HomeBowlingBowling Pin Setup (Arrangement, Spacing, Numbering)

Bowling Pin Setup (Arrangement, Spacing, Numbering)

What is the proper Bowling Pin Setup?

Looking to learn how to set up bowling pins?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our bowling knowledge!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Bowling Pin Setup

Curious to understand the bowling pin layout?

In a typical game of bowling, the bowling pins are laid out in an equilateral triangle as follows:

Bowling pin setup - Equilateral triangle

There are ten pins in total where the first pin is called the head pin. 

All other pins are placed behind the head pin forming the triangular setup.


How do you set up bowling pins?

The bowling pins are arranged in triangular formation where the first pin is the closest to the bowler.

The bowling pins are arranged as follows:

  • One pin is in the first row (headpin)
  • Two pins are in the second row (Pins 2 and 3)
  • Three pins are in the third row (Pins 4, 5, and 6)
  • Four pins are in the fourth row (Pins 7, 8, 9, and 10)

The bowling pin set up is depicted in the following diagram:

Bowling pin setup - Rows

The place where the bowling pins are arranged is called the bowling deck.

Once a set of 10 pins are placed on the bowling deck, we refer to that as a “rack”.


Each bowling pin is assigned a number so it can easily be identified.

The first pin, or headpin, is Pin Number 1.

All the other pins behind the head pin are numbered consecutively from Pin Number 2 to Pin Number 10.

Here is a diagram showing the pin numbering:

Bowling pin setup - Numbering


The bowling pins setup follows an equilateral triangle formation.

The space between the pins that are next to each other is 12 inches.

For example, let’s look at the bowling pins set up between the head pin and Pins 2 and 3:

Bowling pin setup - Spacing 12 inches

The space between pins that are placed one behind another is 20.75 inches.

For example, let’s look at the bowling pins layout between the head pin and Pin 5, Pin 2 and 8, or Pin 3 and 9:

Bowling pin setup - Spacing 20.75 inches

The side of the pin rack is 36 inches.

Here is the bowling pin setup diagram showing the space between the head pin and Pin 10, head pin and Pin 7, and Pin 7 and Pin 10:

Bowling pin setup - Spacing 36 inches


Just so we are clear with the terminology, let’s go over some of the key terms.

The “head pin” is the pin closest to the bowler forming the front edge of the triangular-shaped pin rack.

A “pin rack” refers to a set of ten pins.

A “pin deck” refers to the area on the bowling lane where the pins are actually placed.

A “pinsetter” is a machine that automatically sets bowling pins back to their original position.


How are bowling pins set up?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Bowling Pin Setup

  • In a standard game of tenpin bowling, ten bowling pins are set up in a triangle called a pin rack
  • Each pin is assigned a number starting from 1 to 10
  • The first pin closest to the foul line is the head pin and is Pin 1
  • Each pin has a 12-inch space with the one next to it
  • There’s a 20.75-inch distance between pins placed one in front or behind another
  • The side of the equilateral triangle pin rack is 36 inches 
  • There are four rows of bowling pins where the first row has one pin and the fourth row has four pins
Bad rack 
Bowling lane dimensions 
Bowling pin dimensions 
Bowling pin numbers
Bowling pin spacing 
Bowling pin 
Bowling score 
Pin deck 
Pin scatter 
Ten-pin bowling
How many pins in bowling
How tall are bowling pins 
How to bowl 
How to throw a strike
Editorial Staffhttps://bowling.zone
Hello Nation! My name is Amir! I started this blog to provide all you bowling fans and enthusiasts with useful content, information, and resources on bowling. No matter if you are doing this as a hobby or professionally, I hope you could find what you're looking for. Enjoy!


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