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Rolle Bolle

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They call it a cross between horseshoes and bocce ball. It's a Belgian game and they've been playing it in Geneseo for decades. Welcome to the world of rolle bolle.

Ninety four year old Lawrence DeSplinter is one of several players at the Geneseo Rolle Bolle Club. The object of the game is to roll a rubber like disc, called a bolle, and get it closest to the stake.

The bolles are about six to eight inches in diameter and four inches wide. They weigh from six to eight and a half pounds. The bolle is beveled to one side and it will curve when rolled.

Lawrence has been playing the game for years and says he has a very "educated" bolle.  Lawrence is very accomplished at the game.

Clyde Minnaert is ninety one years old. Like so many other shooters, he comes to the club for fun, fellowship, and good natured competition. Clyde has been playing rolle bolle since he was about ten years old.

The court is a combination of sawdust and dirt. The distance between stakes is thirty feet.  Some players say the skill is in the wrist  as the bolle weaves and wobbles its way toward  the intended target.

The Geneseo Rolle Bolle Club was established in 1924 and moved to its current location in 1937. There are generations of families who continue to play at the club. Currently, there are about forty club members.     

There are also rolle bolle courts in Moline, Atkinson, Annawan and Kewanee.

Clyde Minnaert jokingly says if you don't have a beer in your hand, you are not a rolle bolle player.