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Office of Sport


The Walbiri people of Central Australia played a stone bowling game. One player threw a stone which was the used as a target by the second player. Players alternated turns with each aiming at the other’s stone.


Between 1 and 4 players

The game can be played alone, one player against another player, or in pairs of players against another pair

Playing area       

A designated area


  • Use two sets of lines (each 5 metres long) marked 10 or more metres apart — the distance depending on age and ability of players
  • Use balls/bowls such as bocce balls

Game play and basic rules           

The game is a bowling game where balls are rolled underarm along the ground. Players may toss a coin for choice of start. Turns are taken from behind designated lines.

One player starts the game by rolling their ball toward the line marked on the ground 10 metres away. If the ball passes beyond this line then the other player scores a point.

After a fair roll which stops before the line, the second player rolls their ball to try to hit the first ball. If the ball is hit, the second player scores a point.

Both players then collect their balls and the game is restarted from the other end.

Players alternate turns. The second player now has the first turn.

If the game is played in pairs one player from each pair stays at each end. Teams alternate turns.

One point is scored for each hit. The first player or team to reach 11 points is the winner. Play continues until the game is decided.


  • No scoring in the game. Play for the fun of the activity.
  • Play a set number of ends (such as 20).
  • Alternative play or practice. Two players stand 15 metres apart with a circle the size of a large hoop in the centre. Three balls are placed in the hoop- sized area and players alternate turns in trying to knock the balls out of the circle. If one or more balls are knocked out of the marked circle they are replaced before the next player’s turn. Keep a score or use this variation for practice.
  • Hoop weme. Two large hoop-sized circles are marked 7-10 metres apart. Players have two turns each to throw/roll their ball to land in the circle to score a point. Players take it in turns and alternate as the first person to roll at each end. If a ball is knocked out of the circle before all players have finished then their ball does not score. If a ball stops before it reaches the front of the circle it is removed from the game.


The game is named weme after a word from the Eastern Arrernte language of Central Australia which refers to ‘throwing something at something else and hitting it’.

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