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Pick-Up Truck Road Polo

By a show of hands, who’s ever heard of the sport of “Irish Road Bowling?”  OK, I see no one has their hand up.  Let me introduce you to “the greatest sport you’ve never heard of” quoting a gentleman who actually competes in the sport.

Road bowling originated in Ireland and is one of the oldest known sports in the world.  A few years ago, the West Virginia town of Ireland decided to try their hand at the sport during their annual Irish Spring Festival.  And apparently it caught on because today it’s played at festivals and fairs all across the state.

The object of the game is to hurl a 2-pound cannonball down a country road.  The first to finish the 1.5-mile course with the fewest throws wins.  I can’t say for sure, but I’m assuming it’s played on a gravel road rather than a paved road (given the fact it’s one of the world’s oldest sports and paved roads are a relatively new thing).

Here’s my idea.  We should try to introduce this sport to this area next March during St. Patrick’s Day.  What do you think?  We could even incorporate it into the annual St. Patty’s Day parade through downtown Sioux Falls.

Better yet, let’s put our own spin on it.  How about we use a polo mallet and hit the ball down the street while riding in the back end of a pickup truck.  We could even set it up like NASCAR and have a Ford team, Chevy team, Dodge team…you get the idea.  And every so often you would have to pull into a parking spot and have a “pit crew” change out your mallet.

You laugh, but everything has to start somewhere.  Who knows, maybe sometime down the road (no pun intended) it’ll even be introduced as an Olympic sport.

How cool would that be.

I can just see it now.  You’re vacationing at the Olympic Games in Ireland, enjoying a cold bump at a local pub and the bartender asks where you’re from and you say “Sioux Falls, South Dakota.”

And he says, “You mean the place where ‘Pick-Up Truck Road Polo’ got its start.  The sport that is even more popular than soccer, NASCAR or (dare I say) NFL Football?  The most sought-after ticket at the Olympics?”

And you can proudly say, “Yes… why yes it is.”

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