This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the United Bolders Club of Western Illinois or, more commonly known as Western League Rolle Bolle.

There is a week-long celebration planned from July 9-17, with events every day, culminating with the World Rolle Bolle Tournament on July 17, in Annawan, Ill. More than 100 people will compete in the World Tournament. Players are expected from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Canada, and (hopefully) Belgium, according to a Friday release from Visit Quad Cities.  

The Western League Rolle Bolle is a competitive summer sport; 11 men’s clubs and 9 women’s clubs in northwest Illinois and eastern Iowa comprise the league. Of those clubs, four are based in the Quad Cities — the East End Club (Moline), the Friends Circle Club (Moline), Hand in Hand (East Moline), and the Center for Belgian Culture (Moline).   

The QC is unique that it has its own rolle bolle league. Rolle bolle is only found in the upper Midwest and Canada, typically in places with a Belgian heritage. It is a bowling sport, originating from the Flanders region of Belgium in the 13th century. Bolles are manufactured in a way so that they do not roll straight but in a curved, elliptical path.  

The week’s schedule includes: 

  • July 9 – Opening Banquet, Annawan Best Western 
  • July 10 – Western League Tournament, Atkinson Club Hosting at Atkinson Courts, Noon 
  • July 11 – Night Tournament, Hand In Hand Club Hosting at Hampton’s Empire Park, 4 games points, Mixed Draw, 6:30 p.m.  
  • July 12 – Night Tournament, Kewanee Club Hosting at Kewanee Flemish American Club, 4 games points, Mixed draw, 7 p.m. 
  • July 13 – IL State Team Game, East End Club hosting at Moline Club site, 11 a.m.
  • July 14 – Day Tournament, Friend’s Circle Club at Moline’s Stephen’s Park, 3 or 4 games points, Mixed with redraw, 10 a.m.
  • July 14 – Chuck Naert Memorial, Hand in Hand Club Hosting at Hampton’s Empire Park, Double Elimination Draw, 5:30 p.m.
  • July 15 – Little World, Manlius Club Hosting at Manlius courts, Mixed Draw, Noon 
  • July 15 – Night Tournament, Geneseo Club Hosting at Geneseo Moose Club, Mixed draw, Approx. 7 p.m. 
  • July 16 – Illinois State Draw, Geneseo Club Hosting at Geneseo Moose Club, Double Elimination, 11 a.m.
  • July 16 – Night Tournament, Atkinson Club Hosting at Atkinson courts, Team, Approximately 7 p.m.
  • July 17 – World Tournament, Annawan Club Hosting at Howes Park, Annawan, Double Elimination, Team, 11 a.m.

For more information about the league and learning about rolle bolle in the region, click HERE.