Looking for a uniquely Iowa activity this summer? The 2010 Hooverball National Championships will be Saturday, August 7th.
For the uninitiated, Hooverball is similar to volleyball and played with a four or six pound medicine ball (women’s and men’s versions respectively).
“Catching one of these balls is like catching a bag of concrete mix dropped off a freeway overpass,” according to CBS Sunday Morning. The speed and grueling nature of the game made it a fast and efficient way to exercise all one’s muscles, which was the appeal for President Hoover and his doctor. During his presidency, Hoover lost 25 pounds which they attributed to his regular morning Hooverball games.
Teams were made up of Cabinet members and Supreme Court justices. Every day but Sunday, they played on the front lawn unless the weather drove them down to the White House basement.
West Branch may be the only town in the world with it’s own Hoover-Ball courts on Main Street. Other Hooverfest activities are fireworks at dusk, a band, food tents and a beer tent.
Read more about Hoover in the recent biography, Herbert Hoover by William Leuchtenburg.