May 23, 2019 | 73° F

Fictional sports are hitting the field in reality


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There are some things that we see in movies, television shows or read about in books that we wish we could replicate in real life. But, much to our delight, a few of our beloved fictional activities and sports have actually managed to find their way into the real world.

Quidditch

As many of you may know, Quidditch comes from the beloved fantasy series written by J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter." While in our world, we can’t actually fly, the rules and concepts still stay true to the original gameplay. The sport was brought to life in 2005 by Xander Manshel and Alex Benepe while they were first-years at Middlebury College. In fact, Rutgers even has its own Quidditch team. 

"The sport is a mix of football, basketball, dodgeball and soccer,” said Naresh Edala, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and president of Rutgers Quidditch. “Fictional sports capture people’s imaginations, because in that fictional world things can be done that you wouldn’t be able to do in real life."

Lightsaber Dueling

The force has officially transitioned over from the widely-recognized "Star Wars" franchise into the sports world. While you definitely can’t slice someone in half, you can have an epic duel, complete with LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate lightsaber replicas. The sport was officially recognized in France, and can be compared to the likes of fencing. 

The fighters must wear masks and armor, but the 3-minute bouts take place inside a circle taped to the floor. Whoever reaches 15 points first wins. But, if both fighters reach 10 points, it goes into “sudden death,” and the next player to land a strike to the head or body wins. The point system is as follows: 5 points for strikes to the head or body, 3 points for strikes to the arms or legs and 1 point for strikes to the hands. The catch? The fighters must swing their lightsaber behind them as they do in the films in order to be awarded the strikes.

Sabacc

Sabacc, also known as “Star Wars Han Solo Card Game” due to trademarking issues, is another game that derives from the "Star Wars" franchise. This game plays a key role in "Star Wars," as it’s how Han Solo won the Millenium Falcon. The card game is described as cross between blackjack and poker, with different variations of the game. 

The 76-card deck has four suits: Sabers, Flasks, Coins and Staves. Each suit has 11 numbered cards and four ranked cards: Commander (12), Mistress (13), Master (14) and Ace (15 or 1). The remaining 16 cards are "face" cards split up into eight pairs all consisting of negative or zero values. Those cards are The Star (-17), The Evil One (-15), Moderation (-14), Demies (-13), Balance (-11), Endurance (-8), Queen of Air and Darkness (-2) and the Idiot card (0). 

In order to win, the player must have a hand equal to 23 or -23, as both are considered to be “pure sabacc.” A player can also win if they have an “Idiot’s Array,” in which they have an Idiot, a card with the value of 2 and a card with the value of 3 . As mentioned before, there are different variations of the game. Some involve dice and others don't, so how one goes about playing all depends on which variation one follows.

Calvinball

This game comes straight from the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes." The only rule is that there are no rules. Each game is unique and left up to the imagination of the players, who make up the rules as they go. They can add the use of different sports equipment, or they can add different things that they find around the house. 

The sport doesn’t have any official leagues or governing bodies because it goes against the general understanding of how it's played. Technically, anyone can start their own game of Calvinball whenever and wherever, they just need a friend to play with.


Anna Masciandaro

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