JMurr

Pocketball

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So I have been following the threads for Ripball and Yakball. I love to see the concepts that these two, BlackBolt 3 and lancealot, as well as the concepts that are made up by many, many others on this site. I have in the past created my own imaginary sports leagues. Like these Ripball and Yakball leagues I create my own team names, logos and uniforms but unlike them I also create an entire history for the league; I date the league back to a particular date, move teams from time to time, create logos that are relative to the time period and change them from time to time, create rosters, schedule games, create box scores for the games. I feel what I do is the ultimate fantasy league. I do not simply chose the winners and losers of the games but rather create a randomization system to determine outcome of the games.

But lets get back to the logos. I love the work that can be found on this sight and am a bit envious of it. My art talents are lacking so the logos I have made up for my leagues have largely been created from various clip art manipulations or simple drawings. So now I have an idea, what if I created a league starting new and from the beginning, would anyone be interested in helping me to create the logos, uniform designs, woodmarks, and other artistic elements of the game?

I am gauging interest in this. Shortly I will be providing a brief description of what the league will be and the four teams I would like to start with. If this gets some interest perhaps this could become something fun and enjoyable for all those who participate.

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I'll jump in here and gently say that you're probably going to get some negative feedback about this. You're asking someone to jump in and do a lot of work for you--probably more than you realise.

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This is a picture of Pocketball field.

field_zpsf9d9c469.png

I will use the terms in this picture to attempt to describe the game and how it works.

First the game is played by two teams of three players each. A center, left wingman, and right wingman. Player position is largely interchangeable and is mostly a matter of the player’s preference. The ball or balls (as will be described latter) are moved about in a matter similar to Soccer. Players dribble the ball with their foot and may not touch the ball with their hands.

Each team has three balls and the objective of the game is to get one of your team’s balls into each of the goals. When a team has done this they have completed a set. A team wins the game be being the first to complete three sets. To begin the game the road team places one of their balls on the X in the NEUTRAL ZONE, all other balls are placed anywhere in the BACKFIELD. Only one player (the Center) from the Road team may be in the NEUTRAL ZONE, all other players start in the FRONTFIELD. The Road Center may move the ball about in the NEUTRAL ZONE attempting to set up his offensive attack but all other players must remain in the FRONTFIELD until he the Road Center moves the ball into the FRONTFIELD, at this point the NEUTRAL ZONE and the FRONTFIELD become THE FIELD OF PLAY and all players are now free to move about in this area as they wish.

It is now the goal of the team on offense to get their ball into one of the goals, while the team on defense attempts to kick the ball through one of the GATES and into the BACKFIELD. If either of these two things happen then the team that was on defense now goes on offense while the team on offense now goes on defense. This occurs by the new offensive team placing one of their balls on the X in the NEUTRAL ZONE and play resuming under the same rules as applied at the start of the game.

It should be noted at this point that most of THE FIELD OF PLAY is surrounded by walls, think hockey. The only points that are not are the goal openings and the LEFT & RIGHT GATES. Therefore out of bounds will rarely be an issue in Pocketball. However it is possible that the ball may be kicked over the wall. If this should happen then the team that was on offense simply places one of their balls on the X in the NEUTRAL ZONE and begin again just as they would to start the game.

Obviously there is a lot more to be explained but in an effort to both create interest and suspense as well as to keep this post to a minimum, I will stop at this point and pick up at a later time, should this gain some interest.

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I'll jump in here and gently say that you're probably going to get some negative feedback about this. You're asking someone to jump in and do a lot of work for you--probably more than you realise.

I understand that may happen. If it dose so be it, no big deal. Thank you for your comment however, what do you think about creating such a league? I mean outside of the fact that you previously pointed out.

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I think the idea itself is marvellous--it's how a lot of us started. I think it would be interesting to see what you come up with. Just sketches and colour schemes if nothing else. Push yourself, challenge yourself, have some fun, learn along the way. If you have at least rough ideas, then you're more likely to have someone help you out, as well. I know for myself, we have a guy on here who was new to designing and had some hardware issues, to boot, so he was just scanning his drawings and posting them. I rendered some of his ideas in vector format, to show him what possibilities and what limitations there were. It was a fruitful project from which we both benefited.

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What usually happens is that someone starts posting stuff about their league, and at some point, that sparks the imagination of someone else who asks if they can contribute to the project. Yakball and Ripball are so successful because the originators came in with it already created and had examples ready to go, and everyone joined in later. What this means for you, probably, is that you're going to have to do the lion's share of the work getting this off the ground. Specifically, the hard part of learning how to use the graphics programs that most of us use and then creating a good chunk of the initial logos, uniforms, fields, etc. People will want to see how seriously you take this endeavor before they spend any of their own time on it.

The good thing is, it sounds like you have a unique idea for your league, and some built-in history. This should allow YOU a great project on which to learn the basics at all this. Come up with the templates for your uniforms. Make them something significantly different from other sports, otherwise, why bother creating something "new" if you could have just made some new soccer jerseys or whatever the uniforms your sport most closely matches. People here like having new shapes and types of uniforms to design within, so have some fun with it. As you'll see, everyone here will be more than happy to give you feedback and tips and tricks, but at the same time, they'll want to see you making a sincere effort to advance your skills.

And one final technical note, it looks like the link you copied was from a folder on your computer. This forum only allows you to post images from photo-hosting sites, such as Photobucket. Just go there, set up an account and upload your photos there and then paste the link in here.

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What usually happens is that someone starts posting stuff about their league, and at some point, that sparks the imagination of someone else who asks if they can contribute to the project. Yakball and Ripball are so successful because the originators came in with it already created and had examples ready to go, and everyone joined in later. What this means for you, probably, is that you're going to have to do the lion's share of the work getting this off the ground. Specifically, the hard part of learning how to use the graphics programs that most of us use and then creating a good chunk of the initial logos, uniforms, fields, etc. People will want to see how seriously you take this endeavor before they spend any of their own time on it.

The good thing is, it sounds like you have a unique idea for your league, and some built-in history. This should allow YOU a great project on which to learn the basics at all this. Come up with the templates for your uniforms. Make them something significantly different from other sports, otherwise, why bother creating something "new" if you could have just made some new soccer jerseys or whatever the uniforms your sport most closely matches. People here like having new shapes and types of uniforms to design within, so have some fun with it. As you'll see, everyone here will be more than happy to give you feedback and tips and tricks, but at the same time, they'll want to see you making a sincere effort to advance your skills.

And one final technical note, it looks like the link you copied was from a folder on your computer. This forum only allows you to post images from photo-hosting sites, such as Photobucket. Just go there, set up an account and upload your photos there and then paste the link in here.

Thank you for that tip I was just about to ask about that. I will follow your suggestion.

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So I want to head some the advice I have received from Whittier S and darkpiranha. I also would like to thank them for that advice. I have created a photobucket account and have attached the link to the picture of the field on both a previous post and here. I wanted to post the actual picture as opposed to just a link but have been unable as of yet to discover how to do this. If anyone can lend me some direction on how to do this I would be sincerely grateful. Also I am going to get this thing rolling by, as it was suggested I do, creating the first logos myself. I am currently working on these and might be able to post the first starting tomorrow. In the mean time I am going to continue my description of how the game is played.

So I think that you understand based upon the previous post how most of the action happens in the game. Now you may be wondering why the line on top of the drawing is dashed. This is to indicate that there is no set boundary for the BACKFIELD. Dimensions are open ended, think baseball field. This is due to the fact that no play action takes place in the BACKFIELD. This area is merely a placeholder for the balls that are not in play or in a POCKET (goal). The only time a player enters the BACKFIELD is when a team is shifting from defense to offense. Remember this happens when either the offensive team puts a ball into a POCKET or the defensive team kicks the ball through either the LEFT or RIGHT GATE and into the BACKFIELD or LEFT or RIGHT WING. The team transitioning from Defense to Offense may only send one player into the BACKFIELD, if more than one of their players goes into BACKFIELD then they have committed off sides and forfeit ball possession, the team that was on Offense will once again go on Offense and may now send one, but only one, of their players into the BACKFIELD to advance one of their balls into the NEUTRAL ZONE and eventually into THE FIELD OF PLAY (see previous post for clarification).

I hope all of this is coming across clearly. If anyone has any questions please reply with your questions.

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To directly post the image, use the IMG Code in the Image Links box on the right had side of the image in Photobucket.

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So what more can I say about the rules to Pocketball and how it is played. Well one question that I think might come up is; so each team has three balls and there are three pockets that they must get one of their balls into each, so what if they kick a ball into one of the pockets they already have a ball in? In order to keep this from happening the front openings of the pockets have a door that closes. Whenever a team is on offense and pocket that they already have a ball in will have its door closed as to prevent the team from putting the ball into a redundant pocket. This also makes it progressively more difficult for a team to close out a set. When they have no balls in a pocket they have three different pockets to get a ball into, however when they have a ball in 1 they only have 2 possibilities and naturally when they have 2 in a pocket only 1 possible opportunity to score exists.

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So professional Pocketball will date back to the creation of the first league in 1882. The league which was organized in New York City consisted of just 4 teams that played in the city.

The Bronx Pocketball Club (TBPC) – stadium: Jerome Park Racetrack

Brooklyn Pocketball Club (BPC) – stadium: Union Grounds

Manhattan Pocketball Club (MPC) – stadium: The Polo Grounds

Coney Island Pocketball Club (CIPC) – stadium: Brighton Beach Race Course

Nicknames (ie: Yankees, Tigers, Chargers, Ravens, Lakers, Jazz, Stars, Devils) were not given or applied to the teams originally. Their names were rather a literal indication of what they were, a club of pocketball players.

Although the league was made up of four teams in New York City it was called the American Pocketball League.

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Trying to visualize this game in my head. Still not clear on a couple of things that seem redundant or unnecessary as I currently understand everything.

1. Each team has three balls that they are trying to get into the pockets, correct? But only one ball will ever be in play at one time, so it's sort of overkill to have to need so many balls. Just retrieve the ball that was scored, and then close off that pocket. If the game were in constant motion with no stoppage or resetting, I could see the need for three balls for each team. I get that it's sort of interesting in a pinball sort of way that that ball is now locked up, but I just know that were I to ever decide to try to play this game in real life, I'd use just one ball and keep track on a scoreboard what the score is.

2. Unless I'm misunderstanding things, there's no action that actually takes place in the backfield. The only time someone goes back there is to grab a ball and then bring it out to place on the X to start a new round. Nothing wrong with this, but there's just a lot more explanation of what the backfield is than is necessary, and makes it seem like stuff actually happens there, game-wise. I'd just call it "out-of-bounds" or something.

3. There are three pockets, so a set is basically the first team to fill two pockets? If a team fills two before the other team gets one, do they still have to play fill the third pocket, or do they just go on to the next round? Is the objective to win sets, or to score the most goals? (in which case, playing all the way to three in each set would make sense)

4. What are the basic dimensions of the field?

5. How big is a pocket? What is it's made of?

6. What options to players have to prevent a ball from going into a pocket? Can they stand in front of them? Can they form a wall?

I'm sure you have this all worked out already, but a couple of suggestions/ideas come to mind.

1. Instead of resetting on the X, why not have a ball boy or ref shoot the ball out the opposite side of a gate immediately? So a player kicks the ball through the left gate, then the right-gate ball boy (already holding a ball) rolls or kicks the ball out the right gate, almost as if the ball just went through a Portal portal. Have them kick it to where it hugs the boards as it enters play. So you would sort of get a pinball-style entrance of a ball. This would keep the action going and add an element of strategy into the mix in that you want to have someone on your team ready to receive or intercept the ball when it comes out the other side.

2. Have you thought about having different types or sizes of balls for each of the three? Maybe the first one is a regular soccer ball, and it has to be kicked as normal. But maybe the second ball is a smaller handball or something, and for that round, you pass it by hand and throw it into the pocket. Then the third round could be a rubber kickball that is way more bouncy than a soccer ball.

3. For "professional" Pocketball, what would prevent you from having the field be circular? Just duplicate the field on the other side of the gate, and instead of that being out of play, that ball now just moves into the other team's zone. So you'd have to have three offense and three defense for each team, and they'd stay on their side of the field and just wait until the ball comes through the gate.

3b. It would end up being total chaos, probably, but have two balls in play, one on each side of the field. If the ball comes through the gate, someone on your team needs to kick it back through in order for your team to have a chance to score.

Just thinking out loud.

Interesting idea for a game. Have you ever actually been able to set up and play a real game of this? Or is it all speculation and/or played as a board game with dice?

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Good questions and intriguing suggestions. I would like to take time to go point by point with everything you said but first I would like to start by responding to the last thing you asked “Have you ever actually been able to set up and play a real game of this? Or is it all speculation and/or played as a board game with dice?”

The idea from the game actually comes from a game that we used to play in my backyard growing up. That game we played in the backyard however was only done with a single ball and some of the rules were not refined. Over the years I have thought about that game from time to time and tried to work out in my head some of the problems we used to have. For example one problem that I had was that action in the game would bog down around the area in front of the pockets since the offensive team was trying to get the ball in a pocket and the defense team was trying to kick the ball, in the same direction but into the backfield. To resolve this I have added the LEFT & RIGHT WALLS, shown on the drawing with yellow lines. This is a feature we did not have in the backyard. My thought regarding these walls is that it would force the defensive team to push the ball from side to side (Left or Right) thus spreading the action. Maybe if this is not completely clear I can work up a diagram drawing illustrating it better. I do however like your idea of scrapping the backfield and instead creating two sides to the field one for each team. This would however require that some other issues be resolved as will become evident when I address your questions.

Clarification

  1. Why the need for 6 balls, 3 for each team? I understand that in a pickup game people are likely to use only one ball but in a professional setting I think that 6 balls would be more professional for a few various reasons that will become more evident as I clarify and describe the game more. To begin with let me clarify this; note that there are three pockets. So let’s imagine a game between let’s say team LA and team NYC. Assume team LA is on offense. No pockets have as of yet been scored, but let’s imagine that LA kicks in a goal in the left hand pocket. Now when NYC brings a ball out of the backfield no pockets are closed off NYC can either kick a ball into one of the empty pockets or attempt to take the pocket that LA possess away from them by kinking an NYC ball into the left hand pocket that currently has an LA ball in it, thus knocking the LA ball through and out the other side of the pocket into the backfield. Maybe what contributed to some of the confusion is that I did not previously clarify that both, THE FIELD OF PLAY side and BACKFIELD side, ends of the pockets are open. The only time that pockets are closed on the front side or THE FIELD OF PLAY side is when a team on offense already has one of their balls in a pocket that pockets front side will be closed as to prevent that team from knocking one of their own ball through a pocket and scoring a redundant goal. Remember a team wins a set when they have one of their balls in each of the three pockets. It is not simply the first to possess two out three, however the game itself is a three out of five contest for sets. No clock exists in pocketball, when we used to play it in the backyard we had no time keeping device so we would simply pause a game and pick it up from where we left off before when we could. We did only have one ball so we would use rocks, sticks and similar items as place holders in the pockets to remember who had scored in which pocket.
  2. The Backfield is overstated? I can see your point. I am intrigued by your latter suggestion of having two playing areas one for each teams possession. When we played it in my backyard we only had space for THE FIELD OF PLAY area, the backfield was not very deep. We would have never had space to have two sides of the field. I would like to elaborate more on this but will hold those comments for point 3 under suggestions/ideas.
  3. Is the point of the game to score the most goals or to score sets? I think I have touched on this in question 1 but just in case going over it once more might help to clarify matters let me state that a team must have one of their ball in each of the three pockets to win a set. The first team to win three sets wins the game. If a team wins three sets before the other team can win one, the game still ends there is no need to play the remaining two sets.
  4. What are the basic dimensions of the field? Truthfully I have not fully worked this out. Let me tell you some thoughts I have and perhaps you or anyone else might lend their counter thoughts. So my first thought is that this would be about the size of a baseball infield, the issue I have with this is that only 6 players on the field would leave a lot of dead space on a field of that size. So then I think about either adding more players to a team or perhaps moving the game indoors and playing on a surface area of about a basketball court. I think the basketball court or indoor area idea would lend itself to your suggestion of having a double sided playing area, again I will speak to that under point 3 in suggestions/ideas.
  5. How big is a pocket? What is it made of? To answer this let me show you what we had in the old backyard game of pocketball. We used an old shelving unit from inside my parent’s garage, tipped on its side similar to the one shown in this link, but only three shelves instead of four. Again this is not fully defined yet but the height is roughly what one of these would be lying on its side but the width of each opening is still yet to be determined as shelf spacing varies. Unfortunately the old shelf we once used is long since gone so I can’t go back and measure what we used but I know that it just fit a soccer ball. The pocket is not wide open, scoring is difficult and should be. I think that the widening of the pockets would cause scoring to become too simple.
  6. What defensive options dose a team have? I think that what I have together is the overall structure of play to the game. I have not yet fully developed an actual rule book, but in an effort to take this seriously know that I will. This forum is bringing up some important issues that will help me to develop those rules. One concern I do have, as I previously mentioned, is that the action I think has the potential to bunch up in the area right in front of the pockets. Also note that being that the pockets openings are very small all a defense really would need to do is stand a player in front of each of the pocket openings and make it nearly impossible for an offense to get around them and score. To resolve this I am considering drawing a line on the field in the area in front of the pockets that would be used to restrict players from simply standing in front of the pocket openings. I am thinking maybe an arch. Not sure of what the rules would be exactly in this area, my initial thought is to restrict defenses from entering it but then I think the problem shifts the other way. Now once a player gets around a defender and into the restricted area they have an open goal waiting for them. Thoughts?

This has already ran on very long but hopefully it helps to clarify some things. I do want to comment on your comments/suggestions however so watch for that in a latter post.

Thanks for the input and I invite anyone else who is reading to jump in, the more minds I have to run this by the better. And hay if anyone is having trouble working out the game in their mind, see if you can’t maybe assemble a test game. Perhaps maybe someone could try a game out and post a link to a video they shout of it. Hay maybe that’s an idea for me.

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Response to suggestions/ideas from darkpiranha

1. Pinball type game action. I like this a lot. Let me give you some insight to my thought on how the game would be played under my structure and then contrast that with your pinball style concept. So my thoughts about sending a player into the BACKFIELD to retrieve a ball and then enter the FRONTFIELD through the NEUTRAL ZONE is to allow them to set up various offensive strategies. What I mean is that since nobody can approach the player with the ball in the NEUTRAL ZONE, that player is free to orchestrate an offensive strategy. He would position himself on the side of the field he wants while his team mates in the FRONTFIELD strategically position themselves. My approach is much more methodical but slow while yours is fast paced and requires the players to bebetter prepared to anticipate a shift from defensive strategy to offensive strategies. I do like your more fast pace game and I think that it would have a broader appeal. However it would need some working out if I were to also accept another idea of yours that I find intriguing, that being your circular two sided field suggestion.

2. Different types of balls. Interesting but not sure if this is something I want to integrate into the game. I will however tell you a little anecdote about the history of the game. When we used to play this in my backyard, before the concept of wining sets was established the game was a game of first to a set number of points. Each time a ball was kicked into a pocket that was 2 points and it also earned the team the right to shot an extra point. This was done by tossing a smaller ball from the X and attempting to get it into an area that was framed by the bracing arms that ran across the backside of the shelves. This extra point concept was dropped however when the concept of sets emerged.

3. Circular two sided field. I like this a lot. Though the concept of a backfield is tied to my nostalgic remembrance of the old game in the backyard I think it might be necessary to drop in order for the game to become viable. But then I think about the fans in the stands at the games. A stadium or arena would have to reduce the price of tickets for seats surrounding the BACKFIELD since these fans would be some distance from the action. Think about baseball and how seats beyond the outfield are often times cheaper in price then those nearer the infield where most of the action takes place. If the field were to be turned into a two sided circular field then fans all around would have the possibility of seeing close up action. This would however bring up some other concerns, such as one of the functions of the BACKFIELD is to be a placeholder for the balls that are not in play. However if both your pinball style concept and this concept were to be adopted the LEFT & RIGHT WINGS could serve this function. Also these WINGS would be off limit from the players and only the Ball Boys would occupy this space with the various extra balls. Both of these concepts also complement each other. So if a team on side A were to kick a ball through their RIGHT GATE their offensive teammates would need to stand by to anticipate the ball coming through their own LEFT GATE. Now not always will the ball’s trajectory be right on to pass through gates on both sides so this would be the function of the Ball Boys to toss the ball out the necessary gate should the ball get trapped in the WING. I hope this makes sense, let me know if not so I can clarify. I think I need to draw up a modified field concept to illustrate this. If you have an idea in your head of how this would look please draw it up as well. I will work on my drawing and post it in the coming days.

3A. Two ball rapid style play. Sounds fun but I don’t think this would lend itself to a marketable sport. It sounds more like something that would be played in a pickup style game and perhaps dubbed Speed Pocketball.

One more thing I want to make clear is that I want the ball to become a part of the teams overall image design. That is to say that each team will have their own design for the ball (stripes, coloring, maybe checkered pattern, images). Its possibilities limitless but each team should have an individual design. I want the team’s ball to become a symbol of the team much as the way football helmets become such for their teams.

Lastly allow me to comment on your question “Or is it all speculation and/or played as a board game with dice?” When I finally get some teams together and post the rosters and schedules for the games know that I do not simply just pick who I want to win and by what score. I actually use dice and playing cards to determine outcomes of the games. This has worked for me in the past but this is actually a burden to my mind at present time. This dice and playing card approach makes the game very random and dose not account for players varying styles, strong points and weaknesses. I need to come up with a system that will account for varying factors of real sports, such as player skills, climate and other such factors. Again I encourage thoughts.

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Okay so I have the first logos that will be coming out. These are rough drafts. I am looking for critique so that I can evolve them. Keep in mind these logos are supposed to be from 1882. Considering this I will only be releasing logos and uniform designs for these initial teams. I do not believe woodmarks or secondary logos were used during this period. Some thoughts I am going on are that I believe logos of the period were either very simplistic, simple shapes and letters, or very detailed depictions of wings or other decorative elements. Also colors were very dull mostly grays, browns and perhaps black. When color was used at all it was usually dark, for instance maroon was more common then red. These are thoughts that I have in mind when I am working but please if you believe I am mistaken please point out your reason, I want to consider all arguments in order to most closely create a logo that is representative of the time period. Furthermore if you also see my point but would like to expound upon it your voice is more then welcome as well.

The first logo I am putting up is of The Bronx Pocketball Club. I actually have three variations of this logo, labeled below as A B & C. Please tell me which one you like best. My own opinion as of now is that I would rank them in the following order from most favorite to least favorite as C – A – B.

TBPClineup_zps842886c3.pngOne last note, I am mostly interested in what color scheme is best at this point. I am also considering making the circle outline skinnier. Thoughts?

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What am I doing wrong here? The last picture I tried to post I clicked on the Image button in the editor then cut and paste the IMG Code into the window that pops up, I thought this is what I did for the field picture but that worked and this time all that I get is a link to the photo. What am I doing wrong?

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ConeyIslandPocketballClub_zpsb7e79484.pngConey Island Pocketball Club logo. What do you think?

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DoubleSidePocketballField_zps448ad60a.pngThis is what a double sided pocketball field would look like.

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So I reworked the Coney Island logo. I think the brown background is more authentic to 1882ConeyIslandPocketballCluborig_zps7397a5ea.png

Also I would like to present the Manhattan Pocketball Club logo.ManhattanCyclingClub_zps8772f870.png

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Still having trouble with how things post but going to move forward anyway. I am releasing now the logo for the first league. I have changed it the first league that will debut in 1882 is called the All-American Pocketball League of New York (AAPLNY). A bit long but I think this is more fitting of what it would have been called at the time. At some point in the sports history this league will disappear. Think about the history of other sports, the modern MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL are all results of mergers with other leagues.

AAPLNY_zpse1ea3244.png

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