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Dumping a Snowball Ban
News Bytes 01/9/2020 23 Comments

Snowball fights are as American in winter as hot chocolate, right? Maybe not in Wausau, Wisconsin. For decades, snowball fights in that city have meant getting in trouble with the law. But some folks hope a revamped ruling could happen in time for the next blizzard.

A 1962 ban on throwing projectiles in Wausau lumps snowballs into the same category as “arrows, stone, and other missiles.” The law views them as projectles that can cause serious harm. City Ordinance 9.08.020 prohibited throwing such objects “by hand or by any other means” either at people or into buildings.

City Council President Lisa Rasmussen says that recent negative national attention over the rarely used ordinance has raised questions. Headlines such as “Worst Town in America” have council members wondering whether it’s time to take snowballs off the naughty list.

“Maybe it’s worth giving a look to see if that list could be amended, to [soften] that odd news story that keeps coming up,” Rasmussen says.

To make their case, Wausau police and the mayor made a video showing officers having a snowball fight.

“A fun snowball fight is a fun snowball fight,” Deputy Chief Matt Barnes says in the video, “and that’s not something [for which] we enforce this ordinance.”

Barnes says the department has used the ordinance to write about 10 tickets in the last 15 years. Those included cases of people shooting crossbows into a neighbor’s yard, dropping sandbags off the roof of a downtown parking ramp, and on just two occasions, throwing snowballs at passing cars.

The video ends with Barnes clocking Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke in the back of the head with a snowball. “Awww, that one got away from me,” Barnes says sheepishly.

The City Council will consider legalizing snowball fights at a meeting later this month.

(Zach Dysart’s dog, Atlas, jumps for a snowball. Dysart lives in North Dakota, so he’s okay to throw it. Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP)


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Most recent comments

First Comment!

They should legalize snowball fights!

I can't believe that this is

I can't believe that this is an actual issue. I've heard of quite a few strange laws, but not this one. I really hope they legalize snowball fights.

@Lena P

I know right! This is kinda silly that it's outlawed.


I'm sorry, I don't know why that posted twice.


That's a little strange!
I mean...really...not necessary...
ban snow ball fights? In America? that's like banning the use of marshmallows because you can choak on them.


I did that banning snow balls was a thing! I love play with snow balls. when ever it snow in our town our hole neighborhood comes out to have fun! this year will be extra exciting because this my puppy first snow and I can't wait to throw snowballs for her


I love doing snowball fights with my brothers (unless I get hit in the face), but they should legalize it!


There is never snow where I live but I visit places with snow and snowball fights are so much fun! And is it just the snow in Arizona or is it actually impossible to make a snowman look like it does in the movie? My snowman are flat and dirty.


Do you remember how I said my grandma was visiting England? Well my aunt and uncle sent home English candies. I'm going to tell you all the names from them and can you tell me if you've heard of them and like them? Maltesers, Whams, Buttons, Swizzles Fruit Pops, Drumstick Squashies, Dip Dabs, and Drumsticks.


At 8:20 and twenty seconds today it will be
20:20 20, 2020
Get it? Never again will it be that. If you use military time.

@My own comment

Never mind I was just thinking about that it's not true bc all the days of 2020 are going to do that at 8 o'clock! Lol.


Yeah in a way that's sad but I definitely dont like a lot of snow we get like five feet here!!

@ Emelia @ Everyone @ Arlie

We still haven't gotten snow buts it's awfully cold! Brrrrrr........ I think it's Decembrrrrrrrrrr!!
@ Emelia Yes.
Wait, did somebody say Malteasers?!?! I love them! The best out of the lot! Do you like these?
Whams? What are they? I don't know what they are!
Buttons. I guess they're ok.
Swizzles fruit pops.... yes!
Drumstick squashes are nice.
Dip Dabs? Never heard of them.
Drumsticks are very sticky and stick to your teeth like you can't get them off... so I gave up on them! But the taste is ok.
@ Arlie I brrrr know howwww you feel Brrrrrr Excepttttt it's cccccccold herrrrre. Notttt warmmm.

@Beth H

And on the 20th of Jan.

Odd laws

In some town in Colorado (I forget) it is illegal to "wear a hat that might frighten a timid person." Just so you know that this is not the stupidest law.

@ Josh

There's a law in Indiana that's like: ''it is illegal to scate board in some tipe of weather (I don't remember) the police will take your weals of it and keep them for 6 days.'' Something silly like that. No one listens to it.


those r some COmPLETELY STOOOOPID laws .bt it is kinda fnny:)


i mean cm-on this is just stupid i think that all the others may have a point but really snowballs the worst they can do is make you cold i think they should diffently legalize
the snowball rule ¯\(°_o)/¯

why would some one make

why would some one make snowballs illegal in the first place

@ H R



I bet someone's car got hit with an ice snowball or they got hit in the face. And when this happened for a while, some old ladies told the police. and one thing happened after another and that is what happened, prob.



Elsie (Emelias sister)

Haha, if that is what happened, poor old ladies, but that's a sorry excuse. They should just make it illegal to throw snowballs at peoples cars and faces....

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