How Long is a Bowling Lane: Bowling Lane Dimensions

Bowling is a fun as well as a loving indoor game that has become one of the most pleasant pastimes for a large number of Americans. This game you can play with anyone like family, friends, and even with the person, you don’t know!

If you are a beginner bowling player, then maybe it seems to you that the ball takes enough time to roll down the lane to shatter those pins. At the same time, if you are an advanced level player, then maybe it seems to you that the ball takes a little bit of time to reach the pin deck to smash the pins!

At this moment, a question may come to your mind that actually how long is a bowling lane! It’s a good question your capricious mind has invented! In this post, we are going to cover ins and outs of bowling lane dimensions. We hope that you will enjoy it a lot. So, let’s go and keep reading!

Lane Sections:

First, you should know about the sections of a lane before you dive into the features of a bowling lane dimensions. A lane is divided into three sections, and they are:

  • Midlane – Lesser oil is applied here
  • Back end – There is no need to apply oil
  • Front end (heads) – Most oil is applied here

Now let’s go and take an eye on the lane dimensions and then discuss these lane sections more. Are you interested? Hmm… great. Read on.

How Long is a Bowling Lane: Bowling Lane Dimensions

How Long is a Bowling LaneIt doesn’t matter where you bowl, the lane always will have particular dimensions and definite sections! It’s convenient for you to know about the features and dimensions of an ideal bowling lane before you start bowling. Don’t you think so? Probably, your answer is yes, and you’re here to learn the lane dimensions and markings, right? Great! Let’s move on.

Length & Width

Lane is one of the most important parts of bowling! The area of lane lengthens from the foul line to the area where pins are. A standard bowling lane is 60 feet long and almost 42 inches wide.

When you bowl without getting any foul, then the ball runs this lane distance and hits the target pins. Already you know that the lane is divided into three sections where the first 20 feet of the lane is head or front-end lane.

In the front-end lane, most oil is applied. Then the next 20 feet is called mid-lane where less oil is applied. And, the final 20 feet is named the back-end lane where no oil is applied. The first 12 feet is made of maple and the next 46 inches is made of pine of the lane.

Remember that the pin deck is made of maple again!

Lane Arrows

The lane arrows are also known as guide arrows! In the right up of the foul line, you see the set of arrows, these are lane arrows. The reason for naming guide arrows is these arrows guide you when you release the ball with a distance of 15 feet above the foul line.

The 7 v-shaped arrows will help you to hit the target effectively as these arrows are closer than the pins which are already 60 feet away. Experienced players can get the most help from these arrows for targeting the pins.


Most probably, you’ve already noticed small strips made of wood on the width of a lane! Do you know their names? They are called boards! These boards help players to get a position and aim at hitting the pins. Usually, a lane has 39 boards where each board is one inch wide.

Approach Dots

Most of the lanes have two sets of approach dots! The first set is positioned 12 feet above the foul line, and at the same time, the second set is positioned 15 feet above from the foul line.

Lane Approach

Lane approach is the name of such an area that the player uses to walk or quickly move toward the foul line to deliver a ball. It is about 15 feet in area. With the 39 boards, the lane approach line up the ones on the area of the lane.

So, if you want to consider the whole area of the lane including the lane approach, then it will be in total 75 feet.

Oiled Area

With a distance of 4 inches from the foul line and 38 feet down from the lane, oil is applied on the bowling lanes.

Foul Line

Yes, we are at the Foul Line! It should not be more than 3/8th of an inch and 1 inch wide. The foul line should focus on the entire lane and be clearly noticeable. This foul line should be much more visible as it helps players to know where to be and when bowling.

The foul line is the line of signal to stay in the game! So a player should not cross the foul line. And the ball should not be allowed to go outside the foul line.

Dimensions of the Bowling Approach Area

There are the same features for every bowling approach area, but every center has some room to do it a little bit differently. For the beginners, the approach should be at least the width of the lane, and it will definitely prolong at least 15 feet behind from the foul line.

You will see two sets of dots near the rear of the approach. At the same time, there is also a third set of marks you will find 2-4 inches away from the foul line. It helps a bowler to reach the proper board or to place the ball down while releasing the ball.

There are two most common things you will see: one approach to another approach is the width of the ball coming and the start-up from the settee area onto the way. At the same time, some of the centers have no push up when other centers have a 4-5 inch push up.

To get a ball return, some players reach closer to the foul line than others when some players get in the way as bowler’s stand or walks. How to deal with the variables relies on the bowler’s responsibility because the bowlers would adapt to the lane’s variables of conditioner!

The Location of the Location Markers Down Lane

Basically, there is no necessity for a bowling lane to cover darkened hash markers, and many of them don’t do. But if you take a look at the modern lanes, then the scenario is different – most of the lanes do cover them.

The first set is placed on the 15 and 25 boards where they start at 34-feet and end at the 37-feet down lane. At the same time, the second set is placed on the 10 and 30 boards where they start at 40-feet and end at the 43-feet down lane.

It’s pretty easy and natural for the bowlers to use all these marks as a relating point for a ball’s exit location on a given character in connection to the ball’s higher breakpoint. Although it’s not a rule that a lane should have these marks and every bowling lane should use the hash marks in the same spots.


The gutter is the outside place for both sides of a lane. Once the ball reaches this gutter area, it can no longer hit the pins. The combined length of gutter and the lane should not be more than 60.25 inches and less than 60 inches.

At the same time, the gutter should be 9.25 inches and lie 1.875 inches deeper than the lane surface.

Pin Spots

All the pins come out with an equilateral triangle pattern, where the 10th pin is the rightmost, and the 7th pin is the leftmost. All the pins are located at the pin spots, the distance between each pin is 12 inches. Each and every spot is 2.25 inches/diameter.

At the corner of the pin deck, the 7th and the 10th pin should be kept at 2.5 to 3 inches. Look, the lane distance from the foul line to the center of the first pin is 60 feet and this distance is 62 feet 10.1875 inches for the last pin of the deck.

Final Verdict:

So, we are at the end of today’s discussion! Bowling will be much enjoyable when you know how everything works! Already you’ve spent enough time learning how long is a bowling lane: bowling lane dimensions in the write-up.

When you know other aspects of bowling like lane arrows and approach dots clearly, then your knowledge will take your game to a higher level for sure! The more you learn about the game, the more you enjoy the game.

Still, if you’ve any confusion, then feel free to leave your queries below, and we will reach you out soon with the right answer. Till then, stay safe. Have a nice time with bowling.

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Sound engineer is my profession and bowling is a hobby, sport, and my great passion. Have plenty of memorable moments, experience, and frequently testing new bowling balls.

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