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The English Short Mat Bowling Association

 From Humble Beginnings to the National Governing Body

The origins of English short mat bowling Association Rumours have it that the sport was first played in Wales by two South Africans who came to work in the area. They had played bowls outdoors in South Africa and, perhaps due to the poor climate and the long close season in this country, they began to play a simulation of the outdoor game on a strip of carpet in a church hall. Sometime later, they moved to Northern Ireland and took the new game with them. Rules and conditions of play were drawn up and the game soon became well established in the Province during the 1940’s in village halls as a way for outdoor bowlers to keep their “hand in” ready for the next season. The Irish Indoor Bowling Association was formed in 1961.

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As a registered member of the ESMBA you have given us some of your personal details and we have a legal and moral duty to protect your data.

We hold these details to enable us to effectively manage your membership, but we undertake to only hold information that is relevant and not share this information with 3rd Parties, unless it is pertaining to a benefit of your membership. , and we will only contact you with information that is relevant to the ESMBA management, our competitions and our events.

We will not continue to hold the information if for whatever reason your membership lapses


ESMBA GDPR Privacy Statement and Policy can be found here


Useful information

To a large extent, the association is given purpose through the commitment and enthusiasm of its members. Yet we are just as much indebted to our many sponsors and patrons, whose valued support ensures that our association remains active, alive and well.



Email us at or use the contact form on the contact us page, alternativley use the link below to contact one of our committee members.



From our simple beginnings to our present-day structure, the basic principles of the common interest of our association have been enthusiastically embraced by each and every one of our deeply committed members in their daily lives.

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