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Car Pool

"Who's taking the kids to school today?" "Not me, I'm off to play Car Pool!"
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Stock car racing is fun to watch. Seeing things slam into each other at great speed is always good for a laugh. Trouble is, it's usually more a case of endurance rather than strategy - the last car standing is usually the winner. I'd like to see big things driving into each other at speed in a more skillful manner.

Hence - Car Pool. Above the dirtbowl stadium is a tethered blimp with a camera pointing down into the arena. Each car has a live video feed from this camera on it's dashboard, so that both drivers can get a clear view of the playing field. I'm sure you're already ahead of me here, but the football-pitch-sized "table" is bounded by huge inflatable cushions, with large nets in each corner and halfway down the longest sides of the playing area. There are two "Cue cars" in the arena, lots of red and yellow balls, plus one white one and one black one. The balls are about a metre and a half in radius - just big enough so that the bumper of each car will strike them soundly in the centre - and made of some (wildly unrealistic) material that won't deform when hit at high speeds and yet will allow them to react in the same way as normal-sized pool balls. Porus ivory, perhaps? Obtained by feeding really large elephants a strict diet of Aeros and fizzy drinks..? Perhaps not.

Anyway, you can imagine the organized chaos that would ensue. After the biggest triangle you have ever seen racks up the balls (and the industrial crane has left the arena), the drivers toss a coin to see who performs the 150-mile-an-hour break. For sheer comedy value, a couple of rodeo clowns run onto the "table" and cover the front of the lucky car in meaningless blue chalk. The "lucky" car ploughs into the white cue ball, and suddenly the whole table is in reckless, life-endangering motion, with balls careening about all over the place.

Now, here's where I'm in a bit of a quandry. I can't decide whether the cars are allowed to influence the balls after the shot has been struck. It would certainly test the skill of the drivers to make them have to avoid all the balls as they ricochet wildy about the stadium (perhaps incurring a foul if they are hit by a ball - two shots to the other driver), but it would be more in keeping with the spirit of stock car racing if they were allowed to slam into the other balls, perhaps skidding round to whack an opponent's ball away from a pocket/net and then powering away again to chase another ball heading for in-net glory.

Either way, it'd be a damn good spectator sport. And fun to play, too, as long as you keep one eye on your aerial monitor.

lostdog, Dec 04 2003

Full Metal Challenge http://www.channel4...es/F/fmc/index.html
TV show with Henry Rollins and cars pushing balls, 10-pins, each other etc. etc. [Johnny Mash, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Snooker - another baize based game http://www.billiardworld.com/snooker.html
[jonthegeologist, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Almost There... http://jmp.buffnet.net/football.htm
Less skillfull, but possibly more fun. [lostdog, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


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Annotation:







       That would air on TNN.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 04 2003
  

       I can see FOX giving this one a go too.
sartep, Dec 04 2003
  

       There was a short-lived show on TLC (I think) that involved teams from different parts of the world, building general purpose vehicles to compete against each other. One of the contests was a lot like this (getting a ball outside an arena without letting the car leave the ring). Not exactly pool, but proof of concept. I can't imagine this being that interesting (or any more interesting that a real pool match).
phoenix, Dec 04 2003
  

       I thought the cars themselves would be the balls (somehow). Vroom.
Detly, Dec 04 2003
  

       rumour has it that the UK police have been playing car snooker for some years.   

       Effectively, they catch a red car for speeding, then a yellow, another red, then green .... right the way through to a black.   

       Of course, if you've never seen or played snooker, this annotation makes no sense. The attached link might just help....
jonthegeologist, Dec 05 2003
  


 

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