What is Aiming Arrows in Bowling?

Contrary to popular belief, bowling is not just a game of chance. Over the years, bowling has evolved into a sport that requires plenty of skill. That is why the bowling lane has also evolved into a high-tech terrain.

Aiming arrows are used for proper alignment when a bowler has to aim at a specific combination of pins. If you study the bowling lane, the triangular configuration, known as aiming arrows, is located about 15 feet away from the foul line and is also known as bowling arrows or dovetails.

If you can use these arrows correctly, it can significantly improve your game. That is why these arrows are also termed the intermediate target. You can knock down the pins professionally by focusing on the arrows.

This article will discuss what aiming arrows are in bowling and how to use them to your advantage.

What is Aiming Arrows in Bowling?

Where Are Aiming Arrows Located on a Bowling Lane?

A bowling lane is made up of planks where the ball travels down towards the pins and knocks them down. This alley is 60 feet long and divided into four main parts. These parts are the approach, the foul line, the bowling lane, and the pin deck.

The bowling lane is again divided into three parts: the dots, the arrows, and the breakpoint. The small dots you see about 6 feet from the foul line are there for a special purpose. To become proficient in reading the arrows, you need to have a good understanding of why those dots are there.

Aiming arrows are located about 15 feet away from the foul line. The first arrow (either from the left or right of the lane) is located approximately 5 inches from the edge of the lane. There are a total of seven aiming arrows on a bowling lane, with the middle one pointing directly towards the head pin in the pin deck.

As such, the 4th arrow or the middle arrow is located on the same board as the head pin as well as the five pin, both of which are located on the 20 board. Similarly, arrows on the right and left of the middle arrow align with the 3rd and the 2nd pin, respectively.

As you can see, these arrows can significantly help the bowler align their posture to target a given combination of pins. Since aiming arrows are perfectly aligned with the pin-deck head-to-head and are located closer to the bowler, it’s easier to take their aim instead of looking at the pins from a great distance.

Why Are Aiming Arrows Important?

Any sport you want to learn with the help of a coach must come with some notation or a set of rules. These notations are used to identify different parts of a lane or a pitch and then use them to improve your odds of winning.

Bowling is no different than other sports like football, cricket, basketball, etc. To become a professional bowler, you will need a coach to learn the ins and outs of this game.

Other than the rules, knowing the anatomy of the bowling lane and how to use its different parts to your advantage will greatly improve your game. That is why it’s good to study the arrows and know their connection with the dots and the pins.

When you know what purpose those arrows serve, you will know where to stand and what to aim at while bowling. This can improve your confidence in the game and improve your chances of winning.

Read more in this in-depth article: How to Aim in Bowling.

How to Use the Bowling Arrows?

Now, the question is how to use these bowling arrows to your advantage. Let’s find out.

Aiming arrows or bowling arrows are also known as “range finders.” In addition to studying the arrows and their alignment with the pins, you also have to study the dots located 6 feet away from the foul line.

Keep your eyes targeted on the arrows instead of the pins from the beginning to the approach. Make sure not to lose sight of your target until you have rolled the ball down the lane. Once the ball has been released from your hand, you can then look at the pins.

Your bowling coach will most likely ask you to focus your attention on the second aiming arrow on the lane. This should be your primary target because the heaviest concentration of oil applied by the lane machine is between the second arrow on the right and the second arrow on the left.

If you aim at the second arrow (from the right or the left), the ball will rotate and enter the pocket. A pocket is an area located adjacent to the headpin from the right or the left. The important thing is to lift and throw the ball with the same rotation each time.

By using this method, you won’t have to change your throwing style. Instead, you will change the position of your feet on the approach to knock down any pin on the lane. You will target the second arrow every time, regardless of which pin you try to knock down. But the position of your feet would determine if you will be successful or not.

For example, to knock down the 10-pin, you will stand on the farthest dot on the left side of the approach. Your aim will be the second arrow from the right side. To get the 6-pin, move half the distance between the last dot from the left to the next. Still aiming at the second arrow from the right, release the ball, and you will be able to knock down the 6-pin.

This is how aiming arrows can be used to improve your bowling skill and be able to knock down just about any combination of pins.

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