rhythm bones logo

World's oldest
musical instrument

show biz

press kit

 Home | News | Styles | Gallery | Resources | Show Biz | Press Kit | Schedule | Bookings | Contact 
 Home > Resources > Rhythm Bones Competitions
Rhythm Bones Competitions

There are only three bones competitions I am aware of. Each is in a different country. None are especially sophisticated. There's the event I won in Iowa, which is regarded among leading bones players as the world championship, and there's a similar competition in Australia. But the All-Ireland Bones Playing Competition held each May in Abbeyfeale, County Limerick is the most challenging and prestigious of the three events.

All-Ireland Bones Playing Championship (Ireland)
Sponsor: Guinness Fleadh by the Feale
2007: Dave Murphy
2006: Gail Brayden (first female winner)
2005: Dave Murphy

Abbeyfeale 2004
Click image to enlarge
Steve Brown, right
2004: Steve Brown* (two-time consecutive winner)

Abbeyfeale 2003
Click image to enlarge
Left to right: Steve Brown, Paddy 'Sport' Murphy, David Murphy, Paddy Donnovan
2003: Steve Brown* (Winchendon, Massachusetts)

2002: Paddy Donovan (Limerick, County Ardagh)
2001: Paddy 'Sport' Murphy (Abbeyfeale, County Limerick)

Junior Competition—
2007: John Ford
2005: John Ford
2004: John Ford

World Bones Championship (Australia)
Sponsor: Variety Club of Queensland
2004: John 'Hillbilly Bones' Hill* (Mount Gambier, South Australia)

World Bones Championship (USA)
Sponsor: National Traditional Country Music Association (NTCMA)
2006: Contest cancelled for lack of contestants
2005: Spoons won
2004: Scott Miller* (Saint Louis, Missouri)
2003: Steve Wixson* (Signal Mountain, Tennessee)
2002: Yirdy Machar* (Denmark, originally from Scotland)
2001: Russ Meyers* (Brightwood, Virginia)
2000: Don DeCamp* (Redfield, Iowa)
1999: Bernie Worrell* (Miami, Florida)
1997: Jerry Barnett* (West Des Moines, Iowa, and Honolulu, Hawaii)
1989: Jerry Mescher* (Halbur, Iowa)

A former winner and longtime supporter of the contest, Jerry Mescher* says the NTCMA event is "The longest running contest of its kind in modern times. In earlier years there were separate Bones and Spoons contests, but with a declining number of players of each type, the two contest were combined resulting in a secondary competition to see which is better—bones or spoons. The spoons won in 1998." And also, I am sad to report, in 2005 when no Rhythm Bones Society members competed.

Rhythm Bones Society member


© 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Scott C. Miller