Fictional Sport
Harry Potter: The Chasers throw the Quaffle and put it through the hoops to score. So — that's sort of like basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, isn't it?
Oliver Wood: What's basketball?

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 it's 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, it's a bit hard to recreate. That said, you'll be amazed how creative fans can be.

Sometimes a Blood Sport. If a fighting sport, may involve Fantastic Fighting Styles. Related to Improbable Sports Skills for sport skills that are impossible in Real Life, which may or may not involve a Fictional Sport.


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     Anime And Manga  

  • Girls und Panzer is about the traditional, refined sport of young ladies everywhere: tankery.
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront has Prosfair, a game somewhat like chess, but it gets exponentially more difficult and complicated the longer you play. It's also played inside a pocket dimension that compresses time(so you can play for 99 hours straight without inconveniencing your friends waiting outside). It's usually played to a time limit, rather than for an all out victory. Also subject to Loads and Loads of Rules.
  • Ao No Kanata Four Rhythm: Thanks to anti-gravity Grav-shoes, the game of Flying Circus becomes popular. Players score points by hitting their opponent's back or tagging floating buoys at the points of a diamond, similar to running the bases in baseball.

     Comic Books  

  • Legion of Super-Heroes has magnoball (both Cosmic Boy and his brother are former champions).
  • Noob has Fluxball.
  • Comic Strip/De Kiekeboes had underwater billiards.
  • Issue 24 of My Little Pony: Friends Forever involves Rarity helping out Gilda with Griffonstone's boffyball team. Boffyball resembles rugby, but played using a small furry creature called a boffypuff as the ball.


  • Baseketball.
  • Jugging, from the film The Blood Of Heroes, actually inspired fans in Germany to play the sport for real.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Phantom Menace shows the sport of podracing: like a chariot race with jet engines instead of horses.
    • Attack of the Clones: In the background of the bar scene, a viewscreen shows droids playing a ball game. According to Expanded Universe sources, the game is Nuna-ball: similar to football, but usually played with a nuna (a living creature that inflates like a pufferfish) 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 trap (skeet launcher); otherwise, stray shots would be very likely to hit the crowd, the trap operator, fellow shooters, etc.
  • In the film Starship Troopers, the high school students play a variant of Arena Football, played on a hardwood court with coed teams. The padding and helmets are much lighter (allowing for more gymnastics), and there are no goalposts, suggesting that points are achieved solely by touchdowns.
  • Rollerball, both the 1975 original and the 2002 remake, involve a future sport roughly based on roller derby, but with motorcycles added to the track, and a steel ball introduced into the rink via an air cannon. It was meant to sate the public's taste for violence and gore, to keep the masses manageable.


  • Harry Potter:
    • The page image is of the title character playing Quidditch, a sport played on Flying Broomsticks with four different balls. Putting the Quaffle through one of the hoops scores ten points, and the game continues until one team's Seeker catches the Golden Snitch, scoring 150 points and ending the game. Whichever side has the most points wins, although at Hogwarts it's usually the Snitch-catcher. Meanwhile you have to evade the other two balls, Bludgers, which are like animate cannonballs.

      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.
    • According to Quidditch Through the Ages, which explains Quidditch in greater detail, the United States isn't big into Quidditch, as it's been supplanted by a variant called Quodpot. In this game the goal is to get the ball into a cauldron before the ball, which is magically Made of Explodium, explodes. Reportedly invented by accident after a wizard's wand came into contact with his Quaffle during shipping, causing it to blow up in his face when he and some friends went to play catch. (This is pretty clearly a send-up of American Football versus football/soccer.)
  • 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.
  • Star Wars:
    • The many books of the 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,note  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-grav ball, essentially zero-G basketball. The first group to play had a 10% injury rate that required a doctor's input. There's also jungleball, a variant of null-ball. Jungleball takes null-ball's many, many regulations down to just eight rules. The first of which is "no weapons".
  • 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.
  • Also from Piers Anthony, the Apprentice Adept novels feature a mind-boggling variety of games in Proton's Tourney events, from the Dust Slide (essentially a waterslide-race, but with dry near-frictionless particles instead of water), to an android-assisted variant of American football, to Noodle Incident contests like tug-of-war using a live python as the rope. Phaze has a few unique competitions of its own, like the combination obstacle course and Shapeshifter Showdown at the Unolympics.
  • The The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series includes several references to Brockian Ultra-Cricket, "a curious game which involves suddenly hitting people for no readily apparent reason and then running away." The rules are . . . complicated. Only one complete list of the rules has ever been compiled, and it immediately collapsed into a black hole.
  • Incuel from Tough Magic is a sport which crosses magic dueling and martial arts. Not quite as dangerous as it sounds, as special suits, invarmas, protect the fighters from any serious harm.
  • Mentioned in passing in The Andalite Chronicles. Elfangor says the captain's quarters on an Andalite dome ship are so big "he can practically play driftball in there."note 
  • Steve Perry's Matador Series has the Musashi Flex, a galaxy-wide professional street-fighting circuit. The rules of a fight (e.g. bare hands only versus weapons, fight to wound versus fight to the death) are agreed on by the participants before they start, and fighting an opponent ten or more ranks up or down the ranking ladder from you doesn't count towards your own ranking. The series' main Fantastic Fighting Style, sumito, was developed by an aging Flex fighter in the chronologically earliest novel The Musashi Flex, and in the series' present a number of the Matadors are former Flex fighters.
  • The Discworld has crockett, a bat-and-ball game played in the Shires, the rural area in the hinterland of Ankh-Morpork. A recital of the very complex time-honoured rules induced a catatonic coma in Sam Vimes.
  • In Heraldsof Valdemar, there are a couple of games Heraldic trainees play. In the Collegium Chronicles era there is Kirball, a variant of 'capture the flag'; it has apparently fallen out of fashion by the 'modern' Valdemar period, as Hurley, which is something like polo, invented then.
  • All For The Game is primarily a Sports Story about Exy, which is like a combination of lacrosse and hockey.

     Live Action TV  

  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series has 3-D chess. What? Chess is a mind sport! The show's producers have never actually published official rules for this version of chess, but some fan clubs have offered suggestions, as have companies like the Franklin Mint, who have sold replicas of the sets.
    • Later series have characters playing Parrises Squares on the holodeck, as well as Hoverball, Velocity, and a few others.
    • A game of dom-jot (like billiards with some elements of pinball) played a pivotal role in Captain Picard's backstory; he was stabbed in the heart by a Nausicaan during a fight over accusations of cheating.
    • Will Riker's father taught him Anbo-jytsu, a bizarre martial art in which the combatants fight with staves while wearing armor and helmets with opaque visors. One end of the staff is a proximity sensor, which is used to determine the other player's location.
    • The Next Generation episode "The Game" features an unnamed Ktarian video game that turns out to be malware that takes over your brain.
    • Data plays the holographic strategy game Strategema against third-level grand master Sirna Kolrami, but is unable to beat him. He eventually develops a strategy of playing to not lose, resulting in a draw (and a Rage Quit).
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Quark's bar lets you gamble by playing dabo or tongo. The episode "Move Along Home" features an alien board game called Chula, which pulls some of the characters into a surreal environment where they have to solve a series of puzzles. Garak and Nog play the Cardassian boardgame Kotra, and Dax challenges Sisko to a game of Jokarian chess. Dax and Kira also make plans to go anti-grav sailing in the holosuite.
      • There's also a number of appearances of a Bajoran sport called springball, which is essentially full-contact handball where you're allowed to body-check your opponent to screw up their shots.
    • Star Trek: Voyager includes the board games Kadis-kot (played weekly by Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman) and Durotta (played by Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres). Tuvok regularly beats Harry Kim at Kal-toh, a Vulcan strategy game that "is to chess as chess is to tic-tac-toe."
    • Paris and Kim, piloting the Delta Flyer, compete in the Antarian Trans-stellar Rally, a spaceship race over a course of two billion kilometers.
  • Triad in Battlestar Galactica (1978), and Pyramid in Battlestar Galactica (2003).
  • 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 occasionally seen playing kosho, a bizarre combat sport involving contestants wrestling on trampolines and trying to throw or push each other into a swimming pool while wearing pseudo-Japanese costumes.
  • In The King 2 Hearts there's World Officer Championship, which is basically War Gaming but with real people.
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode "Space Race" had Samantha Carter take part in, well, a race in space hosted by the planet Hebridan. First prize was a lucrative shipping contract which an alien SG-1 had befriended in an earlier episode wanted. The race also suffered sabotage by a human-supremacist executive at the Mega Corp. that seems to own practically every industry on Hebridan.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvinball from Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes is a game where the rules are made up on the spot by the players while the game is underway. Gameplay tends to be hilarious.

     Standup Comedy 
  • George Carlin came up with a bunch, such as Australian Dick Wrestling and Rollerfucking.

     Tabletop Games  

  • 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.

     Video Games  
  • Many Racing Games often use this as a premise, especially if they are set in the future or have unconventional vehicles. Examples include:
    • Battle Cars is a Blood Sport for an overcrowded populace in a Crapsack World.
    • Extreme-G is a race with armed and rocket-powered hyperbikes.
    • F-Zero is another futuristic racer, this time on magnetic tracks high above the city with numerous alien participants.
    • Jet Moto features all-terrain antigravity bikes with magnetic grapples.
    • Rollcage is a Vehicular Combat racer where destroying the landscape is part of the rules.
    • Rocket League can be best described as soccer with super-cars that defy the laws of physics.
    • The Wipeout series, where league advancement is based on both position taken and opponents eliminated.
  • Final Fantasy X: Blitzball.
    • Not to be confused with another sport also called Blitzball, as seen in Knowles' A Separate Peace.
  • Final Fantasy XI: had a couple of these, Ballista and Brenner. They provided the game's PvP content.
  • Neopets gives us Gormball and Altador Cup's Yooyuball.
  • 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.
  • Speedball: A futuristic cross between handball and ice hockey with the added twist of points being scored for injuring opponents.
  • An Octave Higher has Sorcer, in which two sorcerers compete in a hexagonal arena to break any two of the other player's three crystals using magic. You can also win by knocking the other player unconscious.


    Web Original 

     Western Animation  


  • 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.