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Group of friends playing whirlyball
Photo: Anna Sutterer.

WhirlyBall, a Quirky Sport for Family Fun

This mash-up game offers a good time to competitors and non-athletic folks alike.

A game that combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and bumper cars—the visual makes your head spin, huh? WhirlyBall, aptly named, is for just about anyone; players just need to be 54 inches and taller. Two teams battle it out by zipping up and down a court, passing a whiffle ball around, and shooting it at sensored backboards for points.

Those who haven’t played any of the elemental sports, or don’t consider themselves athletes, shouldn’t shy away from the activity; each bumper cart drives only up to four miles per hour, equalizing the speed at which players make moves.

Head to the Colorado Springs location—the sole one in the state—to give it a go.

How to play:

Snag a scoop. This tool is akin to the head of a lacrosse stick, but with a wide plastic frame. Consider it an extension of your catching/throwing arm—no hands are allowed to pick up the whiffle ball.

Buckle up. Pick a “WhirlyBug” bumper cart in your team’s color and get ready to push the pedal to the metal. Twirl the 360-degree joystick-like crank to turn and even put your rig in reverse. Heads up: It takes a game or two to become an agile driver on the court, which makes the whole process more hilarious watching players scoot back and forth and get all mixed up.

Make some plays, or just horse around. Throughout the 10-minute game intervals you’ll find there are things you’re good at, and elements that need practice. You might be a great catcher of passes from your teammates, or a sharp shooter that can hit the ball against the 10-foot goal (think: basketball). Even if ball and scooper dynamics don’t suit you, ramming your car into opposing players, like a hockey hip check, to block or throw off a shot is a valuable skill.

Need to know:

Courts are available for rent at $250 per hour for a minimum of four people. Groups can anticipate about five games per hour and can rotate players throughout.

Order pub appetizers, salads, wings, burgers, pizza, sundaes, or drinks from a stocked bar to keep everyone’s game energy up. Extend your stay by playing ping pong, corn hole, or a round of bowling at one of six lanes.

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