at the center arrows also helps you extend your bowling ball skid by aiding you in picking up ball speed.

The arrows line up with the front seven pins on the pin deck and with the seven guide dots embedded on the approach surface at the foul line area.


Proper use of the guides located on the approach, twelve or fifteen feet behind the foul line, will help you create your own “lane geometry.” It will also help to monitor your walking lines when taking your stance position and when you slide into the foul line.

To build your alignment system, there are multiple reference points to consider. Knowing where you must slide at the foul line, and which board you will deliver your ball on just beyond the foul line, coupled with your ball rolling over your intended spot on the lane at the arrows.

Most bowling instructors teach new students to slide on the middle guide dot, the center or 20 board, and sight at the 2nd arrow from the edge of the lane nearest their bowling shoulder, when rolling strike ball deliveries.

Use of the bowling arrows is the simplest and most commonly used system for alignment and targeting universally.

If you are having difficulties selecting the right spot on the lane as a sighting target, it is recommended to consult an experienced bowling instructor and develop a “lane geometry” system for alignment and adjustments.