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Spot Bowling For Beginners

As a beginner bowler, “spot” bowling is your best chance at developing accuracy leading to respectable bowling scores. Learning to use the arrows or guides on the lane as a spotting technique when lining up to the pocket or for spares is the easiest method of developing accuracy.

For those of you not familiar with spot bowling, it is important to understand the phrase and how it applies to aiming at a sighting target.

“Spot” bowling refers to the process of using guides or arrows on the lane as primary sighting marks or sighting targets.

Since it is easier to pick a spot to aim at nearer you than much further away, experienced bowlers tend to select sighting targets at, or very nearly at, the bowling arrows.

Using the bowling arrows (located about 15 feet beyond the foul line) is the most common “spot area” bowlers have used for many, many decades.

The arrows are placed in a triangular configuration.

The "first arrow" is located 5 boards from the edge of the lane. The next arrow is the "second arrow" which is located on the 10 board from the edge of the lane and so on across the lane.

Right handed bowlers reference arrows on the right side of the lane, in most cases. Left handed bowlers use the arrows on the left side of the lane.

The arrows are symmetrically placed on the lane. Any arrow can be used as your spot depending on the lane condition, how much you hook the bowling ball, or if you are shooting at spares.

You may also aim between arrows depending on the given lane condition and your delivery style.

The arrows themselves make a good sighting target because the are easy to see when taking your stance position on the approach floor.

Aiming between the arrows in the location of the arrows is made easier than sighting on a the same board, but at an extended distance further down the lane.

The approach guides are used primarily for feet alignment to the targeting arrows.

For example, if you choose to align your strike ball delivery over the second arrow as your starting spot, you can start by standing with your sliding bowling shoe toe on the center board, the 20 board, on the approach and walking a straight line to end up sliding on the same board.

A straight line walking system is a great method for beginner bowlers to learn the game.

Merely adjust your feet and your spot, either to the left or to the right, if you miss the pocket to the right or to the left, based on the ball reaction you get.

Rule of thumb, if you miss the pocket to the right, move your starting position on the approach to the right.

If you miss left, move left.

Some bowlers prefer sighting slightly beyond or slightly nearer in reference to the bowling arrows.

Sighting is a relative judgement.

Aiming at some intermediate point in front of the pins makes it much easier to see your spot than aiming at the pins themselves. Usually the bowling arrows are the place to begin when choosing a mark or spot on the lane for aiming purposes.

Keeping your eyes focused on your spot on the lane will help you to deliver the ball accurately. New bowlers are known to think so much about walking and delivering the bowling ball they sometimes forget to focus on their spot on the lane which, in turn, can hurt accuracy.

Spot bowling requires a little bit of understanding of lane geometry and use of the bowling guides and arrows as sighting tools.

If you wish to learn more about how to use your arrows and guides to find your spot, it is recommended you consult a bowling instructor for more information on the targeting process.