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Gravity-well Dodgebowl

Two men in a gravity well, with bowling balls.
 (+10, -3) [vote for, against]

A gravity well is a three-dimensional representation of gravity around a planet. From flat space, it slopes downward toward the center, getting ever steeper, like a rubber sheet stretched by a bowling ball. Rolling objects within a solid gravity well exhibit orbital behavior. The Wishing Well link shows the spiral wishing wells that illustrate rolling coins in decaying orbits within a plastic gravity well.

Gravity-well Dodgebowl is played in a hard-surfaced gravity well. The design of the ideal dodgebowl well is such that a ball sent in a circular orbit at mid-level will take sixty seconds to complete one full orbit. A ball will orbit more quickly as it coasts down toward the center, where the increasing slope acts as steeper banking. The center of the well, below the point of no return, is truncated, and designated out-of-bounds. The flatter, slower-orbit, outer slope is surrounded by a gutter, which is also out of bounds.

The two dodgebowlers try to knock each other's feet out from under them by bowling American-type bowling balls around the well to the other side. Basic strategy involves sending balls in slow and fast orbits so that two or more will arrive at the other bowler's location at the same inconvenient time. Elliptical and hyperbolic orbits are possible, limited only by bowling skill and the outer gutter, and the tendency of balls to spiral into the center.

A supply of bowling balls will be delivered at intervals, alternately, to each bowler from an overhead chute. The delivery chutes will be situated on opposite sides of the well, halfway down the slope from the outer rim. Each overhead chute will be equipped with a tempting arrangement of handgrips, which are out of bounds. The chutes will present a ball for use every fifteen seconds, for an interval of one second. If the ball is not taken, it will be retained for the next fourteen seconds and presented again. If a ball is not taken on the third opportunity, the player is determined to be out of play.

The bowlers are not confined to any area within their half of the well, but they may not cross into the other player's half. They may only get balls from their own dispenser at the set intervals. Players may not pick up a ball in play and bowl it again. Players may use their ball to affect the speed and direction of balls in play only by bowling to a collision, not by holding a ball in the hands. Players may not kick or push balls with their feet--any contact of a ball and a foot ends play.

Play will end when a player is hit, leaves his half of the well, crosses the gutter, drops into the center of the well, grabs onto the delivery chute, or fails to take a ball from the delivery chute for three opportunities. Falling down ends play, and may result in serious injury.

Players may wear such padding and protective gear as seems appropriate for them. The use of large pockets to carry bowling balls is not prohibited. Gravity-well dimensions are not specified. The engineering is trivial. Delivery chutes must feature a large red LED countdown timer, as seen on TV. Points and scoring are subject to the whims of the gods. All rules are subject to revision.

+++

"Yes, folks, we're back, here at the finals of Gravity-well Dodgebowl, watching Martinez and Jones. Martinez has been sending high, slow balls around the top of the well, letting them decay down. Jones has been kept hopping--it looks like he will miss a delivery from his chute, just to be safe. And Martinez is springing his trap--his last slow ball is dropping, according to the Doppler radar, and he has just sent a mid-level ball around for Jones's chute-zone. Now one of the high balls distracts Jones, and he misses another delivery--that's two. Martinez has backed up the slope, takes his ball almost at a run, and bowls it leftward, deep into the well, moving very fast in a hyperbolic. It's hooking clockwise, folks, clockwise, and will come out in just seconds, moving upward behind Jones. Jones doesn't even see it, he HAS to take delivery in four seconds, three, he does some incredible footwork, gets to the chute with a jump, and is taken out from behind as his feet come down. He hits hard! He's flat on his back, his own ball has just landed on his chest, and now a slow-orbit ball has come rumbling down to add insult to injury. And I say insult, because Jones doesn't even flinch. Yes, folks, it looks like this game has once again earned its nickname: Gravity-well Death Bowling!"

 — baconbrain, Apr 07 2006

Wishing Wells http://www.divnick.com/wishing_well.htm
Put your money in plastic gravity wells. [baconbrain, Apr 07 2006]

Prior art without the pain. Spiral_20Bowling
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 08 2006]

Highly addictive! [imaginality, Jul 07 2006]

 "Let's get a word with the Champion, Mario 'Mad' Martinez, Mario, You haven't lost now in 2 seasons. Do you think anyone can stand up and challenge your supremecy in this sport? Well, you never know Bob, You know what they say, It ain't exactly rocket science, And that's why they lose.

Right. Back to you Tom".
 — Zimmy, Apr 07 2006

:( not a doggy bowl
 — po, Apr 07 2006

 \\A supply of bowling balls will be delivered at intervals, alternately, to each bowler from an overhead chute.\\

 In all the excitement could this not become dangerous.

"Dodge, Dodge, Dodge. Hey where's my *Thud*"
 — Germanicus, Apr 07 2006

While you're waiting for this (admittedly excellent) game to be baked, try 'Death Star Battle', every bit as addictive as you'd expect outer-space battles amidst gravity wells to be.
 — imaginality, Jul 07 2006

The players should roll around on skateboards rollerskates - or zorbs.
 — zen_tom, Jul 07 2006

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