Erik Vermilyea

How to Bowl: Getting Started

Erik Vermilyea
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Duration:   3  mins

This beginner instructional video is perfect for the fun night bowler thinking about moving his or her game towards a league mentality.

Coach Erik Vermilyea with Track walks beginners through everything you need to know to get started on the lanes and how to bowl.

Foul Line

The foul line is the line at the end of the approach and the beginning of the lane. Start by walking up to the foul line with your bowling ball and put your heels to the line, looking back at the settee.

Take four and a half steps back toward the settee. Turn around and face the pins.

The Big Dot

There are 39 boards on the approach and they continue onto the bowling lane through the pins ending at the pin deck.

To get started, line the inside of your slide foot on the “big dot,” the 20th board.

The Big Dot


The head pin is the pin that is in front of the others.

The Head Pin

Trace an imaginary line from the head pin to your bowling ball in the stance. This is how you find the arrow you want to look at while releasing the bowling ball.

Picking Your Target

Proper Bowling Position

Before you get your feet moving and throw the bowling ball, you’ll need to get into position to learn how to bowl properly:

  • Pull your right foot back behind your left
  • Bend your knees
  • Lean forward from the hips
  • Hold the ball with forearm parallel to the floor
  • Take the first step with right foot simultaneously pushing the bowling ball away

Proper Position

Footsteps 2 – 4 and the Release

Now that you are in motion and in good timing, your next steps will take you to the foul line, where you release the bowling ball.

Your eyes should be locked on your target and you are now going to release the bowling ball.

Release the ball with your thumb in front of your fingers while aiming at your target.

This will take some time and practice before you are comfortable with it.

National Bowling Academy is here to help work on your fundamentals. Check out more physical game and free videos to better learn how to bowl.

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

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