Fictional Sports: You Know, Sportsologisms


#1

It’s a Friday night and there I am on my couch rewatching Battlestar Galactica, empty pint of ice cream on the table, when I reach the season 2 episode where they mention and then “demonstrate” the game “Pyramid.” Now, I’m not the biggest sports guy by any stretch but it got me thinking of how fascinating it is when writers/creators/designers/artists implement made up, often purposefully preposterous sports out of whole cloth. Most often the ball and hoop/goal (if they exist) will be an atypical shape or have some kind of ornamentation so you know even the mundane stuff in their world is so gosh dang weird.

It brought to mind:

Quidditch from Harry Potter

Blitzball from FFX

The Rites from Pyre

Parrises Squares from Star Trek (I’m still not really sure what the hell this game is supposed to be other than violent.)

So I figured I’d ask what everyone’s favorite fictional sport is. Or at least one that you find intriguing. It can be from anywhere you want. And feel free to define “sport” as you see fit.

Edit: I figured since there were some visual aids in play (cough) now I went looking for some footage of Pyramid from the re-imagined Battlestar but couldn’t find any. There is some from the 1970s show and boy is it…something. I did find a couple of pics though!
pyramid-fieldpyramid


#2

Whoa this is a really cool topic. Shoutout to that pretty alright Quidditch World Cup game I played on GameCube way back.

Airbenders from Avatar: The Last Airbender used to play an intense game where you’d use acrobatics and your bending in combination to try and peg a ball into an opponents goal while navigating around a field made entirely of small wooden posts. Super cool looking.

My second nomination is whatever the hell weird dystopian high school sporting event is going on in the Eric Wareheim directed video for Beach House’s song “Wishes”. I would buy a ticket to this nonsense in a heartbeat.


#3

I’m really, super into the aesthetic of wipEoout/ F-Zero / Podracing. Flying cars are just so much better than regular ones (especially at exploding) and I love the preposterously high speeds.


#4

Bionicle had Kolhii which was basically just football with hammers and shields, which was pretty dope.


#5

My wife spent so much time on her Blitzball team. She basically bought every good player from the other teams. They were the late-2000s Yankees of Spira.

I will say, as an irl sports junkie, it is incredibly obvious when a sportsologism has been created by someone who doesn’t really know sports.

Case in point: Quidditch. The snitch being worth 150 points makes the entire rest of the game meaningless. The entire meta of the sport would’ve immediately centered on maximizing your team’s chances of catching the snitch first. Anything else would be like a football team that tries to build its scoring on forcing safeties.


#6

The Prisoner devotes a full three minutes of one of its episodes to spectating a round of “Kosho,” the martial art which answers the eternal question: What if you could judo a dude into a pool while jumping on a trampoline?


#7

@Foxtrot I really should get around to watching Avatar like everyone tells me to. That seems really awesome. Also +1 for Beach House and +2 for Ray Wise. You’re clearly good people.

@huntsoda Oh me too! I completely forgot about Wipeout/ F-Zero when I made that preliminary list. I think I’ve played Wipeout HD every month since it came out and my N64 cart for podracer is still back at my parents house somewhere; I loved that game (and was pissed when they took out my main for the Revenge version but that’s a story for another thread).

@futureperf That was sadly omitted from the not great remake they did on AMC. It has a hypnotic quality to it. Aaaand maybe something slightly Mel Brooksian about it? But important nonetheless.


#8

Quidditch Through the Ages describes a game wherein every player abandoned the entire premise of the game to hunt the golden snitch*. Thereafter the seeker position was created and I think it’s a foul for other players to interfere with the snitch.

But yes it’s absurd.

(*snidget, actually, at that point in time, but)


#9

Codifying 6 positions of busy work isn’t a whole lot better. They’re like reverse-DHs.

Also, Krum catching the snitch even though it sealed a 10-point loss is bullshit. If it were a real sport, he’d have been shunned for doing something so selfish.


#10

Well if Krum hadn’t done that they might have just lost by 160 points instead. Maybe the rest of his team should have tried not being awful, huh.

I don’t know, the in-universe historical explanation/justification makes a weird kind of sense, to me, but yeah obviously the game is written as it is in order to make Harry Potter cool and special at yet another thing.


#11

Speaking of Avatar, I really enjoyed the sport of Pro Bending that was introduced in Legend of Korra. I really liked the attention to detail the creators put in that made it a clear parallel to boxing prizefights, and how traditional martial arts techniques weren’t as useful due to the ruleset. Korra had to learn to stay light on her feet and move in a totally different way.


#12

My favorite fictional sport is Quidditch, but not so much for its stated rules, I agree with the above post that’s its obviously pretty broken. What I love about Quidditch is how the fans made it into a real game (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quidditch_(sport)). It seems pretty popular on college campuses nowadays and I find the ways they’ve adapted the game to work in real life very fascinating.