How Long Is A Bowling Lane?

Do you know how long a bowling lane is?

In this bowling guide, we’ll take a look at the different lengths of bowling lanes and what you need to know about them.

Keep reading to learn more!

The total length of a regulation lane is 60 feet from the foul line to the centre of the head pin, which is 18.29 meters (60 feet). The lane is 106 cm (41 inches) wide, but it’s measured in boards. There are 39 boards in total. Bowling is a competitive sport, so it’s useful to know bowling lane specifications when you play.

Uniform Bowling Lane Dimensions

Most of the following regulation size dimensions meet the requirements and the standardized rules of the bowling’s governing body.

If a bowling lane surface doesn’t have these dimensions, that also makes the alley maintenance more difficult, as for example bowling lane conditioners are adjusted to meet the width of the lane.

Bowling Lane Dimensions

A standard bowling lane has an overall length of 60 feet, and it is 40 inches wide.

A bowling lane also has a 15-foot (4.57 m) approach area at the front of the lane, with a foul line and approach dots at the end of the approach.


Arrows (for Aiming the Bowling Ball Shot)

Guide arrows are used to keep bowlers and their bowling balls on the correct path, and towards the pins.

The arrows are situated at 12 to 16 feet (3.6-4.8 m) from the foul line, pointing towards the middle of the lane, and the bowling pins in a triangle formation.

Gutter Dimensions

Bowling lanes have two gutters on the left and right side which are about 9.25 inches (23.5 cm) wide.

Bowling gutter size may be more or less than that, however, because the inside of the gutter is rounded (and not flat like the bowling lane itself).

Gutter depth is usually around 1.875 inches (47.6 mm), big enough to contain a bowling ball.

Pin Deck Area

The pin deck area is located at the end of the bowling lane: this is where the pins are set.

The pins standing in a triangle formation are placed at 12 inches (30 cm) from each other. The gap between the pins is 7.2 inches (18 cm).

The space is a little bit wider than a regulation bowling ball of 8.5 inches (22 cm) diameter.

Bowling Service Areas

Each bowling lane also has a 3 to 4.5 feet (0.9-1.3 m) long service area at the back end of the lanes and the sport center.

These serve to adjust the bowling pin setters or to help with the ball return if necessary.

Bowling Lane Floor Thickness

The average thickness of a bowling lane floor is approximately 2 inches, with the maximum thickness of around 2.5 inches.

Bowling Lane Lengths at Different Rinks

There may also be additional variations on the length of bowling lanes you’ll find at different bowling alleys.

For example, at your local bowling alley, the length may be slightly shortened or lengthened depending on the space available.

There are other variations that can come into play depending on the type of lane.


Bowling Alley Lane Dimensions According to Game Variations

The earlier mentioned dimensions apply to ten pin bowling. For the other variations, such as candlepin, duckpin and five pin bowling, the bowling lanes’ length may vary.

Kegel or Nine Pin Bowling

The lane for nine pin bowling is 1.3 meters wide and 19.5 meters (or 64 feet) long, without the two gutters on the sides.

What Are Bowling Lanes Made Of?

Bowling alley lanes were entirely composed of solid wood up until 1980s.

Today’s architects utilize a mix of fiberglass, synthetic materials, laminates, and/or other engineered wood products for building bowling lanes, with maple and pine wood applied mostly.

How Many Lanes Does the Largest Bowling Alley Have?

The largest bowling center of the world is the Inazawa Grand Bowling Centre in Japan. This bowling center has 116 lanes available with a surface of 8,500 m2 and a floor space of 17,000 m2.

Most bowling centers in contrast have eight lanes at their disposal – for a usual eight-team league, this is the amount of lanes required so that is the average number of lanes in most minimum size bowling alleys.

Bowling alleys’ outside area may vary from bowling center to center.

Bowling alleys may also generally include bars, restaurants, shoe rental, video arcades or billiard tables, bowling equipment storage or other facilities in addition to the bowling lane sections.

Closing Thoughts About Bowling Lane Specifications

The dimensions of a bowling lane can vary depending on the type of bowling alley.

Make sure you know the dimensions of a lane so that you won’t have any problems with your bowling.

So, how long is a bowling lane?

You can see that from the above guide, however, the most important thing is not how many inches your lane measures, but whether you’re able to strike out every single one of your bowling opponents!

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