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.