Sadly the traditional start of the WVIRBA schedule, the Irish Spring Festival in Ireland WV, has been canceled. Therefore, the two days of Irish Road Bowling on March 13th and 14th will not happen on historic Wildcat Road. We are hoping to schedule an alternative unofficial event for the weekend. Updates to come this week.
Saturday evening, bowlers from all across the U.S. and Ireland, came to the last tournament of the fifteen game season at Cooper’s Rock.
“Growing up in the area I grew up in Ireland, everyone competed. My family played it, my friends played it, so-it started from there I think,” says Adrain Lappin, of All Ireland Road Bowling.
From New York to Boston to right here in the Mountain State, Irish Road Bowling is taking over!
The game is played with a small 28 ounce cannon-like ball. Teams or individuals with the fewest shots to the finish line wins.
The game can be traced back to the 1600’s, in the country of Ireland. And it can be traced back 17 years in the town of Ireland, here in our state, and with only five players.
“Now, over the course of ten years, it’s grown to 368 bowlers the first day,” says Judy Mize, the Secretary of WV Irish Road Bowling.
It’s appeal lies in the fact that anyone, of just about any age and skill level, can play. It’s also inexpensive.
“Children,people in their 70’s and 80’s can play,” says Mize. “It’s a competition available no matter what level you’re on,which makes it interesting for all ages and types,” adds Adrian Lappin.
Irish Road Bowling promotes physical fitness, celebrates nature, and also camaraderie and sportsmanship.
“It’s great for a get-together on a Sunday morning. When we were brought up in Ireland, it’s a thing we’ve done since we were 10 or 12 years of age,” says Cian O’ Callaghan, Chairman of Boston Road Bowling.
Though it’s a game enjoyed by families, it’s also considered a serious sport, where players spend years perfecting their skills, and travel the world for competitions just like this one.
Judy Mize adds,”There’s skill involved, and maybe a little power. Yes, it’s just like any sport, you do need to practice.”
The tournament has lasted all weekend and whoever wins the championship on Sunday, will travel to Ireland to compete there.
Road Bowling events are going on all year, and if you’re looking for fun stuff to do with the family, or if you’d like to compete visit wwww.wvirishroadbowling.com to get more information.