Proposal for a New Game: World Ball

Proposed rules for a new game called World Ball, by Justice Korbin Minotaur, January 17, 2003 (28 Nivose 211):

Sport Name: World Ball

Description: This sport is played on a circular grass field with a diameter of 512 yards. There are seven teams of eight competitors each. Movement on the field must be along north-south or east-west axis lines. A player seen to be moving diagonally will be penalized–forced to sit out of play for five minutes. The game is umpired by nine arbiters, together known as the Conference of the Nine. Their decisions must be unanimous. Besides conferring with the others to reach decisions, the head umpire communicates for and in behalf of the Conference with the competitors. The length of play is 130 minutes, with no interruptions or stoppages of any kind for any reason.

The object of the game is to amass the greatest quantity of earth in comparison to the other teams. Each team begins play in one of eight equal-sized sections of the field of play. Each team chooses a sector, with the order of choosing determined by the roll of a 20-sided die. Players spread from the original nucleus to “claim earth.” To claim earth, a team must surround a particular parcel of grass with wooden stakes (each team having its own color of stakes) driven into the soil at least six inches or deeper, with a distance between each stake of no greater than one-half yard. The stakes form a perimeter around the earth that is claimed. Players skilled in and charged with driving stakes to so claim earth are called stakemen. The winner of the game is the team that has the most square feet of earth staked out at the end of play, as measured by the Conference. To interfere with another team’s ability to claim earth, a team may send as many players forth as the team wishes with spades. These spademen attempt to dig up grass in the area where another team is attempting to claim earth. The surface area of any area where grass is dug up–where bare soil is exposed–is not counted in the team’s favor when square footage is reckoned at the end of play. A spademan may not dig up stakes–only grassy earth. A spademan may also dig up exposed soil as deep as he desires–perhaps for the purpose of creating a defensive pit.*

An interesting twist of the game is that players may physically interfere with other players’ attempts to claim earth or to spade earth. Instead of digging earth with the spade, for example, a player may tackle an opponent and pin him to the ground for the entire length of play. This does not decrease the amount of earth claimed, but interferes in the first instance with another team’s ability to claim earth. It is illegal to use spades, stakes, and mallets against another player, but otherwise play is very physical and unregulated, as in rugby.

An interesting element of this game is that all seven teams are competing against each other. The possible strategies for advancing and defending are nearly countless. A team may have eight stakemen, or eight spademen, or four of each, or two of one and six of the other, etc.

After play ends, the field cannot be used for several months until new sod is laid and begins to take root in the soil. Thus it is necessary to have a large number of fields in proximity to one another.

The spectators sit in a large circle outside the field of play. Most have binoculars.

Competitors dress pretty much like soccer players except they wear cleated boots and leather gloves.

*Amendment proposed by Ivanhoe Half-Abram: You could add a provision that the stakemen can not only uproot another team’s grass but can resod their own scorched earth.

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3 thoughts on “Proposal for a New Game: World Ball

  1. truly, except for the soccer, maybe the greatest of all the sporting events, since at the least the history of the human cell. maybe i would ask all the eight members to have stakes. do you propose that the weighing of the earth be done down to the mantle or beyond, to the hot liquid core of our mother earth?

    • Response from Minotaur, J., via Mr. Cornwall. You see with eagalic vision. You wouldn’t want to dig down so deep to where hot magma spewed itself over the playing field. That would be an expensive cleanup job.

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