Play Whirlyball

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 12 members of our family joined my wife, Jenny, and me in Vernon Hills, Ill., to help check item No. 5 off my Jesus year list: Play Whirlyball. It was probably the most fun thing I’ve done yet.

If you’re unfamiliar with this game—nay sport—it’s basically like bumper cars humped jai lai on a basketball court. Basically.

The family divided more or less along our traditional Blood/Outlawz (in-laws) lines, making the red and black cars all the more appropriate.

I offer you this photo essay, courtesy of Jenny, as a recap of our epic tilt.

Whirlyball scoreboard

Oh, that’s right—there’s a scoreboard. And the rivalry between Red and Black is as old as sport itself.

Grace in Car 16

 Don’t let Grace’s quiet demeanor fool you. She’s a Blood, and they are, as a rule, shifty.

Same Team, Opposite Directions

A frequent sight in Whirlyball: members of the same team going in opposite directions. This comes as quite a shock considering the pinpoint accuracy of bumper car joystick-based-steering.

Blink, and you'll miss it

Blink, and the Whirly-tastic action will speed by you in a blur!

It's like jai lai--I think

Uncle Brad displays flawless scoop-cradling technique, recalling images of his youth hustling for change on the jai lai courts of Belgium.

Phi Slamma Jamma

My father-in-law on the break can only mean one thing: Phi Slamma Jamma!

Ted's bald side

It was a tossup as to what was my best asset: the long arms that helped me catch all manner of passes, or the developing bald spot that temporarily blinded my opponents.

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