This weekend sees the 56th National Tenpin Bowling Championships take place in Leisureplex Blanchardstown. Ireland’s elite bowlers will take to the lanes, over four days of intense competition, to crown the number one bowler in the country. There are also several medals to be won, with the championships broken into multiple individual and team events across the four days.
The non-bowlers out there may be wondering, how exactly does it work? Maybe you’ve seen some competitive bowling before and you have a rough idea, or perhaps you didn’t even know competitive bowling existed at all. Either way, we’re here to give you the lowdown on the Irish Tenpin Bowling Association’s flagship event!
The first thing to know is that men and women compete in separate categories, so there will be both a male and female National Champion crowned on Sunday afternoon. The tournament is broken up into five events – Singles, Doubles, Trios, Team of Four & Mixed Doubles.
The Mixed Doubles event actually kicks off the championships on Thursday February 24th, and is the only event where men and women play together. As a result, these games do not actually count towards the All Events table, which will ultimately determine the National champions. However, there are still gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs in this traditional curtain-raising event. As the Mixed Doubles title suggests, teams are made up of one man and one woman. Bowlers play four games, with the total team score (or pinfall as it is more commonly known) deciding the medal winners.
Friday evening sees the All Events competition get underway with the Men’s Doubles & Ladies’ Trios events. The Men’s Doubles comprises of four games, while the Ladies Trios is played over three games, again with the team’s total pinfall determining the medal winners. A bowler’s individual scores are also tracked for the All Events table, which as mentioned before eventually crowns the National champions. The All Events comprises of 15 games played over the course of the weekend, so endurance and consistency are the name of the game for the prospective champions!
Saturday’s action is made up of two events, starting with the reverse squad from Friday night of Men’s Trios & Ladies’ Doubles. Men play three games here, with Ladies this time playing four, as teams once again battle it out for those precious National medals. In the afternoon, the attention turns to the Singles event for both men and women, with five games played in this event. The man and woman with the highest individual score over these five games will be crowned National Singles Champion, a major title to add to any bowler’s CV.
Sunday morning is crunch time, with bowlers playing a further three games in teams of four. The atmosphere for the Team of Four event is always highly charged, with the natural buzz that comes from playing in larger teams layered on top of the mounting pressure on the players as they battle to qualify for the All Events Finals. Again the total team pinfall over these three games will determine the medal winners for the Team of Four event.
After 15 games of stiff competition, the time then comes for the All Events Finals. The reward for the top 6 men and top 4 ladies in the All Events standings is nine more gruelling games, with a bowler’s pinfall being carried forward to the finals. The advantage is with the leading qualifiers, but anything can happen over 9 games of bowling, so it really is anybody’s championship to win! The bowler’s with the highest total pinfall over the twenty-four total games will be crowned the 2022 National Irish Bowling Champion, and have their name etched into Irish bowling history!
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on the event, why not drop in to Leisureplex Blanchardstown over the weekend and get in on the action! Spectators are more than welcome anytime over the weekend, so get down and see Ireland’s top bowlers fight for the biggest honour in Irish bowling – the right to be called Ireland’s number one bowler!
For more information, including the event schedule, head over to the Irish Tenpin Bowling website www.tenpinbowling.ie, or follow our social channels over the weekend, where we’ll have regular updates on the action.