neo_prankster

Driveball: The World's Most Exciting Game (Proposed Rule Changes)

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Preface: Special thanks to @NoE38 for some of the ideas implemented in this series.

 

Over 65 years has passed since Driveball first captured the imagination of North America, but its story begins much, much further back. In 1942, Killian "Cubby" Dempsey, a mild-mannered heir to a Chicago soft drink fortune went off to fight in World War II. While on a visit to Australia during his tour of duty, Dempsey became one of the few to witness the playing of a hybrid sport called Austus, upon which he would base Driveball. Austus combines the rules of American/gridiron and Aussie rules, but was only played on a demonstrative basis. After the war, Dempsey visited his ancestral home of Ireland to witness Gaelic Football, a game that had resumed play after the Irish federal government lifted wartime restrictions on fuel and travel.

 

Upon returning to the US, Dempsey would spend the remainder of the 1940's studiously concocting what he felt would be the right mix of the Gaelic and Australian codes of football. Dempsey had attended several Bears games as a youth, but was frustrated by the constant starts and stops that came with American football. Finally in the winter of 1949, after the AAFC Chicago Hornets dissolved, a local sportswriter named Arch Ward approached Dempsey's father to pitch ideas on how to fill dates on Soldier Field's calendar, none of which made an impression on the elder Dempsey. Cubby, then 27, approached Ward with an outline of the rules for what would become Driveball.

 

On Memorial Day 1950, an demonstration game was played between a team of Irish and a team of Australians, with the Aussies prevailing 37 to 25. After two more trial games that summer, Cubby Dempsey received phone calls from stadiums in different cities that experienced slow business in the summer months when the local baseball team was on the road. And thus, the National Driveball Alliance would be slated to begin play in Summer 1951. The "Initial Eight" as they would come to be known, set up shop in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Washington, Philadelphia, St Louis and Minneapolis.

 

The field would be the same dimensions as an American football field.

DNbELeIUMAAoKBo.jpg:large

 

Just like in Hockey and Lacrosse, the field is divided in to thirds, with a defensive zone, neutral zone and attack zone. The direction of attack can be selected at the coin toss, with heads or tails called by the visiting captain.

 

DEFENSIVE ZONE (BACKS)

1 Goalie (G)

2 Rovers: Nickel Rover (NR) and Dime Rover (DR) (closest to the goalie)

1 Fullback (FB) (lines up on the X on the quarter line at the faceoff)

2 Halfbacks (HB) (Left and Right; line up at either side of the fullback)

 

NEUTRAL ZONE (MIDFIELDERS)

1 Center (C) (the Quarterback or Point Guard of the team; the guy that receives the opening faceoff)

1 Left wing (LW) and 1 Right wing (RW) (lining up outside the midfield circle at the faceoff)

 

ATTACK ZONE (ATTACKERS)

1 Forward (FW)

2 Flankers (Left Flanker or LF, Right Flanker or RF; line up alongside FW at the faceoff)

2 Strikers: Nickel Striker (NS) and Dime Striker (DS) (Closest to the opposing goal)

 

Substitution: Can be made on the fly, and usually take place when a player is fatigued, injured or ejected from a game.

 

Rosters: Driveball is played by 2 teams of 35 with 14 on the field.

 

Time: Time is divided in to 35 minute halves with a ten minute interval.

 

The Halfway Line is the line in the center with a circle in the middle where the opening faceoff is conducted.

 

The Quarter Lines, with the X in the middle are the lines where scrums are held after the ball goes out of bounds and hikes are held after turnovers.

 

The Free Kick Arcs are where a free kick can be attempted after a minor penalty. Only two defenders and the goalie can be inside the arc to block the kick.

 

The Penalty Kick Line is where penalty shots can be thrown or kicked after a major penalty.

 

The Goal Crease is the domain of only the goalie.

 

The boxes outside the arc are the inbound zones. After each score, the goalie inbounds the ball to a teammate with either hands or feet. The player receiving the inbound pass is not eligible for contact until after he takes two steps out of the inbound zone.

 

The ball would be the same size and weight as an Australian rules ball, though changes can be made if necessary to improve throwing.

 

Equipment: Helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys, shorts, knee and elbow pads, socks, shoes.

 

Moving the ball:

The ball can be lateraled and passed forward. Should a player drop a pass or be tackled before he takes six steps, it constitutes a turnover.

 

After a turnover, the team credited with the tackle can put the ball back in to action with a hike similar to that of American football, with both teams five yards apart at the quarter lines.

 

Feet can only be used to solo the ball after six steps and when attempting to score.

 

Scoring:

The goal setup is a hybrid of Gaelic and Aussie rules. Special netting is installed between the goal lines and the seating areas. A successful over on a free kick from the arc is worth 4 points, similar to field goals longer than 50 yards in NFL Europe. If a team blocks a free kick or penalty shot, they are awarded a one point safety.

international-rules-goal.png

 

Fouls:

Contact is allowed, but hits above the shoulders or below the knees is prohibited. Penalized with free kick or penalty shot awarded to the opposing team depending on the severity of the hit or if an injury occurs.

 

Holding and delays of game are penalized with a free kick awarded to the opposing team.

 

Only two backs can step out of the defensive zone and only two attackers can step back from the attack zone. A third attacker or back who steps out of his zone can be whistled for offsides and the opponent is awarded a hike. Midfielders can move about more freely.

 

Unsportsmanlike conduct is penalized with a warning or ejection depending on severity, and a penalty shot is awarded to the opposing team.

 

Three personal fouls against one player can result in ejection.

 

C&C Welcome. Suggestions for rule changes in the future are also welcome.

 

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At first when I saw the name DRIVEBALL I thought it would be a like real life rocket league, which after looking that up it is a real thing... but anyways, I’ve been waiting for a fictional rugby/Gaelic/gridiron/hopefully better version of football, fictional league. I’m looking forward to watching this grow an de develop, can’t wait to see the teams.

 

also what kind of ball is being used? A stardard pigskin football, or more like rugby and Gaelic? And is there a form of touchdowns like in Rugby or sim it just the kicks? I’m not a huge rugby fan so I’m not sure the difference between Aussie and British

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15 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Fouls:

Contact is allowed, but hits above the shoulders or below the knees is prohibited. Penalized with free kick or penalty shot awarded to the opposing team depending on the severity of the hit or if an injury occurs.

 

I can imagine that there'd be a fair amount of soccer style "gamesmanship" with this rule. Maybe add a penalty for diving or flopping? 

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8 hours ago, CodeG said:

At first when I saw the name DRIVEBALL I thought it would be a like real life rocket league, which after looking that up it is a real thing... but anyways, I’ve been waiting for a fictional rugby/Gaelic/gridiron/hopefully better version of football, fictional league. I’m looking forward to watching this grow an de develop, can’t wait to see the teams.

 

also what kind of ball is being used? A stardard pigskin football, or more like rugby and Gaelic? And is there a form of touchdowns like in Rugby or sim it just the kicks? I’m not a huge rugby fan so I’m not sure the difference between Aussie and British

The ball is an Aussie rules ball with slightly pointier ends for forward passing, through not as pointed as an American one. Scoring is just by kicking the ball.

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@Balu the Bare Flopping constitutes a personal foul and a free kick is awarded to the opposing team.

 

Here comes the first couple teams...

 

The Toronto Titans. Franchise granted June 16, 1950. Founded by beer magnate G.A. Quatermain, who would donate the league's championship trophy, the Frosty Mug.

Home field: CNE Stadium aka Exhibition Stadium.

DNfo6qRUMAAxnAE.jpg:large

 

The Chicago Gaels. Franchise granted June 16, 1950. Owned by the Wrigley family.

Home field: Wrigley Field (day), Soldier Field (night)

DNfpIhdVAAAj656.jpg:large

 

As you can see, the helmets are pretty much leather, at least for the early years of the game. Not sure what direction to take helmets going forward, either something closer to football helmets of today, or maybe hockey helmets with face cages, or goalie masks or maybe lacrosse helmets.

 

C&C Welcome of course.

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This is cool. Sounds like a fun game that would be more popular around the world that American Football because of its similarities to existing sports. 

 

I love the uniform style and the designs and colors for Toronto and Chicago are spot on. 

 

As as far as helmets go, I could see them transitioning to hard plastic eventually, with a hockey-style visor to keep fingers out of the eyes. I would stay away from a football-like facemask or cage, just my 2 cents.

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Both designs are great! Very fitting for the era. The Orange and green is unique but works well for the Gaels. Toronto's logo is awesome as well.

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The next two franchises to be granted on June 22, 1950.

 

The Minnesota Blue Oxen, named for Paul Bunyan's partner in crime. Owned by an investment group led by Max Winter and HP Skoglund among others.

Home field: Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

DNgBX8vUIAAvs8g.jpg:large

 

The St Louis Explorers, named in honor of Lewis and Clark. A subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Home field: Francis Field at the Washington University in St Louis. Will move to Sportsman's Park after the MLB Browns move elsewhere.

DNgBmqWUIAAGFSI.jpg:large

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Those are some super sharp looking uniforms, can't wait to see where else Driveball ventures

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The fifth and sixth franchises granted on July 1, 1950...

 

The Detroit Pumas. The colors are supposed to be old gold and purple. Think of it as a Michigan Panthers faux back.

Home Field: Tiger Stadium or The Big House

DNgVGj9VQAAWKSv.jpg:large

 

The Washington Commanders. Think Superman meets Captain America.

Home field: Griffith Stadium

DNgVPOlV4AEKhn7.jpg:large

 

The last two to be unveiled will be New York and Philly.

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The Philadelphia Colonials.

Home field: Franklin Field.

DNggQhDUIAAn2MO.jpg:large

 

And last, but not least, the New York Heroes.

Home field: Polo Grounds.

DNggbWEUMAEXKSX.jpg:large

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Here's a list of what exists in this scenario outside of Driveball as of 1950...

 

NFL

American Conference

Chicago Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins

 

National Conference

Baltimore Colts

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Yanks

San Francisco 49ers

 

MLB

American League

Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox

Cleveland Indians

Detroit Tigers

New York Yankees

Philadelphia Athletics

St Louis Browns

Washington Senators

 

National League

Boston Braves

Brooklyn Dodgers

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

New York Giants

Philadelphia Phillies

Pittsburgh Pirates

St Louis Cardinals

 

NBA

East

Baltimore Bullets
Boston Celtics

New York Knicks

Philadelphia Warriors

Syracuse Nationals

Washington Capitols

 

West

Fort Wayne Pistons

Indianapolis Olympians

Minneapolis Lakers

Rochester Royals

Tri-Cities Blackhawks

 

NHL

Boston Bruins

Chicago Blackhawks
Detroit Red Wings

Montreal Canadiens

New York Rangers

Toronto Maple Leafs

 

TV Networks
ABC

CBS

Dumont
NBC

 

Movie Studios

20th Century Fox

Columbia

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Paramount

RKO

Republic

United Artists

Universal

Walt Disney

Warner Bros

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as good as your designs are, id still like to see these on a computer program eventually. my only problem is some of the helmet design might be a little to complex for a new sport in the 50s, as for what they should involve into, I vote lacrosse helmets, they have some of the best helmets to design, as seen by some of colleges new lacrosse uniforms from last season. 

 

The teams all seem really well thought out, and only a few teams seem bland (Philly), can't wait to see this sport evolve

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1951 Season

 

The 1951 NDA campaign served as a "demonstration" season of sorts. The season was played over ten weeks from May to early July, but with Driveball being a relatively new sport, each franchise averaged fewer than 10,000 per home game. For those that did show up, they got a glimpse of what they could expect in the years ahead. Unlike most franchises in the sports more popular in that era, every team in the NDA was integrated from the start. The most notable of Driveball's earliest African American stars was Gaels striker Bob Shields who scored four unanswered overs in the second half in the Gaels' come from behind 37 to 22 victory over the Colonials at Franklin Field on June 23rd. He would go on to be co-MVP with goalie Verne Kozlow in the Gaels' championship triumph over the Commanders at Griffith Stadium. Although each of the Initial Eight were able to have games broadcast on radio, the only television exposure the NDA was given that year was at what is now referred to as the first Frosty Mug, carried by the fledgling DuMont Television Network.

 

Eastern Division

Washington Commanders 8-2

New York Heroes 5-5

Toronto Titans 4-6

Philadelphia Colonials 2-8

 

Western Division

Chicago Gaels 7-3

St Louis Explorers 5-5

Minnesota Blue Oxen 5-5

Detroit Pumas 4-6

 

1951 NDA Championship Game (Retroactively referred to as the 1st Frosty Mug)

July 8, 1951 at Griffith Stadium (1:00 PM EDT)

TV: DuMont (Announcers: Tommy Aleppo and Eddie Lavigne)

Chicago Gaels 44

Washington Commanders 32

Co-MVP's: Bob Shields (Striker) and Verne Kozlow (Goalie), both of the Gaels.

 

After the season concluded, Karl Howard's money ran out, and he sold the Philadelphia Colonials to a syndicate led by a boxing promoter named Michael Moriarty, who changed the name from Colonials to Brawlers for the 1952 season.

 

Even though many games were high scoring, the NDA will institute a 35 second shot clock for 1952. Should a team fail to score in the allotted 35 seconds, a whistle will be blown, and the opponent will be awarded a hike at the other end of the field.

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Love what you've done. The sport itself is really creative, and the teams are great for being hand drawn. My personal favorite is the Blue Oxen (call me their first fan Ig) but none of the designs are bad at all. 

 

Great job so far. Looking forward to this. 

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1951-52 off-season.

 

The NFL announces it would put the cash strapped New York Yanks for sale. Any potential suitor will likely move the club out of New York, as the football Yanks could never match the baseball Yanks, or the baseball and football Giants at the gate.

 

Cubby Dempsey, appointed as Driveball commissioner, entertains two different TV offers, one an extension with DuMont, or a sexier offer from ABC to carry a weekly regular season game in addition to the Frosty Mug game starting in 1954. When asked about potential expansion, Dempsey declined comment. So far, the telecast of the first Frosty Mug was only available to those living outside the District of Columbia.

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Expansion for 1954 or '55....

 

The NDA will expand by 2 teams for either 1954 or '55 and here are the cities that could land a franchise...

 

Los Angeles

Boston

Cincinnati

Cleveland

Pittsburgh

Milwaukee

Baltimore

San Francisco

Buffalo

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As much as I think LA and San Fran would be good, I think some more East Coast and Midwest teams are needed

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3 minutes ago, Cardsblues02 said:

Pittsburgh, Boston seem like they would be good cities for the NDA. I would hold off on Sun Belt expansion untill the 60s ar least. 

 

Good idea.

 

Would 1960 be a good year to bring Driveball to California? Whenever I would do dream leagues before I joined these boards, I had a rule that I wouldn't have a team over there or in Texas or the Deep South till at least that year or later.

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