The Irish Tenpin Bowling Association (ITBA) was founded in 1964 and is the governing body for the sport in Ireland. Affiliated to the Federation Internationale des Quillers (FIQ), it is the responsibility of the ITBA to provide and enforce the rules and regulations set out by the FIQ, as well as other international governing bodies such as the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA).
The ITBA works to ensure that the sport of bowling is developed in such a way that it can be enjoyed at a non-competitive level for those looking for a fun leisure activity and also, as well as allowing for those at a competitive level to progress and compete at as high a level as possible, both domestically and internationally.
Not only is tenpin bowling a fun activity for people of all ages, it is also a terrific way to exercise. As an anaerobic exercise, similar to walking with free weights, it depends more on muscular work than the ability of the person to put up with the exercise for long periods of time. This allows the participant to get the exercise your muscles need while still appeasing your mind’s need for fun. Just half an hour can burn up to 150 calories-the equivalent of going on a moderate bike ride or even spending the same amount of time rowing.
The ITBA is a full member of the Federation of Irish sport and receives excellent backing from the Irish Sports Council, in terms of finance as well as supporting development through various courses. The association works closely with all individual clubs and bowling centres in its attempt to develop the sport of tenpin bowling in Ireland.
There are currently over 1,800 people competing in annual leagues on ITBA-sanctioned lanes throughout the country.
- Primitive bowling balls and pins have been discovered dating as far back as 3200 B.C., while there is also evidence of more modern versions of the game in Germany as far back as 300 A.D.
- A standard bowling pin weighs between 3 pounds 6 ounces and 3 pounds 10 ounces.
- The first perfect ‘300’ game on record was bowled by Earnest Fosberg in Illinois in 1902, although the first perfect game recognised by a governing body was sanctioned by the American Bowling Congress in 1908, bowled by A.C. Jellison.
- The youngest person to bowl a perfect game on record is Hannah Diem of Florida, who rolled the game at the age of 9 years, 6 months and 19 days.
- 19 year-old Christopher Sloan bowled two perfect games on the way to an 11th place finish at the AMF Bowling World Cup in Russia.
- Christopher also finished 11th in the Vienna Open, a European Bowling Tour event which hosted some of the world’s best players.
- Barry Foley became the first male Irish winner of the Irish Open in its twenty-five year history.
- Alan Bride and Hannah Cullen became National Champions.
- Ireland’s Juniors excelled at the Junior Triple Crown in Dunfermline, with under-19 bowlers Kevin Wattimena and Rachel Mulligan winning their respective Masters finals.
- The ITBA and the bowling community celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of tenpin bowling in Ireland with a gala dinner and a new commemorative tournament.
The ITBA has enlisted the help of United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Gold Level Coach Joe Slowinski to develop and implement a new coaching programme aimed at the development of junior bowling. The objective of the programme is to ensure the development of coaching with the aim of enhancing the level of our junior bowlers moving forward.
The programme design, which is based on biomechanics and scientific research and practice, is cutting edge, with a skill-level coaching curriculum fully supported by coaches’ manuals, interactive social media support, mentoring and monitoring by Slowinski throughout.
Joe Slowinski kicked of the 24-week development programme by spending four days in July 2013 with the coaches in classroom and practical sessions, followed by two tough days of group sessions with bantams, junior and under-24 bowlers.
Slowinski returned in October to oversee the progress of the programme implementation and to continue his work educating the participating coaches in another group of sessions which brought about very positive results. He is quoted on his Facebook page as saying: “Thank you for the weekend. We can collectively make history. Everyone has to be active, and I will be an active participant.”
The sessions and programme have been taken on enthusiastically by all involved, with five clubs participating. This totals 119 junior bowlers (67 boys and 52 girls) and 22 coaches, and all five clubs come together once a month to ensure ongoing parallel development.
Key Events in 2014
- National Championships
- World Cup Qualifiers
- Rocks Bowling Tour
- Senior Championships
All contact information can be found at the official ITBA website: