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How Long Are Bowling Lanes

If you wish to learn how long are bowling lanes, it is good familiarize yourself with useful bits of information about the bowling lane and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) bowling lane specifications. The USBC is the sanctioning body for bowling and provides specifications and rules for the game which are adhered to by equipment manufacturers. Learning how long are bowling lanes begins with familiarizing yourself with some general information and specifications about bowling lanes.

First, a regulation bowling lane, including flat gutters, kickbacks, and the approach, must be constructed of wood and/or other synthetic materials which have been tested fully and approved for use by the United States Bowling Congress. The approach extends from and is exclusive of the foul line and shall be an unobstructed level approach not less than 15 feet in length, free from depressions 1/4" or more, and not less than the width of the lane. The foul line must not be less than 3/8" nor more than 1" in width, extend across the entire width of the lane at a minimum, and be distinctly marked or embedded between the lane and the approach.

When a bowler stands the full distance back on the approach with the heels of the bowling shoes positioned at the far back edge of the approach, a distance of about 75 feet exists to the head pin. The set of guides located 12 feet back from the foul line are also useful to align yourself with but do not necessarily indicate that a bowler using either four or five steps must stand 12 feet from the foul line. recommends you consult a certified coach if you are learning to bowl or if you are seeking to improve your game and to ensure your footwork matches best with your natural stride and pace of steps.

The lane and approach markings allow for a maximum of 7 guides embedded in or stamped on the approach at each of the following points: 2"-6", 3'-4', 6'-7', 9'-10', 11'-12', and 14'-15'. Seven targets (arrows) may be embedded into or stamped onto the lane 12'-16' distance past the foul line and must be uniform in length and in shape and must be at a maximum of 1 1/4" in width and 6" in length. At a distance 33'-44' beyond the foul line, there maybe 4 targets uniform in appearance no wider than a single board nor longer than 36". Each series of guides 6'-7' past the foul line must be parallel to the foul line and circular in shape with a maximum of 10 guides not to exceed 3/4" in diameter.

The most recognizable and most widely used guides are the targeting arrows about 15 feet down the lane from the foul line which are used essentially for intermediate alignment purposes when targeting the pocket some 60 feet away from the bowling ball release point just beyond the foul line. It is obviously easier to select a target nearer you than one at a greater distance when aligning initially and before making a delivery.

Some bowlers prefer using the round guide dots about 6 feet past the foul line rather than the arrows. Using the closer set of guides can be tricky because the guides do not align precisely with the pin formations on the pin deck whereas the arrows do align more closely to the pins set in formation. As we have indicated earlier, please consult a certified coach if you have any questions on how to achieve a good initial alignment.

Other Key Dimensions of the lane are as follows:

1. The kickback is 24" above the pin deck at the highest point and 17" above the deck at a lower point.

2. The tailplank is 2" maximum thickness and the pit cushion is 9 7/8" thick.

3. The pin spots are fiber spots 2 1/4" in diameter.

4. The center of the 7 & 10 pin spots are between 2 1/2" and 3" from the edge of the pin deck and the centers of the pin spots are 12" apart set in an equilateral triangle formation.

5. The gutter (channel) width is 9 1/4" in width.

6. The gutter is 1 7/8" beneath the lane surface

7. The lane is made of tongue and grooved bed stock typically laid on edge or of a synthetic material giving the appearance of boards sitting on their edges.

9. The overall length of the lane to the pin deck is 62 feet 10 3/16".

10. The lane is 41 1/2" in width.

11. The surface of the lane must be free of contiguous grooves or ridges, 40/1000" tolerance for crosswise tilt, crowns, and depressions. The lane surface must also have a lengthwise tilt tolerance of 40/1000".

12. The foul light beam is no more than 1/4" beyond the approach, fully automatic, and must be visible between 10-15 seconds duration.

The #9 dimension specification above shows the actual lane length to be just over 62 feet distance from the foul line. If the lane is 60 feet long from foul line to the head pin located on the pin deck, then it is important to learn where maintenance crews at local bowling centers apply oil to the lane surface.

Oiling machines typically apply oil to the lane surface with the heaviest concentration of oil from the foul line to about 20 feet past the line and from approximately from about the 10th board from both edges of the lane toward the center of the lane (in most house conditions), commonly referred to as the "front-end" of the lane or the "heads". The second twenty feet of the lane, commonly referred to as the "mid-lane", has a less concentration of applied oil to the lane surface, and the "back-end" of the lane, the final 20 feet of distance to the head pin, is clean and dry with no oil applied as to allow the bowling balls to grip the surface of the lane and, if the traveling bowling ball's axis is tilting, the ball can hook toward the head pin and the pocket.

Older wooden surfaces, twenty or more years old, will likely encounter greater lane depressions or crowns compared to synthetic lane surfaces because of where the sections of hard maple wood or softer pine wood splice at the end of the front portion of the lane and where the back end of the lane begins and because of the number of cuts to the wood the resurfacing crews have administered over the life of the lane beds. Also, sometimes in the cases with aging or synthetic pin decks which fall out of tilt tolerance, the bowling balls will actually go airborne and will cause increased deflection upon impact with the pins and thereby reduce the effectiveness of pin carry. It is important for the maintenance crew of any given center to maintain level lane surfaces and level pin decks so the ball will travel without leaving the lane surface and without losing velocity.

We hope this information about a regulation bowling lane provides 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, no hidden handling charges, and delivery right to your doorstep! 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.