Photo courtesy of

By Evan Fekete, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Located in Hamtramck, The Fowling Warehouse is a laboratory and gathering place for those seeking an alternative to grandpa’s smoky bowling alley.

Fowling (pronounced foe-ling) is a new hybrid sport that originated right here in the Motor City. The game combines the accuracy of a quarterback’s arm with the instant gratification of knocking down bowling pins.

One of the best parts of fowling is that the game has few rules with a fast learning curve, which makes the game fun for any novice player or for those not so athletically inclined.

The two opposing teams face one another and attempt to knock down their pins from a distance of about 60 feet. If fowling still doesn’t make sense, imagine a giant game of beer pong, but with a football and using bowling pins, while inside a warehouse. The desired outcome is to knock down your pins before the other team.

However, as easy as it might sound to play, the game does require your full attention. The entire gaming arena is encased in cyclone fencing to protect persons not playing. And with five or more games going on, you never know when a stray ball might hit you in the noggin, so it’s best to keep alert of other matches too.

A fun rule of the game is if on your first throw, you knock down the center pin, you have committed a “bonk.” This is similar to billiards when you’ve pocket an eight ball prematurely. It’s everyone’s job to call out the “bonk” so that a staff member can be made aware. This awareness sounds an alarm, consisting of a great lakes freighter foghorn, cleverly mounted on the wall behind the bar. The horn has been described as “louder than sh#$.”

The atmosphere of the Fowling Warehouse is as laid back and as inviting as possible for a warehouse. It is an unfinished warehouse, so when you pick up the football you hands will be covered in a chalky dust, which adds to the charm of the place. The environment gives off a manly feel, but isn’t in your face like a boxing gym or army surplus store.

If you’re looking for something unique to do this winter, fowling is definitely worth making a trip to Hamtramck for.

Fowling Warehouse

3901 Christopher St.

Hamtramck, MI 48211