It's really surprising how many bowlers don't know much more than. "aim for the second arrow." That's the reason one of the first things I teach my students are the marks on the lane with regard to targeting. More than just a few of them have told me that they never realized the second arrow was actually placed on the 10th board of the lane and that there were other places they could be aiming and lining up their bowling ball. That knowledge alone has helped many of them to improve their scores.
If you are in the category of merely aiming for the second arrow, then this "Choc-List" is for you:
1) There are seven elongated triangles (commonly referred to as "arrows") on the lane. From both the right and left gutters, they are placed on the 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th boards. The 1st arrows are 15 feet from the foul line and the 4th arrow is 17 feet from the foul line.
2) Always keep in mind that there are boards between the arrows and that experienced bowlers will talk in terms of, and aim for example, the 7th board, the 13th board, or the 17th board, among others.
3) 7-1/2 feet from the foul line are a series of five dots, again from the left and the right gutters, that sit on the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 11th, and 14th boards. Note that the only dot that lines up with an arrow is the one on the 5th board (1st arrow).
4) The dots on the approach are the foul line dots, the first line dots (12 feet from the foul line), and the second line dots (15 feet from the foul line). The dots on the approach all line up with the boards that the arrows are on.
5) On some newer synthetic lanes, you may see a series of elongated markings farther down the lane. These are referred to as, "range finders," "breakpoint markers," or simply, "down lane markers." The inner set of markers are in line with the 3rd Arrow or 15-board; while the outer set are in line with the 2nd Arrow or 10-board.
NOTE: Insider Tip - On an oil pattern length of between 38 feet and and 41 feet in length, "If the ball passes through the 6 to 9 board at the outer marker, your ball will go in the pocket;" and, in the USA, the great majority of pattern lengths is within that range.
6) A couple of other "things" you can aim for are the seams of the panels (synthetic lanes) and any board or spot in-between (an imaginary marking that you create) the obvious dots and arrows.
In lining up your bowling shot, remember that you can use a single, a series, or a combination of, these markings.
Remember too, that you can throw your ball directly at, out to, or inward at, the marking(s) you have selected as the target you are aiming for.