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Pole Ball

The new sport of Pole Ball was created by Ryan Hoogerheide of Holland, Michigan, created in March 2014. Pole Ball is a physical, fast moving game with elements of basketball, lacrosse, and volleyball.


To dribble a ball like in basketball, and work as a team to score the most points in the time allowed.

Time: 4 Fifteen minute quarters, plus a five minute overtime if tied at the end of regulation.  If tied after overtime in regular season: two point shootout. Playoffs/tournament: 4 minute OT of 4v4, if still tied, then 3mins of 3v3, then 2 mins 2v2, after that volley best 2 of 3 for winner.

To begin the game: both teams line up facing each other across the pole. The teams should be perpendicular to the 12 goal. Each team's "center" then takes a tip-off thrown up by the referee at the pole. Now the team who won the tip-off must play like volleyball. They are allowed to hit the ball three times (if the ball hits the ground the other team starts with possession) and then they must hit the ball to the other team, having the ball go above the poles height. The opposing team then does the same thing (again if the ball hits the ground the opposing team begins with possession) and gets the ball back to the team who won the tip-off. Now the same rules apply, where the team has three hits (one person may not hit the ball twice.) to get the ball back to the other side, but the ball may cross the pole at any height. Once the ball hits the ground and the volley is dead, the losing team must leave the area behind the pole and move into the larger third of the court. The team who won the volley, must then grab the ball and move into the area behind the pole. On the referees whistle the game clock begins. As soon as the whistle is blown all of the offensive players, except for the one with the ball are allowed to leave the area behind the pole and enter into play. The player with the ball must pass the ball into one of their teammates in order to begin gameplay. Once this happens that player may leave the area behind the pole and join in gameplay. The volley happens at the beginning of each game, quarter and OT.pole ball

Gameplay: Once the ball has been passed in, the offensive team has ten seconds to get the ball across half-court. (The offense moves the ball by dribbling, and passing the ball to each other like basketball. Also, when a player picks up their dribble, they may pivot, pass, or shoot. If a player picks up their dribble, then walks, or walks without dribbling, that is a travel and possession will be awarded to the defensive team at  half-court.) Once the ball crosses half-court, a 1 minute shot-clock begins. The goal of the offensive team is to throw the ball and hit the padding, which is the 12 goal. If a goal is scored from a shot inside of the courts three point arc, then it is one point, if the shot comes from outside of the arc, it is worth two points. When the ball hits the padding, the offensive team is rewarded the points, and if they catch the ball before it hits the ground after it hits the padding (without crease interference which is discussed later) then they are awarded one additional point. If a defensive player catches the ball before it hits the ground after a goal, then they are awarded one point. Whichever team catches the ball receives possession, and will be able to pass the ball in from the crease, outside of the court. If neither team catches the ball after a goal, then no additional points are awarded and the offensive team keeps possession. Once a one or two point goal is scored, the three point pole is unlocked. The team who gained possession after the initial one or two point goal, then must pass the ball in to one of their teammates (within 5 seconds like basketball). Once the ball is in play, the offensive team has 10seconds to get the ball past the free throw line, then another 1 minute shot clock. Then the offensive team tries to shoot and hit the pole, while the defensive team defends. If the pole is hit, the offensive team is awarded three points, and the defensive team goes behind the pole and gets possession, similarly to the beginning of the game. If the offensive team turns the ball over on their way to the three-point pole, then the defensive team, who then became the offensive team by gaining possession of the turnover, must play for the one or two point goal to unlock the three point pole, because change of possession on the way to the pole relocks the pole. (As stated earlier, however, change of possession on a rebound after a goal unlocks the three point pole no matter what).

The creases: there are two "creases" or single player areas on the court. The first crease is between the end line of the basketball court and the wall that holds the 12 goal. The other crease surrounds the pole which is on the free throw line. One player from the defensive team is allowed in the crease when that team is on defense, therefore becoming a goalkeeper. However, with one player in goal, field play becomes five v four, so teams do not have to play with a goalie, they can play 5v5 with an open goal or pole, or they can play a hybrid style, as long as only one player is in the crease at a time. If a second defensive player enters the crease when there is already one in it it is a violation and a thirty second penalty. If an offensive player enters the crease, it is also a thirty second penalty.

Defense: Physical contact IS allowed and is a part of the game (in this, the men's version).When an offensive player is dribbling a defensive player may shove the offensive player in the front, side, or shoulder, as long as their hands are within 6 inches of each other, or is one handed. Also, when an offensive player is dribbling a defensive player may use two hands close together, or one hand to drive a player from the front, or side. A defensive player may also use their arm to stop the forward progress of an offensive player. When an offensive player is holding the ball a defensive player may not shove, or drive the offensive player, shoving will either be called a push with possession for 30 secs or unnecessary roughness, which can be 1 or 2 minutes at the officials discretion. Driving of a player with the ball, but not dribbling will be called illegal force or illegal contact, and will be assessed as a 30 second or 1 minute penalty. however a defensive player may have their hands on an offensive players front or side for defensive positioning. When an offensive player is dribbling or holding the ball, a defensive player may swat at the ball, and the hands of the offensive player. (This is why gloves are highly recommended). If the defensive player swats the forearm of the offensive player, this is illegal contact and a thirty second penalty. When an offensive player is being passed the ball, a defensive player may legally shove, or drive (within the regulations stated above) the offensive player away from the ball. Also, the defensive player may swat at the offensive players hands so they do not catch it. Hits to the back, head, and forearms are illegal and penalties will be assessed appropriately.

Additional notes: The game clock runs unless the official blows their whistle to signal a penalty, the ball going out of bounds, a time-out, or a three-point goal is scored. There is free substitution as long as both the player entering and exiting the game go through the substitution box in the center of the court, similar to lacrosse. The team who wins the volley may not substitute immediately, but must wait until the ball is passed in front of the pole to begin play. The defensive team May sub immediately after a volley. The same rules apply after a three-point goal. After a one or two point goal, similar rules apply where the team who gains possession after the goal may not substitute immediately,but the defending team may substitute whenever. Picks and screens are allowed, but the players feet must be set. If an offensive player is standing in front of either goal, and the goalie is in the crease, the goalie may move the offensive player, even if it means a shove, or drive in the back, as long as the offensive player is not harmed, or interfered with. (If that crease player is going to receive a pass and the goalie pushes him in the back, that is an illegal push and is a thirty second penalty.) the offensive player may not make contact with the goalie unless the goalie is out of the crease. Each team receives two timeouts per quarter.

Glossary of Penalties


Played in a gym on a basketball court with padding on the walls on each end. Baskets should be raised up so as not to interfere with gameplay. There should be a pole, like one used to hold badminton or volleyball nets, should be firm, but portable (ten feet is recommended pole size, ) placed on ones the free throw lines. A ball similar to that used in team handball, or any ball about that size that is bouncy enough to dribble May be used. (Players should be able to grip the ball with one hand)No required equipment, gloves recommended. The game is played between two teams. Each team is allowed to have five players on the floor at once.

more-info: The "12" goal is the goal on the wall and is used for one and two point goals. The pole is the three point goal.

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