How to Aim in Bowling

The perfect technique is a must-have if you want to become a pro at the game and be successful in bowling. A big part of perfecting your technique is learning about the basics of the game well. Today, we are going to be looking at aiming in bowling.

You might be wondering, how can I aim ideally in bowling to hit the pin I desire every single time? Well, that is precisely what I am here to tell you.

In this article, I will talk about aiming in bowling, what the aiming arrows are, how you can use them, and different throwing tips that you need to know about. So, make sure you read this article till the very end if you want to learn about perfecting the bowling craft.

How to Aim in Bowling

Aiming Arrows

The aiming arrows are a very crucial part of the bowling lane. They are twelve feet ahead of the foul line in most standard-sized bowling lanes, and there are seven arrows in the section of the aiming arrow.

Each of the arrows corresponds to one of the stand out pins. The middle arrow is in line with the first bowling pin; the left and right arrows point towards the 2,3, 4,6, and 7,10 bowling pins. These aiming arrows are, you guessed it, meant for helping the player take the proper aim for the right pocket in the bowling pin set so most pins can be knocked out every time.

All the professionals know where to aim because they have learned the basics of aiming in bowling. And that is what you should also do if you want to become better at bowling.

What to aim at when bowling

Many people make the mistake that they look at the bowling pins while thinking of making a shot. Unfortunately, this distracts their aim due to the excessive distance from the pins, and they end up taking a shot that does not give them their desired result.

However, if you were to focus on the aiming arrows instead, you would aim much better and get a much more predictable and desired result with your bowling shots. That is why the aiming arrows are significant in bowling and are considered one of the basic helping tools for the bowler in professional and amateur bowling.

Using the Aiming Arrows

Well, how do I exactly use the aiming arrows then? You might be wondering right now. It is not that difficult, but if you are entirely new to the concept of aiming with the bowling arrows, here is a step-by-step guide you should adopt for your bowling adventures:

  • Make sure you are in the right position on the approach dots when you have the bowling ball in hand.
  • Do not look and aim for the bowling pins because they are very far away, and your aim can be deceived.
  • Look at the aiming arrows and make sure you are aiming for the right arrow depending upon your throwing choice.
  • If you want to get into the left pocket, you need to go for the left arrow, which corresponds to the second bowling pin.
  • On the contrary, the right pin pocket would require you to throw the ball at an angle aiming for the right to the middle aiming arrow.
  • Understand that each aiming arrow is in perfect alignment with the bowling pins, and since they are closer, they would be a better aiming choice than simply choosing to look at the pins.
  • Throw the bowling ball and witness how your aim is significantly better now that you throw with your eyes on the arrows instead of the pins.

How Do You Aim Straight in Bowling?

Typically, the correct technique to go for a strike is to aim for a pocket and use a bit of hooking to get all the pins the right way and get the most out of your bowling throw. But at times, especially when a few bowling pins are standing far apart from each other and it is your second shot, you will want to go for a spare which is hard to achieve with a hooking or curving ball.

To get a spare, usually, you will need to throw a straight ball, but for that, you are going to have to aim straight as well. Well, that is what you use the aiming arrows for. First off, you will make sure that you are not using a ball that hooks a lot. A plastic or urethane ball would do just well. Then, you are going to bring the aiming arrows into play.

Now, whichever bowling pin you want to straight throw towards, aim for that and then throw the bowling ball without hesitation. The ball will surely get you the right throw and result.

Which Arrow Do I Aim For in Bowling?

A general question that I have been asked quite a lot is, which arrow on the bowling arrows should I aim for while bowling; Well, it simply depends upon which bowling pin pocket you are looking to get into. It also depends upon what kind of result you are looking for; for example, a strike might need a different approach than a spare. So, keep these things in mind when you throw the ball.

Now, to make things easy for you, I will tell you exactly which arrow you should be aiming for when bowling to get what bowling pins knocked. Let us take a look.

1st Pin

If you want to knock down the first pin, you will want to aim for the middle arrow because it is in a straight line regarding the middle first pin in the bowling pin set.

2nd and 3rd Pin

Want to get into the left or right pocket; Well, you are going to want to aim for the left and right arrows to the middle arrow to get the second and 3rd pins knocked out.

4th and 6th Pin

If you require to go for the 4th or 6th pin in the set of bowling pins, then you will need to bowl over the left and right arrows to the 2nd and 3rd pin arrows on the bowling arrow section.

7th and 10th pin

7th and 10thpins are both on the left and right extremes of the bowling pin set, and to get them, you will want to aim for the leftmost and rightmost arrows.

Tips for Aiming Better in Bowling

If you are not good at aiming the bowling ball, it is not the end of the line. You can still learn to be better at it. Here are some tips that you can follow to improve at aiming the bowling ball at the pins and knocking them with consistency.

Shift Your Focus

The first step would be shifting your focus. Bowling is a game of sheer focus and attention. So you need to make sure that you’re focused on the right goal. Shifting your focus means that you will want to move away from focusing on the pins and look at the aiming arrows so you can throw better. This is what you need to do if you want to be better at aiming the bowling ball.

Change Your Approach

You need to change your bowling approach if you are not satisfied with how you are performing. For example, instead of chugging the ball towards the bowling pins, you need to make sure you take the right shot.

Aiming for the right pocket or throwing the ball in a straight line, thinking, and acting upon the correct bowling pin is reasonably necessary. And that is precisely what you need to do.

Always look towards the arrow that corresponds to the particular bowling pin you want to hit, and then you can deflect the pin to get good action and knock other pins as well.

Practice Makes a Man Perfect

I say this all the time, but I cannot stress this enough when I say that we need to be bowling more often and practicing a lot if we want to become better at scoring and knocking more pins.

Like every game, bowling is also something you get better at as you keep playing the game. So make sure you put in hours of practice if you are thinking of going professional, and I assure you that you’re going to see great things happen for your career.


Aiming the right way is incredibly important in bowling. When you want to perform well and get a good score, you will surely want to make the most of the aiming arrows. The aiming arrows help you get the right shot and get better at throwing the bowling ball for your strikes and spares. With the right tips and tricks, you can get much better at throwing the bowling ball and consecutively scoring strikes and spares. I hope you learned a lot from this article and that you will utilize this knowledge to become better at the sport over time.

Check out the latest posts