I got a call over the weekend from Rob Jacques. This is not an unusual event, as Rob is often calling me asking how my day is going and usually telling me that his is fantastic. The last call, though, was to inform me that the Projects family was going bowling and I was invited because, “I was a part of the family,” according to Rob. I felt honored, plus saying no would’ve been pretty dick after Rob told me I was part of the family, so I joined the crew to hit the lanes.
The bowling was good, but I told the guys I had a game that blew bowling out of the water. They thought I was full of crap, but I began to tell them about donkey balls. Yes, donkey balls. Rick Knott first introduced me to donkey balls at last year’s Surf Expo. Jeff and I have wanted to build our own set since Rick left, and we finally did a couple weeks ago. Donkey balls is basically horseshoes, but 100 times better. I told the Projects peeps that I would come hang out the next day and bring donkey balls and my camera. That way we could hangout, do some wakeboarding photography, and have some backyard donkey balls fun.
Despite being nothing more than a few sets of golf balls tied together with shoelaces and some PVC pipe stuck together, Rob was stoked when I arrived with my donkey balls set.
“This might be the coolest game ever,” he exclaimed.
Pat was a bit more skeptical at first, but once he started tossing the balls and getting some points he was hooked. The fact that he beat me in his first game probably added to his enthusiasm.
Donkey balls definitely was the big hit of the weekend. More than the bowling, more than the arcades, more than the Xbox 360, and more than the wakeboarding. I’ve included a basic list of donkey balls rules/guidelines in case you are interested in building your own set and playing. Of course, you can come up with your own rules/modifications, these are just how I play at my house. I’m willing to bet that by this time next year, donkey balls is the newest, coolest thing going in the wake industry – even cooler than online poker.
Jeff & Garrettt’s Donkey Balls House Rules:
Donkey balls is a game much like horseshoes. There are two teams of two, with the teammates being split up and standing on opposite ends of field. The object of the game is to wrap the donkey balls around the rungs to earn points and win the game. There are three sets of balls per team, and players alternate throws during a turn.
1. Sportsmanship is not just encouraged, it is expected.
1a. Picking up an opponent’s balls is always a nice gesture
1b. Always put back together a broken donkey balls set
2. The donkey ball set measurements are as follows:
2a. The strings are 10” long from the inside of the balls.
2b. The donkey ball rungs are 20” wide.
2c. The donkey ball rungs are 10” apart in height, so the top rung should be 30” off the ground.
3. The donkey ball sets should be placed at a distance agreed upon by both teams.
4. Both teams should determine the winning score before game play begins.
5. While sportsmanship is expected during game play, so is trash talking and beer drinking.
6. A player may throw the balls however he/she wants to.
7. When throwing, the player must not step past the front of the donkey balls set.
8. The first rung is worth one (1) point, the second is worth two (2) and the third is worth three (3).
9. The last team to score a point(s) throws second.
10. A ball that bounces off the ground and wraps around a rung is legal.
11. Points are counted and awarded to each team at the end of a turn. So however the balls lie when the turn is over is how the points are awarded.
11a. If balls are knocked off or fall off mid-turn, they do not count for points.
11b. If a team needs only one point to reach the winning score, but has balls on more than the one-point rung, they have not won the game because they have too many points.
12. If each team has a set of balls wrapped around the same rung, no points are awarded as the balls cancel each other out.
12a. For example: If Joe from Team A throws and wraps the balls around the top rung, and John from Team B does the same, no points are awarded to either team.
12b. Should Joe or John throw another set of balls on the third rung and not be matched by his opponent, those points will count.
13. A team must reach the exact amount of points required to win. Going over does not count.