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Road bowling – an old Irish tradition

Irish tradition of Road Bowling
Irish tradition of Road Bowling

Road bowling is an old Irish sport that has been going on for hundreds of years.
It involves throwing a metal ball as far as you can down a country road, but it’s not as straightforward as first appears – you have to negotiate bends in winding country lanes and make sure you don’t lose the ball.


Whoever completes the course in the fewest throws is the winner. As a child I used to love taking part in road bowling competitions when I went back to Ireland for holidays in the 1960s – not that I was any good at it.
Hundreds of people would often gather to take part and it was quite a social event.

This video from the BBC shows what it’s all about – and contains some nice Irish music too.