Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Stupid Games (part 2: BruteBall?)

Ok, I've got a few tweaks to scrimmages lined up, but since it has been almost a month since my last post I'll go with something that is more unique.  I cannot claim credit for this game.  At best I could give credit to Noah Cohen, but I think he learned it from someone in North Carolina.  Patrick Hard went to school in NC, so let's pretend he invented it.

The game's name is still up in the air.  Noah called it "honey pot" . . . I am not calling a game that I might be teaching middle school kids by that name.  From now on I will refer to it as BruteBall (please someone leave a better name in the comments).

The game feels similar to KanJam in that there is a can (in this case a larger, circular trashcan).  But unlike KanJam it isn't a passive game about throwing and deflection.  It also isn't symmetric.  The game is played with exactly 3 players.  Each possession two are on offense and one is on defense.  The offenders are trying to put the disc in the trashcan in pretty much any manner they can, but the disc can't cross the plane at the top of the lid while it is still in someone's hand.  So you literally can't jam the can.

Like ultimate, you can't travel when you have the disc and you have a stall (in this case 6 seconds).  But unlike ultimate, the defender doesn't have to mark in order to stall.  You would think that scoring happens when the offense puts the disc in the can, but that isn't the case.  Each possession, a point is scored for the defender if there is a turnover.  Then the defender rotates to a new person and you start a new possession.  The only rules for the defender are they they cannot cover the can with their body/arms.  Games are played to whatever you like, but 5 seems to work pretty well.

To start a possession the defender just tosses the disc somewhere in the playing area and the game starts.  The playing area can be as large as you like, but must completely surround the can.  It doesn't have to be a circle where the can is the center, but the can needs to be accessible from all sides.

So what is this game about.  It might seem like the thing to do defensively is to just sit at the can.  There are no rules preventing you from doing that, but it will allow the offense to get really close to the can, and then it only takes the offender getting the disc around your body and dropping it in to score.  You might logically think that the thing to do is to stall while playing tight defense on the other offender.  But then you leave an uncontested throw for on offender and if the other one sneaks past you then it is an easy goal.

Instead the thing to do is to figure out the balance between the two.  You play the lane to block a direct shot while trying to also contest a pass to the other offender, all while stalling.  So this game is working on help defense and controlling angles (I guess . . . it is mostly just fun).

That is it for another installment of Stupid Games.  I'll come back next month with something else . . . maybe with pictures.


Mike said...


yes, it is called "honeypot" and there is a storied tradition. the game was invented in 2004ish by Paul Batten and Aaron Heisler. the most regular game occurs on the saturday evening of club nationals. Paul hosted a couple tournaments in Boston (the most famous being the BoCoHoPoTo, pictures here: World championships were held in Charleston later that year, with results lost to history.

and you are forgetting at least 1 important rule. alley-oops are worth 2 points!


Martin said...

Thanks Mike. I'm glad to get the credits right and to learn about the alley-ooo rule.