Heat can’t stop the Undomesticated Games

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Detroit— Imagine rolling around inside a clear, inflatable ball while trying to knock over a gigantic set of bowling pins.

Sound fun?

Participants in the Labatt Undomesticated Games did just that Saturday while braving the 90 degree weather on Belle Isle. The event, sponsored by the Labatt Blue, featured 900 people from across Michigan competing in unique games such as human bowling, oversized sling shot, roller dash, an obstacle course, and keg-o-war.

Janine Schoos, marketing director for Labatt, said the games are being hosted in several cities across the country this summer including Erie, PA; Buffalo, NY; Cleveland, OH and Saratoga, NY. The goal, Schoos said, is to promote a competitive spirit in the weeks leading up to the summer Olympics.

“We put our own spin on regular games,” Schoos said. “We wanted it to be fun yet competitive.”

Human bowling was the signature event with teams using their body strength to roll the ball and knock over as many pins as possible. Roller dash also gave an adrenaline rush because it required participants to be pushed in a three-wheel cart while using a bucket to scoop balls and dump them in a trash can.

Stephanie Krawcke, of team Sloppy Pickles, Dearborn, takes a flying leap during the undomesticated challenge competition.

Each team had six players.

“This has been really fun, but it’s hot,” said Caren Labelle, of Ann Arbor, who played on a team called “Labattitude” with her friends and relatives. “I think it’s good to bring some positive stuff to Detroit.”

Anna Marchese, of Clinton Township, said her favorite game was the “Undomesticated Challenge” which was an obstacle course that required the teams to spin on a baseball bat and then complete challenges such as corn hole and crawling through a net.

The course ended with teams sliding across a wet blue mat to cool off.

“It’s been amazing,” said Marchese, 22. “I’m glad we came.”

Schoos said hosting the games in Detroit allowed Labatt to celebrate the brand’s connection to the city since Labatt is one of the top imports in Michigan.

Ashley Barkley, 27, and her team “Slingin the Blues” wore yellow T-shirts to show unity. None of her teammates were athletic, she said, but signed up because they wanted to try a unique sporting event.

“It’s been good so far,” Barkley said. “(Human bowling) was a little difficult but it was fun.”