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California Rules Football

Union + Aussie + Association + Gaelic Football
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This one was inspired by a study of Rugby and Aussie Rules football, and is sort of a mix of those sports plus Association football (soccer to us Yanks) and a few other things tossed in for the hell of it.

Each team fields somewhere from 8-11 "runners" or field players, (not sure how many would be optimal, as I've never seen this carried out IRL) and a goaltender. The game is played on a standard soccer ground with standard soccer goals. Play is divided into two halves of 40 minutes each.

The ball-handler carries it forward in his arms (maleness assumed for simplicity), and can use his head, hands or foot to pass or shoot the ball. He may attempt to propel the ball in any direction in any manner he likes, but *cannot* attempt possession or consistent forward progress by any way *other than* holding the ball in his arms and running it.

(This is the Aussie Rules adaptation:) Ball-handlers can be tackled, but this must be done in such a way that the ball handler can get rid of (throw, drop, whatever!) the ball before he hits the ground. Penalties are assessed to defenders who tackle in such a way that the ball-handler is forced to go down holding the ball, and also assessed to ball-handlers who *can* but *don't* get rid of the ball whilst being tackled. Once that ball is doffed, it's up for grabs to anyone from either team who can get to it.

If a ball-handler drops the ball or otherwise allows/causes it to hit the ground in any non-tackle situation, his team then *cannot* touch the ball until the opposing team has touched it first. (Doing so results in a penalty and a turnover at the spot of the play.) The referee can choose to waive this penalty (with an appropriate signal) if the defending team makes no attempt to recover the ball. This is to prevent a team from just sitting and staring at a fumbled ball, knowing their opponents can't touch it, so as to run down clock time. BTW, this penalty means that bouncing the ball, as well as basketball-style bounce-passing, are right out. Note again that goaltenders are exempt from this and other ball-handling rules during their 15-second protection period.

Goaltenders have a 'safe zone' (similar to Association football) for a few yards in front of the goal in which they cannot be tackled or otherwise pressured for 15 seconds after they gain possession of the ball (which means that they are (1) in an upright/standing position and are (2) holding the ball). After this 15-second time period elapses, or if the goaltender leaves the goal square, that goaltender is under the normal rules for ball-handlers, including tackle rules. (The referee at hand makes an appropriate signal to designate the expiration of this protection period.)

Goals are scored when a ball propelled by any bodily action (or inaction!) crosses the goal line inside the net, much like Association. Although the goal will count no matter how it's propelled into the net, the player credited with the goal will be the last attacking player to touch the ball with head, hands or feet before the goal was scored during the same possession. This means that a player who throws, kicks or heads the ball directly into the net will be credited with a goal; but a player who 'redirects' the ball into the net any other way--chest, knees, whatever--is not (the last attacker to touch it with hand/head/foot before him is), *unless* that was the only attacker to touch it during the possession; for example, the goaltender knocks the ball out, it hits an attacker's knee and goes straight into the net; that attacker is credited. Assists are credited to the last two players *other than* the goal scorer to touch the ball in the same possession. So if Henderson takes the ball, then passes it to Brown, who then passes it to Vazquez, who passes the ball to Martinez, who scores with his foot: then Martinez gets the goal, Brown and Vazquez get assists. Henderson gets a pat on the back and, possibly, a small cup of Powerade.

disbomber, Apr 18 2005

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       Ha! So it does.
Shz, Apr 19 2005
  

       Well, there's goals, so not really.   

       [UnaBubba], the very complex scoring regime is absent here. This is a traditional, Association type, get the ball under the bar and between the posts for one point kind of scoring system.   

       It looks like Gaelic football includes a system (slightly reminiscent of basketball, oddly enough) where you have to bounce the ball or dropkick it back into your hands every few steps. In CRF, on the other hand, you can *only* carry the ball; dribbling the ball (ala Association) or bouncing it is against the rules (there are a number of rules I'd thought up that I excluded from the idea or brevity's sake) and is grounds for a penalty/turn-over, with a bit more tolerance for goaltenders who may feel dribbling a bit puts them in better position to slam the ball downfield.   

       I'll have to see if there's a group that gets together near me for this sport. And yes, you're right, the two sports are quite similar. I think there are substantial enough differences for this not to be baked, but YMMV.
disbomber, Apr 19 2005
  

       Heh. Different kind of goal, I guess.   

       I see a fair bit of strategy in this game not only in attempting to avoid smearitude, but also in learning to position oneself best to maximize teammates' opportunity to recover the ball when smeared.   

       As noted earlier, I left out a few rules in the description here for brevity's sake. I'm adding some of them to the idea now to further differentiate Calrules from Gaelic.
disbomber, Apr 19 2005
  

       When we played smear the queer as kids, if you were tackled & retained the ball, the ball was placed at the spot of the tackle & The other team got the ball. I think we also kept score by 1's.
Off topic, my respect for what you will soon be doing. Hope the worst you will see is less than you want to see.
Zimmy, Apr 20 2005
  

       //Off topic, my respect for what you will soon be doing. Hope the worst you will see is less than you want to see.//   

       Thanks. No need for anyone to get overly respectful, though--as I've said elsewhere, at this point I have no idea whether I'm going to end up in Baghdad or Colorado Springs. And for about the next year or so I'm going to be in Texas and Florida, so it's going to be a while, if at all, before I end up in a warzone. (Assuming there aren't any particularly nasty secessions.)   

       [UnaBubba], I'm not sure I get it--are you referring to "put[ting] up a bomb" as in throwing the ball deep?
disbomber, Apr 20 2005
  

       //It was also a smartarse observation about your chosen career.//   

       I figured that was part of it.   

       The bomb sounds similar to the same-named play in American football--the quarterback tosses the ball way far, way high to a receiver who's hopefully taller than the man covering him and can leap into the air and grab that thing and try to run it into the endzone.   

       This seems to be the prevailing idea behind Association corner kicks, as well.   

       The thing about amassing players and flooding the goal area in Calrules is that if you're sitting around waiting for a ball with a really high arc to come down, and then you catch it, and someone tackles you you've got to get rid of it. I think what would be key here--and this would require a lot of drilling and practicing, I'm sure--is to have one player in position to take a bomb pass, who will undoubtedly be covered by the defense--and stick another attacker in just the right place so that the catcher can twist around and pop that thing off to mentioned second attacker, who could benefit from the defense having put all its attention on the first guy.
disbomber, Apr 20 2005
  
      
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