Watching the London Olympics this week; I’ve noticed a great many sports that are combinations of other sports (such as the glory that is the insane combination of hockey and basketball known as handball); or collections of seemingly unrelated events (like the modern pentathlon: horseback riding, running, shooting, epee fencing, and swimming). So in the Olympic spirit I present you with the official rules of Thom Ball!
Location: Thom Ball is to be played only in one of our nation’s many abandoned XFL fields. Regulation size should be 50 yards long, 20 yards wide, and with no sidelines. The uprights are to have a net placed between the crossbars; taught enough to launch the ball back into play.
Players: Each team will be comprised of a 3 or 5 man team wherein any player at any time can run, throw, or kick the ball. There are no mandatory safety regulations; players may whatever they want, so long as the players team can easily be identified. Eg-if a player feels a suit of armor would be advantage they may wear one; whereas another player may choose to go nude should they choose, just so long as they had a tattoo or similar marking to tell what team they belonged to.
Gameplay: Each game/period opening or end of possession will trigger a scrum at midfield. The winner of the scrum gains possession of the ball and then has 4 downs to reach their endzone.
-Each down is completed only by the successful tackling of the ball carrier or by an incomplete pass. In the event of an incomplete pass, the next down resumes from the location of the thrower.
- There is no such thing as an illegal tackle or penalty; in fact we encourage you to use the terminology ‘take down’.
-As mentioned any player can run, kick, or pass the ball; however if one is going to pass no forward progress may be made prior to passing. Ex. Down starts, player receives a pass and can either continue to run forward or pass to another teammate but not both.
-A pass may be completed to any spectator in the stands from which the ball may be tossed back into play. A player may receive a pass from the crowd only in the endzone; to get the ball that close it is up to the fans to make any additional forward progress. Should the ball never leave the stands or be passed incomplete/not into the endzone play resumes from the location of the player that threw the ball into the stands.
-Run plays may be lateraled with underhand tosses; a play is not considered to be a pass play unless thrown overhand.
-A kick may be made at anytime into the crossbars. An unsuccessful attempt is not a turnover but only a loss of a down. A successful attempt that bounces back into play may be able to be continued for additional scoring possibilities.
Scoring: A run into the endzone is worth 2 points, a pass worth 3, and a kick 1+2(n) [explanation below].
-A kick played off the net adds one to the score on the play and doubles any additional points on the immediate play.
Ex1. Team A kicks the ball into the crossbars, recovers and runs in; they would score 1 for the kick and 2*2 for the run; for a total of 5 points on the play.
Ex2. Team A kicks the ball in; recovers, kicks in again, recovers and runs in: 1 for the kick + 2(1 for the kick + (2(2 for the run)= 11 points
-A kick played off the net and recovered by the other team follows the same rules for scoring but whomever scores the final point on the play receives the entire point total on the play.
Winning the Game: Play resumes in 10 minute periods until one team reaches 100 points. You must win by at least 2 points; and in Olympic or Professional level play, that score must contain at least one score from the stands.
So there you go; Thom ball: a violent assortment of rugby, arena football, ultimate frisby, cage fighting, and a soccer riot.
Stay nerdy my friends!