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A Brief History of WhirlyBall

Last updated 4 years ago

What sport combines basketball, lacrosse, hockey—and bumper cars? It’s WhirlyBall! WhirlyBall is fun for everyone regardless of previous athletic experience or athletic ability. In fact, some of the best WhirlyBall players have never played sports in any serious fashion. Before you host your private party, bachelor party, or family reunion at WhirlyBall, take a moment to learn a little bit about the history of the sport. You’ll be able to impress your friends with your knowledge and skills!

WhirlyBall Origins
Salt Lake City resident Stan Mangum came up with the idea for WhirlyBall in 1962 after seeing his son playing a version of hockey with a stick and a tin can while driving a golf cart. Mangum was an automotive shop owner, and realized that hockey-like games had been played many ways but never from a machine or vehicle before. This set Mangum’s wheels in motion, and soon he developed the WhirlyBug as the basis for WhirlyBall. The WhirlyBug vehicle caught the attention of many people, including Walt Disney, who bought 12 to use at his park!

Growth of WhirlyBall
Kim Mangum, the son of Stan Mangum, founded Flo-Tron Enterprises in 1979 and began to spread the word about WhirlyBall. As Flo-Tron Enterprises is quick to point out, the WhirlyBug machine is different than a standard bumper car, in that it is built, powered, and steered in different ways. With two five-player teams, WhirlyBall is the ideal sport to use for corporate team-building or just for fun with your friends!

WhirlyBall Today
WhirlyBall uses special equipment, such as a low-voltage open-circuit electrified floor, so there are only a select number of places in the country that have WhirlyBall. Luckily, one of those places is right here in Chicago. If you haven’t experienced WhirlyBall yet, what are you waiting for?

Are you ready to set up your WhirlyBall outing? Call WhirlyBall at (773) 486-7777 to schedule your next corporate event, birthday party, or weekend activity for you and your friends. WhirlyBall is fun for all ages, so give us a call to start planning your next event!


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