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Office of Sport


Bowl-ball or disc games were played by Aboriginal boys and men in all parts of Australia. For example, in the disc-rolling game common throughout Western Australia a piece of rounded bark (disc) was rolled by one of the players for the other boys to aim at. The boy who set the disc rolling was about 15 metres away from the throwers and would call out gool-gool (going-going) as they started the disc rolling. The boy or young man who succeeded in piercing the disc took the place of the roller. Accuracy of eye and speed in casting the spear were easily learned from the disc game.


A group of 10 - 20 players.

Playing Area

  • An area about 15 to 20 metres long
  • A marker is placed at each end of a playing area and throws can only be made by players when the target is between these markers


  • About 10 marker cones to designate the playing area
  • A large ball or a soccer ball
  • Allow each player 1 or 2 tennis balls

Game play and basic rules

A roller stands 5-10 metres to one side of the playing area and about 5-10 metres in front of the other players - the distance can be varied to suit the age and skill of the players. Another player stands in a similar position at the other end of the playing area ready to field the ball. The other players (throwers) stand behind a line along one side of the playing area and parallel to the direction that the ball is to be thrown. These players call out for the ball to be rolled when they are all ready. The roller calls out gool-gool and starts the ball rolling toward the other end of the area.

As the target ball rolls between the markers in the playing area the players either throw or roll their tennis balls at the target in an attempt to hit it. Players do not go out to retrieve the balls until all the balls have been thrown. A signal is given to allow them to retrieve their balls and re-form the line. The ball is then rolled from the other end to continue the game. Change around the throwers after a number of turns. When a player makes a hit they are greeted with applause and cheering. Successful players are expected to be modest about their achievement.


The playing area is marked and players must only throw out in front of them and not toward the throwers/fielders in front of the group.


  • Use balls of different sizes
  • Vary the speed of the ball
  • Bounce the target ball along the ground in front of the throwers
  • Vary the distance of the throws
  • Roll several balls at a time to be hit


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