My kids took me out for dinner last night for Father’s Day, and we went to the same place we went to for Mother’s Day. This time I had that burrito with the jalapeño cream gravy. Basically I got a breakfast burrito the size of my grandson’s head stuffed with scrambled eggs and 3 different kinds of meat (at least, there might have been 4 because there were a couple of pieces of “ham” that were suspiciously like Canadian Bacon) and a few chunks of potato with a big mound of home fries on the other side of the plate. Yumm.
Now, Sportball™. Mrs. the Poet and I were bystanders to a conversation about the NBA Finals that was almost completely incomprehensible to us. So I got to thinking about a game that would be as hard to follow as cricket, but even more confusing. What I came up with is Sportball™, a combination of cricket and team handball with a touch of hockey and soccer. The field for Sportball™ is 200 meters long divided into two halves. There are two bases located on the centerline of the field 50 meters apart or 25 meters from the half line, and a goal with a 1 by two meter opening and two meters deep 5 meters behind the base on each side. The field is 50 meters wide.
There is a lot going on during a game of Sportball™, with 11 players to a team and two balls in play at all times. The players are two bats, a goalie, a pitcher, two guards, two forwards, and three fielders. All players except the bats remain on their side of the field, the bats run back and forth between the bases. As I wrote earlier, there are two balls in play all the time, the pitcher, bats, and fielders play with a white ball while everyone else uses a florescent orange ball. There are two ways to score, when a bat runs from his base to the opposite base and back without being out that is a run which is worth one point. When the orange or white ball goes into a goal that scores a point for the team that was not defending that goal. Meaning it is entirely possible to score a goal against your own team, and also possible for the bat to get the ball into the opposing goal and score a point without leaving his base. The game goes until one team scores a total of 21 points combined runs and goals.
The game starts with one team getting possession of both balls by winning a coin toss. The pitcher throws the white ball at the goal of the opposing team which starts play. The orange ball is tossed or kicked between the guards and forwards behind the half line on their side of the field, trying to set up a clear throw at the goal on the other side of the field. Getting the ball over the goal line inside the goal results in a point and teams switching sides of the field, no matter which color of ball scores. If the bat hits the ball and it lands inside the playing field he gets to run to the opposing base and wait for the other bat to knock him home for a point. If the ball goes out the sides of the field the bat is out and the other bat gets to have a shot at the white ball. If the ball is caught on the fly by anyone on the opposing team the bat is out. If the other bat is on base either of those times then he has to return to the home base without scoring a point. Now if the bat hits the ball out the rear line of the field then that is an automatic run and the other bat gets up to hit, scoring a point if he was on base at the time.
The fun part is that there are two balls in play and the orange ball might come through the goal area at any time, and that the white ball changes sides just about every time it gets thrown. The main reason the goal is set so far back from the base is so the goalie doesn’t get hit by the bat, trying to hit the white ball. The bat is allowed to hit the orange ball, but all that does is just keep the orange ball out of his goal unless the bat hits the orange ball into either goal. If the orange ball goes out of bounds then the team that touches the ball last loses possession of the ball. There are only three fouls in Sportball™, crossing the half line to the opponent’s side of the field; the fielders, or pitcher touching the orange ball; and the bat on base interfering with the orange ball in front of the goal. The bat on base is allowed to interfere with the white ball either to catch it and throw in the goal or to return it to his own side, or whatever.
So, officials for Sportball™. There is a head judge that watches the half line to catch teams crossing the line and to decide which team has possession of the white or orange balls, and also to judge if the bat on base interfered with the orange ball or if an ineligible player touches the orange ball. There are also 4 line judges at the corners of the field that determine if the white ball goes out the rear or sides of the field.
The only thing I haven’t nailed down is the bat, I can’t decide if it should be more like a softball bat or more like a cricket bat. The balls should be like a fast-pitch softball in size and hardness.
And that is what has been rattling around in my brain this week and finally fell out.