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Your Bowling Ball Delivery Path & Your Spot On The Lane

The most important factor in effective alignment is using your bowling ball delivery path and your spot on the lane properly.

Most bowlers will select one spot on the lane as a sighting target but lose awareness that the spot is merely an intermediate sight point along the path your ball travels down the lane.

Your delivery path is developed by using a chosen release point as the ball comes off your hand, and intermediate sight point (commonly referred to as your spot), and the breakpoint down the lane.

Once your ball breaks toward the pocket, it is said to have left the delivery path and is following the given “angle of entry” into the bowling pins.

Picking a spot at the bowling arrows makes the targeting process of alignment easy so long as you remember that the spot is within the overall delivery path based on the specific angle you have chosen to play on the lanes.

This focus on the target is common in other sports. In basketball, the player must choose a launch angle by which to release the basketball toward the hoop while aiming and keeping his or her eyes fixed on the basket or the rim of the basket.

A tennis player prepares for a shot by watching the ball moving toward them from the opposing player and must be ready to swing the racket through the area where the ball will be at the precise moment needed to strike the ball effectively and at a path to send the ball into a given area of the court, over the net, and where the opponent cannot return the ball.

Your intention in bowling is to get the ball to the pocket or to convert a given spare. If you spend the majority of your time locked into the target rather than being aware of the ball path to that target, you might release your ball off the chosen line you must play.

Visualize your intended ball path when aiming on the approach. Look quickly up and down the lane to visualize your entire ball path your ball must follow to end up in the pocket or at the specific key pin in the spare.

Remember, what your mind sees is what your body will react to accordingly.

Select a sighting spot on the lane at a comfortable distance for you from the foul line but make certain that the spot is within the delivery path needed to get your ball to travel down the lane and hit the pocket.


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.

When you develop a hook ball delivery style and when the lanes call for a line other than where the 2nd arrow is located, you must be able to make adjustments to play a delivery path with a new spot on the lane other than the 2nd arrow as the lane conditions dictate.

Use of the bowling arrows is the simplest and most commonly used system for alignment and targeting universally, but is not the only option available.

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