How Long Is A Bowling Lane?

Bowling is a fast-paced and fun sport and is enjoyed by fans and players right across the world.

One of the major elements of any bowling game is, of course, the bowling lane – the spot where all the action takes place.

But just how long does this need to be, and are there any regulations? We took a closer look to make sure that you have the information you need.

How Long Is A Bowling Lane

What Is Bowling?

The sport of bowling has been around for centuries and was originally played in ancient Egypt. It’s an exciting game that involves throwing balls at pins set up on a wooden surface called a ‘lane’.

The object of the game is to knock down as many pins as possible before your opponent knocks them over first. If you win, you get points based on how many pins you knocked down.

Bowling Lanes And Their Length

As a rule, regulation bowling lanes are 60 feet in length, and this is measured from the foul line, up to the center of the head pin – that is, the pin at the front of the triangle.

Lanes are usually 42 inches wide, and this is measured in units known as “boards” – there are 39 boards in the width of a bowling lane.

There are few markings on a bowling lane, save for the mark on board 20. This is known as the centerboard, and will be marked as such by the inclusion of an arrow – this makes it easier to count the surrounding boards.

Surfaces for bowling lanes must be flat and smooth, as well as free from grooves. There is a maximum tolerance allowance of 40/1000th inch – the tolerance is also known as the “bowling groove”.

As a general rule, if a bowling alley’s surface is within this tolerance limit, then the bowling alley can use it without having to worry about damaging the lane.

If the surface is too rough or uneven, then it will be tricky to bowl, and the ball is less likely to run smoothly.

Bowling Pins

Pins come in different sizes and shapes, but they all serve the same purpose: to stop the ball when it hits them. They are generally made out of wood, although some are plastic or metal.

Pins are numbered between 1 and 10 and are placed in an equilateral triangle within the deck.

The pin closest to the bowler, at the tip of the triangle, is known as the “head pin”, and is marked as Pin 1. Pins 2 and 3 sit behind in the second row, and Pins 4, 5, and 6 sit behind this. In the fourth row are Pins 7, 8, 9, and 10.

When scoring, the number of pins knocked down is counted, and the highest total wins. In order to score a strike, you will need to knock down all ten pins.

To determine which player won, you add together their scores, and the player with the highest score is the victor.

Bowling Equipment

bowling equipment

There are a few essential bits of kit that you will need to make sure you have to hand, and these include:


Bowlers wear special shoes, known as bowling shoes, and these help to keep the foot steady while the bowler throws the ball.

When choosing your bowling shoes, you should consider a number of factors, including comfort, stability, and grip.

You may want to choose a shoe that is wider than normal so that it grips more securely. You might also want to invest in a pair of insoles, as these will provide extra support and cushioning.

A Bowling Ball

You will also need to buy a bowling ball, which is generally made out of rubber or synthetic materials. These are available in various weights, ranging from light to heavy.

The weight of the ball determines how hard it is to throw, and how much force is required to get the ball moving.

If you have trouble getting the ball moving, try using a lighter ball, and perfect your technique, swing, release, and follow through before moving up to a higher weight of ball – remember, it is best to perfect the basics at a lower weight and master your technique than it is to go too heavy and injure yourself.


Finally, you will need to purchase a set of accessories, which include a towel, a glove, a hat, a marker, and a scorecard.

How Do I Increase My Bowling Score?

It is important to practice regularly and to work on your skills until you feel confident enough to take part in tournaments. This will enable you to improve your game and increase your chances of winning.

There are also a few other techniques that you can use to boost your score and increase the likelihood of a strike. These include:

Perfect Your Form

If you are having difficulty with your form, then you should practice throwing the ball more often. Try to focus on one aspect of your form at a time, and concentrate on improving it.

For example, if you find that you are struggling with your release, then practice releasing the ball slowly, and gradually increasing speed.

Practice Proper Technique

Another way to improve your technique is to watch videos of bowlers who are good at what they do.

By watching them, you can learn how they hold the ball, how they position themselves, and how they move their body when they throw the ball.

Improve Your Swing

Another thing that you can do to improve your game is to practice your swing.

It sounds simple, but there are many ways to improve this, such as practicing with different types of balls, practicing with different speeds, and practicing with different lanes.

Final Thoughts

Perfecting youth bowling technique and skills will boost your game, improve your chances of a high score, and help you have more fun – and this starts by learning the basics of the sport, including the length and format of the bowling alley.

Drew Kaufner