All You Need to Know About Foul Line in Bowling

foul line in bowlingIt’s not easy being a bowler. You have to figure out what the foul line is, where you can stand before it, and if there are any types of foul lines that apply in your game. If this sounds like too much work, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered! This blog post has everything you need to know about bowling lanes so keep reading for more information on how to play better or contact us with questions today!

What is Foul line?

The foul line is the line that goes across the lane on a bowling lane. It is 60 feet from where the pins are. If you touch any part of the foul line with your body or cross the line, it counts as a “foul.” according to USBC Rule Book, When any part of the body crosses onto or over the foul line while releasing the ball or after releasing the ball, it is called foul.  If you knock over some pins after committing foul delivery, then those pins will not count and your score will be zero. But you can still call it legal release if it tripped the foul light.

Where to Stand before foul Lines?

You need to start at the right distance. You must release the ball just before the foul line without crossing it which is around 2 inches away from the foul line. The lane markings in the approach area help you find where to start, and you can use 4 step approach or 5 step approach.

Type Of Foul Lines

Crossing The Foul Line

It is already discussed. It is the most common pattern foul for bowlers. If you cross the foul line before delivering or at the time of delivering a bowling ball it is marked as foul.

Shot clock foul

A bowler is given a certain amount of time to throw the ball. They have to release it before the time up. The given time is usually 30 seconds which is called a shot clock.  If a bowler fails to complete his turn until the shot clock sounds, their turn will be thrown away. This is called a shot clock foul.

Illegal Pinfalls

Illegal Pinfalls is one kind of foul which occurs  if

1. a ball leaves the lane without reaching to pin deck

2.. A ball comes in contact with the rear cushion before reaching to pins.

3. A ball comes into contact with Other players or pinsetter before touching pins.

4. A Bowler makes foul 

5. Pin is knocked down before touching the ball.

6. If a player makes foul with his delivery, this delivery will be counted but the score will be zero 

How To Hold Your Bowling Balance At The Foul Line?

When you are bowling, you need to make sure that you are in a set position with your upper body and keep it stable when delivering the ball. It does not matter how good of a player you are, whether you’re a professional or an amateur. Good shot-making is important for anyone who wants to succeed.

When you slide your bowling ball, keep your upper body as still as possible and hold it until the ball is close to hitting the pins. This will help you make a good shot. It is important that you are well-balanced and have good form at the line when sliding and delivering the ball as this will not change over time.

How to Deliver Your Bowling Ball Over The Foul Line?

Deliver the ball onto the lane with a good speed. If you drop it before the foul lane, then it will slow down your speed and have a bad action.

If you release the ball too soon and behind the line, it will bounce and skid unpredictably. This makes it harder for bowlers to hit the pins accurately because they do not know how far or where it will go.

Delay your release until you have reached the bottom of your shoe. Do not bend suddenly forward at your waist when you are about to release the ball.

A bowling ball is still a good technique to use. Put a towel on the lanes just beyond the foul lanes where you release your ball.  It will help your ball get to the pins.

What happens if the players cross the foul line?

When a player crosses onto or over the foul lanes, it is marked as foul.  If this foul delivery is a player’s first throw, it will be counted as a part of the frame but the score will be zero and none of the knocked down pins will be counted. He will be allowed to throw his next legal delivery

If the players commit a foul again in his second consecutive delivery after committing foul, No points will be scored. He will lose his chances and the game will also move to the next players.

What is a dead ball in Bowling?

Dead bowling is called when

1. After a delivery, someone notices that one or more of the pins are missing in the deck.

2. A human pinsetter interferes with the standing pin before the ball reaches it.

3. The human pinsetter removes any fallen pins before they stop rolling.

4. Sometimes the player will bowl on the wrong lane or out of turn or one player from each team on the pair of lanes will also bowl on the wrong lane.

5. If a person touches any person or any moving objects before the ball is thrown, they can declare it either a dead ball or Illegal Pinfalls foul.

6. A ball comes in contact with a foreign object.

What if a player goes over the line but doesn’t release the ball?

A player can’t be called for a foul if they go over the line but don’t release the ball. If he never leaves the ball even after crossing the foul line, they have not made an illegal delivery so they cannot be called for a foul.
 It is important to know this because You can hold on to the ball and do it again, without being called for a foul. You might have seen this in the game. Sometimes players dive in front of other players, and they keep the ball and don’t get called for a foul.


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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