The Bowling Lane consists of 39 boards across, each being about an inch wide. Years ago they were only made of wood but today they are mostly made of synthetic materials. The bowling lane is 42 inches wide, and 60 feet long. Each individual lane costs about $45,000 to have built in a bowling center and the amount of lanes can vary in each bowling center, or House but the average is about 26 lanes. I bowled in a tournament in New Jersey once that had 100 lanes across, 50 being made by Brunswick, and the other 50 were by AMF which are two companies that make all kinds of bowling products.
The area you first step onto the lane is called the "Approach". When you walk onto the approach, there's a set of "Dots". Some centers have 5 and some have 7 and each of the dots are equal to 5 boards. The dot in the center is also the center of the lane, or the 20th board, and usually a bit large than the other dots. There is a line across the lane where the lane actually begins called the "Foul Line".There are 2 lights with sensors, one each side of the foul line, and if you cross this line on your ball release during league play, whatever pins you knocked down will not be counted in your score and the pins will be automatically re-set. Your score will be marked as an "F"meaning that you fouled. Just passed the foul line there is another set of dots that line up with the first set, and even farther down the lane there is a set of "Arrows" which line up with both sets of dots.These dots and arrows are there to help you figure out where to stand and also help you figure out the best "Target" area to release the bowling ball.
Down at the end of the lane is a set of 10 pins which are 15 inches high and weigh about 3 pounds, give or take a few ounces. They sit on the "Pin Deck". The object of the game is to be successful in knocking all 10 pins down on the first try which is called a "Strike" and marked by an "X" in the score. If you are unsuccessful, you will only get one more try to knock down the remainder of the pins. If you are successful you will have a"Spare" which is marked by a slash /. If you are unsuccessful in knocking all the pins down after your second try, then you will have a "Miss" or "Open Frame" (I will go into more detail on scoring a bit later in the blog).
Join me next week on getting started, see you then!