Monday, November 23, 2009

New Games!

Another beautiful Sunday and a great end to the "official" 2009 Obscure Games season marked the last Sunday Brunch Games. This Sunday gave us the opportunity to develop and play three new games, the rules for which are below.

"Foxhole" : A Foxtail game where scoring involves "tagging" two goals in sequence.

Number of Players: 10-14
Equipment: Foxtail, goal markers
Field: Rectangular, with a goal at each end.

Gameplay: After the throw-off, the offensive team scores by "tagging" each goal, i.e. catching a Foxtail in one goal area, then the other. The opposing team attempts to intercept the Foxtail and "tag" goals as well.

1. Foxtails must be caught by the tail. Catching by the ball is a turnover.
2. Defenders must give a "step" to the player with the Foxtail (no close guarding) and cannot grab the Foxtail while it is swinging.
3. Players cannot run with the Foxtail. A few steps to stop momentum is okay.

Things to work on:
Does a tagged goal remain tagged until a point is scored? This allows both teams to have one tagged goal at a time. If each team has tagged a different goal, the game reverts to an "Ultimate" type game. If both teams have tagged the same goal, a situation develops where both teams are working towards the same second goal, creating new strategic situations.
Alternatively, a "tagged" goal can be nullified once the opposing team tags a goal, leading to a back-and-fourth kind of gameplay.
Also, could this be played on a triangular field with three goals that had to be tagged?

2. "Kick Laptka" : Based on an ancient game of Russian Baseball, the details of which are vague. A sort of combination of kickball, dodgeball, and wind sprints.

Players: 8-20
Equipment: Kickball/playground ball, field markers
Field: Rectangular, long and narrow, with edges clearly marked.

Gameplay. The defensive team positions itself around the field, and rolls the ball to the offensive team, which is standing outside of the edge of the narrow side of the field. A player on the offensive team kicks the ball, and the entire offensive team runs on to the field. Points are scored for each player who crosses the field untagged. Outs are made when players are hit by the ball.

1. No headshots.
2. The ball must be kicked past a certain point on the field, and must land within the field. A ball kicked otherwise is a foul ball/strike. Two strikes make an out.
3. A caught ball does not make an out.
4. The defensive team cannot run with the ball on the field. If a ball lands fair and rolls foul, a defender may run with the ball while in foul territory, but must stop when entering fair territory.
5. Three outs end the play for the offensive team.

Things to work on: Field shape and size. Keeping runners running through the field long enough to equalize the advantages to the fielders and runners.

3. "Ringer"/"MonkeyBall(s)" : Created by Skory as part of his quest to create a bunch of games involving hitting one ball with another. I love this game because it can be played with an odd number of players.

Players: 5
Equipment: Kickball/playground ball, stability ball, field markers
Field: Stability ball surrounded by a a ring of field markers. Between two and three feet away from the central ring another ring surrounds the central ring, creating a donut shape around the stability ball, where the goalie stands. There is no outer boundary to the field. (See figure below)

Gameplay: A goalie is selected. The remaining players divide into two teams of two. The goalie kicks off the playground ball to start the game play. Teams dribble and pass the ball to move toward the goal. A team scores by hitting the stability ball with the playground ball.

1. Players start the game in the ring. Once the ball is kicked-off, the players may not re-enter the ring or run through it.
2. Players may not run with the ball. To move, a player must dribble the ball. Double-dribbling is not allowed. Players may also pass the ball to each other.
3. If the goalie touches the center ball after it has been hit, the throwing team automatically scores.
4. The goalie may not leave the ring. Players may not enter the ring. If a player crosses the ring on a scoring attempt, the ball is turned over and no score is made.

Things to work on: Scoring. This game is difficult to score because it is played with an odd number of people, of which one is always acting as the goalie. One possible scoring scheme is as follows:
The first goalie automatically gets one point attributed to him. When a team scores, the thrower gets two points and his teammate gets one point. The thrower then becomes the goalie. If the goalie catches the ball, the thrower replaces the goalie in the ring, with no points attributed to wither player. Each game lasts for a pre-determined period of time (~15 minutes).
Other scoring ideas: goalie gets a point for catching the ball; assists and scores give equal points to the team members; point limit, not time limit; etc. etc. etc.

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