WhirlyBall: The greatest game ever played in Lincoln Park

Feel like a kid again at WhirlyBall, located at 1880 W. Fullerton Ave. WhirlyBall is a game of bumper cars meets lacrosse meets basketball. It sounds complicated, but trust me, you’ll have so much fun playing it! And I warn you, amidst the excitement you will get bruised! (Tip: Buy a tube of Arnica Cream at your local drug store or health foods store before you play. It helps heal bruises and sore muscles after an intense WhirlyBall match!).

Outside the WhirlyBall facility

Outside the WhirlyBall facility

How the game works:

There are 10 WhirlyBall cars per court – five cars for Team Black and five cars for Team Red. Although there are 10 cars available for your party, you are allowed 6-10 players on the court at a time. If you happen to have a larger party (i.e., more than 10 players), you can alternate players between matches.

Each player is equipped with a WhirlyBall car and a scoop. The scoop is similar to a lacrosse stick, but much smaller. It’s used to pass around a Wiffle ball, which you try to score into a goal. Like basketball, there are two goals – one on each side of the court. Goals are worth 1-2 points; and the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. WhirlyBall may be easy to play, but there are certain rules you must follow. Here’s a short list:

  • You cannot pick up the Wiffle ball with your hands
  • You cannot stand up in your car
  • Your car can make contact with another player’s car, but you cannot touch another player with your scoop or hands
  • Keep legs inside the car (Tip: Avoid wearing shorts or a skirt while playing WhirlyBall. Your legs will hit the handle used to steer the car many times!)

I understand that there are a lot of instructions to this game, but thankfully the WhirlyBall staff will help guide you along the way. If you’d like to see a WhirlyBall game in action, watch these videos:

This video was produced by the WhirlyBall folks. It shows a little footage of the game and highlights the facility as a place to hold a special event.

The members of Death Cab for Cutie may be playing WhirlyBall in Edmonds, WA, but they capture the pure enjoyment of WhirlyBall while singing their song “No Sunlight.”

Rates vary depending on the amount of players in your party and number of hours you intend to play. Click here for hourly rates. (Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, arrange to have more than 10 players. You may have a little less play-time, but it reduces the cost!).

Also, if you need a break from WhirlyBall there’s a bar, pool table, foosball table, and plenty of arcade games to keep you occupied.

Hope to see you on the WhirlyBall court soon!

Other tips about the area:

  • You tend to work up a hunger after WhirlyBall, so walk down the street to the Vienna Beef Factory at the intersection of Damen Ave. and Fullerton Ave. Vienna Beef is one of the most recognizable brands in Chicago because its 100% premium beef hotdogs are used in the classic Chicago hotdog. And, you can buy a Chicago hotdog at the factory for less than $3 dollars. In fact, all the food at the express window and inside the factory’s deli is reasonably priced. If you’d rather eat at home, pick up a pack of Apple & Havarti Chicken Sausages or an Italian Beef Kit from the Vienna Beef Store for a delicious dinner. Vienna Beef also conducts tours, but according to the website tours are booked through Winter 2014 (yikes). In the off chance that they can squeeze you into a tour, visit Tour Vienna Beef.
Vienna Beef Menu

Vienna Beef Menu