Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Irish Road Bowling

Back where I'm from, you don't have to go too far for a good drink, a good conversation or just a plain ole' good time. I was reminded of this recently upon a visit home.  Mom informed me the neighbors were having a family reunion and would be participating in an Irish road bowling competition. Irish Road Bowling?! Huh?  Yep, that's right.  All you need is a repurposed canon ball, a few teams of four, and a 2-mile stretch of road.  Easy! 

This is how it works...

One team starts.  Each person on the team takes a turn chucking/rolling/hurling the ball down the road.  The more curvey, bumpy, and ditchy the road..the better!  The team continues moving with the ball, and each person takes their turns, all the while keeping track of the number of times they have rolled.  After two miles, whichever team rolls the least amount of times is the winner!  

This sport has actually been around since the 17th century. These days, it's played competitively in Ireland, Boston, New York, Vermont, West Virginia and now...yes...my hometown. I suspect very soon, you will see Indiana added to that list on Wikipedia (search subject: Irish Road Bowling).  It was brought here this past year by our town's "fun" committee who traveled to West Virginia to witness for themselves.  Beth, pictured below rolling, is on our town's fun committee and was trying it out with bowling balls during their family reunion. We'll call this the very first Irish Road Bowling "Test" Competition.   

September 18th marks the very first official competition in our hometown. The County Commissioner (or Commish as we call him) has approved the closing down of a 2-mile stretch of road and sign ups for 50 teams will open very soon.  Believe me, when that weekend comes around, I will be ready with a team of four, a rolling cooler and cannon ball ready for some road rage.  Let the traditions begin!


  1. HAHAHAHA!!! I love this. Only you would bring this to us. I want to play next time!

  2. Commish! Ha! Goode luck with your road rage ;)

  3. OMG! This is hysterical! It might replace wash-shoos around my neck of the woods! Love it!

  4. that looks like so much fun!! ive never heard of it, but i really wish it would become popular where im from!

  5. I love, love, love it! Just had to share it on my Facebook page. I think a roadtrip my be in order!


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