Home » 2012 » September

Obscure sports — links

Miscellaneous links to obscure, oddball, and cult sports.

Pinjat Pinang, from Rough Guides’ “The world’s strangest sports”

Games – October 2012

Some ideas to try…

If you have an idea, send it along by using this form or posting below.

Field Carcassonne

Carcassonne board, from Wikimedia Commons

What would Carcassonne principles be like translated into a game physically played on a field that was not defined at the outset and which only develops as the game is played? It could be a ball-and-goal based game in which the field is chalked as the game progresses, making it more difficult to navigate. Or one in which movement has to happen differently in different areas as they develop.

Street Pong

A game I once hatched to be played in the street, possibly with parkour moves. Two teams link up in straight lines to act as the ‘paddles’ while individuals act as the ‘ball’, trying to score points by reaching the goals. Like the video game, the ‘ball’  changes direction when it comes into contact with either paddle. It’s a game of individuals versus groups. Probably best played in a space, like a street, that is enclosed on the sides.


Courtesy of Ian, who used to play a version over their roof as a kid. The idea seems to be to play a ball off a roof while you are off the ground and without it touching the ground. It could be an interesting game moving through streets.
Version of roofball by YouTube user Ordainmentmusic

Game-design challenge

Rock-Paper-Scissors from Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been pondering whether a Rock-Paper-Scissors-based sport is possible, and what it would look like. or RoShamBo or Jan-ken-pon has a lot of cultural variants. The basic concept is that each type is strong over another, but weak compared to a third. The concept has even expanded to include other options (see Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock).

My question is: how could RPS be expanded into a sport in which the strategies were physically executed? Could there be an element of the game that took into account how well or strongly the strategy were executed?


Kicking it off … Sunday 14 October

There’s been a lot of excitement and interest in this project, so although we only just got access to the field house, we might as well kick things off. Here’s a provisional schedule:

  • Sunday 14 October – Kickoff!
    noon to 4pm
  • Tuesday afternoons, starting 16 October
    3pm to dusk
  • Last Sunday of each month
    ie. 28 October, 25 November…
    noon to 4pm

No need to pre-register; just show up. Elm Park is at 41 Ave @ Elm St in Vancouver-Kerrisdale.

What to play?

If you have an idea for a game, post below.

We do have this one that Verena, Cedric and Mike are very excited to share on 14 October:

It’s called Couchie… It involved a complicated scoring system, 6 beanbag juggling balls and a large overstuffed couch.[...] It was really fun, we spent hours doing it, even attracted the rather attractive girls who lived above us down a couple times to see what all the thumping and cheering was about. Loosely the game involves hurling said juggling balls at the couch and attempting to lodge them in the various cracks between the cushions. Each crack had a different value and score would be counted up to a pre-determined amount.

Launching League

League is launching in Fall 2012. We’ll be based at Elm Park in Vancouver, thanks to the Vancouver Park Board Studio Residency Program.

Here’s how the project is envisioned:

League will be a changing group of people who gather regularly to play sports and games invented by themselves or conceived by members of the public. League members will attempt to play with the suggested guidelines/equipment/space, and will further develop the game as they play, with the expectation that it will evolve, and strategies emerge, through trial and improvisation. The advantages and weaknesses of different approaches will emerge and be incorporated organically into the play.

Commonplace sports and play equipment, markers and everyday objects will be available, and new tools might be invented on the fly.

League will be a sort of sandbox for experiments around improvisation, performance, co-operation, and strategy. The process of learning, adapting and evolution through iteration is central to the overall concept. The project is founded in a belief in the value of emergent behaviour and the process of making sense of things. It views games, sport and play as serious forms of problem-solving that may be more complete than approaches which privilege the mental over the physical. League might attract participants who are adaptable and have a tolerance for (or even attraction to) uncertainty, provisional process, negotiation, and unconventional approaches to problems. They may or may not identify as athletes, but are expected to bring all faculties of the mind and body to their play.

More news is coming soon. Check “League events” in the menu.
Germaine Koh aka PLAYER 1

Elm Park field house