Friday, June 24, 2016

Stupid Games (part 3: Frisketball)

I have been playing Frisketball since 2011 when a bunch of Paideia Juniors and I made it up after our season ended in the spring.  We could only get a handful of people, and didn't want to drive out to a field or put on cleats.  So we needed something akin to pickup basketball where you could almost always play (on the same field) and people could come and go with little disturbance to the overall game.  Frisketball was created and is best played with between 4 and 8 players.

The rules started almost identical to Hot Box.  The playing field is the basketball court.  The goal is to complete a pass to your team inside of the paint.  That is it.  Super simple.

In the past few years we have evolved the rules a little bit, making the game more like basketball and finding other tweaks.  Here are the basic rules that we always play with.

- Stall is 7
- Picks are discouraged, but so is calling picks
- Neither offense nor defense can stand in the paint for more than 3 seconds
- If you throw the disc in the hoop it is a goal (good luck)
- Double-teams are allowed

The game is all about shifting spaces and the rectangular nature of the goal makes scoring interesting.  It is a game that encourages fast play, creative throws, and offering appropriate help defense.

A 2-on-2 game is hard because the defense will always play towards the paint and with only one other person as a viable target it becomes difficult to find useful attacking space (but there is plenty of reset space).

A 3-on-3 game is exciting because there can be lots of swinging to shift attack angles, but there still aren't enough people for you to rest too much.

A 4-on-4 game is tough because the defense can clog so effectively.  The offense needs to be much more coordinated, which can be very rewarding.

The game can also be full or half-court depending on numbers and available space.

A few of the alternate rules that we have installed in the game:
- No over-and-back: in a full court game once the thrower establish one point of contact beyond the half-court line if they go backwards (either with a pivot or a pass), it is a turnover.

- Out of bounds: if any point of contact for the thrower is on or beyond the out of bounds line it is a turnover.  This includes stopping with the disc after you catch it (it also creates interesting trap situations on defense).

- 10 second rule: in a full court game the offensive team has 10 seconds (from in-bounds possession of the disc) to get the disc past the half-court line.  This 10 seconds can be counted by anyone on or off the field, and must be counted down from 10 to avoid confusion with the stall

- 2 point line: in a full court game, if a goal is thrown from beyond the half-court line it is worth two points

- Jump ball: in a full court game, to start the game you can have a jump ball at center court.  If the disc hits the ground without being caught then the team going away from the side where it lands starts with the disc at its current location.

Frisketball is really tremendous fun.  People who are bad at ultimate can still be good at frisketball.  It is easy to play with all ages and across gender.  It isn't a lot of running, but is incredibly tiring.  It can be physical or gentle depending on how you want to play it.  If you give it a go and have feedback please don't hesitate to post it as a comment.  All of those expanded rules were the rules of just having fun with it, so more collaboration is encouraged.

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