Air Force vet hits the ground running with new outdoor game called "Rollors"

Eric Dehm
June 21, 2019 - 1:01 pm
Retired Air Force officer Matt Butler is the creator of Rollors

Photos courtesy Matt Butler

Back when Matt Butler was growing up in Minnesota, video games, cell phones and computers were not a distraction. Mostly because he didn't have any of them. So when his parents needed a break, they didn't turn on the electronics, they turned the knob on the door and told him to go outside. 

Butler spent hours on end playing bocce, horseshoes and other outdoor games throughout his childhood. During his 10 deployments before retiring from the Air Force, Butler says he often found himself thinking of the good old days in Minnesota.

Matt Butler retired from the Air Force and created the Rollors game
Photo courtesy Matt Butler

"I was just remembering back," Butler said during an appearance on the Eye on Veterans radio show. "Hanging out with friends and family, playing yard games, barbecuing, hanging out and socializing and just being together. For anyone that's ever been on a deployment, that's what you're missing."

Meet the Green Beret Sneakerhead & CEO of Woobies Shoes

So when it came time to find a post-retirement career that's where Butler focused. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and was looking for something that could bring friends and family together. He says he realized he'd been playing, and enjoying, the same outdoor games for decades. Why not come up with one of his own? The result was Rollors, a game Butler says draws on the old favorites while adding new wrinkles.  

"It's a combination of bocce ball, bowling and horseshoes," Butler said. "But as I learned as I created it, it's really a combination of even more outdoor games... so there's really a bunch of outdoor games literally, pun intended, rolled into one game."

So how does 'Rollors' work? Butler says at the basic level it's pretty simple and easy to learn, and the scoring is a little bit like dice.

"There are six discs, sort of like oversized hockey pucks, and on each side of the disc are numbers," Butler explained. "you roll the discs toward the target, and whichever side the disc falls on, that's the point structure you get."

But really, to Butler the scoring aspect is secondary. He's sure the game will soon be thought of right alongside the classics it evolved from and he knows that when it is, it won't be because players win or lose. It will be because they get the same thing out of it as he did from the games he grew up with, fun.

You can hear the full interview with Matt Butler below. 

Want to get more connected to the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.