Bearsketball

Rules

  • Teams are 5-13 animals per team and must be evenly matched in size, though not in makeup. Larger games are possible but are devilishly hard to arrange.
  • Participants are categorized as "fliers", "controllers/small ground", or "attackers/large ground". Team captains may take any position.
  • Each team must have one captain, who is not an animal but a human shape-changed into an animal. Druids with wild shape or wizards with polymorph or similar are common captains.
  • Team captains may change shape during the course of the game unless otherwise negotiated.
  • Teams must have at least one attacker.
  • Teams must have at least one flier.
  • Each "ball" (rock) must weigh at least 20 lb and must be bright enough to stand out against the pitch.
  • The teams must provide one goal (bucket) per rock on the field, clearly marked with the team color (generally red and blue are used, though others can be used if agreed to).
  • Participants must wear their colors plainly; removal is a minor penalty.
  • The pitch must measure at least 100' by 100', but it does not have to be square; larger pitches are recommended for games with larger numbers of goals.
  • The pitch must be prepared before the game - the ritual ward causes all damage dealt on the pitch during the game to be nonlethal. It also allows the referees to enforce penalties and remove downed players from the pitch.
  • A point is scored by placing a ball into one of the goals. Once a ball is in a goal, it must remain in that goal; both the ball and the goal are removed from active play. The winner is the first team to score the majority of the points available on the field, though other win/lose conditions can be negotiated as well (e.g., certain number of participants removed from play).
  • Any participant may pick up and move one of either team's goals to anywhere on the field, but the goal cannot be held for longer than it takes to move it to the new location (or 10 seconds, whichever is shorter). Excessive movement of a goal results in a minor penalty.
  • Goaltending (blocking or moving a goal when the ball is within 5' of that goal) is not allowed and results in a minor penalty.
  • Only attackers may move the ball. Captains, if taking the attacker position, may defend the ball but may not move the ball forward; they cannot score and can only defend the ball and hand it off to another attacker on their team.
  • Striking, biting, and so on are all legal on a prepared pitch.
  • Team coaches (i.e., the rangers, druids, wizards, etc. whose animals are playing) are not allowed on the field and must remain within the coaches' box for their team. The coaches' box for each team must be located within 5' of the pitch proper, and each team's coaches' box must be the same distance from the field.
  • Coaches and captains are generally allowed to cast any self- or ally-affecting spells they wish. Spells cast against opponents are not allowed. Specific spell limits may be set on a per-game basis. Common spell limits include simple spell whitelists, limits to number of spells cast per coach, or maximum level of spells allowed.
  • Goals may be placed anywhere within the pitch (including in trees or other obstacles) but may not be removed from the pitch. Removal of a goal is a minor penalty.
  • Goals must remain upright. Upending of a goal is a minor penalty.
  • Goals must be built so as to remain upright even when jostled.
  • Goals must have handles for fliers to grab that do not interfere with goal-scoring.
  • Penalties are enforced by hold animal for a time period determined by the severity of the penalty.
  • Intentional infractions are penalized one to three steps higher than they normally would be. Intentional egregious penalties result in immediate removal of the offending play from the pitch as if the player were otherwise removed from play via knockout or disablement.

A basic pitch and starting positions looks like this:

bearsketball_pitch.jpg

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