Monday, January 26, 2015

What is Fowling? Fun that’s what

I’ve always been one to try interesting and new sports, or at least to watch them.
You could say it’s the thrill of competition, or the thirst of knowledge to learn about something new, I’m not really sure.
One thing is for sure though, Fowling is a heck of a lot of fun. So much fun that I implore everyone to give it a try.
What is Fowling you ask? Well it’s not that hard to explain actually. It’s football, it’s bowling, it’s a lot of fun all rolled into one.
Saturday night myself and three friends decided to try our hands at Fowling, which for the uninitiated, it rhymes with bowling.
We all went in with little knowledge of what to expect, in fact at least one in the group thought we’d be using feathers.
We arrived, paid our nominal fee, and got set to fowl.
We grabbed a ball, which turned out to be in less than good condition, and set out to the only open lane in the place.
I grabbed the tattered and torn pigskin and let it fly. The ball landed smack in the middle of the lane and knocked over six pins.
It was love at first fowl.
From there on, it took about 15 minutes to run through the game, as it got tougher to hit the pins standing alone after clearing out some of the other pins.
In the end, I took the first game, and the second playing myself against two others. That’s when our fourth arrived. She joined my team, and we managed a tie in the that game.
The tie was only a technicality though, the other team had their last three pins knocked over by an errant football from another lane, and on the final throw I managed to snag our last pin to salvage the tie.
That’s when we took a break to catch our breath.
While sitting at some of tables and enjoying a drink, Chris Hutt, the game’s founder, came over and introduced himself to else. He spoke with us for a few minutes, during which time we discovered that at the bottom of each bottom-filled plastic cup was a Fowling magnet to be taken home as a souvenir.
After that it was game time again. We switched up the teams (after all, I had to let others have a chance to be on my team and win), and my new teammate and I won a pair of games before most of us have sore arms and decided it was time to go.
The genius of the game is in it’s simplicity. There are few rules, and no scorekeeping. Just be the first team to knock down all of the other team’s pins.
The setup is simple, two sets of pins are set up on a platform 42 inches wide and 8 feet long. The platform is made out of 2x4s and plywood. Pins are arranged just like in a bowling alley, and each platform is 48 feet apart.
Men have to throw from behind the board, and ladies can throw up to the front of board.
Pins are removed after they are knocked down. The only other rule is throwing a “Bonk,” which is knocking down the other team’s five pin without touching any of the other pins.
That happened once while we were there. When that happens, the player that threw the “Bonk” gets to blow a freighter horn that is loud enough to drown out any other noise in the building.
Anyone that wants to find out more about Fowling can visit,, or contact the Fowling Warehouse at 1-313-264-1288. The Warehouse is located at 3901 Christopher Street in Hamtramck.

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