Logrolling (sport)

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For the quid pro quo practice in politics, see logrolling.
"Roleo" redirects here. For the similarly named chocolate candy, see Rolo. For the similarly named concept, see role.

The sport involves two athletes, each on one end of a log in a body of water. The competitors attempt to stay on the log while attempting to cause their opponent to fall off.

Logrolling (log birling or just birling), is a sport that originated in the lumberjack/log driver tradition of the northeastern United States and Canada, involving logs in a river (traditionally) or other body of water.[1]

Log sizes[edit]

There are four different sizes of logs currently used in competitions, though there are many other custom sizes used in training. Each log size has a number and color associated with it. In the United States the dimensions of the logs are standardized by the United States Log Rolling Association (USLRA) while CAN-LOG standardizes the sizes in Canada.

USLRA sizes[edit]

  • I Log - 15 inches in diameter and 12 feet (3.7 m) long.
  • II Log - 14 inches in diameter and 12 feet (3.7 m) long.
  • III Log - 13 inches in diameter and 13 feet (4.0 m) long.
  • IV Log - 12 inches in diameter and 13 feet (4.0 m) long.
  • V Log (proposed) - 11 inches in diameter and 13 feet (4.0 m) long.

CAN-LOG sizes[edit]

  • I Log - 17 inches in diameter and 12 or 13 feet (4.0 m) long.
  • II Log - 15 inches in diameter and 12 or 13 feet (4.0 m) long.
  • III Log - 13 inches in diameter and 12 or 13 feet (4.0 m) long.
  • IV Log - 12 inches in diameter and 12 or 13 feet (4.0 m) long.


Can-Log was established in the late 1960s to promote Logger Sports in Canada, set rules and regulations, and allow for the allocation of Canadian Championship events to the participating shows.[2]


A logrolling match has few rules. A person can rock the log, stop the log, reverse the spin, intensify the spin, even extend a foot and kick water into an opponent's face, which top billers do with astonishing accuracy. Anything goes, except for physical contact, crossing the log's center line, and spitting tobacco juice in your opponent's eye (a common tactic 40 years ago). To help maintain footing, competitors wear customized birling shoes—soccer cleats whose soles are embellished with dozens of extra spikes. A roll ends when one person falls into the lake. If both rollers slip, the loser is the one who falls in first. Matches are either best-of-three or best-of-five rolls.[3]


Judy Scheer-Hoeschler, a seven-time world champion, was promoting a teaching program at the La Crosse YMCA and came up with a simple idea, to carpet the logs to create a grippy surface and to eliminate the wood chip problem.[4]

J.R. Salzman is a top log roller who has won many championships. In 2006, he suffered a serious limb injury while deployed in the Iraq War.[5]

Torrin Hallett, 2010’s U17 boys champion, moved up to the Semi-Pro division and lost only two falls through the entire contest.[6]

Brian Stearns, won the U17 boys amateur division in his first appearance.[7]


A roleo is a logrolling competition where two people stand on a floating log and attempt to dislodge each other while spinning it. Victory is achieved by being the last one standing. These events have been televised on ESPN, as part of the Great Outdoor Games, and on the Outdoor Life Network.[citation needed]


External links[edit]