da Doctah wrote:It matters not what you call it. As George Carlin once pointed out, all sports other than (American) football and baseball are merely variations of ping-pong. Volleyball, he said, was paddle-less team ping-pong with an enlarged ball and raised net, played while standing on the table. With that perspective, it's not hard to see soccer as yet another form of ping-pong. Hockey too.
I'm still trying to decide if you can cram billiards into the same box.
I've always thought that all sports were abstractions from old-fashioned battlefields. And that it would be cool to have a modern-style sport which explicitly acknowledges that fact.
Every player gets a foam stick (your "sword"). Teams can choose any combination of different lengths of swords for their players. Maybe allow foam shields as well. Picking a good spread of sword lengths for your team is part of your gameplay strategy, and players may select a new combination of swords and shields each time they enter the field.
Whatever kind of sword someone has, if he tags you with it (despite your efforts to deflect with your own sword or shield), you must immediately leave the field (you are "dead"). You can only reenter if your team captain (your "king") tags you back in with a special foam rod (your "flag"), representing the ability of a state to raise an army.
The objective of the game is to seize exclusive control of some external objective, represented by a ball, which can be kicked or carried or even struck with a sword. Any team which does not have contact with the ball for some set period of time loses, representing a state losing access to some vital resource that this war is over.
The ball begins in the center of a field, the teams at either end of the field. All players and elements of the field are mobile and their position is not intrinsically important, but a standard game would likely consist of the king remaining at his team's starting point with the flag, guarded by some set of defensive players, and other offensive players rushing center field trying to bring the ball back to their "goal" (flag, king, and defenders), where it can best be guarded. The basic strategies would consist simply of seizing the ball and holding it until time runs out; but if you can kill the king and take their flag, you can also just defeat the other team by attrition. Of course if one of their team members can retake their flag, then they now have a new king and your attrition strategy has failed.
And yes, I'm aware that there are various battle games out there, like Amtgard and Dagorhir (I actually ran an Amtgard chapter for some time myself), but I see no reason why the basic gameplay mechanic couldn't be distilled out apart from the silly costumes and roleplay and complicated magic and ranged weapons and the like, to boil it down to its real essence: stick tag. Give the stick taggers a magic stick that tags you in rather than out like all the other sticks, and a ball to fight over, and I see no reason why it couldn't make a very versatile mainstream team sport.