Logrolling (sport)

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Log rolling, sometimes called birling, is a Sparring Sport involving two competitors, each on one end of a free-floating log in a body of water. The athletes battle to stay on the log by sprinting, kicking the log, and using a variety of techniques as they attempt to cause the opponent to fall off.[1]

Elite Class logrollers Anthony Polentini (right) and Caleb Graves (left) compete in the quarterfinals at the 2023 Logrolling World Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin

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 unique 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 (Canadian Logger Sports Association) standardizes the sizes in Canada.[2]

United States Logrolling Association[edit]

Log rolling near Robertstown, Georgia at Unicoi State Park, July 1975

The US Log Rolling Association is the national governing body of the sports of log rolling and boom running. It is the first nation member of the International Logrolling Association (ILRA). The Association is responsible for overseeing rules, regulations, and rankings, and also works to grow and promote the sports of Log Rolling and Boomrunning in the United States.


Can-Log was established in the late 1960s to promote the sport of logrolling in Canada, set rules and regulations, and allow for the allocation of Canadian Championship events to the participating competitions.[3]


The match begins when the whistle is blown or "Time in" is called by the head judge and continues until a fall occurs or the time limit expires (The judge may recall a quick whistle if they feel that the rollers did not have equal control.). The first athlete to lose contact with the log with both feet and fall off the log loses the fall. The last athlete to lose contact with the log wins the fall. For all amateur and professional divisions, matches consist of three out of five falls.[4]

Tournaments can either run with a round robin format (each athlete competes in a match against everyone in their division once) or double elimination bracket (a consolation bracket system in which rollers move higher in the competition each time they win a match or fall lower in the competition each time they lose a match).[citation needed][4]


J. R. Salzman is a 10-time world champion professional logroller. In 2006, he suffered a serious limb injury while deployed in the Iraq War.[5]

Jenny Atkinson is a three-time champion in logrolling.[6]

Judy Scheer-Hoeschler, a seven-time world champion, has founded many of the world's most successful logrolling programs and currently teaches logrolling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.[7]


  1. ^ Joyce Yoder (3 January 2013). Memories from Grandma's Playhouse. Author House. pp. 127–. ISBN 978-1-4772-9572-4.
  2. ^ Association, US Log Rolling. "United States Log rolling Association". US Log Rolling Association. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  3. ^ "Logger Sports at its Best!". Archived from the original on 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  4. ^ a b USLRA, Board of Directors (July 12, 2023). "United States Log Rolling Association" (PDF). United States Logrolling Association.
  5. ^ The Recovery of J. R. Salzman Archived 2007-11-13 at the Wayback Machine, Sam Eifling, ESPN Sports, 1 October 2007
  6. ^ Murphy, Jen (24 June 2017). "How a Minnesota teacher keeps up with competitors half her age on the log rolling circuit". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2014-06-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]