Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Irish road bowling comes to the mountains

Heck, I've just gotten used to Cornhole being the game du jour, and now comes word from the N.C. mountains that there may be a new game on which to latch: Irish road bowling.

"Irish road bowling is a sport best played on winding country roads, with lots of hills," says the Citizen-Times.

" 'Of course, Western North Carolina has quite a bit of those,' said Justin Hunter, one of the founders of the newly formed Asheville Irish Road Bowling Association. 'Plus it's an outdoor sport and relaxed, which fits the personality of the area.'"

Road bowling is an old sport, dating back about 350 years. It was originally played by Irish soldiers. A road bowler hurls a 28-ounce cannonball, called a bowl or a bullet, roughly the size of a tennis ball, toward a designated finish line between 1-1.5 miles away. Unlike conventional bowling, there are no pins to knock down. The bowler who takes the fewest tosses to reach the finish line wins. ...

Hunter grew up in West Virginia, home to one of the sport's three major associations in the United States; Hunter's father co-founded the association in Ireland, W.Va., in 1995. When Hunter moved to Asheville, he brought road bowling with him, and in March, the association had its first meeting.

About 15 people regularly play matches here, usually on a stretch of Grandview Road near the Buncombe-Madison county line. On a Sunday afternoon in early September, the road bowlers gathered there for a match. ...

You're on alert, Cornhole.

(Photo from Steve Dixon, Citizen-Times)


James C. said...

I'd love to see them try to pull that off on Trinity while tailgating at Carter-Finley!

M. Lail said...

That would be fun. Lots of cars off in the ditches.

J. Hunter said...

Glad to see some folks saw the article. Mike forgot to mention our website, www.ashevilleroadbowling.com, so feel free to check it out and if you want to be kept up to date just drop us an email to jhunter@ashevilleroadbowling.com or join us on Facebook for more updates.