I was just surfing (this was june 7th 2004 when originally posted in the forum) and found my way to ... http://www.olympic.org/uk/sports/index_uk.asp

It and a recent sports orriented plot set me to wondering, what sports or contests do you have in your worlds?

In the Known World of Arth, there is only one "team sport" besides combat. Roundball (because the ball is round and inflated 1 decimeter/ 5" in diameter) is a soccer/ football like game, where you move a ball across the field to score zones at the ends of the field. Each side has 5 members (but as long as there are equal numbers). You can move the ball along the field, but if you use your hand, you can take no more than one step with it. There is a lot of passing, kicking, dribbling, and bouncing the ball off various body parts. (Bonking a ball off the head or back of the other teams members is a fun past time (and usually stuns the other team member). Goals are scored by "trapping" a ball in the "score zone". The ball must be in the lone possession of a team member who is not fighting off someone off and has both feet on the ground of the zone. There are no leagues per say, just local groups going at each other.

There are competitions for the local combat form, usually archery, fencing, or staff. Races of all sorts occur as well. These tend to happen once a year on special days.

SecondLand is starting to organize a pentathalon of sorts with riding, archery, fencing, running long distances, and swimming. These are all parts of classical messanger training for nobles. The contest started because of an argument on who is the best in the SecondLand Govenor's council. It will be open to every clan family. However, like so many things in SecondLand, the organization of this event has been bogged down in arguments.

There is also an Iditorad like dog sled race in some of the south western areas of SecondLand.

The children and younglings play "Ball", HackeySack, and Tag.

And how about your world?

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Wow, this is one I'd just never thought of.

But, here's a few to work with off the top of my mind, centered around the Kallisphere.

Mindball: A sport for young mages and telekinetics, mindball is played in a manner similar to soccer. The primary difference is that no part of the body may touch the ball. The ball may not be 'held' by the mages, but only 'kicked' by spurts of force.

The Quadra: Performed in honor of the four gods of battle, contestants compete at Archery, Fencing, High Jumping, and Unarmed Combat. This 'sport' is rare, and is primarily a kind of ritual prayer for soldier types.

Grav-ball: Played either in space, or in a null gravity room, this game is related to squash or handball, with scoring determined by the ability to ricochet the ball off the far wall to hit targets on the near despite the opponent.

Felling: Two pipes, a bit more than man height, are erected at either side of a court, and a ball of about 10 inches diameter is placed on the top of each pole. Play is executed with a slightly weighted disc, in which each team must intercept the disc and throw it to knock the opposing team's ball from the pole. Any player in control of the disc may take only three steps while holding the disc. Frisbee is often played with the Felling disc.

As magery soaked world, competitions of mystic precision and control are common. Teleportation checkpoint races, telekinetic dart throwing, small fire/ice target competitions, and ink-packet deflection competitions are all frequently practiced. Power competitions are rarer: they're harder to judge, and tend to hose the landscape.


Kop-a-kop is an Imperial sport, played at Priesthood-sponsored tournaments and religious celebrations. The court is a circular bowl of shaped stone or packed earth, with the peoples' seats in a series of steps around the top of the bowl. In the center of the bowl, there is a tall pillar (the Pillar of Heaven), usually of stone or wood, carved with four four openings (Called Mouths of Heaven; In some places they are merely holes, other times they are dragon's mouths, or the faces of warriors). The players wear armor plates on their hips, shoulders, feet, and sometimes wear ceremonial helmets. The game is played with a small but heavy ball (usually 5-10 pounds) of pure rubber painted with symbols sacred to the Stars. The teams consist of four men (or rarely, women, though it is generally believed that women are too delicate for Kop-a-kop) who attempt to bounce the ball into the openings (Mouths of Heaven) in the central pillar (Pillar of Heaven). They may only use the portions of them which are armored (hips, shoulders, feet). If a player gets the ball into the Mouth of Heaven using these portions of his body, the game is paused while he and his team have a red mark painted on their chest. This signifies one point, called a "ray". A team wins at Kop-a-kop when they bump the ball into the Mouth of Heaven four times; each time a point is scored, another ray is painted across the first, eventually making a star-shape (like an asterisk- *).

The team that loses is usually sold into slavery for a year and a day, a punishment usually reserved for those who blaspheme in a holy place or temple; the place of their slavery is chosen by the winners, and it is sometimes to the winners, or to the Priesthood, or in any other place the winners may choose. Winners are considered favored by the Gods, and offer sacrafices of their blood, cut from their upper arms, in small jade bowls at the nearest temple, which is usually right next to the Kop-a-kop court.

Kop-a-kop is played in honor of the Gods (the Stars). Players are usually young acolytes of the Priesthood or the Legions, and it almost guaranteed that they are deeply pious. However, there are some players of Kop-a-kop (usually the very good ones) who play for the glory and the sport. The name is said to come from the "kop-a-kop-a-kop" sound of the ball bouncing from wall to wall in the court.

Dlanni Two-Handed Dancing

This is a Dlanni sport that has migrated north and become quite popular in the South of the Empire, though it is technically illegal and falls under the charge of murder. The name comes from the Dlanni expression "to dance with two hands", meaning to battle to the death.

The game is played in a triangle of sand, raised above the place where the audience stands. The two fighters strip naked before the crowd to show that they carry no weapons. Then, the players apply stripes of green, purple, and white to their upper arms and bellies, and put on loincloths of plain white cloth. The battle then begins. During the battle, the fighters adopt the famous Dlanni battle-stance, wherein one rises on the balls of one's feet, bends one's knees deeply, places one hand outspread and in front towards the enemy, and the other hand behind, prepared to strike. In Two-Handed Dancing, a strike is done in one of two ways: Either with the two first fingers and the thumb extended, or with all the fingers extended and the thumb tucked into the palm. When one strikes, one pulls back the forward (outspread) hand and swings the attacking hand in an upward arc towards the opponent's belly.

The purpose of this attack is to stab through the navel and disembowel the opponent. Two-Handed Dancers are incredibly fast and fluid, or they die, so matches can take hours as fighters duck, shuffle, leap, and roll out of the way of strikes. If one does not avoid the strike, one blocks the strike with a strike of one's own, and hands slam painfully together (many Two-Handed Dancer's striking hands are heavily calloused and/or scarred).

Two-Handed Dances, when performed properly, end in spectacular bloody sprays, with organs being ripped out of the stomach and cast about the triangle, and sometimes on the crowd. The winner then is given a dagger and allowed to cut out the dead opponent's heart. The blood is squeezed out of the heart as an offering to the Sun God, and then the victor dines on the heart's remains.

Two-Handed Dancers, as part of the Dlanni culture of martial arts and hand-to-hand combat, are revered for their abilities and skill. The weak are quickly weaned in the triangle, their entrails strewn about and their hearts devoured, so only in the lowest of matches can one see amateurish or clumsy fighting.

The Imperials have strict laws against murder, so Two-Handed Dancing is often played in a dumbed-down version in which a fist is used instead of extended fingers, providing non-lethal results in which the first to collapse or vomit is the loser. Real traditional Two-Handed Dancing is practiced only in secret in the Empire's borders.

Horse Races

Racing is a very common sport. It ranges from adolescents racing each other on work horses up to the gala spectacle of the Grand Derby, and the Triperfecta. The races can be broken down into two categories, short distance and long distance.

Short distance races involve smaller horses such as the quarter horse, appaloosa, and other horses with alot of short burst speed. Most run down the straightaway of a track, starting at the end of one curve and the begining of the next. These races are run daily, as often as several heats an hour.

Long distance involves the full circle of the track. This can be a mile to a mile and a half. In the Triple Crown races, the first two race tracks, Churchhill Downs, and Pimlico are just around the mile mark, while the last track, Belmont, is a grueling mile and a half. Longer tracks are seen as a true test of if a horse is a great racer, and many superb horses have been defeated by the long tracks. Many more jockeys have all but destroyed their lives in persuit of the winning trophy and flowered drape of these great tracks.

Show Jumping

Quite simply jumping over preset objects with emphasis on how quickly the show jump course can be completed with the fewest number of errors and the best posible form while doing so. Hedges, fence rails, pools of water, all must be cleared cleanly with the rider not coming off of the horse, nor the horse loosing it's footing. The event is challenging but doesnt draw the crowds that the horse races draw.


Largely a sport of the nobility, dressage is demonstrated mastery of horsemanship. Proper posture, and performance routines are demanded of each competitor in a field not entirely unlike professional figureskating. The horse must demonstrate immaculate locomotion, immediate obedience to the rider and a willingness to do anything. Some events include flying lead changes, demonstrating a particular gait (walk trot canter but almost never gallop), and following a certain pattern in the show ring such as a figure eight, or others. Commoners have little to no interest is Dressage eventing.

The Endurance Race

Perhaps the movie Hidalgo is the best example of the endurance race. There is a preset starting and a ending place and challanges of distance, enviromental factors, and the like to overcome to claim the trophy. Given the rough and tumble nature of the endurance race, and the lack of prestige few nobles ever enter these races.


A sport originally played in the sea-kingdom of Uwon, Thorumad has become popular throughout the Islands of the Sea, and also in the Blue Coast region of the Empire. Thorumad (call Tu'u'map by the Imperials. The name is Uwonath for "bubble") is played in one of two ways: either in a specially made circular pool (for the rich and state-sponsored games, for Thorumad is so popular in Uwon that the Uwonath Autarch himself donates huge sums for it) or in a natural bay (for unnoficial games, village games, and generally any game not sponsored). Whatever the setting, the game consists of four teams of six players underwater. The ball, called the thorumad, is made from a natural plastic excreted by the famous sea-beetles of Uwon, and appears much like a very large, iridescent bubble painted with the splattering designs of Uwon art, and having a stone in the center. The purpose of the game is for one of the four teams to hold the ball for the majority of counts by the referee. Two of the team's members are "warriors", who attempt to capture the ball, by any means necessary, short of killing other players. Two other team members are "guardians", who attempt to protect the "holder", who's purpose it is to hold the ball, from warriors. It is not uncommon for players of Thorumad to be beaten bloody from attempts at keeping or taking the ball. The game takes place totally underwater (players may surface for air), with a referee present to make sure that there is no eye-gouging, choking, or slaying among players. If a team's holder keeps hold of the ball for twelve counts by the referee (who begins counting when the ball comes to the holder's hand), the team is given one point. The first team with twelve points is the winning team.

Thorumad is very much a sport of glory and prestige in Uwon, much like the sports of modern Earth. Players of Thorumad (or good ones, at any rate) are heroes and celebrities, and often have as much prestige as minor nobles.

The Forest Run

Two hundred years ago the town of Arbad was threatened by a hostile army. The town was undergarrisoned and outnumbered and in dire need of assistance. Thus messengers were sent by foot and horse north to the capital with requests for aid from the king. All the horsmen and runners were slain by enemy forest rangers, except one who managed to arrive at the capital and enabled the king to send a relief force and save the town.

Now this incident is remembered through an annual "Forest Run". At this occasion ten slaves are freed and given a scroll. This scroll is addressed to the king's magistrate in the capital. If they manage to reach the capital this scroll ensures their freedom and rights of citizenship.

Meanwhile the young and eager of the town organizes several "Ranger Teams" armed with knives, shovels, swords and spears. Anyone who encounter a "Runner" may slay him at will (after some incidents the woodsmen have learnt to avoid the forest during this hunt).

This sport is very popular among the citizens and several nobles compete for the title of "Master Ranger". The original purpose, to celebrate the fortunes of the city, seems lost upon the populace and the growing popularity has ensured that no slave has survived these last seven years.

One of Midian's fans created an Orck variant of football, played with a short sword. Rules are kept simple, and the team captain has the option to challenge the referee to a duel over a disputed ruling. I can post the rules on request.

As part of the Immersive Game World, certain players are trying to start various sporting competitions in different cities.

An Orck sport, Deathblade, has been imported into Formour & Byzant. Efforts are currently underway to start a league with teams from various cities, but the violence inherent in the sport is not viewed favourably by Formourians.

  • 11 players on the field at a time, out of a total team of 30.

  • One player has the shortsword.

  • None of the players wear armour.

  • Six points are awarded for getting the sword across the opponent's goal line.

  • The field is 100 yards by 30 yards, with an additional 10 yards beyond each goal line.

  • The game starts with both teams lined up five yards apart in the center fo the field. Play begins when the swordsman on the advancing team shouts "Heik!" which is Gobbley for "run" or "go."

  • The sword may be handed to another player, but if it is lost, or the swordsman falls, play ends. Play begins again when the teams again realign at the point where the sword or swordsman dropped.

  • The advancing team retains posession of the sword until they either score, or fail to score for four plays. At that point, the opposing team gains posession and now becomes the advancing team. The sword can be taken by the opposing team, which then becomes the advancing team, if they gain posession of the sword before it touches the ground.

  • There are three referees who have the authority to halt the game when they see fit. A referee calls "halt" and all movement or hostilities must cease. The interrupted play is then redone once the referees allow. The referees can impose pentalties on the teams, such as a loss of yardage, or ejecting a player from the team. The referees may be armed and armoured as they see fit. If the team's Captain or another referee disagrees with the call, a trial by combat may take place during the half-time intermediate period or at the end of the game. If the referee loses the trial by combat, the disputed call is undone, but not the secondary results of that call. If the referee wins against the Captian, he gets to select a player of his choice from the disputing team as his slave, effective immediately. Referees who dispute another referee's call do not win any additional reward. Slain referees and Captains are traditionally eaten by the winning team.

  • An hourglass is used to determine how long the game lasts. Once the initial hour lapses, there is an intermediate period to allow both teams to rest, patch wounds, and substitute players. After the intermediate period--which lasts from about 10 to 20 minutes, as determined by the referees--the second half of the game is played, again for an hour. The hourglass is only stopped when the sand runs out at half-time or the end of the game. Anything that delays the game still counts toward that time.

Beyond this, nearly anything goes. The referees only enforce the few rules, and generally let the teams slaughter each other.

Formourians are fond of jousts, and hold tournaments similar to those of our world, but with melee competitions far less common, and the loser of a match is not obligated to surrender horses or armour.

Children across Midian have their own games, with tag, hide-and-seek, and jumping rope being the most common & nearly universal. In urban areas of Formour they have a variation of a teeter-totter, consisting of a plank of wood thrown across a half-log. This sits low on the ground, and is stood upon.

Dancing is popular in Formour--ballroom type in the north & "shake ya booty" more in the south. Dancing is especially popular in all Gothic areas, with dance clubs being a popular way to spend one's evening.

Heldanns are fond of wrestling, and foot racing of all varieties.

Killians are great swimmers, but do not generally do so competitively, aside from informally by youths. Adult Killian hold unarmed martial arts competitions. Some of these attract competitors from around the world.

One of the religous games played by the Eshal,it is one of the most heart-stopping sports anyone will ever see,aquatic or otherwise.It basically involves a fast swim from one end of a steeply walled pen to the other,something like an Eshal equivalant of a sprint but with a brutal twist.The long,roughly rectangular pen used,is actually divided into two sections,with the shorter one taking up one third of the total space.The stone barrier that divides the pen into the two portions is lifted with the aid of a crude system of pulleys.A trapdoor placed over a very large hole dug into the soft soil can be seen.When a priest gives the signal,two warriors enter the smaller part of the pen through a small side entrance and lift the trapdoor up,before hurriedly darting out.Within moments,massive tiger sharks shoot out of the hole and soon the smaller part of the pen is seething with a school of ravenous,hungry sharks.When that happens,the particpants enter the longer part of pen through a small side entrance and wait for the barrier to be lifted.When the sharks shoot into their part of the pen,they're off!Their goal is to reach the opposite end of the pen before the sharks get them.There a small hole is carved into the wall,through which an Eshal but not a tiger shark can swim.There is no one winner,for all of those who make it out alive,are declared winners.

Usually only woodsman type are tempted by the game but the object is simply to run through a section of forest as fast as you can, the fastest one being the winner.

Only technicality of the game is that the runners must go blindfolded.

The area is well marked a day in advance to allow the competitors to familiarize themselves with the track. The next morning the racers are not allowed near the track and the race starts at the highest point of the sun's arc so as not to give the runners any other advantages.

Many runners have knocked themselves out by running into trees while others simply stun themselves for a few moments.

Bets are taken on what trees somebody/anybody may hit as well as the other more obvious wagers.


Originally found in this book

Mercedes Lackey Exile's Valor 2003


Hurle was first created as a lark, way to tire out squirley students, teach them the futility of lack of leadership/ discipline, and a way to push some students out into the cold and out of the Salle.

Hurle is played with a ball by two teams, now with five to six players, on an approximately triangular field. Pads are now used on each player. Each member has a staff/ stick, with the goalie having a wider one. (Yes, staff combat is allowed). There are three goals, one neutral one between the teams. There are three periods which the referee keeps track of. While Hurle can be played on horseback, it is mostly played by people on foot.


A zero-G sport popular among the Starkin Federation, the Null-Ball Arena consists of a transparent, 50 meter cube, with 3-meter square goals set center in opposing ends of the arena, while a large number of thickly padded poles placed in a semi-randomly generated pattern between the four remaining walls. The rough object of the game is, like soccer, to place the ball through the goal more times than the opponent in a given time period. This goal may be scored by striking the ball through the net with any limb, or alternately, the ball may be thrown through the net.

Traditionally, Null-ball is played by 11 men on the field per team, 8 of which are considered to be 'flyers', and who may score by striking or throwing the ball. They must advance the ball by passing it to other players, or by flying with it, using the poles and walls of the arena to 'shove off' across the zero-gravity field. Opposing players may attempt to take the ball by interception, or by tackling the opponent and knocking or wresting the ball from him - often a risky proposition at best. 1 team member holds the position of goalie, and is solely charged with preventing the ball from entering the goal - To aid him in this without floating out into space, the mouth of the goal is lined with a handlebar. The final two players per team are referred to as 'tethermen' and have a simple electromagnetic grappling line by which they may haul in drifting teammates to a surface from which they may shove off from. Tethermen are not permitted to tether or grapple the opposing players, nor may they play the ball.

Professional and Semiprofessional Null-ball teams are usually capped at 40 players, and many will carry this number, due to the very high injury rate of the sport, though amateur teams may be much smaller. Most leagues include the rule that any team with less than 5 able flyers remaining must forfeit the match.

While the sport -is- refereed, refs exist primarily to mark time, record goals, and call time out for removal of injured players, and to break up wrestling matches that are going on in mid air without the ball. In the case that penalties are assessed, usually for deliberate striking to the face or attempted limb/joint destruction, it is of a power-play type, where the number of men in the arena is imbalanced for a time based on the infraction.

Uniforms consist of a form of flexible, low-profile impact protection, combined with a helmet, colored in the team's preferred pattern. While generally successful at their primary intent of protecting the player from collisions with the arena's surfaces and poles, they are inadequate for the violence that players often exert on each other.

As a rule of thumb, Oraki and other very-massive species must play in their own leagues - The mass differential is simply too high for even vague safety during collisions.

Gambling on null-ball results is common and sometimes even legal. Riots over the games are not entirely unknown.

Jousting is a competition between two knights on horse-back, wherein each knight tries to knock the other off his mount. Jousting was at the peak of its popularity in the 14th to 16th centuries in Europe. The knights were each equipped with three weapons; a lance, a one handed sword, and a rondel. The Knights would station themselves at the ends of a barrier (a long low wall or one simulated by a line of rope/twine). They would ride at each other, hoping to strike the other in the rondel (shield) with the lance, hoping to dismount them. When one knight knocked the other off of his mount, he was declared the winner of the round. If both knights were knocked off their mounts at the same time, it was considered a tie; they would then engage in sword combat, and the last standing was victorious. The knights usually jousted in a best out of three situation.

Note: The lances used were not the normal weapons of war, but sport items... using blunt tips. The Jousting Lance, typically made of oak, weighed an average of 40 lb (18 kg). The primary usage of these was to unhorse an opposing rider. Typically used in England and France during the Middle Ages, these were usually accompanied by other melee weapons carried on the other side of the horseman.

Medieval Tournaments centered around Jousting. Tournament, or tourney, was the name popularly given in the middle ages to a contest of mock fights. Its name comes from the French due to the "rapid turning of the horses" (in the joust). Allegedly these contests were invented by a French Baron named Geoffroi de Preulli, who, according to the testimony of his contemporaries, "invented tournaments."