Sports of Fiction

Do you have a good idea for a sport? In the fictional world of film, TV and literature, you are limited only by your imagination to come up with some exciting new sports. Due to gravity, the laws of physics, and humanity's general disapproval for murder and the need for some rules, very few of these ideas have become sports in the real world, and if so, they come with significant modifications. Here are just some of my favorites.

Quidditch from Harry Potter

The most well known fictional sport is Quidditch, from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. The players in the Harry Potter world zoom around the pitch on broomsticks, accomplishing various tasks including throwing a ball through hoops, preventing the other team from scoring by batting away balls, and capturing the elusive "snitch," a small, flying golden ball which consequently ends the game. For us muggles (non-wizards), it is not possible to play Quidditch due to the slight difficulty of flying on a broom, but you can join other Potterheads and play Muggle Quidditch, where the players just pretend to fly around on brooms.

The Hunger Games from The Hunger Games Series

In what seems like the inspiration for another fictional game Fortnite, The Hunger Games from the book series by Suzanne Collins have just one official rule: Last one standing wins. All 12 districts in a future world select a boy and a girl, called Tributes, to compete in a nationally televised event called the Hunger Games in a fight to the death until only one remains ... Good luck, and may the Odds be Ever in your Favor...

Tap Ball from The Simpsons

Tap Ball is a game invented by Homer J Simpson from the cartoon show the Simpsons. Tap Ball is a combination of many sports. As Homer says…"The only equipment you need is a smartphone, thirteen balls of varying size, bats made of glass…some chalk to mark the many end zones, a quaffle, Kevlar body armor" As expected from a game invented by Homer Simpson, the rules are not very clear. As he said "The only rule of Tap Ball is… THERE…ARE…NO…more than sixty-seven rules. With attached sub-rules, notes, and clarifications."

German Batball from The Sirens of Titan

The sport of German Batball is played on Mars in Kurt Vonnegut book The Sirens of Titan. It is the only sport played on Mars by the 52 children that live there. Batball is similar to baseball, except there are only three bases, the ball is "a flabby ball the size of a big honeydew melon", and the fielding team tries to hit runners with it as they run between the bases. Also, despite the name, there is no bat. The ball is hit off one hand with the other.

Electro-Magnetic Golf from Brave New World

Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's novel of the future world, written in 1932. In his imagined world, one of the new types of recreation is electro-magnetic golf. Unfortunately it is only mentioned briefly with limited explanation, so you have to try to imagine what it is like yourself. I imagine some type of mini-golf where you put a metal ball through a magnetic field.

Flonkerton from The Office

As part of the Office Olympics, Flonkerton is a fun race in which characters on the hit TV show The Office run with full boxes of office paper attached to their feet.

Podracing from Starwars

Podracing is a sport featured on Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It is a motor sport similar to Formula One, though the airborne racers reach to 900km/h. Podracing mostly took place on planets in the Outer Rim of the galaxy, like Tatooine, home to Anakin Skywalker. Little Anakin made podracing history by being the first human to ever win a race.

Brockian Ultra-Cricket from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

In the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, brockian ultra-cricket is a game in which players hit each other as hard as possible, then run far away and apologize. The players are scored based on the quality of their apologies.

Pyramid from Battlestar Galactica

Pyramid is a sport featured in Battlestar Galactica, though the rules to this game are not that clear. It seems to combine basketball and rugby, played on a triangular-shaped court and the object is to get the ball into a basket on the top of the pyramid.

Jugger from The Salute of the Jugger

Jugger is a sport from the Australian-American movie “The Salute of the Jugger”. In the movie, the portrayal of Jugger was incredibly brutal. They used steel weapons, make-shift armors and had serious injuries. Not just fiction anymore, there are Jugger competitions with a little less gore.

Skeet Surfin' from Top Secret!

Skeet surfing is a sport that combines surfing and skeet-shooting, from the 1984 comedy Top Secret!. Contestants are scored on their accuracy, grace, and daring, and lose points for each spectator shot. As the opening song goes: "It's totally bitchin', riding waves and blasting pigeons, and it's so neat shooting skeet while we're riding on the heavies all day!"

Anbo-jyutsu from Star Trek

Anbo-jyutsu is a martial art that was practiced in the 24th century. It was invented in 2168 by a blind gymnast on Alpha Centauri and it requires "kinesthetics, balance, and keen senses". Sounds like something from Star Trek? Well it is. Anbo-jyutsu takes place in a circular arena, where two opponents battle each other while wearing light protective gear with a full-face helmet so they cannot see. Their weapon is a staff with a proximity sensor on one end which can detect where their adversary is.

BASEketball from Baseketball

Created in the movie of the same name, BASEketball is basketball with baseball rules. A free throw scores a single, a shot from the top of the key a double, and a three-pointer scores a triple. The greatest part of the game is its use of "psyche-outs" – distracting your opponent with insults is not only allowed but encouraged.

Croquet from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The game of croquet played by the Queen of Hearts in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is just like regular croquet, though with a bit more aggression and using flamingos for mallets.

Calvinball from "Calvin and Hobbes"

The main rule of Calvinball is that it every game must be different. Otherwise, competitors may make them up at any time during a match. And there is no point-scoring system. Hard to describe really.

a roller derby roller derby, the inspiration for Rollerball

Rollerball from Rollerball

The sport of Rollerball is from the 1970 movie of the same name. It's roller derby taken to the extreme. Two teams do laps of a velodrome on roller skates and motorcycles, competing to put a steel ball into their goal, while legally taking out the opposition. To quote the movie: GAME?! THIS WASN"T MEANT TO BE A GAME! EVER!

Blernsball from Futurama

Blernsball is from the animated series Futurama. In the (near) future after baseball was deemed too boring, the game has been modernized. Some of the improvements include the ball tied to the pitch by an elastic tether and a giant tarantula helps ferry balls about. The best bit is the multi-ball play, where suddenly balls start flying everywhere while the batter floats over the bases on a motorcycle.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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