Over the years movies, TV shows, books, and even comics strips have introduced completely made-up sports either for fun, to help better define a fictional universe, or because a lot of movie, TV, book, and comic writers aren’t really good at actual sports. But that doesn’t mean these pastimes sound any less fun to play, so long as you realize no health plan in the world will cover your almost certain serious injuries…
Like a Reese’s Cup that brings together peanut butter and chocolate, Quidditch from the “Harry Potter” books and movies finally combined the two great tastes of “lacrosse” and “low-flying aircraft” to create a British sport that—unlike cricket, rugby, or watching televised dart matches—could finally be explained and enjoyed by non-English natives, so long as they didn’t mind running around their backyard with their mom’s good broom or Swiffer.
Wish baseball was a little more exciting or at least combined elements of both paddleball and pinball? All you have to do is be frozen 1,000 years like Fry in “Futurama” to experience Blernsball. Using a ball attached to the field via a large rubber band, a special hole that shoots countless more balls in mid-play, batters who get to ride “Tron” cycles, pitchers brought in on giant tarantulas, and mandatory steroids, “Blernsball” may be just the thing you need to make your parents actually want to attend your Little League games, as opposed to lying about enjoying watching you play like they do now.
Over its many versions “Star Trek” has introduced fans to countless sports no reasonable person would want to play, from Parrises Squares (a mallet, a ramp, and a couple of idiots) to Tsunkatse (kickboxing with taser harnesses) to realizing you can’t really play Water Polo on a holodeck. But the series upped the stakes with Anbo-Jyutsu, a fake Japanese pastime considered “the ultimate form of martial arts” because opponents beat each other with large drink stirrers while blind in an on-ship arena that can best be described as “a significant waste of space that should have been rented out to make some extra cash instead.”
Created in a moment of sheer boredom by Chandler and Joey on “Friends,” Fireball involves a small ball, oven mitts, and lighter fluid. The later version Ultimate Fireball involves a bowling ball and a blowtorch. Had the episode run an extra ten minutes viewers would have witnessed the creation of Premium Fireball, no doubt involving a medicine ball, high-grade explosives, and the untimely detonation of Central Perk.
In a future where the world is ruled by corporate states (but fashion and hairdos never got past 1975), Rollerball (from the 70’s film of the same name) was created as an alternative to warfare and a means to crush individual spirit (which previously had been accomplished with grade-school Dodge Ball). Resembling a hyper-violent version of Roller Derby for guys, it features a magnetic ball, circular track, motorcycles, body armor, perhaps fire, and a death rate so high it could only have been one-upped if the controlling states had introduced a competition called “Grizzlies Vs. Toddlers.”
The rules of Calvinball (from the comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes”) are as simple as they are bewildering—All players must wear a mask and occasionally burst into song; new rules can be made up at any time, even silently, depending on which zone you’re in; the zones can appear or disappear at any point depending on player’s whim; the calvinball can be used for whatever purpose the player sees fit, so long as it embarrasses his or her opponent; scores often end in “oogy to boogy.” In short, Calvinball is the perfect sport for anyone who doesn’t want to play sports but has a backyard, several flags, and some croquet wickets that can be used to fracture time.
What's your favorite made-up sport? Let us know in the comments below!