The Ancient Irish Sport of Road Bowling: What You Need to Know

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What Is Road Bowling?

Road bowling is an ancient outdoor Irish sport that has been played in Ireland for centuries. It involves rolling a metal ball along a predetermined course, usually on public highways or back roads. The player who completes the course with the fewest throws of their ball wins the game. The objective of road bowling is to cover the longest distance in as few throws as possible. Although it was originally only popular in rural areas, it has become increasingly popular with urban dwellers too, and can now be found all over Ireland.

How Do You Play Road Bowling?

Road bowling is typically played by two players but can also be enjoyed by larger groups of up to eight people divided into teams of four players each. Each team takes turns throwing their metal balls from one end point to another which are generally marked out by trees or landmarks such as churches or cemeteries and must complete the entire length before passing onto their opponents turn. Players will often mark out their own starting points depending on the terrain they’re playing on and then decide how many shots each should take to reach the end goal – this varies depending on how difficult that particular route might be!

Before beginning play, participants must agree upon a certain number of ‘lives’ they have available; these lives represent how many times they can throw their ball during a single round before having to start again at square one (or rather, tree!). If all lives are used up without reaching your destination – you lose! If no team reaches its destination after rounds have been completed then whoever got closest wins – however if there’s still some way left until completion whoever made most progress across it wins!


Road bowling is an interesting sport that offers plenty of fun and competition among friends while exploring different routes around Ireland’s countryside- perfect for anyone looking for something unique and exciting! Whether you’re travelling through rural towns or strolling around city streets, give road bowling a shot today – there’s sure to be plenty adventure waiting around every corner!