Title:
AERODYNAMIC SPORTS TOY, GAME AND METHOD OF PLAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An aerodynamic sports toy ball, sports goal system, game utilizing both toy and game, and a method of playing such game (with rule book) between opposing teams divided into team zones and including a goal box at each end through which the ball is to be kicked, thrown, flipping laterally or run by one or the other opposing team or two or more players; and wherein the playing surface of the ball is formed of a multi-pointed star-folding to enable the ball to be thrown, caught, flipped laterally, bounced and kicked within the playing field or court through designated goals at either end of the field or court of play, as well as to provide a surface off of which the ball may be bounced as part of the strategy of play, and complete apparatus for such a game provided in the form of a kit.



Inventors:
Schreff, David (Cos Cob, CT, US)
Application Number:
12/503140
Publication Date:
01/20/2011
Filing Date:
07/15/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/598, 273/317
International Classes:
A63B41/00; A63B67/00
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David Schreff (Cos Cob, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sports game to be played by opposing teams of males and females, including a substantially enclosed indoor or outdoor playing surface, bounded on all sides by lines or walls, with a five sided aerodynamic sports toy ball and goalbox of unique constructive design, plus game play method instructions that enable the most forms of scoring of any sports game ever. The game as claimed in claim 1 wherein said ball and goal box are in kit form together with instruction booklet pertaining to method of play and field or court layout according to said invention.

2. A 3 dimensional inflatable ball, comprising: an interior core; Five radiating spokes; a stitched outer cover of durable, resilient material about said core, said cover including a plurality of panels arranged point-to-point and a plurality of filler panels to fill the open spaces defined by adjoining panels, said panels and said filler panels being stitched together; and a valve on said cover for inflating the ball

2. The invention of claim 2 wherein the apexes of adjoining points of said panels are stitched together.



3. The invention of claim 2 wherein said interior core comprises an inflatable bladder which is connected to said cover at said valve.

4. The invention of claim 2 wherein: said bladder is composed of two-ply butyl; said bladder is covered with a nylon thread-wound carcass; and said outer cover is made of leather or rubber which is coated with polyurethane.

5. The invention of claim 2 wherein: At the ends of each of the five radiating spokes, a fibrous foam or depressable mesh material is sewn to form a capstone for each radiating spoke.

6. A goal box, comprising: a base; An outer skeletal structure connected by PVC or other interlocking pipe material A substantially rectangular box-like structuring including an open front end, two side panels and a back panel opposite said open front end a backing with two interior carveouts enclosed by mesh net surface material a side bar construction connected by mesh netting said net member being a one quarter inch synthetic polymer fabric of open mesh construction and the mesh size being approximately two inches square such that the net member weight and degree of resiliency is sufficient to keep a ball in play following impact therewith at any angle, a cross bar having first and second opposite ends; the cross bar including a first member connected to the base and a pair of second members movable relative to the first member; a first upright carried by the cross bar and extending up from the first end of the cross bar; a second upright carried by the cross bar and extending up from the second end of the cross bar

7. A substantially closed playing surface bounded on all sides by an outlined field or court of play, as depicted in FIG. 2 and governed by rules of play as described below.

8. A method of play as described in a detailed rulebook.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of sports toys and games. More particularly, the present invention relates to a sports toy in the form of a ball and goal box, a game bounded by rules, and a method of playing such a game. The aerodynamic properties of the sports toy ball enable it to be flown by use of either a single hand or foot or multiple hands or feet. The game may be played on recreational fields or indoor courts. It may be played by single gender or mixed gender teams.

The inventors recommend that the invention described falls within Class 473, Games Using Tangible Projectile for an aerial projectile per se, to be used for play of a game or sport, which projectile may be aerodynamically supported or retarded. The invention may also fall within Subclass 273 Amusement Devices, aerial projectile to be claimed in combination with at least one other game component.

There are other types of aerodynamic sports toys and games readily apparent to anyone familiar with recreational sites, ranging from ball fields to sport courts to beaches. Toys of this type range from flying disc type units to sports balls of all types, sometimes used in tandem with bats, rackets and kicking tees. Often a goal post made of metal or a form of plasticized or rubberized surface may be utilized.

Typically such aerodynamic sports toys inventions are used by gripping the disc or ball and with either overhand or underhand motion, or in some cases with the use of one or both feet, the ball is launched and projected across a field or court of play.

This causes a spinning and rotational motion and the direction of flight is determined by the angle at which the disc or ball is released as well as the power of the release. Other sports toy and game inventions require incremental bats, mallets, rackets and other elements to increase the force, distance and speed of the ball when put into play.

Such inventions may be played in a purely recreational non-competitive manner, or they may be used in an organized competitive manner governed by fixed rules of play on a pre-designated and outlined playing field or playing court intended for the purpose of organized competition.

While gliding discs and throwing or kicking balls offer a degree of challenge, an aerodynamic sports toy and game that combines elements of throwing, gliding, laterally, flipping, kicking and bouncing off a field or court surface can provide new forms of athletic enjoyment, skill development and play value for children and adults alike. Furthermore, creating a sports toy and game that reduces the number of elements required to implement the game and yet still provides maximum play value and aerobic activity without depending upon high degrees of strength is therefore desirable to the value of sport and play.

Examples of this type of aerodynamic invention include U.S. Pat. No. 4,173839 issued in November 1979 to Kovac, U.S. Pat No. 4,906,007 issued in March 1990 to Mitchell and Peterson, U.S. Pat. No. 6,379,934 B1 issued in May 2004 to Adler, U.S. Pat. No. 4,830,373 issued in May 1989 to Dehnert, U.S. Pat. No. 4,846,749 issued in July 1989 to Petko.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is desirable to improve upon toy gliders, discs and sports and recreation balls to offer increased interest, skill development and play value that exercise more parts of the user's body.

It is also desirable to create sports toy gliders, discs and balls that can be played in both a competitive or purely recreational non-competitive field of play.

It is also desirable to combine in a new shape the aerodynamic qualities of glide path and horizontal flight (flying discs), with the vertical and trajectory power of sports balls, and the bouncing value of certain sports balls (such as footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs) to increase play value.

Further is it desirable to create an aerodynamic sports toy and game that enables the user to effect multiple forms of sports play including throwing, receiving, bouncing, flipping, tossing, and kicking with nothing more than the parts of the body including the hands and feet, and without the need for incremental bats, mallets, rackets and the like.

It is also desirable to create an aerodynamic sports toy and game that unlike most other sports can be played safely and skillfully on a dual gender co-ed male/female basis, without the risk of collision or safety concerns due to different weight or skill classes that render most sports single gender.

It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide a novel and unique sports toy ball and game structured to improve upon both flying disc type aerodynamic inventions and ball-shaped aerodynamic inventions by creating a modified star shaped and multi pointed invention that enables the user to accomplish greater usage and play value, through the combination of throwing, passing, receiving, flipping, bouncing and kicking such unit in a recreational or competitive environment. In doing so, the invention enables a higher degree of play value for children and adults alike, while affording such children and adults a method of playing a unique sports game on a co-educational basis, and in numerous indoor and outdoor sports environments, at affordable cost for private citizens, schools, community sports centers and other sports/play environments. A further object of this invention is to create a method of play value that builds into its very rules spectator participation that has a direct effect upon the game outcome of said game utilizing said ball and other components of said game.

DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the sports ball design of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the playing field (or court) design of the present invention to be used in conjunction as shown in FIG. 1 and indicates goals, in-bound entrances, positioning of the goal lines and the goal stanchions.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the goal box and stanchions used in our invention as seen from the back end.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, the aerodynamic sports ball (in FIG. 1) is

    • A 5 point star-shaped ball, comprising
      • an interior core;
      • An exterior core
      • A stitched outer cover of durable, resilient material about said core, said cover including a plurality of panels arranged point-to-point and a plurality of filler panels to fill the open spaces defined by adjoining panels, said panels and said filler panels being stitched together; and
      • a valve on said cover for inflating the ball;
      • said interior core bladder is composed of two-ply butyl or similar material;
      • said interior core bladder bladder is covered with a nylon thread-wound carcass; and
      • said outer cover is made of leather or rubber which is coated with polyurethane or other protective materials for indoor and outdoor play

The sports toy ball used in the game of the present invention is preferably of soccer ball, volleyball, basketball or football quality construction, measuring 11 inches from one radiating spoke to another, and weighing approximately 14-15 ounces when inflated. The ball may be manufactured of pebbled leather or pebbled rubber composition material used in said balls above. Ball will be inflated through butyl bladder sewed within the center and radiating spokes. To reduce injury when each ball is thrown, kicked or received, each radiating spoke is built with rounded construction, with a soft cushioned rubber or foam material stitched onto the end of each radiating spoke and said spoke depresses upon contact or gripping with a hand or when in contact with a foot. In the preferred embodiment, a junior child version (underage 12), the ball will be 9 inches from one starpoint to another and will weigh approximately 9 ounces.

    • The Sports Game field of play (which may be implemented oil an indoor or outdoor basis) in FIG. 2 comprises:
    • A playing surface that is generally rectangular and is bounded on all sides by a demarcation line. Within the playing area are located two endzones 1. beyond the goal stanchions and goal boxes 2. The goal line is laid out at each end transverse and preferably 20-30 feet from each end. Each goal box 2 is placed on the goal line facing the field. There are six entrances also known as in-bound “entrance” areas 3 that enable a ball that has been rendered out of bounds to be in-bounded at the entrance closest to the area where the ball crossed the lines. Field (or court) line markings are placed at the quarter and half marks of the field or court 4. In the preferred embodiment using a traditional 100 yard football field, such line markings will be placed at the 25 yard line and the 50 yard line. A center design, outlined in chalk (exterior field) or tape (interior court) approximates the shape of the star shaped ball toy. It is used for starting play at the beginning of each quarter of a competitive game, and also for re-starting the ball in the event of a new half of play.
    • The Sports Goal Box (which may be built for either indoor or outdoor play) in FIG. 3 comprises:
    • An implanted or portable composition safety stanchion with two composition rubber vertical posts 3. A weighted rectangular base unit 1 is made of poles and backing materials. The base unit made of interlocking polypropylene (or other rigid plastic) poles, is fortified with a wooden, metal or plastic backing material 2 spanning the surface of the goal box and enabling a see-through mesh aperture of approximately 3 feet wide by 1.5 feet high to be clearly identified in two zones equally spaced from the corner of such backing materials. A nylon mesh net with approximately 2 inch square mesh is secured to the poles and to the backing unit on each side 4. It is not necessary that the base portion be secured to the playing surface when constructed for either indoor or outdoor play. A recovery chute 5 traps the ball that has been placed into either of the 2 mesh apertures 2 during play.
    • It is expected that the ball, goal box, poles and backing units can be provided in the form of a ready-to-purchase kit, with a rules book and instruction manual for establishing recreational and competitive leagues.

Basic Rules of the Game (and Method of Use of Aerodynamic Ball, Goal and Game System)

Basic detailed rules of the game are as set forth below. Those experienced in formal league play in other sports will understand the necessity for a more comprehensive set of rules and these have been developed by the inventors, as set forth below.

The inventors have created the first sport to require co-educational play (with a unisex option), and the first sport to require group spectator participation that affects the game outcome.

Working in association with the sporting goods industry, this sport is designed to respond to the epidemic problems of obesity and sedentary lifestyle among both children and adults, particularly in the USA. The game promotes physical fitness by exercising all major muscle groups in a competitive and cooperative team sports environment, and thereby battles the widespread problem of “couch potato kids and adults.”

As a fully developed sport, the inventors assert that the ball and game combines speed, agility and strategy, and requires multiple “generalist” skills and body conditioning, unlike many existing sports that tend to require overdevelopment of one muscle group to succeed (such as arms/hands in baseball, or legs/feet in soccer).

The inventors have created a versatile sport, suited to the many urban, suburban and rural environments in which it may be played by youth and adults. The game may be played indoors or outdoors, on fields or on courts. Players may use both hands and both feet to move the ball. Also the inventors have created the first sport to have a multiple goal opportunity, and to have two goalkeepers (a goalie team), which enables both individual excellence and team play on many levels.

Object of the Game

In each game, two teams compete to put a 5 point star-shaped ball into their opponent's goal. Each team must move the ball down the field (or court) and scores in one of several ways: by running the ball over the opponent's goal line; by passing the ball in the end zone, by kicking the ball between the goal posts, or by “flipping” (through a lateral throw) the ball through one of two different narrow apertures (openings) in the opponent's Goal Box. Each team tries to prevent the opposing team from scoring in these multiple ways by (A) blocking a player's path, (B) intercepting the ball, or (C) through 2 goal keepers supported by a defensive team, tagging a player prior to a score. The team that scores the most points when regulation time expires wins the game.

Playing Field (or Court)

The regulation field (outdoor) measures 120 yards long by 50 yards wide, and is designed to fit within the format of existing outdoor recreational facilities used for soccer and football, as well as college and professional venues. A regulation indoor format enables play on regulation basketball courts (94 feet long by 50 feet wide).

The end lines are boundaries at each end of the field (or court) and are marked with tape or chalk or paint.

The sidelines are boundaries on each long side of the field, and are marked with tape or chalk or paint.

The goal lines are 100 yards apart, 10 yards from the end lines, and are marked with tape or chalk or paint.

The end zones are 10 yards deep, bounded by end lines, sidelines and goal lines.

The “run-in goal line” occupies a space demarcated by “hash marks” (chalked lines. It is measured with a mark 50 feet (16.67 yards) from each sideline. The “run-in” goal measures 50 feet across, and thereby occupies about one-third of the width of the field within the end zone.

The “in-bound box” (also used following a penalty) is a one yard long “star”, placed at the 12.5 yard line and 37.5 yard line on each side of the field, measured from each team's goal line.

The inventors have purposely designed the ball, field and game to fit within the field (outdoor) or court (indoor) profiles of existing sports recreation facilities, to foster greater participation.

Comparative Playing Fields and Court Sizes

    • Field Hockey: 100 yards long by 60 yards wide
    • Football: 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide
    • Flag Football: 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide
    • Lacrosse: 110 yards long by 60 yards wide
    • Rugby: 110 yards long by 75 yards wide
    • Soccer: 110-130 yards long by 50-100 yards wide

Equipment

The ball is a rounded, 3 dimensional “star” with an inflated center rubber bladder surrounded by 5 inflated, soft-tipped radiating spokes, made of pebbled leather or pebbled rubber composition material. To reduce injury while being thrown, each starpoint is rounded, with a soft cushioned rubber or foam material that depresses upon contact. The regulation adult ball is approximately 11 inches from one end of a starpoint to the starpoint on the opposite side. Each ball weighs approximately 14-15 ounces. For youth play under age 12, the regulation ball is approximately 9 inches from starpoint tip to starpoint tip, and weighs approximately 9 ounces.

The Goal System known as a goal box consists of an implanted (or portable) composition safety stanchion with two composition rubber posts; a rectangular box of approximate 20 feet wide PVC piping construction, by 3 feet deep, containing two separate 1 yard wide by 0.5 yard high aperture/opening (through which a ball may be flipped or tossed through the air from no less than 3 yards away from the goal line, and a “recovery chute and back opening panel” through which a ball may be retrieved following the scoring of a goal. Also attached to the stanchions are a pair of flared vertical rubber composition uprights, known as starposts, which are placed 10 feet apart at the top ends, and through which a ball may be kicked from no less than 3 yards away at the goal line.

A scoreboard, game clock, 30 second shot clock and possession indicator are also used.

Player and Referee Uniforms

Each player wears a jersey with a number printed on front and back, elasticized waist shorts with a pull string tucked in with shorts material covering the thighs, shin guards with Velcro® backs, a plastic mouth guard, and a specialized “soft helmet” head guard with protective strap and plastic eyewear and ear padding required. Hard plastic helmets and other rigid protective garments are prohibited.

Each referee must wear a jersey with a number printed on front and back, elasticized waist short, shin guards, and a specialized soft helmet head guard with protective strap and plastic eyewear and ear padding required.

Player Positions and General Rules of Play

Each team consists of 10 players, consisting of 4 “forwards”, 4 “backs” and 2 “goalkeepers” (also known as goalies). Preferred embodiment requires that half of the players for each position are male, and the other half are female. However, since the inventors recognize that player availability in each town or league may vary, and changes are allowed.

All players may handle the ball at any time, on any side of the field (or court), with the exception of the goalkeepers who may only handle the ball within their designated area (See Goalkeepers).

The four forwards are usually stronger and larger. The four backs are generally smaller and faster. The two goalkeepers are expected to be fast, and have excellent hand/eye coordination and running speed.

Any player who has the ball can advance the ball by running with it, passing it in an overhand or underhand manner, kicking it forward, or by flipping it laterally (as with a flying disc), or by bouncing it on the ground (or court surface) using the momentum of the starpoints. Ball movement may be either forward or backward or sideways, enabling the maximum number of combinations of ball movement.

The ball is always in play, unless the referee calls a timeout, or if there is an injury on the field, or if a coach calls a timeout, (which can occur at any time except when the opponent team has possession of the ball within the 5 yard line of its opponent, or if the ball goes out of bounds of the sidelines.

Any player may block another player from getting to the ball, but may not touch, trip, or body block the player unless the player has the ball in his/her possession. Infractions will result in a personal foul and the referee will award possession of the ball to the opponent at the place of the foul.

If a player blocks a Goalkeeper within the inbound box area (see below) from protecting his/her goal, then a penalty is called, and the opponent's team is awarded possession of the ball.

Goalkeepers (Goalies)

The two goalkeepers guard the area from the goal line to the second “inbound box” situated at the 37.5 yard line of their own team. In actual game play, it is expected that the goalkeepers will defend the area from the goal line to the first in-bound box located at the 12.5 yard line.

There is no minimum spacing that the 2 goalkeepers must maintain between one another, but they must work together to defend the full 50 foot (16.67 yard) width of the run-in goal area plus the Goal System.

As described earlier, the sports game is a sport designed to have the minimum number of time stoppages for players, thereby building up cardiovascular conditioning and providing an exciting, energetic game experience.

Game Length

Game play consists of 4 quarters of 12 minutes per quarter. After the second quarter ends, a 12 minute half-time intermission divides the halves. After the half-time, teams change ends of the field and play resumes for the second half.

The game clock stops only with the blowing of a referee's whistle, which shall occur when a ball is out of bounds, an injury occurs on the field, after a score is made, or at the end of each quarter.

Player Substitutions

Players may be replaced whenever the game is stopped by a referee blowing his/her whistle, or when a period ends, or after a goal is scored.

Any player may exchange positions with the goalkeeper at any point during the game when a whistle is blown to stop play.

When a player is injured during play, an official's timeout is called; play stops, game clock stops, and all players are required to kneel until medical attention can be applied to the player. Replacement players may come onto the field and take over at the spot where the injured player fell.

Timeouts

Each team is allotted 3 timeouts per half, not to exceed 90 seconds per timeout. The referee will signal for play to begin after 60 seconds, and both teams must be in position within the next 30 seconds.

The referee calls an automatic timeout:

    • After any score or goal shot that goes out of bounds
    • At the end of a play following a penalty
    • On a change of possession
    • When the ball or ball controller goes out of bounds
    • At the end of a 12-minute quarter period, at which point each team has one minute to switch goals to defend

Scoring

Scoring may occur in 4 ways to promote maximum individual skill levels in addition to maximizing team and coaching strategies:

    • 1 point when a player RUNS the ball over the goal line.
    • 2 points when a player CATCHES a ball thrown to him or her over the “run-in goal line”
    • 3 points when a player KICKS the ball between the stanchions of the Goal Box
    • 5 points when a player FLIPS the ball through the aperture on the Goal Box System from not less than 3 yards away (meaning in front of the goal line)

Modification of Rules

Providing that the basic principles and rules of the aerodynamic sports game are followed, modifications are permitted for players under age 16 and players over age 30. Acceptable modifications may include the following:

    • Size of the field (or court) for play may be modified so long as it is proportional to the regulation field (or court).
    • Size, weight and material composition of the ball may be changed to accommodate smaller hands
    • Width between Goal Box or goal stanchions may be modified proportionately to the regular field (or court)
    • Length of each period may be modified to less than 12 minutes per quarter if available time is limited, though each quarter should still be of the same reduced length
    • Number of player substitutions may be modified from unlimited, to limited if 2 teams have uneven player rosters

Start of Play Procedure

A standard coin (quarter, fifty cent piece or silver dollar) is flipped into the air to see which team takes initial possession of the ball for the first half. The opposite team takes initial possession of the ball in the second half. One player captain from each team stands at the center of the center star (design element) at mid-field. Two backs from each team line up at the starpoints of the center star. All other players may space themselves anywhere from the sideline to the goal that they are defending, based on coaching direction and strategy.

The referee blows a whistle to start each half. The team who has won the coin toss takes initial possession must throw, kick or flip the ball behind mid-field to another player on his/her team to initiate play.

At that point, the ball may be advanced. The opponent team may not cross its mid-field line until the first team touches the ball after the initial throw/kick/flip.

Once the ball is released from the center star player's hands, the clock begins its countdown and the ball is considered “live” and “in-play.” Players may then move the ball by running, kicking, throwing or flipping down the field. If during play, a ball goes out of bounds (any part of the ball touches the sideline), or if a player steps out of bounds (including touching any part of the sideline with any part of a shoe or other body part) then possession changes immediately to the other team. The game clock doesn't stop unless the referee blows the whistle to stop play. If a player has the ball but does not “control” (for at least 2 seconds) at the time he/she steps out of bounds, then possession changes to the other team.

Run/Step Limit

Any player (except the goalkeepers) may move the ball forward, backward or laterally (sideways) and may move up field no more than 20 yards before that player must run, pass, kick or flip the ball to another player on his/her team. The player may hold the ball in front of him/her, behind him/her, above his/her head to try and give the ball to another teammate. The player with the ball has a maximum of 30 seconds from the time he/she gains possession of the ball to offload it to another teammate.

Clarification Point: A player has either 30 seconds or 20 yards to offload the ball to a teammate, ensuring “razzle dazzle” style play, and that multiple teammates must touch the ball.

The 30 second shot clock keeps track of this and if it buzzes prior to a player releasing the ball to a teammate, the play is whistled dead and ball possession changes to the opposing team.

If a player does not offload the ball to a teammate within 30 seconds, or offload the ball after running/passing/kicking/flipping 20 yards, then the play is blown dead and possession changes hands.

In each case where possession changes, the opposing team takes charge of the ball at the nearest “in-bound sideline box”, spaced down each side of the field at 12.5 yards, 37.5 yards on each side of the mid-field.

A player with possession of the ball may not take possession again until at least 2 other players/teammates.

(This rule is designed to reduce “ball-hogging” by one strong/powerful player and to promote more team play and ball movement speed)

Passing Plays and Scoring

Any team may score by throwing the ball into the end-zone past the “run-in goal line.” No more than 2 receiving players on the passing team may be in the end zone at any one time to count as a goal, which means that at least 2 forwards must remain in front of the goal line. A throw anywhere down field or into the goal may be thrown overhand or underhand. The ball may be caught and held at least 2 seconds to be considered a possession or goal.

Any opposition player who defends its goal and who knocks down or intercepts the ball (by catching it) in its own end zone will be considered to have broken the offensive play. The referee shall award possession to the team who deflected or intercepted the ball, and possession will take place at the first in-bound box at the 12.5 yard line.

If a player advancing the ball receives a pass from a teammate, and catches it in the end zone, then 2 points are awarded to that team.

Defensive Play

Any player may possess the ball anywhere on the field (except goalkeepers). However, in actual game conditions and practice, coaches will encourage players to move up and down the field while protecting a “zone” of the field to enable broadest field coverage and maximum speed advancing the ball, or defending the ball from being advanced by an opponent downfield. The only exception to the above rule is that goalkeepers may not cross the 25 yard line on their side of the field.

On any given run, throw, in-bound throw, flip or kick, a player may “block” the ball in order to gain possession. This may be done as a hand block, arm block, shoulder block, body block, or foot block, but must be done so as not to injure or knock down the player one is defending.

A player defending against an in-bound throw from the sidelines must stand not less than 2 feet away from the player in-bounding the ball.

If a defending player does succeed in dislodging or blocking the ball, he/she may grab the ball and begin offensive movement. However, if a player obtains the ball by “roughing up” or injuring another player, then the referee will blow the play dead, call interference and award possession of the ball to its opponent. (see more on Player Contact below).

Player Contact

The game is designed to be played on a competitive but cooperative co-ed basis, with a team focus on speed, agility and strategy. Physical contact between players is expected in the course of play, but must be kept to a minimum. Incidental contact is allowed while “going for the ball” but the rules of the game specifically prohibit tackling (from front, back or side), tripping, sliding tackles, clipping (blocking a player from behind) or slapping an arm or leg to dislodge the ball from a player. Players may reach in to try and dislodge a ball from a player who is carrying the ball, without penalty, so long as the hand remains on the ball and not on a player's body.

If a player who is in possession of the ball on the field or in an “in-bound box” is, knocked down, tripped, tackled, poked, jabbed or otherwise touched roughly on any part of the body, then the referee will stop play, award the ball possession to the teammate who has been interfered with, and play will resume.

Note: This rule is required to offset height, weight, age, co-ed differences among players.

Goalkeeper Play

The two goalkeepers on each team must defend the variety of goal scoring opportunities that each team has. They are the only members of the team who can “tag” (with any part of at least one hand) another player from the opposite team, who is in a scoring position. Each goalkeeper protects an area bordered by the endzone and the goal line up to the second in-bound box (37.5 yard line). Goalkeepers are the only players that are allowed to cross the goal line in order to defend a passing play into the end zone from the opposite team.

Based on coaching direction, goalkeepers shall divide their “zone” primarily from the goal line up to the first in-bound box located at the 12.5 yard line. However, they may choose to have one goalkeeper defend from the goalline up to the 12.5 yard line and the second goalkeeper defend from the 12.5 to 25 yardline. The two goalkeepers must work in tandem to defend against runs, passes, kicks or flips into the Goalbox.

Goalkeepers may use any body parts to defend against goals, including hands, arms, legs, feet, shoulders or other body parts. They may run or jump into position in front of the ball to accomplish this if they are unable to reach to “tag” a player. However they must tag an opponent player with at least one part of one hand to block the play. If a player tags an opponent prior to that player releasing the ball to a teammate, then the player is considered “tagged” (down), the referee blows the whistle to stop game play, and the other team takes possession of the ball at the first in-bound box. If the goalkeeper fails to tag a player, or block the ball, and a goal is scored (see scoring system above), then game play stops, the scoring table registers the points and game play resumes immediately at the 12.5 yard line.

Defensive Backs Play

Defensive backs may cause “turnovers” for their team in a variety of ways, different than goalkeepers. A defensive back may:

    • Strip the ball from another player's hands while player carries the ball
    • Block a kick with hands or body
    • Pick up a loose ball and run, pass, kick or flip the ball upfield to a teammate
    • Intercept a thrown or flipped ball
    • Place his/her body in the direct line of a player in possession of the ball prior to such player getting to the spot occupied by the defender. If the player in possession of the ball does not take steps to evade the defender, and knocks into him/her, that is considered offensive interference, and the referee will blow the play dead, and award the ball at the nearest in-bound box to the defender's team.

In-Bounding the Ball (to Put the Ball into Play)

There are 6 designated “in-bound boxes” on the field, marked (chalked or painted) starshapes of one yard long each, placed at the 25 yard line and 50 yard line on and located along both sidelines.

The in-bound boxes are the only acceptable places to throw-in (in-bound) the ball, and re-commence play, following an out of bounds call, penalty call or other call (other than a score) by the referee. The referee, in his/her sole judgment, will decide which in-bound box to place the ball. Normally, the in-bound box will be that closest to the forward motion of the team in possession of the ball when the ball goes out of bounds. In the case of a penalty, or unsportsmanlike conduct, the referee will advance the ball to the closest in-bound box near the goal and allow the team in possession to in-bound the ball from that point on either side of the field.

This rule is designed to reduce or eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct or unusually physical intimidating play.

Any player who in-bounds the ball has his/her choice of throwing, kicking or flipping the ball to another teammate, or to throw the ball directly onto the ground, at which point the ball is considered “live” and can be picked up by any player from either team and put into play.

Out-of-Bounds

An out-of-bounds call is made by the referee when the ball rolls past the end line or sideline, or when a player in possession of the ball places any part of his/her foot on the line. When an out-of-bounds call is made by the referee, the opponent takes possession of the ball at the nearest in-bound box.

Spectator Playmaker Participation

Unique to sports, during the last 5 minutes of each half, a group of spectators, known as “playmakers”, are brought to the coaching area of each team. Coaches may select the playmakers, or in the case of high school/college or professional play, such playmakers maybe chosen through ticket stub selection, promotions or sweepstakes held prior to the game. The group consists of 5 spectators for each team, or 10 in total. No more than half of the playmakers may be adults (unless no children are present). The coach scripts and describes several possible plays based on field position, scoring opportunities and other strategies necessary to leverage the last 5 minutes of the game. By a majority vote discussion with the coach, the playmakers select a play that will be implemented during the last 3 minutes of the half, with the timing of such a play being at the coach's discretion. The playmakers are then invited to stand on the sidelines during the last 5 minutes of each half and watch the plays unfold.

Violations and Penalties

The primary fouls are “touch” fouls committed in the course of on-field play or in-bound play. A player who touches another player's body during attempts to block, advance the ball, in-bound the ball may cause a foul. Any individual player who sustains 5 touch fouls in the course of a game is automatically ejected from the game and is removed from play at the time of the 5th foul and is not allowed. When a player fouls out, he/she is required to sit down on his/her team bench until the game is over.

When touch fouls occur, the referee will award the ball to the touched player at the closest in-bound box. If a player in possession of the ball is touched, knocked down, tripped, tackled, poked or is the subject of rough physical play, the referee will stop play and award the starball possession to the teammate who has been interfered with.

Other fouls are “sportsmanship” fouls which result from verbally abusive or deliberately physical intimidation due to size or body weight. Sportsmanship fouls cost an individual player 2 fouls toward his/her 5 foul maximum.

The third form of foul is “referee technical fouls”. Any player who verbally responds in an angry, derisive, intimidating or loud way to any call made by a referee, TO the referee is called for a technical foul. A technical foul costs the player 2 of his/her maximum 5 fouls. In such a case, the referee awards possession of the ball to the opponent's team at the 12.5 yard line of the opponent, automatically, regardless of where the site of the violation took place.

Referees

For amateur games, official ball rules call for 2 referees per game. One referee calls all penalties. The other referee is a line judge and oversees the timekeeper. For collegiate and professional play, 3 officials are utilized, including one referee, one line judge/timekeeper and one backfield judge.

The referee:

    • Enforces all official rules
    • Cautions or ejects players who violate the rules by showing a “yellow flag” for a warning and a “red flag” for an ejection.
      • Any ejected played may be replaced with a new player, except if the violation occurs within the last 3 minutes of each half, in which case the player cannot be replaced and the team must play with one less player.

The line judge/timekeeper:

    • Acts as timekeeper, starts, stops and restarts the game with a stopwatch
    • Indicates where and when the ball goes out of play, and re-starts play
    • Determines which team is entitled to in-bound the ball

(In Collegiate and Professional Play)

The backfield judge:

    • Indicates where and when the ball goes out of play, if closer to the point of action than the line judge
    • Signals by flag any infringement in the backfield, or those unseen by either referee or line judge/timekeeper