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Daily Cheese: Bumper Cars + Lacrosse = WhirlyBall

3 - Published June 14, 2010 by in College, Lifestyle

From ESPN Page 2:

What do you get when you combine bumper cars with lacrosse and basketball?

The answer is a game called WhirlyBall, a sport seemingly born out of an 8-year-old’s imagination. Picture this — two teams of five in bumper cars in a room measuring half the size of a basketball court.

The players are all wielding equipment similar to the long, curvy cestas used in jai-alai. And the goal is simple — gain control of the white Wiffle ball placed in the middle of the court and use the sticks to throw it through a 16-inch hole in a board 10 feet above the ground.

Sound easy? Not so much say the sport’s enthusiasts.

First of all, is your brain boiling as a much as ours is right now? Bumper carsss? WTF. This sounds fun and all, and believe it when we say we’re all for emerging sports, but bumper cars? Suddenly everyone reading this wants to go to the fair and get a churro too.

“If you try to scoop it [the ball] up, nine times out of 10 you’re gonna push it away,” says John Krol, marketing director for the Chicagoland-area WhirlyBall locations. “Steering is also one of the biggest challenges. It’s kind of like driving your car with the bottom of the steering wheel.”

Just like any other sport, players say there are different strategies that can turn an ordinary rag-tag bunch of WhirlyBallers into the barons of the bumper cars.

“The strategy really is to be able to spread out and have somebody down at the other end of the court,” said Jeff Camp, who plays. “If you don’t have people at different ends of the court, if everybody’s all congested, then nobody can move around. You’ve gotta keep the court open, it’s kind of like soccer in that way.”

(AKA cherry picking.)

Since Stan Mangum invented the sport in Utah in the 1960s, playing venues have popped up in more than a dozen locations across North America. The Chicagoland area has three locations, including the largest one in the world on the city’s North Side.

Krol said corporate America has had a hand in the sport’s growth — it’s a popular team-building activity that offers lessons in competition and humility.

Conclusion: WhirlyBall is Polo for middle-America.

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NEW & NOTES

– Fast start for Max Quinzani, Duxbury star scores three goals in debut | Boston Herald

– Lacrosse? Scott transplants bring popular East Coast game to metro-east | BND

Virginia: Langley, Joey Byrne make amends, win Virginia AA/AAA lacrosse championship | Washington Post
– Photos… Langley Boys’ Lacrosse Wins State Title | Washington Post

Connecticut: Cheshire Wins L Championship | Courant.com

New York: Rams complete perfect run to state lacrosse title | CNYlink.com

New York: Fairport no match for West Islip in boys state lacrosse final | Democrat and Chronicle

Delaware: White defeats Blue in competitve boys’ lacrosse All-Star game | DoverPost.com

Pennsylvania: Conestoga boys enjoy happier ending in capturing lacrosse crown | Philly.com

Michigan: Brother Rice beats Catholic Central for 14th boys lacrosse championship | Detnews.com

Michigan: Forest Hills Central downs Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in Division 2 boys lacrosse final | Detnews.com

California: La Costa Canyon (23-0) Attackman Timmy Andrews Was The “X-Man” In 2010 | LaxBuzz

California: Lacrosse player gave new role his best shot | Sign on San Diego

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