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How To Aim In Bowling?

How To Aim In Bowling? - Bowlingview

Do you want to improve your bowling game and knock down more pins? You’ve landed in the right place.

This guide aims to teach you how to bowl a strike and improve your accuracy in the bowling alley. Whether you’re a seasoned bowler or a newcomer, the tips and tricks mentioned here will make you better at bowling in no time. Let’s get started!

Understanding The Basics: Bowling Lane and Equipment

Bowling Lane: Your Battlefield

A bowling lane is 60 feet away from the foul line to the headpin (the leading pin). It’s key to understand this distance because it corresponds with the way you aim your ball.

The bowling lane features aiming arrows 15 feet from the foul line. These arrows on the lane can significantly help you aim in bowling, acting as your target instead of the pins located 60 feet away.

Bowling Ball: Your Weapon

Choosing the right bowling ball is crucial. There’s no “one size fits all” here; find the best option. Depending on your bowling style and strength, you might prefer a lighter ball or a heavy one.

Whether you choose a straight ball or a ball that hooks, what matters is that you can control the speed of your ball and direct it properly.

Bowling Pins: The Goal

There are ten bowling pins at the end of the lane. The ideal aim is to hit the pocket, the area between the first and second pin (1-3 for right-handed bowlers, 1-2 for left-handed or “lefty” bowlers), to bowl a strike.

Step-by-Step Guide To Aiming in Bowling

Step 1: Position Yourself

You can start your approach from the middle of the approach area. The dots on the floor are there to guide you.

If you’re right-handed, your left foot should be right of the middle dot; if you’re left-handed, your left foot should be left of the middle dot.

Step 2: Find Your Target

For left-handed bowlers, the process is just the same but mirrored. In your case, you should aim for the second arrow from the left.

These arrows, starting from the right for a right-handed bowler and the left for a left-handed bowler, are directing you towards different pins. Here’s a table to illustrate this:


Arrow Number Pin it Directs Towards (Right-Handed Bowler) Pin it Directs Towards (Left-Handed Bowler)
1 10 7
2 3 2
3 6 4
4 1 (Headpin) 1 (Headpin)
5 4 6
6 2 3
7 7 10


For most bowlers, the best strategy to knock down the most pins is to aim for the pocket, which is the area between the 1 and 3 pins for right-handed bowlers or the 1 and 2 pins for left-handed bowlers.

Hence, aiming at the second arrow is a common technique for both right and left-handed bowlers as it generally helps direct the ball into the pocket.

However, variations can and do occur based on your personal bowling style and lane conditions.

Step 3: Align Your Bowling Arm

When you’re prepared to take your shot in bowling, there are a few things you should keep in mind to improve your chances of hitting the target:

    1. Get ready: Take a moment to position yourself properly and mentally prepare for your shot.
    2. Align your body and the ball: Ensure that your bowling arm, which you use to throw the ball, points toward your chosen target. At the same time, make sure the ball itself is also pointing toward the target.
    3. Why alignment matters: This alignment is crucial because it helps you maintain accuracy and precision. When your arm and ball are properly aligned with the target, it increases the likelihood of your ball hitting the intended mark.

Step 4: Approach and Release

Once you’ve set your aim, approach the foul line and release the ball towards the aiming arrow. As you release, keep your arm straight and let the ball glide smoothly toward the arrow.

The four-step approach works well for beginners:

  1. Right-handers: Begin with your right foot. Left-handers: Begin with your left foot. This starting foot will depend on your dominant hand.
  2. Take four steps: Take four deliberate and evenly spaced steps toward the foul line. This helps you build up your momentum and maintain balance.
  3. The “power step”: The last step of the approach is slightly larger than the others. It’s called the “power step.” This step helps you generate more momentum, resulting in a stronger throw.

Following this four-step approach can improve your bowling technique, especially if you’re new to the sport.

Watch the video to learn the four-step approach:

Step 5: Keep Your Eye on The Target

Never take your eyes off the target, even after releasing the ball. This strategy is often called “keeping your eye on the prize.”

Advanced Tips for Aiming

Adjusting Your Aim

If you’re missing left or right, adjust your approach accordingly. If the ball hooks too much to the right, move right; if it’s heading too far to the left, move left.

Understanding Lane Conditions

Every bowling lane is different because of variations in the oil pattern and how people play on the lane. The oil pattern affects how the ball moves. Here are a few key points:

  1. Oil pattern impact: The oil pattern on the lane directly influences how the ball behaves. It can make the ball hook or travel straight.
  2. Lightly oiled lanes: The ball tends to hook more when a lane has a light amount of oil. This means it curves as it moves toward the pins.
  3. Heavily oiled lanes: On heavily oiled lanes, the oil creates a barrier that makes the ball travel in a straighter line with minimal hooking.

Remember, each lane has its unique oil pattern, so observing and adapting your strategy is essential.

Using A Heavier or Lighter Ball

A heavier ball may hook more than a lighter ball, which can affect lane conditions. Using a ball that suits these conditions can help you aim better.


Mastering how to aim in bowling doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice, patience, and keen attention to detail.

With this guide’s help, you’ve learned to adjust your approach, use the bowling lane arrows, and throw the ball toward your target accurately.

Remember, the goal is to aim for the second arrow, keep your eye on the target, and let the ball glide smoothly. With these bowling tips, you’ll soon find yourself becoming a pro.

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Here you will find some frequently asked questions and answers:

A: Aiming in bowling refers to aligning your ball to hit the pins in the desired way.

A: To aim for the right pin, you should use the aiming arrows on the bowling lane. Look for the arrow that points towards the right and use it as your target.

A: To aim for the left pin, you should use the aiming arrows on the bowling lane. Look for the arrow that points towards the left and use it as your target.

A: To aim using the aiming arrows, look at the arrows on the bowling lane and choose one that you want to aim at. Then, position yourself and aim your ball toward the chosen arrow.

A: To get a proper aim, focus on the pins and pick a target spot on the lane. Then, position yourself and aim your ball toward the target.

A: Some tips for aiming and releasing the ball include keeping your arm straight, using a four-step approach, and releasing the ball at the right moment.

A: To aim at the middle arrow, look for the arrow in the middle of the lane and use it as your target.

A: Lane play refers to the strategy of adjusting your aim and throwing technique based on the specific conditions of the bowling lane.

A: Aiming at a new target line can help you adjust your ball’s trajectory and improve your chances of hitting the pins in the desired way.