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Road bowling – an old Irish tradition

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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.