The new sport of Zapball was created by Vinay Babla from the United Kingdom in April 2016. This futuristic sport combines elements of shooting, handball and football but does not involve traditional shooting. Instead of shooting to damage, this sport involves shooting at a teammate with a ball (which is soft) to make a pass (as well as shooting at a goal in order to score).
The main piece of equipment is the "zapper" , which resembles a toy shooter but, uniquely, can both shoot and receive a ball (potentially through the same hole). The zapper (and zapball) don't exist yet and that is why this is a futuristic sport.
The sport is played on a rectangular area (either indoor or outdoor) with 2 goals at opposite ends
- There are 2 teams which each have the same number of players, though this number depends on the size of the area the sport is being played
- The match has game time of 1 hour and that is split into 3 sections of 20 minutes each. Between each section is a 5 minute break.
- Each team has a goalkeeper (and they will have their own small area) while the remaining players are only allowed to move in the remaining area outside of the goalkeepers' areas
- Each team has a captain and before the match starts, they perform a coin toss to decide which half each captain gets/who wishes to start
- One team has possession at the halfway line and the referee blows the whistle for the game to start
- Players cannot move position while they have possession of the ball; they can only turn about a position
- Players pass the ball to their team mates by shooting at them and a teammate will receive the ball through their zapper
- Players can make drop shots by dropping to the ground and shooting (though some arm and knee protection may be advisable for this) or jump shots by jumping in the air and shooting
- The idea is for a team to move closer to a goal so they can score while the opposing team tries to prevent this
- When the ball enters a goal, a goal is scored and the team with the most goals at the end wins
- After a goal is scored, the team that conceded continues from the halfway line
- If the number of goals are equal by the end of the hour, there is extra time of 20 minutes until a team scores and, if both teams fail to do that, a penalty shootout will decide the winner (best of 5 but keep going if still equal)
- After a ball is shot, if it does anything other than go directly into a teammate's zapper, possession is handed over to the opposition
- For a ball that doesn't bounce and goes on the sides, a shoot in is rewarded (similar to throw in in football).
- For a ball that doesn't bounce and goes behind your goal as a result of an opposition shot, a goal shoot (similar to goal kick in football) for the goalkeeper is rewarded. For a ball that doesn't bounce and goes behind the opposition goal as a result of an opposition shot, a corner shoot (similar to a corner kick in football) is rewarded.
- For a ball that hits any other player or bounces on the floor, a free shoot (similar to a free kick in football) is rewarded to the opposition. Play continues where the error was made, i.e. where the ball hit another player. An example of how that may be achieved is if an opposition player blocks a shot using their zapper
- For a ball that is caught by an opposition zapper, they gain possession
- Zapball is a contact sport because players are going to come in contact with one another but excessive force or showing intent to harm another player results in a free shoot for the opposition. It may also result in a yellow card and, if repeated by the same player during a match, a red card, which will result in that player being sent off. In this case, the player will not be allowed to take any further part in the match.
- Zapper (2-in-1 receiver and shooter). The zapper has a speed control range which allows you to adjust what speed you will fire the ball at. This allows you to make high speed shots as well as low speed ones. (The high speed ones will, I imagine, be traveling in excess of 50mph).
- Eye and groin protection may be required if the ball is not sufficiently soft while armguards and kneeguards are optional.
- 2 goals must also be set up at opposite ends of the area. If nets are not available, cones are a reasonable substitute and the height of the goalkeeper is the height limit.
Zapball is a futuristic sport but it can be played today without the 2-in-1 shooter and receiver. Players can simply the catch a ball (ideally made of foam material or other material that is soft) with their hands before loading it into their gun and then shooting after that. It is a longer process but a reasonable substitute in the meantime.
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Other Zap Sports
Vinay Babla has also suggested a couple of other sports that could ustized the "zapper".
- Zap Dodgeball - A futuristic sport that combines shooting with dodgeball. Instead of throwing a ball, a 'zapper' is used which can both shoot and receive a ball. Otherwise, everything is the same as in dodgeball. Equipment: Zapper (2-in-1 shooter and receiver) which resembles a toy shooter. It is probable that the zapper will shoot and receive through the same hole. The zapper can also pick balls off the ground so that they are ready for shooting.
- Zap Water Polo - A futuristic sport that combines shooting with water polo. Instead of throwing and catching a ball, a waterproof 'zapper' is used which can both shoot and receive a ball. Otherwise, everything is the same as in water polo. Equipment: Waterproof zapper (2-in-1 shooter and receiver) which resembles a toy shooter. It is probable that the zapper will shoot and receive through the same hole. The zapper can also pick balls from the water so that they are ready for shooting. Safety equipment such as safety headgear may be required.
- Other new sports
- About hybrid sports
- Complete list of unusual sports