Rules Of


Rules of the game

The Standing Area or Approach:

This is the area where you will select your bowling ball, line yourself up and throw. The approach area is approximately 15 feet long and ends at the foul line.  The foul line is a solid dark line where the"lane" begins.  The approach is marked with approach dots or line up points that are used to increase the accuracy of your throw.  It is important to remember when releasing the ball to not let your feet cross over the foul line which seperates the approach area and the lane.

The Lane:

The lane is a straight narrow surface that is 60 feet long and approximately 41.5 inches wide.  It is usually created with wood or a synthetic material.  At the end of the lane are the bowling pins.  The lane also has one gutter on each side of it.  If your ball goes into any side of these gutters it is deemed to be a "gutter ball."

You will notice that there is a difference between the lane and the approach area.  The lanes are treated with an oil so that the bowling ball will glide over it's surface.  A lane will be coated with at least 18 milliliter (ml), or as much as 30 ml of oil.  It is important to remember not to touch any part of the lane with your feet.  The lane is very slippery and crossing it is considered a foul. Any pins knocked down during a foul will not count towards your score.

The Pins:

There are ten pins at the end of the lane.  A pin must weigh between 3 pounds, 6 ounces and 3 pounds, 10 ounces.  It also has to be 15 inches tall. The first pin is called the head pin.  The spots at where the pins sit are numbered, but not the pins themselves.  The pins are set up in four rows with one pin in the first row, two in the second, three in the third, and four in the fourth. They are numbered 1 through 10.  The goal is to knock down all the pins at one time.Ten Bowling Pins

The Bowling Ball:

A bowling ball can be no more then 27 inches in circumference and must weigh between 10 and 16 pounds. The ball is solid and has two or three fingers holes.

Bowling Shoes:

Special shoes are required for bowling.  Tennis shoes are not authorized on a bowling lane because they will damage the floor.  Bowling shoes consist of a specific sole depending on if you are right handed or left handed. One shoe will have a sliding sole and the other a breaking sole. If you are a right handed bowler your left shoe will be a slider sole and your right shoe a breaking sole. It is opposite for left hand bowlers.

The Game:

Bowling is played with 10 scoring frames.  Each frame is one turn, but you get two throws in each frame.  The number of pins knocked down with both throws is added to your total score.  Please refer to our scoring page to see how scoring works. At the end of the game the player who has the most points wins. We have listed some common bowling terms here to help you understand the rules of the game.

The most common broken rule in bowling is the foul line.  Remember, crossing the foul line will not only disqualify your throw, but you could risk injury from a fall.