Coming Up -- Irish Road Bowling Champs 'Hit' the Road

North American Region Finals, August 2, 3 and 4, 2013 East Durham, New York

The 350-year old Irish sport of long bullets road bowling is firmly established in the Irish communities of New York and Boston, and the green hills of West Virginia.

On August 2, 3 and 4, 2013, the USA national finals, titled the North American Region Finals, will be held in East Durham, New York, with headquarters at Gavin’s Irish Country Inn. 

Semi-finals in four grades, Novice I, II, III and IV, will be Saturday August 3 and finals Sunday August 4. Practice matches will be thrown Friday afternoon August 2. Winners will advance to the All Ireland Finals in Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, in September. 

All Ireland Champions Adrian Lappin and Fergal Carr from New York,  All Ireland Champions Florrie O’Mahoney, Con O’Callaghan, Brendan Fleming and Michael Fleming from Boston, and North American Region Champion Travis Craig from West Virginia are expected to be on hand.

An iron and steel small cannonball, called a “bowl” is hurled down a 1.2-mile country lane, fewest throws to the finish line wins, similar to golf. Throws can roll 250 or even 300 yards.

Excitement builds as two evenly skilled players match each other shot for shot for more than a mile. Often these memorable matches, called “scores,” are decided by only a few feet or inches distance past the finish line, both players with the same number of throws. 

The twists and turns of a narrow country lane as well as the tilt of the road surface (the “pitch and camber”) provide a rich playing field for strategy and can spark spirited debate among the thrower, his coach (the “road shower”) and full-throated spectators.

For info: Michael Moloney 914 207 3026 or David Powell 202 387 1680.

Views: 1280

Tags: America, North, Sports

Comment by Gerry Regan on July 20, 2013 at 11:07am

Love the image here, David, how intently everyone is focused down the road. What can you tell us about this shot?

Comment by Patrick Murphy on July 22, 2013 at 7:55pm

This was a game my father and his brothers played when they were young. There is one story about how my uncle had reached the final of a tournament, but had moved to England before it was played. My father stepped in and took his place and won the event.  

Comment by Gerry Regan on July 23, 2013 at 11:20am

Patrick, tell us more, perhaps on your own blog here within The Wild Geese, about your father and brothers, please.


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