Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mike Ardelean Gives Up Petanque for Irish Road Bowling

Irish Road Bowling is a sport mainly played in Ireland, although there are small pockets of enthusiasts all over Ireland and even in the United States. Usually referred to by participants simply as 'Bowls' - which rhymes with 'howls' - it is played on public roads, usually on a Sunday, all over Ireland with enthusiastic crowds of spectators. Road bowling is an old game, played for centuries and at one time far more widespread in Ireland, but since 1954 it has been organized under a national controlling body, “Bol Chumann na hEireann

How the Game is Played
The basic rules are simple. A bowl - a heavy cast iron ball - is thrown from a start point to a predetermined end point, usually 1-2 miles away, the winner being the person or team who reaches the end in the least number of throws.

The bowls themselves vary in weight, adults play with a 28oz bowl while youths use a 14 oz one. Taking part requires nothing in the way of specialized clothing or equipment - just a bowl and an available road. In spite of its simple rules the best players are truly skillful, their ability to deal with bends and undulations in the road and to keep the bowl rolling onward after it lands on different road surfaces is honed by years of experience.

Where and When to See Road Bowling
In Ireland, large crowds gather to watch the matches and they are real family affairs. Visitors are welcome but don't expect any fancy facilities - dress warmly, be prepared to walk a few miles while following the matches and to keep yourself out of the way of flying bowls and road traffic! In Michigan, you can see Mike Ardelean playing it, probably alone, on I-75



Anonymous said...

Irish Road Bowling?! We used to play that as kids in Corktown, Detroit.

We lost most of our players, unfortunately, to road accidents...

Anonymous said...

as a child we played a sillilar game with tennis balls and gas basically flaming tennis balls down the street. great fun when the ball gets lodged under car.
not a good game for the fall

Anonymous said...

tat's nuthin. We used tah play a game it called: "Razor-Orange"

You stick razor blades, edge outward in an orange, and throw it at your opponent who cannot move from the circle he stands in.

The object of the game is the person to succumb to his/her wounds first is the loser...