Liaden Wiki

Bowli ball is a challenging training exercise and fun pastime for scouts and other pilots, also offering serious sport with leagues, championships, tournaments. Injuries often occur during the game. It is not for beginners.

“Bowli ball is for those who have learned what pain is, and who have their muscles and reactions under control.” [1]


As discussed in Salvage Right, the game was introduced into play by Scout Dancing Master ro’Linga, sometime within the past two centuries. Being a martial arts teacher, she sought to provide a truly random environment into which hopeful Scoutlings might be thrust, to the benefit of their reaction times, to help prepare pilots for unpredictable random action. Thus, Scout Master ro’Linga is credited with inventing the bowli ball, which is quite challenging, if not truly random.

Bowli ball


Similar to a medicine ball in size. Red color, but it may come in other colors. Has gyros inside that allow it to spontaneously move, change direction, etc.

“Jon spun back to Clonak, red ball held out like a judgment...shaking the bowli ball until its internal gyro squealed.” [2]


Very popular pastime among pilots and scouts. The game has been called “pilot catnip.” [3] The Galaxy Ballroom in the port city Surebleak has a bowli ball court (see A Visit to the Galaxy Ballroom) and even more recently, Tinsori Light is developing one.

How To[]

A bowli ball game is fast and dangerous. The ball is passed from player to player, randomly, but the ball tries to escape. It kicks, jerks, zigs, zags, twists, turns, dodges, and makes sounds — whirring, whining, clicking, etc.

The frenzied ball is made quiet by stroking it, and wakened from quietude by shaking it. “On the third shake, the bowli ball jerked against his fingers, seeking its freedom.” [3]

“It bucked against his fingers, twisting toward freedom. Instinct again, he applied a counter-twist from the wrist and there was a moment of quiet before it kicked again, but this time, he was not surprised.”[3]
“Throw it before it breaks loose,” Clarence advised him from his comfortable place against the rail. “If it escapes, you will not only lose points, but there will be a wild ball on the deck, which is all manner of fun.” [3]

See also Pilot Lore, Pilots, Surebleak Scouts, Scout's Progress


  1. Ghost Ship, ch 34
  2. Scout’s Progress, ch 17
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Salvage Right, Bechimo, Dock A