The sport equivalent to the Fake Band
: A "real" sport invented for the work itself which is played in the 'verse of the work, with clear rules that could actually be followed if the sport were real (that is, not Calvinball
). Can become defictionalized
if someone manages to create feasible real-life rules for the game. This is somewhat limited by what type of universe it exists in. If its one that's made up, but still follows real laws of physics (eg. a fake card game), no problem. However, if it uses advanced technology or magic, its a bit hard to recreate. That said, you'll be amazed how creative fans can be.
Sometimes a Blood Sport
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Anime And Manga
- Jugging, from the film The Blood Of Heroes, actually inspired fans in Germany to play the sport for real.
- The Phantom Menace shows the sport of podracing - like NASCAR in rocket-pulled chariots.
- In the background of the bar scene in Attack of the Clones, a viewscreen shows droids playing "Nuna-ball" (not identified as such in the movie). According to outside-the-movie sources, the game is similar to football but usually played with a living creature that inflates like a pufferfish (a nuna) instead of a ball. Another game can be seen, which looks like droid football.
- Real Steel is based on the world of professional (and semi-pro) robot fighting (that is, fights between robots, not against them).
- Top Secret! has skeet surfing - combining skeet shooting with surfing (complete with a parodic Beach Boys style surf song) in the opening sequence. This of course isn't even at Fridge Logic levels of plausibility - salt water and shotguns really do not mix and the idea of trying to shoot a small fast moving target while trying to stay upright on a surfboard without being able to use your arms to balance and not falling off due to the recoil - well you get the idea. Not to mention the only safe way to do this would be on a completely deserted beach with an automatic skeet shooter otherwise stray shots would be very likely to hit the crowd, the skeet shooter operator, fellow shooters etc.
- In the film Starship Troopers, the high school students play an indoor variant of American football, scaled down and simplified for play on a hardwood court. Teams are co-ed, padding and helmets are much lighter (allowing for more gymnastics), and there are no goalposts, suggesting that points are achieved solely by touchdowns.
- That's not entirely fictional. Aside from the co-ed play, it's almost exactly Arena Football, which briefly was a thing in the late-1990s. Didn't take off.
- Harry Potter: Quidditch, natch.
- Defictionalized as Muggle Quidditch. One of the ways of getting around the fantastical elements of the sport is that the Snitch is a neutral party that runs around not just the field but also (or at least in college games) all over campus as well.
- In Artemis Fowl, zero-G and garbage wrestling are mentioned.
- Young trainees at the Assassins' Guild engage in the Discworld sport of edificeering, which is competitive free-climbing in an urban environment. Possibly inspired by a practice of students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities of climbing various college buildings
- Scavage and Counterchance in the Liaden Universe. Bowli ball might also apply, but it's more like a (literal) Happy Fun Ball.
- The live-action Games from the Dream Park series could probably be staged today, if low-tech alternatives to holographic enemies could be adopted: it'd just be insanely expensive. A low-tech version of the Crystal Maze from The California Voodoo Game could likewise be produced, given a massive budget for construction and design.
- The Myth Adventures series has The Big Game, which is very similar to an epic game of American football, and determines the capital of the dimension Jahk.
- The many books of the Star Wars Expanded Universe detail an array of sports to rival the number in the real world, including astrobatics, Boga Minawk, greenputt, Huttball, Low-g gymnastics, nerf-throwing, sandsurfing, and water hockey. Most aren't given much focus.
- During Galaxy of Fear Tash Arranda looks back on playing speed globe with her friends on Alderaan. She still has the ball and it still works - when activated it speeds away from people - but she doesn't have a team anymore.
- Private McAuslan once found himself forced to participate in The Pillow Fight, which is like a regular pillow fight but over a tank of hot soapy water. McAuslan was outraged at the insult to his personal hygiene and challenged the order all the way up to a military tribunal. After winning his case, he went and joined The Pillow Fight.
- Troy Rising has null-ball, essentially zero-G basketball. There's also jungle ball, which is played on a null-ball court, but the only rule is "no weapons". Parker uses it to help train her squad in zero-G operations.
- On A Pale Horse (the first book of the Incarnations of Immortality series) features a professional football variant called "pigskin", played by buff and buxom women and making liberal use of the magic which exists on (mostly) equal footing with science in the series' setting:
- Levitation spells to move players out of reach of opponents or propel a thrown ball further.
- Blocking spells, also applicable to players or the ball.
- Disruptive gimmick spells, such as casting invisibility on a player's uniform to make her appear nude (the affected player was angered rather than embarrassed, but still lost ground for her team when venting that anger incurred an unnecessary roughness penalty).
- Even the referees have access to "riot control" spells to break up player brawls.
- Interestingly, the rare use of a "mundane" (magic-free) play can be a very effective strategy, not only as a surprise tactic, but also causing the opposition to waste counterspells on a magical offense that never materializes.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek has 3-D chess. What? Chess is a mind sport!
- Later series have characters playing Parrises Squares on the holodeck. Also Hoverball, Velocity, and a few others.
- Triad in Battlestar Galactica (Classic), and Pyramid in Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined).
- A 2nd series episode of Look Around You had a feature on gonnis (golf tennis).
- An episode of the Finnish sketch show Kummeli had a sketch on Tamping, a fictional sport where the participant must travel the world and cover every square inch of the world with his own clown-shoe footprints - that is, to step on absolutely everything in the world. The sketch also served as a vehicle for puns related to feminine hygiene products: The sketch mentions one man who has tamped the entire world three times: Kenji Nakami, also known as the Tampon, and one square acre of tampable territory is known as a Tampax.
- Zero Gee Football, as followed by Dave Lister of Red Dwarf. Appears to be a form of grid-iron football played in a closed dome ( Jim Bexley Speed apparently plays "roof attack" and appears on a poster over Lister's bunk looking something like the San Diego Chargers uniform )
- Characters on The Prisoner are often seen playing kosho, a sort of trampoline-based wrestling game over a swimming pool.
- In The King 2 Hearts there's World Officer Championship, which is basically War Gaming but with real people.
- George Carlin came up with a bunch, such as Australian Dick Wrestling and Rollerfucking.
- The Shadowrun supplement Shadowbeat includes full descriptions of the new Sixth World sports of Combat Biker and Urban Brawl, as well as information about how cyberware has revolutionized boxing, baseball, basketball, and (especially!) American football.
- Alphatians in the Mystara D&D setting are big-time fans of a team sport called hardball, which is played on a court divided into squares and involves a lot of complicated passing between players.
- Blood Bowl is a tabletop game about the sport of the same name, a Blood Sport bastard of rugby and American football with very liberal rules for acceptable levels of violence on the pitch.
- Final Fantasy X: Blitzball.
- Not to be confused with another sport also called Blitzball, as seen in Knowles' A Separate Peace.
- Neopets gives us Gormball and Altador Cup's Yooyuball.
- In Star Control II, the Zoq-Fot-Pik are obsessed with a sport called Frungy, to the point where they keep mentioning it in unrelated conversations, but they never quite get around to explaining what it actually involves.
- Word of God only says, "Whatever it is, it's played with GUSTO!"
- Pararena is one-on-one Rollerball with Hover Boards, on a satellite dish IN SPACE.
- Mass Effect:
- One item from the newsfeed had humans trying to break into the turian sport of clawball.
- Another had the "Biotic Games" implying an entire range of sports using biotics.
- Futurama has Blernsball. There are actually two episodes centered around it, and it changes almost completely between viewings. The first time, Fry looks like an idiot for using baseball terminology, but the second, it's almost identical to baseball.
- The Legend of Korra has brought us "Pro-Bending". Teams composed of one water-bender, one fire-bender and one earth-bender compete against each other, trying to gain the most territory or knock out as many opponents as possible before time runs out.
- Dinoball in Dinosaur Train.
- Thundercats 2011: "The Games" in Thundera's Thunderdome: A racing Chase Fight between two Cat competitors climbing, swinging, jumping and running up a tree to to ring a bell at its top, violent kicking and punching included. Ring Out involves knocking a player off the tree into a pool of water.
- Wakfu: Gobbowl. Later defictionalized, as Ankama has held a real-life tournament.
- BIONICLE has Kolhii — a cross between hockey and lacrosse that can be played with two or three teams. Also Ailini, played by throwing disks through hoops, while simultaneously sliding on disks on a shifting field.
- Red vs. Blue: Grifball, which became so popular, less than three years after its inception, it was the only sport played.
- Real Life example (in that it could be played, it's just too complicated and dangerous today) that shows up in some french Historical Fiction: "Soule", a kind of cross-country/inter-village wrestling meet/capture the flag/rugby match where the goal is to get a pig's bladder from one village to another, with the opposing villagers trying to stop the others. Chaos guaranteed, bone fractures not uncommon, Hilarity Ensues. It almost always seems better than it sounds, too...
- 'Mob Football' is actually still played in places (so possibly doesn't belong here) - e.g. the Ashbourne Shrovetide Football match.
- Medieval England (and later centuries) had some fairly gruesome sports no longer played for safety reasons. Peasant jousting involved two people skating towards each other on ice and trying to knock each other down with a stick, which often resulted in severe injuries or death. Early soccer/football was played between entire towns, and the goal was to kick an inflated pig's bladder between the gates of the other town's cemetery; there were no rules and serious injuries or deaths were common.