Not So Straight and Narrow

Not So Straight and Narrow


As a bowler looking to line up toward a target area, you’re simply looking to align the ball's swing path with a target or series of targets along the lanes surface. Placing you’re big toe on the big dot doesn’t mean you’ll always throw the ball over the second arrow. In the stance, take note of the alignment of the shoe from toes to heels. Align the toes and heels in the direction of the intended ball path and remember to move the heels left or right while pivoting on the toes to adjust the launch angle. 

For launch angles that are straighter down the lane, keep the toes and heels on the same boards. For launch angles that are more open or closed, have the toes and heels on different boards in the stance. (Right-handed bowler example: Intended ball path is 20 board (lay down point) – 16 board (at arrows) – 9 board (at 42 ft). Stance is 25 board with toes and 26 board with heel of the same foot.)

The USBC Bowling Academy breaks down adjustments and launch angle


What’s most important is that you’re able to repeat the same start position and finish position. Be aware of where your slide foot stops once you’ve delivered the ball to see if it’s consistent from shot to shot. 

One of the best parts about bowling is that behind the foul line, there are no rules and you can start and finish wherever you like as long as the pins fall down.

When setting up on the approach, it’s best to line up using whatever works and that’s not always just your toes. Whether you’re using the inside or outside of your shoe, or the toe of your foot, depends completely on the bowlers’ preference. Remember that the habits you develop now will be what your body reverts to during stressful situations, so practice good habits and avoid the bad ones.