Thursday, November 8, 2007

Death by Whiffle Ball

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Once upon a time, corporate teambuilding meant one thing: Laser Tag. This was all well and good, but it got to be a little stale after a while. Then came Paintball. In a word: ouch. I am happy to report that I avoided both of these sports (sic); the only work reward I can recall that involved any game playing was when I got an XBox as a bonus. And, of course, there were no unfortunate physical side-effects of that, except for lack of sleep induced by a deep, lingering addiction to all things Halo.

Fortunately for all we chicks who don't wish to be pegged with paint traveling at a pain-inducing velocity, there's a new teambuilding exercise in town...Whirlyball. This may sound like it involves toilets, or pinwheels of some kind, but it actually involves bumper cars, dunking-booth-esque goals, a whiffle ball, and a jai alai-like scoop:

Here's our referee explaining the rules of the game. (Check out the aw3some graphic of the wife-beater-wearing Whirlyball player on the wall.)

I think the rules can be summed up thusly:
  • No slashing (whacking other people or their scoops with your own)

  • No touching the whiffle ball with your hands (unless it's been so badly mangled that you need to turn it back into a sphere).

  • If you manage to hit the target with the ball, but it doesn't trigger the buzzer, tough noogies.

  • You should not ram people from behind.

  • Keeping one hand on the steering mechanism, which is a giant metal rod bent into a 90 degree angle located at about navel level, may help you avoid unfortunate bruising when someone rams you from behind.

  • Flirting with/bribing the referee will cause judgment calls to go your way.

  • You are more likely to win on penalties the other team commits than on goals your team makes.

I am hampered by the fact that I forgot my camera, or I'd be able to show you exciting things like said giant metal rod, or the inspiring stained glass sculpture of a Whirlyball game in the "foyer". Alas, I only have blurred action to show you:

I was thinking, "Geez, we're just going to be riding around in bumper cars (or "Whirlybugs", as they are called) for a couple hours. No big deal." Here's a catalog of my injuries from the afternoon:
  • Bruise on left thigh close to hip (cause: seatbelt)

  • Bruise about three inches below right clavicle (cause: also seatbelt)

  • Bruise on back of right arm (cause: ?? whiffle ball at high velocity? seat while being rammed from behind?)

  • Bruise on inside of right knee (cause: giant metal rod)

  • Sore left hand (cause: steering with giant metal rod)

  • Sore thighs (cause: reaching up to try and block all those over-six-foot behemoths on the other team)

  • Sore back (cause: being me. Seriously, it's usually a little sore, and being rammed from behind doesn't help.)

  • Sore...umm...let's just call it "saddle sore" (cause: being rammed from behind at such high speed it caused me to lift out of my seat several inches, despite seat belt, and re-initiate contact with the seat quite suddenly)

Whirlyball is the new Paintball. The pain is just different.

1 comment:

Jean in Georgia said...

Since this was work related, do you think you could file a workers comp claim for all these injuries?

Old Geek-outs