You all should know by now how crazy and eccentric I can be. For that, I’m going to change the landscape of summer, and for good reason. We all have our summertime gigs. We play football, horseshoes (or cornhole), and whatever else we think of when it comes to sports. Once, I had this vision of a game that could be played in a variety of ways, and it’s something anyone can become involved in because it’s a game that is kind of, sort of, unique in many different ways. It can be played in a variety of ways, and it can be played indoors or outdoors. It’s a new game, as I created it, and it’s a great way to get in a cardio and conditioning workout. However, in terms of this most wonderful time of the year, which I call the NFL’s Lent, in countdown to the Hall of Fame Game in early August, it’s a game that can be played, or even followed, for those of us who may not be too into baseball while we wait for the gridiron to begin once again. This sport, one of my own true inventions, is called shotball.
The story behind shotball is an interesting one, because it all began back in 2009 when I saw NFL Commissioner ax yet another rule in an attempt to make the NFL safer. Right then and there, I wrote down rules for a new game. A brief overview of shotball entails of a game with eleven players per side, just like football.
We’re on a field of one-hundred yards in length, and fifty-three and a half yards in width. Just like a football field, yet instead of end-zones, there are goals on each side of the field, soccer nets are perfect. There are five positions, consisting of one goalkeeper, two defenders, four centerfielders, three attackers, and one wanderer. The defenders only play on the defensive half of the field, while the attackers remain on the offensive half. The centers play between the twenty-five yard markers, and the wanderer has the freedom to play anywhere, at any given time, on the field. The game is played with an inflated ball, such as a volleyball, kickball, or soccer ball. There are three ways to score, consisting of throwing the ball into the net for a point, kicking it in for two points, or drop-kicking the ball into the net for three.
I’ve always envisioned shotball as a full-contact, co-ed sport, where tackling is encouraged at all times. However, when the sport is played recreationally, it’s always okay to bend the rules into a non-contact or semi-contact variety. It’s also hard to find twenty-two players, so it’s always cool to play the game with six players (goalkeeper, defender, two centers, attacker, wanderer), seven players (add in a center to the six), eight players (add in an attacker to the seven), nine players (add in a defender to the eight), ten players (add in the fourth center to the nine), and finally, if you can get two teams of eleven, add in the final attacker.
The key is to move the ball upfield, but the catch is the defenders cannot pass into the attacking zone and the attackers cannot cross into the offensive zone. The centers can only go so far into the attacking zone and the defending zone. Only the wanderer can play on any given part of the field. Forward passes are allowed, as long as the attackers, centers, and defenders do not cross into opposing zones. Backward passes are allowed, as are hand-offs, and passes via kicking or drop kicking.
This summer, why not gather some friends, family, peers, and everyone you can think of, find some soccer nets, and play a new game that may one day become the next big thing. The sport of shotball debuts in my extended-length, fantasy, action and adventure novel, Once: The Lost Book of Cain. And no, there are no allegories behind it! Okay, maybe just one. Yeah, anyone who knows me well will quickly find out exactly where I’m going with this. And no, it’s not about…you know what, just read the book when I find a suitable publisher for the book. Thank you all and have a nice day.