Using Your Dominant Eye to Improve Accuracy While Targeting

No matter how you throw the ball, all bowlers have a dominant eye. Your dominant eye is the one you rely on more while targeting. Do you know which of your eyes is dominant?

It’s a commonly overlooked aspect of the game, but learning which eye is dominant is fundamental in helping you establish a proper stance that will promote a consistent arm swing and give you better control of your shots.

Eye dominance influences accuracy greatly. Your accuracy while targeting can be off by as many as one to eight boards depending on your vision. Everyone’s vision on your team will vary, so it is crucial for you, your teammates, and your coach to understand their eye dominance to better communicate adjustments amongst each other.

Are you right-eye or left-eye dominant?

To find out which of your eyes is dominant, start by creating a circle with your index finger and your thumb. Place it about a foot and a half in front of your face.

With both eyes open, focus on an object in the room and position your circle around it. For this example, we used the lane number on the masking unit which can be seen in the image below.

bowling pins and hand

Next, close your left eye. Do not move your circle. In our example, the lane number remained inside the circle when Sasha closed her left eye. This means Sasha’s right eye is dominant. She relies more on this eye to focus on her target.

bowling pins and hand

Watch what happened when Sasha closed her right eye.

a lady holding her hand up to her face

The lane number moved out of the center of the circle. This confirms that Sasha is right-eye dominant.

Setting up with your dominant eye

How you set up your bowling stance determines where your bowling ball will roll down the lane.

Let’s take a look at it from the feet up.

Place the center of your slide foot on the starting board with your other foot just behind at a slight angle.

bowling shoes on bowling lane

This foot positioning opens up your hips which helps contribute to a straight arm swing.

Your knees should be slightly flexed and ready to move, while your spine should be tilted 10º forward.

bowler with bowling ball

Bring your bowling shoulder down and keep your elbow close to your body while supporting the bowling ball with both hands.

Your off-hand should hold the majority of the bowling ball’s weight in the stance. This protects your bowling arm from fatigue.

Finally, align the center of the bowling ball with your dominant eye.

Bowling ball placement in this stance is vital for a successful game. If placement is off even slightly, it will be impossible to achieve a consistent straight arm swing. Without a straight arm swing, you will not hit your target consistently, and without consistency, your scores will fluctuate game to game, week to week.

What happens when the ball reaches the pins will be a direct result of how you set up your stance. Footwork, timing of the push away, arm swing, pivot step, and the finish position all need practice to become fundamentally sound, but if you do not set up properly, there is no autocorrect once your feet are moving.

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12 Responses to “Using Your Dominant Eye to Improve Accuracy While Targeting”

  1. North Joleen

    I had to switch to my left hand a couple years ago because I can no longer use my right hand to bowl. I am right eye dominant and have trouble hitting my target. I am pretty comfortable using my left hand now, but targeting is still an issue. I am not sure where to focus, to the right of my target or the left of my target? Any suggestions?

  2. Erving Pratt

    i am a right handed bowler, my dominant eye is the right eye,i had macular surgery on the right eye and it is do i line up to hit my mark/board on the lane.

  3. frank billowitz

    I am a tweener lefty, my dominant eye is the right eye. I usually stand on 12 to hit 7 or 8 at the arrows. Where should I align my feet at the stance?

  4. razorm713

    Being a lefty, with right-eye dominance, and due to hip joint problems, I'm unable to perform a cross-over without great pain. Any suggestions?

  5. Larry La Croix

    When I close my left eye the spot I was looking at completely disappeared and when I closed my right eye it did not disappear. What does that mean


    I noticed the lady used her right hand to make the circle to detect her dominate eye,however I'm a lefty & I would use my left hand to make the circle,,is this correct ?

  7. Gerre

    I am left handed bowler. My left eye is the dominant eye. I had a corneal transplant on the left eye and it is completely I have to rely on my right eye. How do I line up to hit my mark/boards on the lanes? HELP please.

  8. Frank Stewart

    But I am left handed how would make the adjustments if I am right dominant for a left handed bowler.

  9. Cathy

    Can you explain this a bit more? “align the center of the bowling ball with your dominant eye.“

  10. Marian S Sowinski

    What do you do if you are left eye dominant, and bowl right handed?