The Bowling Lane Explained

You bowl regularly, use different release techniques and know AMF bowling prices inside out. But how well do you know these bowling lanes? We take these lanes for granted but they’re actually designed under very specific requirements.

The approach goes along to the foul line at the start of the lane. The foul line denotes the approach’s end and the start of the lane. The lane is comprised of planks where you release the ball. The pin deck is where the pins are located.

The original bowling lanes were made of pine wood and maple, but synthetic materials are now available. A typical bowling lane is 77 feet 10 inches long and 42 inches wide.

The Approach

The 15 foot approach is where you stand, aim and start to move onto the lane. There are a couple of dots that help you position to hit the pins.

The Foul Line

The foul line is 3/8 to an inch wide. You cannot cross the line between the start of the bowling lane and the approach, as it will invalidate your score. At the very least the foul line needs to stretch along the lane’s width.

The Bowling Lane

From the foul line to the head pin’s middle point, it’s about 60 feet. Oil is applied to the lane regularly to ensure it’s always in top condition and friction is minimal. Along the length of the lane is a 9 1/4” gutter which catches the balls if they veer off the lane.

Only oil that’s approved for bowling lanes can be used to ensure it doesn’t negatively affect the surface. With proper maintenance the surface won’t suffer from wear and tear even with the impact of the balls.

There are other ways to condition a bowling lane, but oil is the most important as it keeps friction down. All bowling lanes have to be maintained the same way to ensure the playing field is even.

The Pin Deck

The pin deck is 2 feet, 10 3/16” long and marks the bowling lane’s end. This is where the pins are placed, arranged in a triangular manner. The pins are equidistant from each other, about 12 inches distant from each other.


As you can see there are a lot of factors that come into play when making bowling lanes. So the next you check out Dave and Busters game prices take the time to appreciate those bowling lanes.

Category: Featured

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