Home » 2013 » May

Played 25-26 May 2013 — League Easy + B.Y.O.Bocce

League Easy

League collaborated with The Everything Company to host a small event at the Bomford Studios, a temporary building in which Cedric, Nathan and Jim Bomford are constructing their monumental artwork Dead Head from recuperated building materials. The Everything Company is a project of the artists Chris Dahl, Jason Gowans, and Michael Love, who see art-making as a playful process of work, and have been hosting a series of speakeasies in interesting locations around Vancouver.

The main event of the night was a bicycle delivery service to Vancouver. For 45 minutes, we received texts from individuals around the city, requesting free bottles of gin, and for the next two hours, teams of cyclists raced around the city to deliver bottles. The game was a mimicry of the Hell’s Angels “Midnight Express,” an after-hours alcohol delivery service that operates in Vancouver. The courier teams’ progress was tracked using a smart phone app, and the team that delivered the most bottles received a special prize.

Apart from the delivery service, we played games around the Bomfords’ skeletal building-within-a-building. (Look for it to be launched on a barge in Burrard Inlet in 2014.)


The next day was League’s regularly-scheduled play date, unfolding for this day only in two locations. Participants were asked to B.Y.O.Bocce: that is, bring objects that were lobbable, pitchable, or tossable, with the idea of using them as the starting-point for games of precision.

The starting-point was thinking that games such as bocce, bowling, curling, golf, and marbles all use objects and terrain that have peculiar characteristics which must be taken into account in order to really master the game. The locations have uneven surfaces and friction, or the objects are wobbly, for example. We imagined that any of these games would be quite different if played using objects with other unexpected tendencies, such as softness, size, bounciness, fragility, lightness, permeability, etc..

We played versions of bocce using different targets selected by participants, expecting that the various objects we tossed, rolled, put, or kicked towards it would have not only different flight patterns, but also different potential for displacing the jack or other objects. In addition, one of the park locations was uneven and slanted, and the in the other the grass had been uncut for some time. Our strategic choice of weapons was affected by the factors such as distance, wind, and terrain, not to mention individuals’ different throwing or kicking skills.

Upcoming League activities

  • Vancouver Draw Down: Saturday 15 June, 10 am to noon at Elm Park.
    For this city-wide drawing day, we’ll play with marking the field at Elm Park. Our version of drawing will involve full-body motion: running and walking with the field-marking equipment, and working together to invent a game to match the lines.
  • Western Front 40th Anniversary: Sunday 16 June, noon to 5pm at the Western Front, 303 East 8th Ave, Vancouver [map].
    As part of the Western Front’s anniversary celebrations, we will mine the building’s storage for leftover construction materials accumulated over the past decades. The first part of the day (12-2), League group and drop-in participants will build structures for play, and the rest of the day everyone is welcome to drop in for improvised play using these structures.

Upcoming play — Sunday 26 May — B.Y.O.Bocce

For the next League play date on Sunday 26 May, you’re asked to B.Y.O.B: Bring Your Own Bocce.

Bocce, Pétanque, Bowls and Bowling, Curling, Golf, Croquet, Marbles — all are games of precision and strategic positioning. Each uses objects and settings that have peculiar characteristics to be tamed and mastered. Imagine any of these games played using objects with quite different tendencies: softness, size, bounciness, fragility or lightness, unpredictability, permeability, etc. For B.Y.O.Bocce our starting point will be bocce-like games played with different materials brought by participants. Bring your own rollable, pitchable, puttable, or lobbable objects.

This League play day will unfold in two locations:

  • 11:00am-1:00pm special appearance at Memorial Park West, for Dunbar’s Salmonberry Days Festival
  • 1:00-3:00pm at our regular location, Elm Park in Kerrisdale.

League is an open gathering for playing invented games and sports, to practice improvisation, strategy, performance, and critical thinking as play. Everyone is welcome to drop in; bring both body and mind.

Other League news

Planning is underway for The n Games, an innovative tournament for teams from different backgrounds. It asks: what kind of team would be best prepared for unexpected challenges? On 8 September 2013, different sports-, creative- and business teams from across Vancouver will convene at Elm Park to test their teamwork, strategic skills, and adaptability, competing against each other to play invented sports they do not know. Participating teams include Roadhouse Interactive game studio, Double Rainbow Dodgeball League, Rethink advertising agency, Theatre Replacement, and the Daughters of Beer. A Toronto edition of The n Games will also take place as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, overnight on 5 October 2013.

Contact us with sponsorship and registration enquiries for The n Games.

Also look out for League at the following events:

  • Saturday 15 June, 10am-noon: Vancouver Draw Down, a one-day city-wide drawing event. At Elm Park, “drawing will involve full-body motion, running and walking with the field-marking equipment, and participants will work together to invent a game to match the lines.”
  • Sunday 16 June: Western Front‘s 40th Anniversary Open House.


Bean Race 2013

1… 2… 3… grow.

Bean Race 2013 is now on in the field house yard. A meandering, but dramatic, race to new heights, the Bean Race is a test of patience and care.

Your competitors are:


Verena Kaminiarz and Cedric Bomford are Vancouver-based artists who garden when they can. Their Bean Tower, realized in the Skulpturenpark in Mitte (Berlin) in the bean growing season of 2010, inspired this contest. Kaminiarz and Bomford will be growing runner beans with seeds from the original Bean Tower.


The host of the race, League is an open group that gathers to play invented games and sports. We have no particular expertise at growing anything, and will be growing Scarlet Runner beans from the kids’ section of the hardware store.


Gropp’s Gallery Collective operate studios and residencies in their micro-Utopia off Main Street in Vancouver. They will be growing a variety of pole beans.

About the Bean Race

League plays with unexpected objects and spaces, pursues unconventional approaches to procedures, and tackles situations with both mind and body. One approach is to consider slowness, patience, and cultivation as a strategy.

The Bean Race is inspired by the Bean Tower built by artists Verena Kaminiarz and Cedric Bomford in the Skulpturenpark Berliner Mauer (Berlin Sculpture Park), which re-imagined an industrial structure such as Vladimir Tatlin’s “Monument to the Third International” as organic and pragmatic.