Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bellamy Sports: Bellamy Football

Continuing with the Bellamy Sports series, it's time for sport number two: Bellamy Football.

Bellamy Football became the second Bellamy Sport in early 2000. It evolved from a social kick around and quickly overtook Bellamy Tennis in popularity.

What you need for Bellamy Football is a large open field or park, an even number of players, and an Aussie Rules football (though a rugby ball will do at a pinch).

The game is a version of "Forcings Back" where one team must kick the football to their opponents' boundary in order to win. The boundaries must be determined prior to the game commencing. The original Bellamy Football game was played in a park surrounded on all four sides by fences. If no fences exist on any side, then an imaginary border must be decided upon.

There is also no requirement for the field of play to be fully open or, indeed, flat. Our official Bellamy Football field had an asphalt path running diagonally across it, trees planted every twenty or so metres on either side of the path, a park bench with a rubbish bin next to it, a children's play area at one end complete with swings and slides, and a nasty downhill slope at the other end. Any obstacles and slopes should be taken into account when deciding the starting point of the game.

A toss of a coin is held before the start of the game. The winner of the toss may decide either who starts with the ball, or which end they wish to attack. The loser of the toss has the other choice. Once ends and initial possession are decided upon, the game commences.

The team with possession starts at the designated spot - generally the halfway line - and then handballs the ball as far as possible towards their opponents' end of the ground. All handballs must be made Aussie Rules style and must be made with the person's non-preferred hand. Any handball made with the person's preferred hand will result in a penalty.

The receiving team must then catch or grab the ball as far upfield as possible. The ball must be in a players possession before it stops moving. If the ball comes to a complete standstill then the receiving team are penalised (see below). Once a player is in possession of the football, they must then kick it mightily towards their opponents' boundary.

When a player kicks the ball, they must not move their non-kicking foot from its position on the ground. That is, the non-kicking foot must remain planted firmly where it was when the ball was picked up, while the other foot kicks the football. This is the no-step kick rule that Bellamy Football employs. There are only two exceptions to the no-step kick rule.

The first exception is the one-step kick that players are allowed if they mark the ball (ie. catch it on the full from an opposition player's kick). On marking the ball a player may take one step forward with their non-kicking foot and kick at the same time.

Additionally, if a player marks the ball they earn a free handball. This allows them to handball (again, with their non-preferred hand) to a team mate further up the field before that player takes the kick. Earned handballs may be accumulated and used at any time a team is in possession of the ball, though handballs may not be carried over from game to game. For example a team may take three marks during the course of the game but not use the handballs. When they get within striking range of their opponents' boundary they can then handball three times to bring the ball even closer for a shot at winning the game. If a player attempts a handball and it is not caught by their team mate, then they immediately lose any accumulated handballs and must return the ball to the original player for a penalty kick.

A team is also allowed to use one sideline handball if the ball is within two metres of a side fence. This handball cannot advance up the field but must travel laterally or back towards that team's own boundary. Failure to adhere to this will result in a penalty kick.

Penalty kicks are the second exception to the no-step rule. Any time a team is penalised their next kick must be taken while taking one step backwards. The player must step back with their non-kicking foot and kick the ball simultaneously. This isn't quite as hard as it sounds, though it can lead to some amusing moments.

Play continues until either one team kicks the ball into the opponents' boundary or boundary area, thereby winning the game, or one team kicks the ball out of bounds, thereby immediately losing the game. The teams then change ends and play a second game. The first team to win two games is the winner.

Penalty Summary

A penalty is awarded against a team when a player from that team:

  • drops an attempted mark; or
  • drops an attempted handball; or
  • handballs with their preferred hand; or
  • takes the wrong kind of kick; or
  • moves after taking possession of the ball; or
  • allows the ball to come to a complete stop before picking it up; or
  • handballs forwards at a sideline handball; or
  • handballs when the team has no accumulated handballs remaining.

    Note: Penalties in italics also indicate the team loses any accumulated handballs.

  • And that, my friends, is Bellamy Football. Things to remember are:

  • make sure you use the correct "step" rule when you kick;
  • always handball with your non-preferred hand;
  • grab that ball before it stops rolling;
  • don't kick the ball out of bounds or you'll lose immediately;
  • have fun; and
  • wherever possible, laugh and/or jeer at your opponents.
  • Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Amuse-bouche: Shiny!

    In addition to the new games I scored this Christmas, The Giggling One was even more generous when she gave me some bonus bits and pieces for Agricola.

    My animeeples have now been complemented with vegimeeples:

    And I have five majorly cool new designer boards to play with:


    Christmas Hoard 2010

    It's good to be a gamer at Christmas. You get what you want, and it makes it easier for people to find something for you. Unless of course, they know you are a gamer but not your game preferences and you end up with a bit of a dud. Of course, I cannot confirm or deny whether or not any games I received were duds. I'll let you be the judge, but I did pretty darn well.

    We'll start with my wish list. Two months ago I posted about what was on my gaming radar as far as games I'd be happy to be the proud recipient of. I scored three out of the six games that were on that list, so that's a pretty impressive hit rate:

    Martian Fluxx

    Dice Town


    Additionally, my sisters chose to fuel my gaming habits with:

    Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot plus the Perfectly Pink Booster (this was a gift for both myself and The Giggling One)

    and Big Brother (this one doesn't have an entry on Geekdō, so I've now submitted one :-) ).

    Finally, there was my and the Giggling One's gift to ourselves: Magic: The Gathering (Magic 2010 edition).

    We've already played Martian Fluxx, Dice Town, and Magic. I'll do my best to post reviews in the near (read "distant") future. With any luck, the other games on my wish list may come my way by my birthday in February (hint hint).

    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Bellamy Sports: Bellamy Tennis

    This is the first of a series of posts detailing the legendary Bellamy Sports: games I created with the aid of friends in 1999 and 2000. "Bellamy" is my nickname among my circle of friends with whom these increasingly ridiculous games were created and played.

    The first Bellamy Sport,
    Bellamy Tennis, came into being during a doubles tennis match (well "match" isn't perhaps the best description as it was more of a social hit around) in 1999. The four players who were blissfully unaware of what they were about to start were myself, Leah, Steve and Mick. After a couple of regular games with various partnerships, the game suddenly changed...

    Imagine, if you will, a standard doubles tennis court, with fences or walls (boundaries) at either end and perhaps to the side as well. Any side without a boundary is deemed a penalty area, and the edge of the penalty area should be determined prior to the start of the game. Any area outside a boundary is out of bounds.

    There should be four players taking part as in standard doubles tennis. Bellamy Tennis cannot be played with only two people. Ends are chosen by the flip of a coin or other fair or unfair means as the case may be.

    The game commences with a serve from behind the baseline. Each serve from then on will be taken by the team that won the previous point. The server must alternate each time a team serves. A serve does not have to land within the diagonally opposite service court, but must land within the court proper. For example, a serve may land in the doubles alley near the baseline and still be in play.

    The receiving team then attempts to return the ball. The ball must be struck by both players before it travels back over the net. No player may hit the ball twice in succession without another player touching it. As in volleyball, each team is allowed a maximum of 3 hits before the ball must return over the net.

    There is no restriction on how many times the ball bounces before it is hit. As long as the ball is played when it is still in motion, then play continues. A ball could be rolling along the back fence, for example, and still be in play.

    When a ball is returned in general play there is no requirement for it to land inside the court, but it must travel directly over the net. As long as the ball lands in bounds it is in play. A ball is also still in play if it hits a boundary on the full, as long as it comes down in bounds or in the penalty area.

    The penalty area comes into effect only when the ball is played directly over the net into that area, in which case the point is lost by the team that hit the ball. If the ball hits a boundary before travelling into the penalty area, it is still in play. If the ball travels into the penalty area off a player before it is returned over the net then it is also still in play.

    Each team is awarded 1 point whenever they win, or their opponents lose, a rally. The only exception to this is the Bellamy Rule. If the first player reaches the ball on the full they may call "Bellamy". Their partner must then also hit the ball before it touches the ground and pass it back to the first player, again on the full, before travelling over the net. If that team goes on to win the point then they are awarded 2 points. The other team will still only score 1 point if they win. However, if one team calls "Bellamy" and fails to complete the 3 hits on the full and successfully return it over the net then 2 points are awarded to their opponents.

    The first team to reach 9 points wins the set. The first team to win 2 sets is deemed the winner.


    One (1) point is awarded to a team's opponents if:

  • the serve lands outside the sidelines or over the baseline; or
  • the ball is returned without both players hitting it; or
  • the ball is hit 4 or more times before returning over the net; or
  • one player hits the ball twice without the their partner hitting it; or
  • the ball passes into the opponent's side without travelling directly over the net; or
  • the ball comes to a complete stop before it is returned; or
  • the ball is hit out of bounds; or
  • once returned over the net, the ball passes directly into the penalty area.

    Two (2) points are awarded to a team (the Bellamy Rule) if, at some point during the rally:

  • the ball is played on the full by the first receiver; and
  • the first receiver calls "Bellamy" before or while hitting the ball; and
  • the ball is then played to the second receiver on the full; and
  • the ball is then played back to the first receiver on the full; and
  • the ball is then returned directly over the net; and
  • the ball does not then go directly into the penalty area; and
  • they win the point.

    Two (2) points are awarded to a team's opponents if:

  • a team member calls "Bellamy"; and
  • any of the first six requirements of the Bellamy Rule are not met.

    And there you have it. Bellamy Tennis. The game that started it all. When taking this on, be prepared for some very long rallies. Remember, the ball is still in play as long as it is moving. By the way, the winners of that inaugural game were myself and Leah in straight sets. :-)
  • Monday, December 14, 2009

    Amuse-bouche: A Magic Christmas

    Let me relate a little story.

    On Sunday morning (ie. yesterday), The Giggling One and I were lying in bed. I was browsing the net on my iPhone as I am wont to do. I remembered hearing about the Magic: The Gathering game on the Xbox 360 (the only current gen console we don't own), and reminiscing about the games of Magic I used to play online led me to check out a review of the game out of curiosity.

    I then decided to head on over to Wikipedia and see what the latest expansions were, as I hadn't been keeping track for the last couple of years. I had a chuckle reading the amusing code names each of the sets of three were given (eg. Control, Alt, and Delete; Live, Long, and Prosper; etc. - full list here).

    The Giggling One asked me what I was laughing at, so I showed her. Then, just like that she said "We should get it."

    I was a little taken aback. This was a game she had never seen before, but she had heard me mention it here and there. I've played plenty of games of Magic online, but I've never actually played the real, physical-cards-in-your-hand version of the game. In total I own one Magic card (called Oppressive Will), and only because that came as a freebie with a magazine.

    Did she not know how pervasive the trading card game genre could be? Did she not understand that Dominion is one thing, but Magic is quite another? Did she not know how much more geeky playing this game would make her?

    Well yes. Turns out she did. And she was OK with that. She figured it would be nice to play it together.

    So, on a whim we went out that afternoon and bought two intro packs for the 2010 Core Set, as well as eight booster packs.

    So shiny new Magic: The Gathering cards are sitting under our Christmas tree just waiting to be played come December 25. Now there's a way to celebrate.