The day before Christmas Eve our family was looking for something fun to do and somebody said "let's play WhirlyBall" and we all said "what's WhirlyBall?" The answer was "imagine a mix of lacrosse and basketball but played on a small court in bumper cars, called whirlybugs, plus a lacrosse type hand held basket and a wiffleball that needs to be thrown at a goal." Two minutes later we were in the car headed to WhirlyBall in Plano.
As soon as we arrived we went to one of the two courts and watched the last five minutes of another group playing WhirlyBall - looks like a lot of fun. We immediately formed two teams of five and started making bets! The referee than greeted our group and gave us some basic instructions on how to operate the whirlybugs, how to score (hit the raised goal board for one point and two points if you hit the center of it), and a couple rules like no hitting your opponents with the whirlyball basket or there will be a penalty called!.
We all ran quickly to a whirlybug that we thought would be the fastest, we buckled up, and waited for the ref to start the first of seven eight minute games. And then we all started going around in small circles, running into the walls, and laughing as we tried to figure out how to drive the whirlybugs.
The whirlybugs are steered by using a joystick-like crank and a foot pedal to make it go. Turn the joystick left and you go right, one complete turn of the joystick back toward your stomach stops the whirlybug and makes it go in reverse. One more full circle turn back to your stomach will put your whirlybug back into forward again. It took a couple minutes for all of us to stop going in circles and bumping off the walls and other whirlybugs and figure out how to move forward to pick up the ball with our basket and then head toward our goal.
Of course, your opponents wanted to immediately bump into you, try and pin you against a wall, or block your shot somehow. Meanwhile your team members are saying "throw me the ball" as they got open and headed toward the goal. Then came my next challenge - figuring out how to catch the ball in my basket and then accurately throwing it to my team mate! I missed a of couple accurate throws to me as the ball rolled in and out of the basket - after two misses I figured out how to catch it. But my first throw bounced on the floor four feet in front of me and was quickly scooped up by my opponent - who I immediately rammed into the wall! After my next toss I got the feel of it and accurately tossed the ball to my team mate down court for our first score of the game - to a resounding cheer from the yellow team! And the action continued for another 50 minutes.
On the second game it was surprising how quickly we learned how to pick up grounded balls and immediately pass it to open team mate. We also leaned that we needed to watch where we were going or we'd end up against the wall. It was a blast charging full bore into the back of an unsuspecting opponent and trapping them in the corner. I had a bad tendency for the first couple games of watching the ball and not watching where I was going which typically I ended up driving into a wall or the side of a team mates whirlybug! I was surprised that no one got called out by the ref for slashing our basket into an opponent's basket or occasional his arm. And when the ref (standing in a sky box above the court keeping watch and keeping score) would yell "car #7 needs a bump - he's stuck in the corner," a couple fellow teammates would rush to bump them to try and get the stuck whirlybug started while the opponents would try to prevent them from getting to the stuck whirlybug or they would try to get you stuck - which typically resulted in a 4 whirlybug pile up!
After Whirlyball the kids had a blast playing pool and arcade games as the adults anxiously waited to head to the nearest bar to settle our bets with a margarita!
Surprisingly, no one got hurt, we were all still talking to each other, and there was no question that we had some fun and some good wholesome competition. What a unique, different, interesting, competitive and fun experience that's suitable for all ages - players must be 9 or older and 4 feet or taller to play.
WhirlyBall is the perfect game for a birthday party, a family gathering, a fun evening out with friends, or a corporate event! WhirlyBall in Plano has two large whirlyball courts, a two story laser tag arena, several party rooms to accommodate any size group, tons of arcade games, and drinks. There is also a sister WhirlyBall in Hurst.
Call them and give WhirlyBall a try!