My family has consistently been a part of the Irish Road Bowling tradition that takes to the streets of Indian Lake each St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Last year we joined over 60 teams to take turns bowling along the lane with the hopes of finishing with the lowest score. Don’t worry if you don’t like to bowl, the costumed teams make it just as much fun to watch as it is to play.
For the 13th year, visitors and the community of Indian Lake are celebrating the Irish tradition of road bowling. No matter the weather, Indian Lake consistently offers this traditional roadside competition.
If you plan on spectating, a few terms may come in handy. Teammates are “road showers,” who shower advice on the thrower. A chalk line designates “the start.” That chalk line is a dash or butt so if you “break the butt,” you’ve crossed the line, in more ways than one. “Grip” is how you hold the ball while the throw or “hurling” is conducted via a running start and quick release of the bowl.
If you can pull a team together the Irish bowling rules aren’t complicated. Teams of four bowl an official 28 oz. iron ball called a “bullet” from Point A to Point B down a country road for almost a mile. The team with the least number of bowls is the winner. There are no penalties and each team alternates bowls. Though most people show up with formed teams, singles looking for a place are fit into teams when possible.
Registration for the Saturday, March 16, Irish Road Bowling starts at 10 am at the Indian Lake Town hall. Pre-registration forms are available and teams are on a first-come, first served basis. Teams will walk to the start and tournament play begins at noon. There are four categories: Men, Women, Mixed Adults (over age 16) and Family (maximum of 3 immediate family members under the age of 16 and at least one adult over the age of 18). The cost per team is $20 or $5/person.
Participation certificates are awarded to the top three in each category. All funds are designated for charity. So, while you raise a toast you get to raise some greenbacks for good causes. Enjoy this Adirondack Irish tradition.
Photo of Irish Road Bowling used with the permission of Diane Chase, AdirondackFamilyTime.com