Contributed photo
Ghent, Minn., is often called the capital of Rolle Bolle capital of the world. The game is played with heavy discs, which are rolled toward a peg.

By Ruth Koehler

Special to the Dispatch

It seems few in the general population are aware of the sport of Rolle Bolle, so here are a few facts.

According to Wikipedia, the immigrants of Belgium brought the game of Rolle Bolle from Ghent in Belgium.  Today, Ghent, Minn., (pop 370) is often called the Rolle Bolle capital of the world.

Rolle Bolle is a game played with heavy discs, which are thick and slightly asymmetric like a wheel worn down on one side.  Players usually have 3 to 4 on a team with each team taking turns rolling the Rolle Bolle disc toward the peg.  The object is to get as close to the peg or to knock away someone else’s disc in order to score a point.  The first team to score 8 points wins the game.  Teams then keep playing to find the overall winning team. A team can rise up from the loser’s bracket and be the overall winner which makes the game interesting. One’s form looks like bowling and also reminds one of playing horseshoes.

Of course the disc asymmetry creates a wide curve as the disc is thrown, making things interesting. Watching this sport is at least as fun as playing it. The player’s antics after the disc is released, the frantic arm waves together with facial grimacing is actually very comical. Of course, there’s the occasional player’s wide smile followed by “all right!”

One grandfather said “A true rolle bolle player plays with a rolle bolle in one hand and a beer in the other.”  While this isn’t true for everyone in the annual games we watch at the convention, it might be true for some.

Rolle Bolle is a fun addition to the annual convention, especially after determining which lawn it will be played on, whether it be flat, hilly, grassy, or heaven forbid, indoors.

Rolle Bolle? (Holy Molle!)