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Holy Moly! It's 'rolle bolle' in Victor

  • 29 July, 2011
  • Michael Morain

Sisters Marcey Bullerman (left) of Cincinnati and Jacquelyn Bullerman (right) of Detroit stopped this morning for a photo in Victor as the temperature climbed into the 90s.

What was really heating up, though, was the rolle bolle game a few blocks away. (It rhymes with “Holy Moly.”) Brought to town by Belgian settlers, the game is like shuffleboard or bocce or horseshoes but played with heavy rubber discs called bolles. Two teams of three people play on a court of packed sand and try to roll their bolles as close to the opposite stake as possible. The trick: roll it wide and let it curve inward.

RAGBRAI riders tried a few rounds, but were put to shame by the locals, who travel to play on courts in nearby Koszta, Hartwick, Blairstown, Marengo and all over the Midwest. Kandi Willett has been playing for 10 years and has the skills to prove it.

“My mom gave me a bolle when I turned 21,” she said, adding that the game is a good excuse for a few beers.  “She figured as long as I was going to be drinking, I might as well be productive.”

Michael Morain

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