come up with an imaginary sport. write down all the rules. draw the playing field.
Here is the completed description:
An Imaginary Sport
The game is called starball. It is played on a flat grassy field like American football, with the same number of teams and twice the number of players per team. The field is grassy not for any practical advantage but because it offers a correct aesthetic framing. Lower-leg injuries will just have to be accepted.
Each round begins with the teams on opposite sides of the field with a "negative" to overcome.
The negative is a non-player human who must be convinced to do something by the team. For example, a very full man must be convinced to eat. Or a suicidal woman must be convinced to smile. Or a discouraged writer must be convinced to finish a sentence and have it read to the whole stadium.
The negatives will be located in non-playing cities, and will interact with the teams via a monitor placed on the field (ideal product placement; teleconference by Cisco Systems). The teams may elect to convince their subject with dance at this point but verbal encouragement or threats are allowed, as this preserves the creative dance energies of the players.
The team who overcomes their negative first is presented with the starball, in a compartment underneath the teleconference monitor. They must now rush down the field. The defending team leaves their negative to his or her problems and prepares to intercept.
This is "Phase 2" of the round. The offensive team approaches in a compact diamond formation, with the ball-runner in the center, and may not deviate from the center of the field under true league rules. The defensive team spreads across their side of the field in whatever pattern suits their strategy.
The defensive players may not move after the diamond has crossed mid-field. They are locked into their defense.
No more than three defensive players may occupy the center line (the starball path) at a given moment.
When the diamond is confronted by a player on the starball path the offensive players must use their synchronized dancing skills to erupt into a fractal star that is aesthetically balanced with the surrounding defensive constellation.
If they are successful they must reform into the diamond and move on to the next blocker on the starball path, and face the same challenge.
Whether the star formations are aesthetically pleasing is determined by a panel of judges (but audience reaction is simultaneously recorded via ECG sensors—this is important!).
The offensive team (the diamond) is observing the appearance of the field by the huge screens overhead (product placement) and must determine and execute the ideal formation in response.
They must reach the end zone within two minutes of overcoming the negative. Hesitation is detrimental to success. If they reach the end zone in time they score full points (6).
If the diamond runs out of time, or makes a displeasing star formation, or repeats the same number of arms, the offense must surrender the starball to the confronter.
This constitutes an interception and initiates "Phase 3" of the round.
Phase 3 is brutal and humiliating to underscore the continual failure of art to improve the human spirit.
The intercepting team must reform one at a time into a long train. Essentially the confronter, who has the ball, must run around to collect all his or her teammates, who cannot move until they are rejoined.
Meanwhile the other team, now on the defensive, spreads over the enemy portion of the field in an attempt to obstruct the opposition and hide stray members. The obstructing team may move around as much as they like and may even adorn themselves in their enemies' colors to sew confusion. Truly no tactic is too ignoble in the hot grasp of failure.
The intercepting team hands half-points (3) to the opposition if they depart for the end zone missing a player, or with an imposter player in tow, or do not make it to the end zone within 3 minutes. The frequency of these outcomes inspire feelings of excited helplessness, useless excitement, and shame, among their fans.
But if the intercepting team reaches the end zone in time they score double points (12).
There are two halves of 6 rounds each in a game of starball. In the case of a tie, overtime segments are 2 rounds each until a winner is determined.
Phase 2 is the most important part of a given round. Although the "points" determine which team "wins," the representative cities are competing for a more important outcome on the basis of star-formation artistry alone. In quantifying artistry, judge input is irrelevant. This is where audience reaction is tallied and compared. In proportion to how excited fans became at the enemy team's formations, some will have to move to the other city.
If your team is bested in star-movements by their opponent, you and your household may be selected and relocated to the winning city. You will have to start life over as a fan of the enemy team (product placement; U-Haul).
Moving expenses would not be an issue. They would be paid by the starball league; just one more line-item in the bloated American professional sports industry.
This penalty addresses the main problem with existing professional sports.
The main problem with existing professional sports is that a city will still love its team regardless of failure.
Cities are to be denied this luxury from now on. For like all luxuries, unconditional love is corrupting of moral fiber. In starball, feeling the pain of failure will be mandatory. Engaging in fandom with your new home team after a move will also be mandatory.
Starball fans will be forced to acknowledge what is already true of all professional sports fandom—that they are a commodity belonging to corporate logos and corporate investors—to recognize their indentured status, by being traded between owners. The illusion of nobility in fandom will be revealed for what it is, even as fans are forced to uphold the very same façade.
Finally, starball is to replace all other sports, as they would be distracting to starball.