Title:
Field game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing a field game is disclosed wherein a rectangular field is defined having first and second ends. Goal structures are located on each of the first and second ends, with the goal structure having a lower scoring area and an upper scoring area. A net-goal is scored when the ball passes through the lower scoring area. A field-goal is scored when the ball passes through the upper scoring area. A non-scoring area may be disposed between the lower scoring area and the upper scoring area. A scoring system may be provided wherein the net-goal scores a higher number of points, e.g., seven points, then a field-goal, e.g., three points. The scoring system also accommodates scoring a greater number of points where net-goals or field-goals are kicked a greater distance from the ends.



Inventors:
Hodge, Tracy Gale (Hermosa Beach, CA, US)
Hodge, Josh (Hermosa Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/813764
Publication Date:
09/26/2002
Filing Date:
03/21/2001
Assignee:
HODGE TRACY GALE
HODGE JOSH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00; A63B67/00; (IPC1-7): A63B67/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER,Bruce B. Brunda, Esq. (75 Enterprise, Suite 250, Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method of playing a field game comprising the steps of: a) defining a rectangular field, having first and second opposing end lines; b) placing a goal structure on each of the first and second end lines, the goal structure having a lower scoring area and an upper scoring area; c) scoring a net-goal when a ball passes through the lower scoring area of the goal structure; d) scoring a field-goal when the ball passes through the upper scoring area of the goal structure.

2. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising the steps of starting the game by kicking the ball into play from within the playing area.

3. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising the step of performing a kick-in when the ball travels out of a side-line of the rectangular field.

4. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising the step of performing a goal-kick when the ball travels past an end line, without scoring a net-goal or a field-goal.

5. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising the step of performing a penalty-kick when an infraction occurs within a penalty area proximate the end line.

6. The method as recited in claim 5 further comprising the step of performing a direct-kick when an infraction occurs within the rectangular field outside of the penalty area.

7. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising the step of scoring an extra point immediately after scoring a net-goal, by kicking the ball through the upper scoring area.

8. The method as recited in claim 7 further comprising the step of disallowing extra points when the ball is touched by any player within a goal tending area proximate the goal structure.

9. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising the step of disallowing field-goals when the ball is touched by any player within a goal tending area proximate the goal structure.

10. The method as recited in claim 5 wherein the penalty area extends twenty (20) yards from each opposing end line.

11. The method as recited in claim 8 wherein the goal tending area extends twenty (20) yards from each opposing end line.

12. The method as recited in claim 7 wherein the extra point is kicked from a point twenty (20) yards from the goal structure.

13. The method as recited in claim 1, further comprising the step of negating points when the ball a non-scoring area disposed between the upper and lower scoring areas.

14. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein the step of scoring a net-goal comprises kicking a ball through the lowest scoring area of the goal structure, within a plurality of defined distances from the end line, the scoring value of the net-goal varying in relation to the distance from which the net-goal is kicked.

15. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein the step of scoring field-goal comprises kicking a ball through the upper scoring area of the goal structure, within a plurality of defined distances from the end line, the scoring value of the field-goal varying in relation to the distance from which the field-goal is kicked.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] (Not Applicable)

STATEMENT RE:FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

[0002] (Not Applicable)

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention relates to field games, and more particularly, to field games in which players attempt to kick objects into a goal, or above a goal to score points.

BACKGROUND

[0004] Team sports games are a popular means of exercise and entertainment for many people. Soccer and American-style football are two such games. Soccer is generally regarded as the most popular sport in the world, and makes rigorous demands on the skill and conditioning of the participants. However, soccer has been criticized as not providing sufficient scoring opportunities to suit the appetites of some sports enthusiasts. In order to enhance the interest of those fans, it is desirable to provide a game that not only tests conditioning and skill, but also provides for a rapid and different types of scoring opportunities, as well as different types of plays, e.g., at the initiation of play.

[0005] The present invention is therefore directed to a new type of field game that draws from certain basics of established sports, such as soccer and American football, combined in a unique format to enhance scoring and fan enjoyment beyond the base of fan support for those sports.

[0006] The present invention lends itself to indoor or outdoor play and is scalable as a factor of the available playing area and number of players.

[0007] The invention is designed to keep the participants skill, coordination, agility, speed and body control. The game therefore contributes to the total fitness of individual participants. Moreover, the physical stature is not a determinative participation, as it may be in sports such as American football. Consequently, the game lends itself to players of different size and stature.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] A method of playing a field game is disclosed wherein a rectangular field is defined having first and second ends. Goal structures are located on each of the first and second ends, with the goal structure having a lower scoring area and an upper scoring area. A net-goal is scored when the ball passes through the lower scoring area. A field-goal is scored when the ball passes through the upper scoring area. A non-scoring area may be disposed between the lower scoring area and the upper scoring area. A scoring system may be provided wherein the net-goal scores a higher number of points, e.g., seven points, then a field-goal, e.g., three points.

[0009] In the presently preferred embodiment, a net-goal or a field-goal may be scored from anywhere on the field. However, a field-goal is not valid if any player touches the ball within twenty yards of the opposing ends.

[0010] The goal structure as presently anticipated may be formed as having a lower scoring area defining a soccer-type goal, and an upper scoring area similar to a football goal-post. The non-scoring area may be disposed above the soccer-type goal, and may be implemented as a solid panel adapted to reflect any balls into the non-scoring area.

[0011] The game may be started by kicking the ball into play from within the playing area. A kick-in may also occur when the ball travels out-of-bounds over a side-line. Kick-ins may occur where a ball travels past an end line or a side-line. Goal kicks may occur where a ball travels past an end line without scoring a net-goal or a field-goal.

[0012] Scoring may further occur, immediately after a net-goal, by kicking the ball through the upper scoring area. Such scoring, referred to as an extra point, may be limited to a single extra point.

[0013] Extra points and field-goals may be disallowed where the ball is touched by any player within a goal tending area proximate the goal structure, e.g., twenty yards from the ends line. The same twenty yard area may be utilized to define a penalty area, giving rise to penalty kicks, and define a location from which a penalty kick and extra points may be kicked.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] These, as well as other features of the present invention, will become more apparent upon reference to the drawings wherein:

[0015] FIG. 1 shows the playing field layout utilizing the goal of FIG. 2;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a front view of the goal used in the field game of the present invention; and

[0017] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a conventional soccer goal-post joinable to a conventional football field goal-post to implement a present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] As noted above, the present invention is directed to a field game having certain commonalities with traditional sports such as soccer and American football. As such, the game is likely to have some familiarity to participants of those sports, though the distinctions represent substantial departures from traditional rules of those games.

[0019] Set forth below are details respecting the physical arrangement and rules of play of a field game in accordance with the present invention. The field arrangement and rules may be scaled or modified in accordance with a particular playing area or other limitations without departing from the features respecting matters such as the areas of play and the techniques for scoring. Accordingly, it is understood that the detailed rules set forth below are exemplary in nature and not intended to limit the broader aspects of the present invention.

[0020] In the preferred embodiment the game is played on a field 11, shown at FIG. 1, eighty (80) yards long by a forty (40) or fifty (50) yards wide. Two teams, which may be eight players per team, compete to outscore each other during a period of regulation playing time, which may be eighty (80) minutes. Overtime and sudden-death playing time is provided where the game ends in tie point score after regulation playing.

[0021] The structure outlining the goal scoring area is called a goal-post 13, shown in more detail at FIG. 2. Teams defend a goal-post and attack the opposing teams goal-post through competitive pursuit of a ball, which may be a leather ball approximately the size of a soccer ball. Placing the ball through the opponent's goal-post scores points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. A referee is positioned on or near the sides of the field to ensure that game rules are followed and, when necessary, to award penalties for game rule infractions.

[0022] Goal-posts are positioned at the center of the opposing, shorter ends 15, 17 of the field 11. The boundary lines that contain the goal-posts are called goalpost lines 19. The longer boundary lines of the field are called side-lines. The field of play is the area inside the side-lines 21 and goal-post lines 19. In addition, markings designating the side-lines and goal-post lines, e.g. flags may be provided at the corners of the field, and both goal-posts are part of the playing field. A one yard area around the perimeter of the field may be reserved for use by referees and players engaged in the game.

[0023] The playing field may be marked by increments, e.g. one yard increments between goal-post lines. Periodically, a line is drawn across the entire field, e.g. every ten yards. In the presently preferred embodiment, the goal-post line is marked with a “10”. The next ten yard increment towards the center of the field from each goal-post line is marked with a “20”. The next ten yard increment towards the center of the field from each goalpost line is marked with a “30”. The next ten yard increment towards the center of the field from each goalpost line is a “40”. The next ten yard increment towards the center of the field from each goal-post line is the center of the field, and marked with a “50”.

[0024] In the presently preferred embodiment, the thirty (30) yard line is called a field-goal line 23. The twenty (20) yard area between each thirty (30) yard line and the nearest goal-post line is called the penalty area, or goaltending area 25.

[0025] The half of the field with the goal-post that a team is defending, i.e. attempting to keep its opponent from placing the ball through that side's goal-post, is called that teams defensive side of the field or “its side of the field”. For example, the twenty (20) yard line on a team's defensive side of the field is referred to as that team's twenty (20) yard line or “its twenty yard line”. The half of the field with the goal-post that a team is attempting to place a ball through to score is called that team's offensive side of the field. Therefore, one team's offensive side of the field is the other team's defensive side of the field.

[0026] Opposing side-lines will be used by each team for coaching, reserve players, substitutions and team huddles. One team is typically designated as the home team. The other team is designated as the away team. The home team may choose the side-line that it desires. The away team uses the other side-line. The home team may also choose the goal-post it will defend to begin the game. The other team defends the opposite goal-post. Alternatively, a coin toss can be used to determine initial team positioning. Teams switch direction at the onset of each subsequent game segment, i.e. each quarter, overtime and sudden death, and defend the goal-post they were attacking in the previous segment.

[0027] A rectangular area 27, approximately forty (40) yards long and five (5) yards wide, located between opposing thirty (30) yard lines may be reserved for team use. Substitute players, coaches and other team personnel typically remain in this reserved area while the ball is in play. That rectangular area, the team area, may be spaced from the playing field by one (1) yard.

[0028] As presently contemplated each team is permitted eight (8) players on the field during regulation play, seven (7) during overtime play and six (6) during sudden death play. The total roster of any team cannot exceed a predetermined amount, such as twenty-five (25) players. A team unable to field a minimum number of players at the onset of a game, e.g. five (5) players, forfeits the game.

[0029] As presently contemplated players are permitted to be any place on the field while the game is in progress and are permitted to make contact with the ball with any part of their bodies except with their hands and arms. One player on each team, called a goalkeeper, is permitted to touch the ball with any part of his/her body, including his/her arms and hands, within twenty (20) yards of his/her goal-post line, i.e. in the goal tending area. A goalkeeper more than twenty (20) yards from his/her goalpost line is subject to the same rules as all other players. All players on the team must wear identical colored or patterned jerseys and shorts. The goalkeeper wears a jersey that contrasts to his/her team's jersey. Goalkeepers are permitted to wear gloves and full length athletic apparel. Away teams are required to wear jerseys that contrast to the home team. All cleats must be plastic. Toe cleats are not permitted. All players must wear shin guards. A round leather surface ball that is widely used in kick-oriented games may be used. A referee is permitted to inspect all players' apparel and equipment before, during and after a game and may disqualify the use of any item at his/her discretion.

[0030] As presently contemplated there are two types of scores, a net-goal and a field-goal. A net-goal can be scored at any time during a game from any place on the field. A field-goal can be scored at any time during a game from any place on the field that is twenty (20) yards or further from a team's offensive goal-post line. A field-goal is not valid if any player touches the ball within twenty (20) yards of the goal-post line.

[0031] A goal-post 13, as presently contemplated and shown at FIG. 2, has three (3) areas. Area 31 is twenty-four (24) feet wide and eight (8) feet high. Area 33 is twenty-four (24) feet wide and two (2) feet high, and directly above Area 31. Area 33 may be a solid, non-scoring flat panel, which a ball cannot pass through. Area 35 is centered directly above Area 33. Area 35 is eighteen to twenty-four (18-24) feet wide, and limitless in height. Five foot or taller uprights are mounted directly on top of Area 33 to mark the vertical limitless boundaries of Area 35.

[0032] A ball that travels on the ground or in the air completely over the goal-post line at the base of Area A results in a net-goal for the team not defending that goalpost. A net-goal is worth some number of points, e.g. seven (7) points. A ball moving completely through Area 31 that conforms to distance requirements is a field-goal for a team not defending that goal-post. If a ball exceeds the height of the vertical uprights of Area 35, the whole ball must appear to pass completely inside of an imaginary boundary extending above the vertical uprights of Area 35 to be considered a valid field-goal. A field-goal is worth some other number of points, e.g. three (3) points.

[0033] A head referee can position himself/herself on or near the field to ensure that game rules are followed. A referee can penalize players and teams at his/her sole discretion. A referee makes all game and field decisions and is the final authority for interpretation and application of game rules. More than one referee can officiate a game if one referee is designated as the head referee. A head referee is the final authority if officiating conflicts arise.

[0034] Regulation playing time is broken into two halves of forty (40) minutes, separated by a ten (10) minute halftime period. Each half is broken into two twenty (20) minute quarters, separated by a five (5) minute stoppage of play. Thus, regulation play consists of four, twenty (20) minute quarters.

[0035] If each team has the same point score at the end of the fourth quarter, regulation play is followed by a ten (10) minute overtime period. The overtime period of play begins five minutes after the end of regulation play. The number of players on the field from each team is reduced at the onset of the overtime period.

[0036] If each team has the same point score at the end of the overtime period, overtime play is followed by sudden-death playing time. Sudden-death play begins five minutes after the end of the overtime period and ends with a score by either team. The number of players on the field from each team is reduced at the onset of sudden-death playing time.

[0037] A game clock can be installed for spectator viewing enhancement; however, official time is kept on the field with the referee. A referee's official time may take into account time during which the game could not be played, for example:

[0038] 1) to remove an injured player from the field,

[0039] 2) for a time-out called during regulation play,

[0040] 3) an interruption that is preventing the resumption of play, and

[0041] 4) excessive use of game time by either team during a stoppage of play.

[0042] A referee keeps track of the time remaining in each quarter and, if required, in the overtime period. Expiration of time on a referee's clock designates the end of a quarter or overtime period. A clock does not control the end of sudden-death playing time. Any score ends sudden-death play.

[0043] A segment of play cannot end with an un-enforced penalty. If a referee calls an infraction before the end of a quarter or overtime period, playing time is extended to accommodate the execution of the penalty assessed for the infraction.

[0044] A quarter or overtime period that is extended for the above reason ends immediately when two players from the non-penalized team make contact with the ball. Play is again extended if the penalized team commits another infraction before two players from the non-penalized team make contact with the ball.

[0045] A time-out permits a team to stop play for one minute without sacrificing regulation game time. Each team is permitted two time-outs per game, which can be requested by any player on the field to a referee. Time-outs are granted after a goal is scored or the ball is ruled out-of-bounds. After a time-out, play resumes with the kick that would have been performed prior to the time-out.

[0046] No time-outs are permitted during overtime or sudden-death playing time.

[0047] Play stops for one of the following events:

[0048] 1) a goal,

[0049] 2) expiration of playing time for a quarter or overtime period,

[0050] 3) a goal during sudden-death playing time,

[0051] 4) a referee's signal that the ball is out-of-bounds,

[0052] 5) a referee's signal that a player or team committed a foul, or

[0053] 6) a referee's signal to stop play.

[0054] A ball that travels on the ground or in the air completely over a boundary line is considered out-of-bounds. Conversely, a ball that is within all boundary lines (on the ground or in the air) or partially over a boundary line (on the ground or in the air) is considered in-bounds.

[0055] Play is stopped when a ball travels out-of-bounds. The ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the team that did not last touch the ball before it traveled out-of-bounds.

[0056] A player can touch the ball while making contact with the ground outside of the field. A player in the air and outside of the playing field can make contact with the ball. The position of the ball determines if the ball is out-of-bounds, not the position of a player.

[0057] Goal-posts are part of the field of play. A ball that makes contact with a goal-post is available to all players as long as it remains in the field of play after it makes contact with a goal-post.

[0058] Rules governing scoring supercede out-of-bounds rules.

[0059] A kick-off begins a game, quarter, overtime period, and sudden-death playing time. The home team performs a kick-off to start the first and third quarters, and overtime period, if required. The away team performs a kick-off to start the second and fourth quarters, and sudden death, if required. Alternatively, a coin toss can be used to determine the initial kick-off team. A kickoff also resumes a game after a team has scored. The scoring team performs a kick-off to resume play.

[0060] The team performing a kick-off positions its players on its defensive side of the field between its goal-post line and its thirty (30) yard line. The opposing team positions itself on its defensive side of the field. No player from either team can be in the area between the thirty (30) yard line from which the kick-off is performed and the fifty (50) yard line. A kick-off is re-kicked if any player is in the above referenced area. Once a kickoff is performed, all players can move to any part of the field.

[0061] To perform a kick-off, the kicking team places the ball at any point along its thirty (30) yard line and kicks the ball in any forward direction. There is no minimum distance that the ball must travel for the kickoff to be valid.

[0062] If the team performing a kick-off kicks the ball through its opponent's goal-post, it is awarded the appropriate goal and point score. If the team performing a kick-off kicks the ball out-of-bounds, the ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the opposing team.

[0063] If the ball travels out-of-bounds over a sideline, play is stopped and the ball is awarded to the team that did not last touch the ball. The team to which the ball is awarded is permitted a kick-in at the point over which the ball is ruled out-of-bounds.

[0064] The opposing team stands at least ten (10) yards away from the ball. Once a kick-in is performed, all players can move to any part of the field.

[0065] To perform a kick-in, the ball is placed at the out-of-bounds point and kicked onto the field. The ball can be kicked in any direction. There is no minimum distance that the ball must travel for the kick-in to be valid.

[0066] If the team performing a kick-in kicks the ball through it's opponents goal-post, it is awarded the appropriate goal and point score. A field-goal, however, is only valid if the kick-in is performed from at least twenty (20) yards away from the goal-post line.

[0067] If the team performing a kick-in kicks the ball out-of-bounds, the ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the opposing team.

[0068] If the ball travels out-of-bounds over a goalpost line (without scoring a net-goal or valid field-goal) and is last touched by an offensive player, play is stopped and the ball is awarded to the defensive team. The team to which the ball is awarded is permitted a goal-kick.

[0069] Players from the team performing the goal-kick can be on any part of the field. The opposing team stands between its goal-post line and its offensive thirty (30) yard line. Once a goal-kick is performed, all players can move to any part of the field.

[0070] To perform a goal-kick, the ball is placed at any point on the 20-yard line and kicked in any forward direction. There is no minimum distance that the ball must travel for the goal-kick to be valid.

[0071] If the team performing a goal-kick kicks the ball through its opponent's goal-post, it is awarded the appropriate goal and point score. If the team performing a goal-kick kicks the ball out-of-bounds, the ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the opposing team.

[0072] After a stoppage of play unforseen by the rules, play is resumed through a goal-kick. The team defending the goal-post nearest to the ball at the time play is stopped performs the goal-kick.

[0073] If the ball travels out-of-bounds over a goalpost line (without scoring a net-goal or valid field-goal) and is last touched by a defensive player, play is stopped and the ball is awarded to the offensive team. The team to which the ball is awarded is permitted a corner-kick.

[0074] The opposing team stands at least ten (10) yards away from the spot the ball is kicked. Once a corner-kick is performed, all players can move to any part of the field.

[0075] To perform a corner-kick, the ball is placed at the corner of the field nearest to the out-of-bounds point and kicked in any direction. There is no minimum distance that the ball must travel for the corner-kick to be valid.

[0076] If the team performing a corner-kick kicks the ball through its opponent's goal-post, it is awarded the appropriate goal and point score. Only net-goals can be scored from corner-kicks.

[0077] If the team performing a corner-kick kicks the ball out-of-bounds, the ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the opposing team.

[0078] There are three types of infractions for which players, coaches, or other team personnel on or near the field can be penalized:

[0079] 1) unnecessary physical contact,

[0080] 2) undesirable verbal or physical conduct, and

[0081] 3) touching the ball with hands or arms.

[0082] All penalties are called at the complete discretion of any referee. The guideline for unnecessary physical contact is safety for other athletes. The guideline for undesirable verbal or physical conduct is respect for others and the game. The guideline for touching the ball with hands or arms is intent.

[0083] Individual conduct results in infractions. Therefore, infractions can be called on players not engaged with the ball and on individuals not on the field. All infractions on or off the field called by a referee result in a stoppage of play. The penalty for an infraction is loss of possession of the ball and the award of a direct-kick or a penalty-kick at the point of the infraction to the team not committing the infraction.

[0084] Infractions occurring off the field and attributable to a team result in a direct-kick for the team not committing the infraction at the point on a side-line nearest to the point of the infraction.

[0085] Ejections are at the complete discretion of any referee. Players committing infractions can be ejected for the remainder of the segment (quarter, overtime period, or sudden-death) of the game in progress or for the remainder of the game. Players ejected for the remainder of a segment can return at the onset of the next quarter, overtime period, or sudden-death playing time. Players ejected for the remainder of the game cannot return for any remaining portion of the game. Teams can substitute for ejected players.

[0086] In addition to ejections for on-field infractions, a referee can eject any individual (including a fan) from the playing area or completely out of the game venue for:

[0087] 1) unnecessary physical contact; or

[0088] 2) undesirable verbal or physical conduct.

[0089] Ejected players may be required to wear color-coded penalty wristbands designating their ineligibility for the remainder of a segment or their ineligibility for the remainder of the game. A player who is eligible to reenter a game must return his/her penalty wristband to the head referee before the onset of the next segment for which he/she is eligible. At the conclusion of the game, all players must return to the head referee any penalty wristbands in their possession.

[0090] If an infraction occurs between the thirty (30) yard lines of the field, a direct-kick is awarded to the team not committing the infraction at the point of the infraction. If an infraction occurs within the penalty area by a team on offense, a direct-kick is awarded to the opposing team at the point of an infraction.

[0091] The penalized team stands at least ten (10) yards away from the ball. Once a direct-kick is performed, all players can move to any part of the field. There is no minimum distance that the ball must travel for the direct kick to be valid.

[0092] To perform a direct-kick, the ball is placed at the point of the infraction and kicked in any direction including directly into the goal scoring area.

[0093] If the team performing a direct-kick kicks the ball through its opponent's goal-post, it is awarded the appropriate goal and point score. A field-goal, however, is only valid if the direct-kick is performed from at least twenty (20) yards away from the goal-post line.

[0094] If the team performing a direct-kick kicks the ball out-of-bounds, the ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the opposing team.

[0095] If an infraction occurs within the penalty area by a team on defense, a penalty-kick is awarded to the opposing team.

[0096] All players, except the goalkeeper and the player attempting the penalty-kick, stand at least twenty yards from the goal-post line of the team defending the penalty-kick. The penalized team's goalkeeper stands on his/her goal-post line approximately at the center of the goalpost. The player attempting the penalty-kick stands between his/her offensive 20-and 30-yard lines. Once the penalty-kick is performed, all players can move to any part of the field.

[0097] To perform a penalty-kick, a referee places the ball on the 20-yard line approximately at the center of the field. Upon a referee's signal to begin, one player from the non-penalized team kicks the ball at the goal-post and attempts to score a net-goal. The player attempting the penalty kick cannot dribble the ball. The goalkeeper can move to block the penalty-kick once the ball is kicked.

[0098] No player can touch the ball after an unsuccessful penalty-kick until the ball makes contact with the goalkeeper defending the penalty-kick or with the goalpost.

[0099] A successful net-goal resulting from a penalty-kick is worth seven (7) points. It is not possible to score a field-goal from a penalty-kick.

[0100] If the player performing a penalty-kick dribbles the ball or kicks the ball out-of-bounds, a goal kick is awarded to the opposing team. If the goalkeeper defending the penalty-kick last touches the ball before it travels out-of-bounds, the ball and appropriate kick are awarded to the opposing team.

[0101] Substitutions occur at each team's side-line. A new player can replace an exiting player as soon as the exiting player steps off the field between the thirty (30) yard lines of his/her team's side-line.

[0102] No substitutions are permitted during the overtime period and sudden-death playing time, except to replace an injured player. If a team is permitted an injury substitution during the overtime period or sudden-death playing time, the opposing team is permitted to make a substitution.

[0103] Wristbands may be used to insure that only the permitted number of players is on the field during each segment of play. If wristbands are used, only players with wristbands are permitted on the field. Thus, exiting players must provide their wristband to entering players.

[0104] An injured player who cannot exit the field between the thirty (3) yard lines of his/her side-line is assisted off the field at the next stoppage of play. Players requiring assistance to leave the field are ineligible to return to the field for the remainder of the game.

[0105] To add a scoring method, an extra point is incorporated into the game. After a net-goal is scored, play is stopped. The scoring team is given an opportunity to score one additional point before executing a kick-off.

[0106] To execute an extra point, the ball is placed at any point on the scoring team's offensive thirty (30) yard line. A player from the scoring team is permitted to kick the ball at his/her opponent's goal-post. All remaining players must stand at least ten (10) yards behind the player kicking the ball.

[0107] Kicking the ball completely through Area 35 of the goal-post results in one (1) point. If a ball exceeds the height of the vertical uprights of Area 35, the whole ball must appear to pass completely inside of an imaginary boundary extending above the vertical uprights of Area 35 to be considered a valid extra point. After an extra point is executed, play resumes with a kick-off by the team that scored the net-goal.

[0108] To place a higher emphasis on a particular method of scoring, different point values are assigned to a net-goal, field-goal and extra point. The point value for a net-goal and/or a field-goal is set between one and ten (1-10), inclusive. The point value of an extra point is set between one and three (1-3), inclusive.

[0109] As an alternative to sudden-death play, a one-on-one tie break procedure is used to break tie scores. One-on-ones begin five minutes after the end of the overtime period. Sudden-death play is eliminated. Overtime play can also be eliminated. If overtime play is eliminated, one-on-ones begin five minutes after the end of regulation play. The home team selects the goal-post to be used for the one-on-ones and the defends the first one-on-one.

[0110] To execute a one-on-one, the ball is placed at the center of the fifty (50) yard line. One team position its shooter behind the ball. The opposing team positions its goalkeeper on the goal-post line in the center of the selected goal-post. All other players must be off the field in the area reserved for teams at the side-lines.

[0111] Upon a signal from the referee, both players can move about the field. The shooter has fifteen seconds to attempt to score a net-goal or a field-goal. The goalkeeper attempts to stop the shooter. A one-on-one concludes when:

[0112] 1) the ball travels out-of-bounds,

[0113] 2) the ball is in the grasp of the goalkeeper,

[0114] 3) a goal is scored,

[0115] 4) fifteen seconds elapse from the moment the ball was put into play, or

[0116] 5) the shooter commits an infraction.

[0117] Teams alternate between shooting and defending a one-on-one. If the game is tied after each team is given five opportunities to score, the above process is repeated. This five-attempt per team pattern continues until a winner is declared.

[0118] Each team is permitted one minute after the completion of a one-on-one to present its shooter or goalkeeper for the next one-on-one. A goalkeeper or shooter cannot enter the field once the signal to begin a one-on-one is given by a referee. Thus, a one-on-one can take place without a shooter or goalkeeper, or without both.

[0119] If the shooter commits an infraction during a one-on-one, the one-on-one concludes and is declared unsuccessful. If the goalkeeper commits an infraction during a one-on-one and the one-on-one is unsuccessful, the shooting team is permitted to repeat the one-on-one with the same shooter. A substitute shooter is permitted if the goalkeeper's infraction injures the original shooter.

[0120] A player can repeat as the shooter on every fifth shooting one-on-one by his/her team. Substitutions for the goalkeeper are permitted but not required between one-on-ones. A one-on-one is not stopped for an injury. The injured player is assisted off the field at the conclusion of the one-on-one.

[0121] All other rules are unchanged. Therefore, the goalkeeper is permitted to touch the ball with any part of his/her body, including his/her arms and hands, within twenty yards of the goal-post line, and a field-goal can be scored from any place on the field that is twenty yards or further from the goal-post line. A field-goal is not valid if the goalkeeper touches the ball within twenty yards of the goal-post line.

[0122] A further enhancement to scoring can be made by awarding a higher point value for a long-distance net-goal. For example, a successful net-goal that is attempted from 20 yards or further from the goal-post line can be counted as one to three times the value of a successful net-goal attempted from closer than 20 yards of the goalpost line.

[0123] The same change can be made to field-goal scoring by awarding a higher point value for a long-distance field-goal. For example, a successful field-goal that is attempted from 40 yards or further from the goal-post line can be counted as one to three times the value of a successful field-goal attempted from closer than 40 yards of the goal-post line.

[0124] FIG. 3 illustrates how a goal in accordance with the present invention may be constructed utilizing a conventional soccer goal-post 41 and a conventional football field-goal-post 43. In order to practice the present invention, the soccer goal-post may be joined to the football field-goal-post to form a combined football/soccer goal-post. The lower scoring area is defined by the soccer goal-post and the upper scoring area is defined by the football field-goal-post uprights. A non-scoring panel 45 may be disposed intermediate the lower surface of the football field goal-post and the upper surface of the soccer goal-post. Alternatively, the non-scoring area may be formed of any desired width and extendable above the lower surface of the football field-goal-post.

[0125] Conventionally, a soccer goal-post is eight feet high, twenty-four feet wide, and ten feet deep. By comparison, a football field-goal-post has a lower surface which is ten feet high, and a width of twenty-three feet 4 inches, i.e., slightly narrower than the width of the soccer goal-post. Moreover, football field-goal-post may be formed of a single base support, as used in professional leagues, or a pair of base supports, as more conventionally utilized in junior or scholastic leagues.

[0126] It is anticipated that in some implementations the invention may be practiced utilizing a football field having existing football field goal-posts, to which soccer goal-posts are engaged. Such engagement may be effected adjacent the front face of the soccer goal-post, or behind the front face of the soccer goal-post. The location of such attachment will, of course, effect the length of the field between soccer goal-posts.

[0127] It is further anticipated that the invention may be implemented utilizing existing Rugby goal-posts, which are conventionally thirty feet high and eighteen feet six inches wide, with a nine foot nine inch crossbar height. As will be apparent to those of ordinary skill, different means of attachment will be suitable for engaging a soccer field-goal to different types of goal-posts. However, the broader aspects of the invention will remain the same, notwithstanding differences in relation to implementation features, such as the wrist width of the upper scoring area.

[0128] A further enhancement of the present invention utilizes electronic sensors to monitor compliance with game rules. Players may wear wrist bands, and the playing area may contain small electronic sensors and/or transmitters to monitor a player's position in relation to various playing areas, to each other, etc.

[0129] Such electronic monitoring would be useful to assist in game officiating. For example, the wrist band/sensors may be utilized to determine the number of players on a field, a goal keeper's eligibility to use his or her own hands, and to determine if defensive players are the required distance from the ball before a direct kick.

[0130] The use of electronic wrist bands could further result in the creation of additional rules, which one or more officials may not be able to efficiently monitor. For example, such sensors may be utilized to limit the number of offensive players within twenty yards of a goal-post line to three, limiting the number of players in a particular part of the field, permitting only the first three players in an area to play in that area, using a player's position to determine point values of goals or eligibility of scoring, and designating penalties for infractions which can limit the area of the field which a penalized player can occupy. Use of such wrist bands/sensors may therefore facilitate the implementation of supplemental rules to enhance the enjoyment and challenge of the present invention.

[0131] An additional use of the wrist bands and field sensors could be in the immediate creation of electronic graphics. For example, a graphic of the field with player positions at the time of a score could be immediately displayed at the stadium, or as part of a television broadcast, or on the internet.

[0132] It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features or rules shown and described, but can be varied within the broader deemed concepts disclosed therein. The particular rules and implementations are therefore intended to be representative only, and not construed in a limiting sense as to the broader aspects of the present invention.