How We Play Whirlyball

@ Whirlyball Chicago

What exactly is Whirlyball?
And how do you play?

We play just for fun in this league, not to get all crazy and competitive.

Agility. Speed. Strength. None of these qualities will be of any use in the wild world of WhirlyBall. Although it combines lacrosse, hockey and basketball with bumper cars, WhirlyBall has caused great athletes of every stripe to laugh and holler their way to a crushing defeat. In the end, we play because it’s fun.

General Match Info

5 team members play at any given time. The only rule for gender breakdown of teams is that you must have at least 1 of each gender on the playing court during a game (hence this being a coed league). Free agent teams must ensure that all players get equal playing time.

The minimum number of players that a team must have for a legal team to compete and have games count is 4 total players, including at least 1 of each gender. If your team is short of this, bring friends! If your team is short players for the first game in the match, you will forfeit that game and then combine teams for a fun pickup game. If you have more players arrive so you have a legal team before your second game, the second and third games will count! If you have the minimum before the third game, the third game will count!

A match consists of one team playing another team for three 10-minute games and a bonus game that will act as a tiebreaker if any of the 3 official games ended in a tie (bonus games will only break one tie if there were multiple). If there was no tie, the bonus game is then just for fun. Your team will play a game, then sit out a game. Play a game, then sit out a game, etc. This will allow players to have a beer, mingle with their teammates, and come up with some strategies in between games! All teams will be “slotted” 90 minutes each night, and will be playing for 45 minutes of this “slot”.

How to Play

Watch this video for a quick tutorial.

Official S3 Whirlyball "Rules of the Road"

NOTE: The ref for our league works for Whirlyball and has been told to fully enforce penalties. Do not play dirty and try to get away with things cuz you’ll get dinged points if you do. And DO NOT argue with the ref, it’s pointless. Everything is their judgement call. Don’t forget that this is a FUN, SOCIAL league!

There are two ways to acquire points. One is by making the shot, which is good for two points. The second is by acquiring penalty points assessed against the opposing team. (In all cases, penalty points are awarded to the team not guilty of committing the penalty. Play does not stop.) The referee officiates from a mezzanine above the court and will keep score and call all penalties. The referee’s word is final but they can be bought. (just kidding)

  • 1 Point Penalty for hitting an opponent’s scoop or body aggressively, on purpose or by accident, at any time (after the call, the team retains possession). 2 Point Penalty for hitting their arm or scoop if he/she is within 8 feet of the basket with a clear shot, on a breakaway, or in the process of taking a shot that affects their possession of the ball or ability to take a shot (after the call, it’s a change of possession). Of course if there is a loose ball, all players have a right to go for it. But once a player has the ball in their scoop, you MAY NOT hit their scoop to free the ball. If their scoop hits yours while blocking with your scoop, that’s okay. You just cannot swing your scoop and hit their scoop or body. Whether you hit someone with your scoop on purpose or not, apologize!
  • 1 Point Penalty for collisions with excessive speed.
    The penalty goes against the person most responsible for the collision. You can still use your cart to strategically get in the way of other carts and move around, but to crash into someone full speed is not allowed and you will be penalized.
  • 1 Point Penalty for touching the ball with your hands unless it is stuck inside your scoop, it goes inside your cart, or loses it’s round shape and needs to be fixed. There is also a 1 Point Penalty for intentionally dropping the ball into a teammate’s cart as a “pass”, thus allowing them to use their hands to put it in their scoop. This is cheating, don’t do it.
  • 1 Point Penalty for not wearing your seatbelt or not wearing it tightly enough. It’s pretty simple to avoid this, just put it on when you get in the car and MAKE IT TIGHT. If it’s too loose and because of this you reach way out of your car or fall out of your car or rise up in your seat to do anything because it’s not on or not on snug enough, this penalty will be called because it’s a serious safety issue.
  • 1 Point Penalty for raising up in your seat to block a shot or pass. 2 Point Penalty for goal tending.