You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

A guide to marble racing, the sport that has exploded while we have no other sports to watch

For The Win logo For The Win 3/25/2020 Charles Curtis
a person standing in front of a computer © Provided by For The Win

No NBA. No NHL. No MLB. No golf. The NFL is in the offseason. We’ve gotten virtual with NASCAR.

But there is one sport that has taken all their places as social distancing continues during the coronavirus pandemic: marble racing.

Jelle’s Marble Runs had already gained a following over the past years on YouTube, with incredible videos of marbles being raced over elaborate dirt paths and on indoor “Olympic” style tracks, and with some incredible play-by-play calls.

But it was a tweet that went super-mega viral with — as of Wednesday morning — nearly 242,000 retweets that sent marble racing into the stratosphere as sports fans look for something to watch:


Here’s the origin story from CBS Sports:

It all starts with Yelle Bakker and his brother Dion, who both live in the Netherlands. They go to extreme lengths to make the professional marble tracks and environments for their competitions, Marbula One, Marble League and Marble Fan Rally, about more than just gravity-driven randomness. Their attention to detail, production value and humor — mixed with the broadcasting voice of Greg Woods — has elevated this sport to a worldwide phenomenon.

Woods said he starting the broadcasting role in 2016 after finding the races on Reddit and he hasn’t stopped since. It’s incredible how he’s been able to work in the funky names for marbles, which aren’t given just any color names. Check out this Marbula One race with Orangin, Momo, Rezzy and others vying for a win:


Speaking of which, there’s a variety of races Jelle’s run.

There’s Marbula One, which you saw above, which is meant to look like car racing:

There’s Marble Rally in the sand:

There are the Marblelympics, which includes events like balancing, ski jumping, ice hockey (in the winter of course) and hurdles:

The popularity also soared when Jelle’s Marble Runs was featured on ESPN’s The Ocho scheduling last Sunday, and now, even Joe Buck is trying his hand at calling a race:


The last word goes to Woods, who had this to say in an interview with Sports Illustrated:

“It really left this vacuum for people to try to find something to appease their appetite for sports,” says Woods of the pandemic. “And for whatever reason, [marble racing] seems to match up really well with the type of passion that a lot of people have, whether it is rooting for an underdog or a great comeback or an unexpected performance.”

MORE:

The 10 most cringeworthy episodes of 'The Office,' ranked

LeBron James brought back Taco Tuesday at a time we all need it

Karl-Anthony Towns posts emotional video revealing his mom has coronavirus

Twitter needs to keep crushing billionaire sports owners like the Sixers' Josh Harris

The NHL makes billions in revenue but it's still cutting the salaries of its employees

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from For The Win

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon