AN ANCIENT SPORT—IRISH ROAD BOWLING. Kris Maher had an article in the Wall Street Journal (June 15-16) about a sport that has been played in Ireland since the 1600’s—Irish Road Bowling. This wikipedia article says that the sport was played in Scotland and Northern England in the 1800’s. The sport is played in several states in the United States (the video accompanying Maher’s article is set in West Viriginia). Appropriately for its time of origin, the sport is played with a “cannonball” (a real cannonball), a metal ball which weighs slightly less than two pounds. The concept of the game is simple. A stretch of country road one to two miles long is selected. The players throw the cannonball along the road, and whoever takes the fewest throws to cover the distance is the winner. The roads are usually open so that modern players have to keep a look out for cars. Here is another video of Irish road bowling in Durnderrow, Cork.

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