Johnny Rad's 2108 Eastern Ave., 443-759-6464, johnnyrads.com League meets 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Wednesdays; $46 to register, eight to 12 people per team Once relegated to beach arcades, this childhood favorite has been recently popping up in bars around Baltimore, with league-related tournaments in tow. Last summer, Johnny Rad's installed two "short board" versions, about half the length of the arcade versions. They're brightly lit, with red, white and blue graphics. Last November, Rad's began league play organized by United Social Sports, which draws between 60 and 85 people every Wednesday during the season. "It started in D.C. at some places. and it did pretty well, so we figured it could work here," said co-owner Steve Ball. "It's fun for all ages. It just works really well." (The bar league is for those 21 and olders, but everyone is free to play at 50 cents a game.) League play at Rad's consists of two teams facing off in 12 rounds, rolling small wooden balls up a ramp, trying to land in the highest-scoring pockets. The team with the best cumulative score wins the roughly 30-minute round. Bonuses include free drinks for hitting multiple high-score pockets in a row, a "mystery round" that forces players to roll under unusual circumstances (with the left hand if they're right-handed, for instance) and a party for all teams at the end of the season.
Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun