I Took a Page Out of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series
Quidditch has become so popular there’s actually a professional league calling itself Major League Quidditch (MLQ) and while there are some aspects of the game I like and dislike, I’m amazed by how the sport has come to life. Living in the Pittsburgh area, if they ever “awarded” the city a franchise, I’d be one of the first to tryout.
Maybe we’d pull a Vegas Golden Knights and make the finals in our inaugural season?
Sure, the Golden Knights of the NHL didn’t win the Stanley Cup, but no one other than a few bettors thought the Knights would do anything this season than keep the basement warm in the NHL West’s Pacific Division’s standings.
Instead, they almost won the whole thing, if it wasn’t for those pesky Capitals.
Anyway, in Lord of Columbia, I too invented a sport called shotball.
While shotball isn’t by any means like Quidditch, it is intergender and it’s intra-school, so a couple elements were taken from Rowling.
However, when one looks at the big picture, they’ll easily see my main influence behind shotball was college football, as the bands play, rivalries are heated, and TV networks broadcast the games.
So, what is shotball?
Shotball is played on a traditional football field with two soccer goals beyond the goal line. We have eleven players per side at the following positions: center attacker, right-wing attacker, and left-wing attacker. Right and left-wing centers, and two right and left-centers. Two defenders, a wanderer, and a goal keeper.
Okay, so the defenders can only play on the defensive side of the field, from the fifty-yard line to their own goal. The centers play between the twenty-five-yard lines on both ends of the field, and the attackers must remain on the offensive side of the fifty. The wanderer is the only player allowed to play anywhere on the field, like a queen on a chessboard. If anyone encroaches forbidden zones, it’s on offsides.
There are three ways to score in shotball: a throw equals one point, a kick equals two, and a dropkick, or if a player bounces to another who then kicks the ball into the net, is worth three points.
The penalties were influenced by hockey, where we have two-minute minors, four-minute double-minors, five-minute majors, and misconducts. Common penalties are blocks in the back, holding, interference, roughing the passer, tripping, taunting, targeting (hit to the head or neck area), too many players on the field, etc. If a player commits a penalty, they must head to the sideline for two, four, or five minutes while the other team is awarded a power play.
Forward passing is legal and encouraged. There are no points awarded for crossing the goal line; the player must score a goal.
There is one rule that makes this game unique: If a team is in possession of the ball and they step out of bounds, they keep possession, much like American football. For instance, if a center throws to an attacker and the attacker runs out of bounds, the team possessing the ball may inbound from the spot where the player stepped out of bounds, and the clock also stops.
Another rule that sets shotball apart is if a player is tackled in the field of play, they have three seconds to give up the ball or possession is awarded to the other team. The tackled player is allowed to give the ball up to their teammates to retain possession, but it must be within three seconds or the play is blown dead and the opposing team is awarded possession.
So, there you have it, a basic rundown of my main sport that will be appearing in Lord of Columbia. Like Rowling’s Quidditch, the sport is fictional, however, it doesn’t contain the magical elements of Quidditch and, unfortunately, only one ball is involved.
I added shotball in as a distraction for my reader that operates as a subplot to the novel. I do this for one reason: Sports act as a distraction for us. Hey, when my Cleveland Browns are playing, despite their abysmal record, nothing else, not even the Deep State or the Rothschild syndicate matters. I’m watching my Browns. The same thing applies to shotball. The goal is to provide a pleasant distraction from Lord of Columbia’s darker main plot.
I’d like to thank all my readers for coming to my blog, please come back soon and if you have enough willing friends, feel free to give my sport a try!
Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for any serious injuries that may come about!