Advertisement-most people dont know its a sport in the first place! Advertise tournaments to the public use radio,local papers etc. Look at the Irish open, Im sure you have seen the looks on random peoples faces when they walk in and see guys hitting 250's, there amazed by it yet they just stumbled on it by accident, advertising the tournaments could bring in more interest.
Lower costs-bowling centres charge stupid amounts for an hour of bowling, do what ALSAA does and put up discount offers on websites like pigsback.com/grabone.ie etc. That way outsiders would at least come into the centres because they can afford it.
Have bowling centre staff inform families. When a family comes up to bowl they always have to go back over to the counter with their shoes-very simply say did you have a good time? 90% of the time the answer will be yes, then say oh you should bring your kids up on saturday morining theres a kids club etc. I guarantee you 1 in every 3 or 4 families would come back with the kids to try it out.
Get the junior clubs actually working alongside the ITBA rather than trying to work as a totally independant organisation-have them organise for 1 or 2 really good players to come out and bowl with the kids every couple of weeks, bring along medals they won at national and international events, give them tips and encourage them to get better and stick to the sport, give them people to actually look up to. Most of the players in kids clubs never play even 1 national event, having better links with the ITBA and the junior clubs could change this. There are clubs running that dont even promote the tournaments, the players in the clubs have to miss their club league match just to play in one of them, thats not exactly encouraging them to keep it up.
Public support for any sport comes with success, and to be fair we dont have that. We have a couple of players that have proven they can perform on an international stage, but that isnt enough. We need a team that can go away to championships and not just hope to get into the top half of the field. In fairness, this has majorly improved in the juniors in terms of EYC performances over the last couple of years which is a great step for Irish bowling but that needs to be developed across every single section before it will make a major impact on the interest in the sport. The only way that can be done is through hard practice on difficult patterns rather than house shots. Generally when a team is picked theres a big rush for practice with 6 weeks to go until the tournament, that needs to change it needs to be practicing all year round. Look at other sports, do athletes only start training after they make the olympic teams? No, they train for years before they get close to the team.
You also need to look at it from a publicity point of view. The European Mens Championships are on right now, is there an Irish team at it? NO! How is that supposed to work in the favour of promoting bowling as a sport when the ITBA didnt even send a team to the 2nd biggest tournament in the world for Irish players? And to make matters worse, by not sending a team we automatically miss out on the next world championships. Look at the position that leaves Irish bowlers in, what if somebody is genuinely interested in hearing about Irish bowling and they ask where do we stand in terms of European teams, "well we didnt go to the competition"....ok well where do we stand in terms of world teams "well we didnt go to the competition"..there not exactly going to take it seriously are they? I guarantee had emails been sent out to Irish bowlers, using the list of rankings and sending them to the players at the top first offering them a place to represent Ireland at the Europeans the ITBA would have been able to put a team together! It was done for the triple crown in Scotland last year theres no reason it couldnt have been done again. Fair enough it wouldnt have been our strongest team but having some sort of team there is better than having no team there, and if anything it will give other players expereince, once they feel what its like to play in that kind of event they will work harder to get there again.
Long term it needs to come from the grass roots levels, getting more kids interested. Within 3 or 4 years you will see the standards increase in all junior levels with participants and scores increasing, and hopefully they will stay with the sport when they come out of juniors, which is where we loose allot of players. Maybe if they saw teams going to tournaments every single year they might be more encouraged to keep playing.
This is of course just my opinion and I dont expect you to be able to just go and do all of this yourself, but I do think making these changes could only lead to increasing the popularity, awareness and participation in bowling in Ireland.