Solution to Let's Get the Ball Rolling

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Answer: FUNNEL

by Cami Ramirez-Arau

This puzzle is presented as the medal count table for some sporting event. From the title including the words “ball” and “rolling,” and from the sports teams being clued as circular images, we notice that the teams are all marbles — specifically, the sixteen teams that participated in the Marble League 2020 competition. The column labeled “Points” (PTS) serves as an enumeration to confirm the team identification.

Marble League TeamTMPTS
6Raspberry Racers🏅×1015
11Savage Speeders🏅×314
13Crazy Cat's Eyes🏅×813
5Midnight Wisps🏅×413
3Balls of Chaos🏅×312
3Mellow Yellow🏅×212
3Minty Maniacs🏅×812
2Team Galactic🏅×912
5Green Ducks🏅×710
13Team Momo🏅×78

We can reorder the teams by moving them according to the leftmost column, which shows the “change in rank” of each sports team. Teams with a red downwards arrow move down in ranking by the given number, and teams with a green upwards arrow move up in ranking by the given number.

Finally, with the teams re-ordered, we can use the “total medals” count (TM) to index into the team names. This gives the clue phrase ML ENDURANCE EVENT.

Old RankRank ChangeNew RankTeam NameTMIndexed Letter
14 131Team Momo🏅×7M
5 32Balls of Chaos🏅×3L
6 33Mellow Yellow🏅×2E
7 34Minty Maniacs🏅×8N
9 45Thunderbolts🏅×5D
11 56Green Ducks🏅×7U
1 67Raspberry Racers🏅×10R
16 88Hazers🏅×2A
4 59Midnight Wisps🏅×4N
8 210Team Galactic🏅×9C
13 211O’rangers🏅×6E
15 312Hornets🏅×5E
2 1113Savage Speeders🏅×3V
10 414Bumblebees🏅×9E
12 315Oceanics🏅×5N
3 1316Crazy Cats Eyes🏅×8T

The third event in the Marble League 2020 competition was titled “Funnel Endurance,” yielding the answer FUNNEL.