Here are the rules of Appleball, a game that Brendan, Pedro and I developed while wandering about in the Garleton Hills when I was recovering from an injury [broken back]. The game first came about by throwing apples, but these were soon replaced with juggling balls due to the rather short life span of the apples. I recommend 120g juggling balls. Balls that bounce or roll too much won’t work. The game is equally at home in Tesco’s car park as it is in the hills, as some rather confused Czech boys, who we managed to convince to play the game, will be able to tell you.
I’m releasing the rules under a Creative Commons licence. Utterly pointless, of course, but it sounds cool. OK, here are the rules (almost certainly incomplete – I’ll tweak them as I remember them!):
Appleball requires three players or more, but is noticably better when played with just three players. It is a tactical, turn-based ball game that involves throwing your own ball to try to gain points. Points are gained by either hitting another ball or by hitting the current target. The winner is the first player to fifteen points.
- Play stone-paper-scissors to decide the initial order of play.
- The first player selects the first target and throws his ball first, as far or near as he likes. No points are scored if the target is hit by the first player on the first throw.
- The person farthest from the target throws, unless he has just thrown.
- A throw must finish closer to the target than where it was thrown from. If this is not the case, the thrower misses an entire throw.
- Throws must be made with one foot where the ball lay and the other foot not closer to the target than the first foot.
- If a ball hits an opponents ball, the thrower gets a point and gets to throw again. The same opponents ball cannot be hit twice in a row, even if the throwers ball lands behind it.
- If a ball hits an opponents ball and rolls/bounces on to hit another opponents ball, the points are doubled (four points awarded for two balls, six for three…).
- If a ball hits the target, the thrower gets a point and everyone collects their balls and moves to the target. The thrower who hit the target selects the next target and throws first. Again, no points are scored if the target is hit by the first player on the first throw. The thrower who was next closest is second, etc.
- Location – although I imagine you could play the game in all sorts of places, try to pick somewhere with plenty of space. A smattering of obstacles keep things interesting. Woods are probably bad and groups of neds are worth avoiding.
- Target selection – entirely up to the thrower, although something too close or too easy to hit isn’t that great. Fence posts, lamp posts and small signs work well.
- Attitude – remain focused and deadly serious at all times. Appleball is the reason for life itself. Don’t lose sight of that in favour of taking the piss out of your mates. Never play Appleball under the influence of alcohol. Not even strange Czech spirits…
- Tactics – the good part of the game is working them out for yourself :)