WhirlyBall Game Center Opening Saturday in Naperville: What It Will Have

There’s a whole new vocabulary for fun at Naperville’s WhirlyBall, which opens Saturday.

For starters, there’s the meaning of “WhirlyBall” itself.

The sport is a mix of basketball, lacrosse and hockey, played in vehicles much like bumper cars, says Adam Elias, WhirlyBall’s vice president of strategic planning.

Then there’s the “WhirlyBug”, a vehicle similar to a carnival bumper car. It travels 4 mph on magnetized ground and allows WhirlyBall players – as long as they are at least 4ft 6in tall – the freedom to move around the court, all at the same speed.

“You don’t have to be an athlete,” Elias said.

The “Scoop”, a net tool that is a close cousin to the lacrosse stick, is also game-relevant, used to throw the WhirlyBall itself to teammates or to each backboard-style goal. Using a wrist shot is the best technique, Elias said, as with a baseball-style pitch, the WhirlyBall will simply fall behind the pitcher’s shoulder.

“And your friends are all laughing,” he said.

Even outside of WhirlyBall’s two courts, one on either side of the ground floor of the new facility at 3103 Odyssey Court, there’s new gaming terminology, mostly on the bowling alleys.


“HyperBowling” combines the throwing technique of bowling with the pointing methodology of pinball. Players ages 4 and up can choose this style of play or traditional bowling on the facility’s eight lanes on the first floor or on the four private lanes on the second floor.

In a game of HyperBowling, bumpers are raised and sections along them light up in different colors, meaning players can achieve point values ​​by bouncing their ball on each segment. Knocking down pins also scores points at different values, but being able to roll turkey after turkey doesn’t necessarily make a player a HyberBowling star.

“It really levels the playing field, just like WhirlyBall,” Elias said.

The new WhirlyBall gaming center is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. Saturday, also offering a laser tag course for players ages 8 and up and a restaurant and bar called The Pivot Room.

The Pivot Room’s American-style menu and craft beer list will cater to any private events held in the second-floor banquet hall as well as guests hanging out by the bowling alleys or WhirlyBall courts.

The restaurant and bar take up the front of the building as players enter the 41,000 square foot space near the Route 59 and I-88 interchange.

WhirlyBall will be the second entertainment destination to open, following Topgolf in 2015, in what is expected to become CityGate West, a mixed-use center with residences and a hotel as well as public art and other features.

The Naperville gaming center is the company’s fifth location, joining established facilities in Chicago, Vernon Hills, Colorado Springs and Brookfield, Wisconsin. Its original site in Lombard is now closed.