Short Mat Bowls Serving The Whole Community
Welcome to the web site for the Irish Indoor Bowling Association which is the controlling body for the game of short mat bowls across the island of Ireland. The web site is designed to provide up-to-date information about the IIBA. We hope that you will find the site interesting and informative.
Short mat bowling, as we now know it, originated in Northern Ireland but detailed information of the early days before the formation of the Irish Indoor Bowling Association in 1961 is somewhat hazy. Myth has it that the game was started, or conceived might be more appropriate, around 1926 when bowlers from the outdoor club of Victoria in Belfast were rained off their green and retired to their Church Hall, Strand Presbyterian. To pass the time they rolled bowls up and down the bare floor and someone suggested that a piece of carpeting might help matters. What happened after that is not clear and the next relevant information comes from Ballymacarret Presbyterian Church which claims to be the first club in existence and have hanging on the wall a photograph as evidence. This, taken in 1929, shows the Minister delivering a bowl on what seems to be a three foot wide piece of carpet and through a hoop......more