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Bowling Pins


Since knowledge is always key in the path to improvement, let's examine useful bits of information about United States Bowling Congress (USBC) bowling pins.

Bowling pins are made of hard maple wood and are either plastic coated or constructed in one piece or laminated in two or more pieces.

As pins age or wear from use and constant collisions with bowling balls, there are maintenance procedures allowed by USBC which preserve the life and usefulness of the pins. The use of steel wool or sandpaper to remove dirt and surface splinters and the application of finish and/or the patching of plastic coated pins are permitted but must meet USBC specifications.

The weight of a standard wood pin or a plastic coated pin is not less than 3 lbs., 6 ounces and not more than 3 lbs., 10 ounces.

The height of a bowling pin is 15" but certainly appears much shorter when viewing the pins from the lane approach area.

The diameter of the cup at the base of the pin is 3/4".

The base diameter of a pin is 2 1/4". The narrowest pin diameter is 1.8" and about 10" above the base of the pin and is sometimes referred to as the "neck" of the pin.

The Center of Gravity of a pin, measured from the bottom of the pin, is 5 5/16" or about one third way up the height of the pin and approximately one inch above the widest pin diameter area of 4.76" measured 4.5" above the pin base.

The Center of Gravity of a bowling pin and the widest part of the pin diameter are both very near the same point where a bowling ball contacts the pin given that the radius measurement of a bowling ball is also about 4.5 inches above the lane surface.

The center of the 7 and the 10 pin spots are located 2.75" from the edge of the lane. The pin spots are 2 1/4" in diameter and must be spaced 12" apart in an equilateral triangle formation.

The 7, 8, 9, & 10 pins center of spot is 3" from the pit at the back edge of the pin-deck.

The distance from the center of the 7 and 10 pin spots to the nearest kickback panel is 12 1/16".

This 12' distance from the kickback panel plus the additional 2 3/4" the ten pin is spotted on the pin-deck from the edge of the lane yield total of 15" a pin must travel from the kickback to also contact the 7 or 10 pin and produce a strike result.

The head pin is equidistant from both kickbacks and edges of the lane and is located 34 3/16" from the center of the pin spot to the pit.


The overall lane width is 41.5", not including the channel measurements.

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