The other day my office went and played whirlyball. It’s a fun game that every American should participate in (except those with chronic back problems.)
Here’s some strategies and secrets to help with your whirlyball game. They are broken up into two groups: fun strategies and hardcore strategies.
1. Yell, “I’m open,” when an opponent has the ball.
This will confuse the opponent, especially when it’s someone who really doesn’t know what they’re doing. I’ve never had an opponent actually pass the ball to me, but it will cause temporary confusion leaving enough time for a teammate to swarm the opponent’s car.
2. Steal your opponents’ rackets/scoops.
Obviously don’t do this when you are near the ball. There’s only one ref and he has his eye on wherever the ball goes. So it’s basically an anarchy system anywhere where the ball isn’t.
3. Do what you want when the ref steps out of his ref box.
This is the best whirlyball tip in the list.
This is whirlyball here. The refs are usually 17-year old guys getting paid minimum wage. When you get the ball, check the ref box to see if he’s there. You’d be surprised how often he’s not in his box. At that point, you can do whatever you want. The easiest thing to do is to throw the ball with your hand. That stupid stoop can be difficult to manipulate.
It goes back to the old Extreme Croquet saying, “It ain’t cheating if you don’t get caught.”
4. Crash into your opponents a lot.
This doesn’t help much for winning a game, but it sure is fun and that’s what whirlyball is all about. No one remebers who won what game, but people sure do remember the best crashes.
5. Wear a samurai bandana while playing whirlyball.
It’s another intimidation tactic. I forgot my samurai bananda when i played, but I guarantee that there would have been some sparks flying from the wet puddles that people left on the floor. (It’s bumper cars, so the floor is electrically charged.)
6. Stand outside your car and practice swinging your scoop like a baseball bat or tennis racket before the whirlyball game starts.
It’s another intimidation tactic.
7. Wear your seatbelt loosely.
This will allow for maximum stretching and reaching. Often on the whirlyball court you will find yourself reaching for the ball that’s just barely out of reach. By loosening your seat belt you will be able to reach those impossible balls. You will also be able to reach balls high in the air. People will call you the Michael Jordan of Whirlyball. Be cautious if you are going to implement tips #4 and #7 at the same time.
8. Throw the ball with the ball in the open portion of the scoop.
Do not throw the ball when it’s in the tight portion of the scoop. The tight portion is the area next to the handle. See this photo.
9. You don’t have to whip the ball to score points.
When you’re just a few feet away from the net with the ball, don’t throw too hard. A gentle toss will get the ball in the net more often that an agressive throw. I actually have more luck scoring when I hook it Dr.-J-style or Magic-Johnson-style. That way I’m not throwing very hard.
10. Be cautious when you sit in front of the net waiting for a pass or a rebound.
An opponent can very easily bump you into the wall BEHIND the net. At this point you have officially become useless and you must retreat to an open area.
11. If at all possible, try to follow strategies found in basketball.
Establish guards, forwards, and centers. This is only if you’re a hardcore whirlyball professional. Most people, like me, just like to go out there and have fun. It’s more fun to watch a bunch of people get into traffic jams which brings us to tip 12.
12. Avoid traffic jams.
When you get into a traffic jam, you are often at the mercy of another driver. If that driver doesn’t know what he/she is doing you can be stuck in a corner for minutes upon minutes. It’s insanely frustrating. Let someone else go for those loose balls in the corner. They can’t score from the corner anyways. And they ain’t going anywhere when they get the ball in a traffic jam. The only thing they can do is pass the ball. That’s not much reward for the effort.
13. Drive in circles around your opponent in the open court.
We’ve established in tip 12 to avoid traffic jams. When I played, most eveyone chased after the ball like 2nd grade soccer players. That often left me and one opponent in the open court. By driving circles around your opponent, you will drive them insane. This really should be classified as a fun strategy and not a hardcore strategy. But I like how it follows up tip number 12.
Tomorrow’s post will have a review on the best ways to crash into your opponent while playing whirlyball.