Cheltenham Croquet Club

Eirball.Irish Bowling & Croquet


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. There are versions, one where players have to get around the course in as few attempts as possible, scored like Golf with the lowest score winning, and another version, scored in sets, with each player counting a score for each hoop they pass through before the other player. In the second version the highest score wins, in other words the player who won the most hoops.


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

Bowling comes in many varieties, from the earliest Road Bowling which may have started in Pre-Christian Ireland; 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. Irish Tenpin Bowling Association govern the sport in Ireland.

Lawn Bowls

Lawn Bowls is a genteel version of bowling played on a green lawn. Irish Lawn Bowls in the FRepublic of Ireland and Northern Ireland Bowling Association govern the respective leagues.


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

Indoor Bowls

Indoor Bowling was invented in the 1950s by two South Africans in Wales who wanted to play Bowls over Winter. Irish Indoor Bowling Association Zones and Churches Bowling Leagues are the main leagues.