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Sighting Your Bowling Target

As a beginner bowler or newcomer to the game, sighting your bowling target is an important key to delivering your ball with accuracy. A good way to begin is to first understand where the guides on the approach are located in reference to the foul line and to the targeting arrows about 15 feet past the foul line. Sighting your bowling target is an easy process if you allow existing lane markers work to your advantage.

Let's examine some important facts about the lane and sighting alignment:

1. The arrows are located about 15 feet past the foul line toward the pins and are in a triangular configuration. The "first arrow" and is located on the 5 board of the lane surface and is nearest to the edge of the lane. The next arrow is the "second arrow" which is located on the 10 board and so on across the lane. The arrows are symmetrically placed on the lane.

2. The circular guides embedded or stamped onto the approach just behind the foul line align with the 7 boards of the arrows down the lane. The largest guide on the approach floor is located on the 20 board (the center board of the lane) and aligns with the center of the 7 targeting arrows. Each guide at the foul line, both to the right and to the left of the center guide, is positioned 5 boards apart from the adjacent guides in the same manner as are the arrows.

3. If you trace back from the foul line, you will find another set of guides on the approach 12 feet behind the foul line and yet another set of guides 3 feet further back from the 12 foot guides. Usually, there are 5 guides at the 12 foot position on the approach and those guides align on the same boards as the center 5 guides at the foul line and down the lane with the center 5 arrows.

4. The approach guides are used primarily for alignment to the targeting arrows. If you choose to align your strike ball delivery over the second arrow with an appropriate angle from the release point just beyond the foul line, then with a modest or slight hook delivery, the instep of your sliding bowling shoes would cover the 18 board (two boards from the center guide dot at the foul line nearest your bowling arm).

5. Since bowlers strive to develop a slight hook ball delivery, then the ball should contact the lane just beyond the foul line on about the 12 or 13 board, roll over the 2nd arrow (the 10 board), and then the ball will change directions about two-thirds of the way down the lane at the break point and head toward the pocket located at the 17.5 board on the pin deck, the same board your sliding shoe covers at the foul line during the delivery.

6. Sighting the 2nd arrow (10 board) at the vicinity of the bowling arrows allows for you to keep your head level and steady and level while walking to the foul line without losing sight of your target on the lane. Sighting too close to the foul line might cause you to drop your head too suddenly in order to watch your mark on the lane and possibly can cause an errant delivery. Sighting too close to the pins is more difficult to see the target clearly compared to a closer point at the bowling arrows and might cause an errant delivery.

7. Keeping your eyes focused on your sighting target at the bowling arrows will aide your ability to deliver the ball accurately toward the target. New bowlers are known to think so much about the physical game mechanics involved in properly delivering a bowling ball that sometimes they forget to focus on their target to gain accuracy with their delivery. Once you set-up on the approach, keep your eyes focused on your target on the lane until your bowling ball passes the mark.

Sighting your bowling target requires a little bit of understanding of the lane geometry and use of the bowling guides for alignment and the bowling arrows as your target area on the lane. recommends you consult a certified coach or a bowling professional for more information on targeting and alignment.

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