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Tailgating Game: Irish Bowling

Go bowling, Irish style: Knock numbered blocks (called standers) out of a ring by lobbing round pieces (called pelters) at them. This outdoor version of bowling is based on the ancient Irish game of skittles.


Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Utility scissors
  • String
  • Nail
  • Permanent marker
  • Saw


  • 1 - 2"x4' poplar round dowel (#43934)
  • 5 - 3" black vinyl numbers, 1 through 5 (#63798, #63799, #63805, #63820, #63841)
  • 1 - 3"x3"x36" square poplar (#296943)
  • 12-ounce Valspar spray paint: yellow and gloss white
  • Green Top Sail Turf (#234774)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

For the target, cut a piece of artificial turf to size. Ours is about 6'x6'.

Step 2

Use a simple string-and-nail compass with a permanent marker to draw the largest circle possible on the turf, then use that as a guide to spray paint a ring.

Step 3

Cut the five standers from a 3"x3"x36" piece of square poplar. We made ours about 4" tall. Spray paint the standers yellow and let dry. Apply a vinyl number (1-5) to each stander.

Step 4

Cut the three pelters from a 2"x4' poplar round dowel. Ours are about 10" long.

Step 5

To begin play, place the standers on the edge of the ring, with #1 at the 6 o'clock position, #2 at 9 o'clock, #3 at 3 o'clock, and #4 at 12 o'clock. Place #5 in the center of the ring.

Step 6


Take turns lobbing the pelters at the standers from about 15'-20' feet away. You can make your own rules, but traditionally, each player gets three throws in a turn. The goal is to knock all of the standers clear of the ring. When you knock a stander out of the ring, you score the number shown on the side. It's possible to knock more than one stander out with a single toss. If you knock them all out with less than three tosses, replace all the standers and make a third toss. The winner is the player who scores the most points over a set number of rounds. Adjust the throwing distance to make play easier or harder.