This is kind of an odd one. I came up with it by "simulating" it using my hands as the two teams and a pen cap as the ball, while insanely bored.
Here's how it works.
Each team fields five positions: Passer, Defenseman, Shooter, Receiver, Goaltender.
(The illustration will certainly help, so
go ahead and rock it as you read the description.)
It's played on a grass field, rectangular. There is a center line with a faceoff circle, soccer/hockey style. There is an endzone on each side, American football style. Several yards before each endzone, there is a "red line" or penalty line.
The game starts with a faceoff. The ball is dropped in the middle of the field, and each team's man attempts to come up with the ball *and* come _down_ with the ball. Meaning that the player must win possession and then hit the ground while still having possession, in order to win the faceoff. The team that wins the faceoff decides whether to begin the game by passing to the other team or receiving from the other team (somewhat like the American football kickoff).
The designated team's Goaltender throws the ball into play, attempting to complete a pass to the other team's Passer. After that, it works like this:
Passers attempt to gain yardage by throwing long passes to each other. Penalties are assessed to passers for either throwing passes impossible to catch, or for dropping passes they should've caught. When a Passer catches the ball, he can run forward to try to gain more yardage--but as long as he is attempting forward progress, the opposing Defenseman can try to tackle him. If the Passer isn't moving forward, the Defenseman can't touch him. (Ideally there is some kind of cushion rule that specifies that the Defenseman has to keep a certain space from the Passer while waiting for him to catch it--so that there's a little space for the Passer to run forward while the Defenseman closes the gap--enough room for the Passer to gain a couple yards on the ground without risking play stoppage.)
It is thusly the Defenseman's role to minimize the ground gains of the Passer--and to bring him to the ground when possible. A play stoppage, such as being tackled in the field, results in a penalty being assessed.
The Defenseman can intercept or "steal" a pass as long as the Passer has touched it first. Meaning the Defenseman can take the ball if it's bounced off of the Passer's hands or somesuch. If the Passer touches the ball, and never has possession of it, play stops when it hits the ground and a penalty for failure to take possession is assessed.
Each penalty generally involves giving significant amounts of yardage to the other team, then giving the appropriate team the ball. For example, if a team commits a penalty by dropping an easy catch, that team still gets the ball, but is pushed back several yards. If a team makes a bad throw, the catching team gets the ball several yards forward of where they would've caught it. Some penalties involve yielding possession over to the other team; I won't make a long list here.
If the penalty occurs behind the penalty line of the team that commits it (for example, if Team A commits a penalty two yards out of their own endzone), there is no yardage awarded but possession is yielded to the other team. This gives the other team a good chance to create a scoring opportunity by running the ball in, like an American football fullback. (See below.)
Each team's Goaltender mans his team's defending endzone. Like the Passer, he has to catch the ball in the endzone and throw it out of the endzone. Each team, during field play, attempts to create a scoring opportunity. Basically, this occurs when play stops in the enemy's defending endzone (unless it's a result of an attacking team penalty, such as a bad throw). So here are a couple of ways for Team A to create a scoring opportunity:
* Team A's Passer runs the ball into the endzone without being tackled first--a touchdown, as in American football. (as explained earlier in the penalty line section; however, Team A doesn't have to get in a position to do this by penalty--Team B's goaltender can make a really short pass that puts Team A's passer in a good position to run it in).
* Team A passes to Team B's goaltender in the endzone; Team A's defenseman then tackles the goaltender in the endzone before he has a chance to throw the ball away.
* Team B's goaltender commits a penalty in the endzone, like making a bad pass or dropping an easy catch.
Once a scoring opportunity is attained, the team that got it puts their Shooter and Receiver on the field. The other team's Goaltender remains in his endzone. The attacking team's Shooter attempts to complete a pass to his team's Receiver in the endzone; the Goaltender attempts to stop this from happening any way he can--intercepting the pass, knocking the ball out of the air, stripping the ball out of the Receiver's hands. Each score this way counts for one goal. At the end of time or after a certain number of scoring opportunities, the game ends and the team with most goals wins.