Bowling & Croquet

This is the Landing Page for the All-Time Archive of Irish Bowling. It is an ongoing project and part of the – Irish All-Sports Archives

Bowling comes in many varieties, from the earliest Road Bowling which may have started in Ireland or may have been brought in by William of Orange; to Skittles, Lawn Bowls, Tenpin Bowling, Petanque (the sport played at the foot of the Eiffel Tower), Boccia (the Italian version of Bowling) to Indoor Bowling (played on a green mat in Community Centres and Church Halls).

Tenpin Bowling

Tenpin Bowling is a version of Skittles or Bowling played with ten skittles and a much bigger, heavier ball. There are Bowling alleys throughout Ireland.

sport alley ball game

Lawn Bowls

Lawn Bowls is a genteel version of bowling played on a green lawn. Irish Lawn Bowls governs Lawn Bowls in Ireland, with Provincial Associations in Leinster and Ulster.

Bray Bowling Club

Indoor Bowling

Indoor Bowling was invented in the 1950s by two South Africans in Wales who wanted to play Bowls over Winter.

crop young sportswoman unfolding blue fitness mat


Petanque, also known as Boules is the version of Bowling played at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and throughout France.

Petanque - multiethnic men preparing to play with balls on street


The origins of Croquet are unclear, it may have been played in the Middle Ages, and possibly even have passed down from ancient times. The first mention of Croquet, however, is in the Field in 1858, which mentions meetings of the Co. Meath Croquet Cracks. the players were mostly young and met at each others houses, and one player, George Annesley Pollock of Oatlands and Newcastle, Co. Meath, laid out the rules under the pseudonym “corncrake” and called them “The Rules of the Oatlands Club” – the first Croquet Rules in the World. [Ref: 1]

It is game played on a lawn with two players or four, and two balls, which each player hits with a mallet, attempting to get it through hoops inserted into the lawn.


[1] Croquet Ireland (2019) A History of Croquet in Ireland [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 29 May 2020]

Cheltenham Croquet Club