Shockball is a physical ball sport, where two teams try to outscore the other. The game of Shockball has evolved over time, from a primitive form to a more elaborate one; the modern version is played by four players in three roles: one guard, two wings, and a center. On the galactic scene, there have been two popular forms of shockball which have evolved into two different leagues, the Colonial Shockball League and the Galactic Shockball League. Though similar in many ways, each has key differences in their rules and play style. In both leagues, the play takes place in a confined space, and scoring is done by throwing a ball into a goal area. The team with the highest score at the end the game is the winner and draws are possible.
In both forms of shockball, the ultimate objective is to score without conceding goals. The team with possession of the shockball is the offensive team and their mission is to move the ball towards the opposition's end, to score as frequently as possible. The Defensive mission is to stop the opposing team from doing so. Field position is hugely important in shockball, and scoring is on the minds of players at all times. As soon as soon as one team has the ball, that team is on the offense and the other team is on the defense. The offense tries to position players to take a clear shot. The defense position themselves to block these shots.
There are various laws in shockball, guiding the sport. Some laws apply to all levels of shockball, although some are relevant to only one of the two leagues. The following are relevant to both leagues.
An official shockball court or field, is a 30m long and 15m wide rectangle divided into three equal parts by two lines: two extremes and a middle one. The central portion is divided in half by another line, while the ends have a big dot painted on the middle point. On each end of the playing area, there is a padded wall with a hole in it, which has a goal area. In Colonial Shockball, fans termed the goal area "The Pit." The goal has a diameter of 60cm and is placed to a height of 4.5m.
The official shockball is made of technology not dissimilar to lightsabers. Nova Crystals power the ball, giving it the ability to travel faster then the original bantha-skin balls. The presence of the crystals also lend a glow to the ball, creating a tracer-like tail behind the ball, allowing the spectators to more easily view the flight path of the ball. One other phenomenon that the crystals bestow to the ball has been termed the "repulsor" ability. This refers to the balls ability to rebound from the walls, the ceiling, and the court surface itself. Special designs had to be implemented for the goal areas, so that the balls would not rebound from this section of the court. Due to the nova crystals contained within them, shockballs are both expensive and hard to come by. The ball has a circumference of 62cm, a diameter of 20cm, and weigh 800g.
Each player on a team is categorized by position. There are three positions on a shockball team:
- Guard: The Guard is the defensive specialist of the team, focusing on blocking opposition shots, tackling opponents, and exhibiting a lot of toughness to deter the opposition offense.
- Wing: The Wing is the playmaker of the team and can also be the occasional scorer.
- Center: The Center is the offensive specialist of the team, focusing on scoring points.
In both CSL and GSL, players on the same team wear matching uniforms. Traditionally, home teams wear light-colored uniforms, while visiting teams wear dark-colored ones. On the chest and between the shoulders of every player there must be a two digit unique number that clearly identify the player. A shockball uniform is made by some padding worn under fitted pants and an upper body, short-sleeve jersey.
Colonial Shockball League
The following laws are relevant only to the Colonial Shockball League.
A Colonial Shockball match is made by 8 periods, each 10 minutes long. A 5-minute time out occur between each period. After the 4th period's end (half time), a longer time out occurs: 15 minutes. Before any match, the referee tosses a coin to determine which team starts on offense and which starts on defense. The play starts with the attacking guard throwing in from under his team's pit. The ball bearer can make whatever he wants with the ball and go where he wants. Attempting a pass or a shot, every move is allowed: the ball can rebound on the floor or the glass sides freely. As pit walls are padded, the ball cannot rebound, so the action ends and restarts with a throw-in for the opposite team. Only one player at a time is allowed to defend against the ball bearer. A defensive player can try to steal the ball, intercept the pass or the throw, or try to shock the ball bearer. A shock attempt usually starts as a tackle action, while the defender try to touch the attacker's suit with his sting. If successful the attacker is stunned by an electrical charge.
The ultimate objective of shockball is to outscore your opponent. In Colonial Shockball, players score points by throwing the ball into the pit; different points are awarded to players based on where they are when they shoot the ball. Here is a breakdown of scoring:
- 1 point - Awarded to players who successfully shoot the ball through the pit from within the nearer third of the field.
- 2 points - Awarded to players who successfully shoot the ball through the pit from anywhere inside the midfield part.
- 4 point - Awarded to players who successfully shoot the ball through the pit from within the farther third of the field.
When a player is shooting a foul shot, the remaining players on the court must stand into midfield until all shoots were made. Foul shooting is made from the circle on the middle and each shot is worth 1 point.
- ASSAULT - When a defender try to intentionally hit for damage. Only simple "tackle and shock" is allowed. 4 free shots.
- DOUBLE COVER - Only one defender can cover the ball bearer. 2 free shots.
- SELFPASS - The ball bearer cannot pass the ball to himself, taking advantage from rebounds. If the ball rebounds over an opposer's body is not considered selfpass. 2 free shots.
In Colonial Shockball teams were limited to 11 players and the team's manager determined what players went in at the start of every period. Players who aren't on the field at the start of every period are called reserves (nicknamed "The Bench"). Reserve players enter the game through a process called substitution. Substitutions can only occur when play stops, such as after a shot attempt, a successful shock attempt or when the referee calls a violation. Substitutions are not free. Every team's head coach must give an official "substitution list" to the referees prior to the match. Each list will indicate the substitution order for every position on the field. Every period could have a different order.
Every team must enlist two substitutions for every position on every period. If a designated substitute is already on the field, occupying another position, or cannot play due to excessive fatigue, the next substitute is automatically chosen. If all designated substitutes are on the field, or cannot play, the player on the field must remain there until his second substitute is free, or until he is declared unable to play by the referee. On the latter case, a standard drone will replace him until the end of the period. The second substitute, once on the field, can not be removed, no matter what. Only exception is if he is unconscious or badly hurt and deemed as unable to play by the referee. In this case the player leaves the field and his position will be covered by a standard drone until the end of the period. The second substitute is usually called "lamb" as in sacrificial lamb, because he has no chance to escape his usually bad fate. The starter is called "lion" and the substitute "fox", because he is often less powerful than the starter, but usually has some tricks in the hat.
Traditionally, Colonial Shockball was played with a stun gun, whereby players could "shock" their opponents. After the first two seasons of the original CSL, the directors noted the lack of melee combat. This was something that the fans were demanding more of. Listening to their fans, the CSL did away with the stun gun and introduced - "The Glove". The Glove outstretches the hand a little and has the finger linked together to help catch the ball. On the center of the palm, there is "the sting": a circular sensor that gives an electrical shock if it reach contact with an opponents suit. While non-lethal, the shock will temporarily disorientate the opponent. The introduction of the glove has seen more intense matches and heart pounding action. For Colonial Shockball, one hand (receiving hand) wears "the Glove", while the other is covered with a simple grip glove (throwing hand).
Galactic Shockball League
The following laws are relevant only to the Galactic Shockball League.
A Galactic Shockball match consists of one 70 minute long period, with no time-outs or breaks during game play. Despite the specific positions having primary roles, any player may attempt to defend against another player and any player may attempt to score; every move is allowed during a match. Play commences with a contest over the ball in the middle of the field, with each team attempting to gain possession. Each team is responsible for defending their end of the field, and they take turns throughout a game at defending and attacking. When one team scores, the ball is returned to the middle of the field and a new contest for possession begins.
The ultimate objective of shockball is to outscore your opponent. In Galactic Shockball, this is done by throwing the ball into the goal area; regardless of where the shot is taken, a successful goal is worth one point.
Galactic Shockball does not have fouls.
The Galactic Shockball is additionally electrified, as is the tradition in 'shockball'.
In Galactic Shockball, teams are limited to 15 players and each match's depth chart consists of 8 players: 2 Centers, 2 Left Wings, 2 Right Wings, and 2 Guards. The depth chart must be provided to game officials before the match begins, and is locked in once a game begins. Players who do not start are said to be sitting on 'the bench', and are rotated onto the field through a process referred to as substitutions. Additionally, a player on the bench may only be substituted in for their specific position; in other words, a Left Wing may only cycle in for the Left Wing position, a Center may only substitute for a Center, etc. As play in Galactic Shockball is continuous, substitutions can occur at any point during the match and happens spontaneously. When a Captain deems that a player is tired and ready to be substituted out, they need only signal to the referees which two players are switching places and the exchange may immediately occur.
Galactic Shockball uses an insulated mitt, to handle the electrified shockball, as well as ball scoops which are utilized to pass the ball between players.