Irish Road Bowling

Irish Road Bowling Tournament!

Sponsored by Ancient Order of Hibernians, John A. Gildea Division #3 in conjunction with the Town of New Milford, CT


What is Irish Road Bowling?

A sport traced back to the 1600’s in Ireland and still popular today in the counties of Cork and Armagh. It’s a combination of bowling and golf where a 28-ounce cannon ball (bowl) is thrown underhanded over the course of a “country” road. The team with the least number of bowls at the end of the course wins the contest!

Teams consist of 2-4 people over 21. A bowler, bowl guide, scorekeeper, and bowl marker.

When: July 30, 2022 (rain date August 6, 2022)

Where: Check in and after party at The Abbey Restaurant, 132 Danbury Rd., New Milford, CT 06776

Cost: $25/person (Teams register as one)

Information needed:

  • Team Name
  • T-shirt sizes

Terms to know:

  • Bowl or bullet – the 28-ounce cannonball
  • Butt – the throwing mark on the road. Stepping over the mark before releasing the bowl is to “break butt”.
  • Craic – Irish for fun or good time
  • Faugh a Ballagh! – Irish for clear the way!

Tournament will provide teams with a bowl/bullet (must be returned), t-shirts for team members, chalk to mark butts and score sheet.

Day of Event

  • Check in 10-11am at The Abbey, 132 Danbury Road, New Milford, CT.
  • Start of the event is 11am at the bottom of Jerusalem Hill Road. (Transportation provided)
  • Course is approximately 1 mile and ends just before The Abbey
  • After party at The Abbey

Tournament Rules

Teams of 2 – 4. All members over 21.

  • Be respectful of private property along the course!
  • Each team starts from the starting line (butt)
  • The team’s bowler can take 2-3 steps or a running start 10-15 yards behind the line but must release the bowl underhanded before going over the line.
  • One team member can stand 20-30 yards ahead of the bowler to mark where they wish the bowl to roll.
  • Once the bowl stops, its most forward progress is marked on the road (this mark is called a “butt”) by a team member and that is the starting point for the next roll.
  • The team’s score keeper marks down each bowl taken.
  • Roles can be rotated anytime during the tournament.
  • Once you near the end of the 1 mile course, try to roll as far past the finish line as you can. In the case where teams are tied in the number of bowls thrown, the furthest past the finish line determines the winner.
  • A member of the event staff will measure your distance past the finish line and collect your scorecard.
  • Irish loft: Over tight, inside curves, the bowl may be lofted through the air. The bowl must strike the road or over it. If the lofted bowl doesn’t reach the road, the shot counts, and your next bowl must be taken from the original spot.

Be safe and be smart!

  • You are responsible for your safety and those around you. Make sure your path is clear before you bowl. Yell “rolling”, “clear the way” or “Faugh a ballagh” to alert other players. Don’t try to stop bowls with your hands or feet. Remember these are cannonballs!

Registration is now closed, thank you!

Questions –