Why Do You Play Johnball?

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Featured Posts, Interviews

At Johnball Nationals: Nelson Dewey State Park. A Wisconsin State Park. Alex Hurd is a squirmy squawker and the embodiment of being supa-fly.

Alexander Hurd


“Johnball has something that all organized sports and even recreational leagues lack for me. That is sportsmanship. Every other time I have been playing a sport, someone always gets angry. And the anger spreads. It really detracts from what sports are all about, which is just having a good time. When I play Johnball, I feel like the need to do well is so secondary to the rest of the experience; that conflict almost never arises. And that is why I love and play Johnball.”


Clever beard attachment, Son of North Dakota. Absurdity at its finest... and most handsome.

Timm Uhlmann

Morris, MN

“I like the people. It’s definitely all about the people. The silliness, the fun, no one takes it seriously… And yet you still get to kick your friends’ butts.”


At Matthew's Park in the Seward Neighborhood, Minneapolis. A sport of walmart balls and green whiffle ball bats. It's a plastic world.

Jeremy Hauglid

Minneapolis, MN

“Johnball to me is more than a game. It is about getting together in good company and enjoying the athleticism, friendliness and the concluding documentation. I play Johnball not only because it gives me something to do, but because I enjoy playing with the individuals in my chapter. All of the spontaneous things that are said, random actions seen and caught on film and people getting whacked with the ball makes it that much more worth while.”


Clemens Field, The Johnnie Football Field. But it's time for the greatest sport in the milky way, Johnball. Sleek body, sleek shiny tight red pants. Suuppeerr hoooot.

Drake Osterhout

Kasson, MN

“I play because everyone has the opportunity to be the greatest Johnballer ever.”


Walmart Balls in the snow. Towers Field at UWEC. The game of Johnball is super splendid in snow, rain, hail, firestorms.

Andrew Petz

Arcadia, WI

“Why do I play Johnball? Why wouldn’t I? I mean, the people are awesome, it’s good exercise, a nice break from homework, fun, exciting, honest, crazy, and just an all-around good time. I love being a part of such a cool thing.

I’ll always be grateful to my good buddy Vinnie Berken for introducing me to the sport. It’s something I look forward to every week.”


Wake up, sleeping pancake! Your dreamy blue eyes need thirtyeight more leagues to become the truest warrior of peace! Beecake, anyone?

Mikyle Volk

Oakes, ND

“I love how much it’s just fun in general. Like you can come play it for hours and it doesn’t seem like you’re out here for that long.”


 Happy shmappy Allison, bon vivant of gladness and goodest of times.

Allison Ley

Sartell, MN

“Why do I play Johnball, you ask? Well… I play Johnball because it brings people together like nothing else that I have seen before. When everyone comes to play Johnball, we all are there for each other and to enjoy the great game. We’re not there to turn against each other or to benefit from someone else’s downfall. We’re there because we want to be, and because we know that everyone else is there to help you out. And that provides the best atmosphere for fun and friendly competition that I could ever imagine. That’s the greatness of Johnball.”


Grab your Walmart balls, grab your yellow plastic whiffle ball bats, and ye shall voyage into infinite gladness.

Jeremy Gerber

Eureka, IL

“Why play Johnball? I ask myself, ‘Why not play johnball?’ And it’s easier to play than to answer that question.”


With a gleefully glorious smile and simply stunning swagger, this laddie will melt yo' chocolate duckling heart. UWEC Johnball. Play proud, play loud.

Michael Charles Frank

Rochester, MN

“Like many sports, Johnball has an unique community and culture that comes along with the sport. However, Johnball sets itself apart from most sports by the overall positivity in its nature. In my opinion, Johnball is the only sport where the objective of the game is not about winning. The objective of the game is to play the game at your own pace, play how you want to play, and have fun while you do so.

Being a future educator, one of my dreams is to make a Johnball club at my school. That way I can keep playing the sport, and teach the students who play to value honesty more at the same time.”


Brian Mager, Brain Gamer. Full confidence, ready to proclaim proclaiming "Great Snakes, it's Johnball!"

Brian Mager

Warren, MN

“Honestly, I like the honesty part the most.”


Pretty sunbeams on walmart balls by Hedstrom Toys makes for a effulgent snapshot, wouldntcha say, Bingo Baggins?

Dana Schumann

Grand Forks, ND

“Well, my favorite thing about Johnball is that you have such a great opportunity to make new friends. Especially with all the gametypes like Wells Fargo or Doubles. Pretty much all my friends from Grand Forks that I play Johnball with now I met playing Johnball.”


Tye-dye kids ball with yellow whiffle ball bat. What is Johnball? This is Johnball, ya dingus.

Matt Anderson

Elko, MN

“To me personally, the reason I play Johnball is because of the unique bond you get to share with everyone who plays also its one of the few sports where you don’t get judged on how you perform or what you say. It’s a sense of comfort being around fellow Johnball players. When you think of sports like football, baseball, soccer– you need a unique set of skills to be able to achieve certain tasks. Where as to me, Johnball is set up to where any person can succeed. I don’t think I have ever played a game of Johnball where some person was on my team and I thought to myself “This person is bad; I don’t want them on my team.” You don’t think that way in Johnball, because everyone has a certain skill to their game, and there is no such thing as a bad Johnball player… Unlucky sure, but bad? No.

Also when you play Johnball it allows you to let loose, if you wanna be wild and crazy go ahead, not one person will judge you. If you wanna play in the background that’s fine too. Johnball is so unique and bizarre in so many aspects that it just makes it enjoyable for any person of any age.”



P.S. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Sam Mohler’s response to the question “Why Do You Play Johnball?”, which we posted separately not too long ago.

P.P.S.  You can exhume an occasional surplus of Johnball delight by becoming allies with Johnball on Twitter.




About the Author: John Hilsen created Johnball alongside close friend William Bird in 2005. He currently calls Lakeville, MN his home and was diagnosed with a chronic case of dance fever when he was just a young boy.