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Sabakiball is a new sport created in 2009 by Michael Cerpok, originally from Arizona, USA. Sabakiball is currently being played in every state of the United States and across Canada. There are also Sabakiball games being played in Australia, China, India. It is a five-on-five team sport where one team tries to strike the opposing teams goal pin causing it to fall down or move off of the goal-pin spot. The sport was awarded a patent on the equipment as well as on the rules of play in 2011.


Sport Description

The game starts out with a jump-ball at center court, similar to basketball. Players may either grab or tip the ball to their teammates. On subsequent stops in play, the referee will point to the goalie that starts with the ball. Whichever team had "last touch", the opposing team starts with the ball. Their goalie has three seconds to retrieve a new ball from behind the BakiBoard and step into their goalie box. The referee now blows the whistle to start play, giving the goalie three seconds to release the ball.

Three Pass Rule. A team must complete a minimum of three consecutive passes before attempting a shot on goal. If the ball hits the ground for any reason, or if the other team gains possession of the ball, you must start your three passes all over again. It is important to remember that, while you can move the ball up the court in any way you wish; running, dribbling, passing, even using your feet, if the ball touches the ground you start your three passes over again. Also, a ball on the ground is called a scrum and any player may grab the ball gaining possession for their team.

Three Second Rule. Once you gain possession of the ball, you have just three seconds to release it; either by passing the ball to another player, taking a shot, or otherwise releasing the ball. Dribbling the ball does restart your three seconds, but it also restarts your three passes. Goalies may not restart their three seconds while in their goalie box. The Three Second Rule should not be confused with the three steps allowed in Team Handball or Ultimate Frisbee. Some players can run with the ball the entire length of the court in three seconds.

Goalie Box. In front of each BakiBoard is a clearly marked Goalie Box. Players other than the goalie can not reach in, step in, or run through the Goalie Box. In fact, when a player takes a shot on goal, their arm can not go over the Goalie Box line as they release the ball. Entering the Goalie Box results in the ball being given to the other team at mid-court and a warning is issued. After a third warning, a two minute penalty is assessed and the team has to play short-handed. 

No-Shot Zone. Extending all the way across the court, along the front of the Goalie Box, is the No-Shot Zone. Players CAN go into the No-Shot Zone, but can NOT score a goal from the No-Shot Zone. Sometimes players DO take their shot from inside the No-Shot Zone. If the pin goes down because of a shot from the No-Shot Zone the goal is disallowed. A Jump Shot is where a player jumps into the No-Shot Zone and as long as the ball leaves your hand BEFORE your foot hits the ground, you are not considered to be in the No-Shot Zone and a goal resulting from a Jump Shot WILL be allowed.

IMPORTANT NOTES. In many sports that use a goalie, the goalie waits while their team is on offense. This is NOT true in SABAKIBALL!  This is one of the hardest things to get used to for new players.  When the goalie's team has the ball, the goalie advances to mid-court to become part of the offense.  This is called 'playing the point'  Goals can be scored from the point.  More importantly, if the team has no clear shot and no one open for a pass, they can utilize their goalie. 

Sabakiball is a NON-CONTACT sport. You can not knock people off of the ball and you can not strip the ball away. Block the ball, intercept the ball, if the ball is on the ground (called a scrum) go and get it.


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