Is it a sport: Zorbing?

Lawrence University is your typical college when it comes to sports. We have exercise facilities, sports and casual leagues. With our 21 varsity teams, plenty of intramurals and clubs to spare, anyone who wants to join a sport has plenty of opportunities to engage in one. However, Lawrence’s athletic offerings lack the element of danger. This danger could be found in the extreme sport of zorbing.

Inspired by your childhood hamster pet, zorbing takes after the design of the classic hamster ball. Someone most likely thought, “Wow, I sure would love to be encased in a giant plastic ball and go rolling around on a pleasant Saturday morning.” I know I do every day. A single layer of hard plastic encapsulates the participant in a giant orb before it is sent whirling down a hill. The goal is to roll as far, as fast, and as long as you possibly can.

Zorbing offers harnessed and harnessless orbs, but given Lawrence’s emphasis on well-being, it’s safe to assume this sport would require a harness. Don’t worry, though, even with a harness there are still plenty of ways to spike your adrenaline. Because these orbs are buoyant, you can take these babies for an aquatic run at any time. You can also incorporate ramps into any obstacle course

Lawrence could easily build a zorbing course on our very own campus. While zorbing is typically sent down a slight decline, it would be arguably more enjoyable to send someone spiraling down SLUG hill. Given the number of sledding injuries every year, if you zorb down SLUG hill you’ll be guaranteed the ride of your lifetime. There isn’t even a need for ramps! Once you reach the bottom, you will most likely slow down as you decimate the entirety of SLUG garden. Unfortunately, the only fresh food in the cafeteria will be gone at this point, but it’s a small price to pay. From there, you’ll spill into the Fox River, making an enjoyable splash. The real challenge from there is surviving the stench from the local factories’ runoff chemicals. After your tumble down the hill, you can sit back, pinch your nose and be carried away along the Fox River.

It’s a shame Lawrence doesn’t offer more dangerous sports. Zorbing could really add to Lawrence’s well-being initiative. After a week of taking on difficult academics, I think we could all use a release in the form of a near-death experience.

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