Speedball is played by two teams. Although 11 players constitute a regulation team, the game can be played with fewer members on each team. A wide variety of techniques are employed in speedball, including kicking and dribbling the ball with the feet as in soccer, catching and throwing the ball as in basketball, and punting and passing the ball as in football. In as much as speedball combines the elements of basketball, soccer, and touch football, in general the soccer rules apply when the ball is on the ground, basketball rules apply to aerial or fly balls, and football rules usually apply in the forward passing of the ball and in scoring.
The object of the game is for the team in possession of the ball to advance the ball down the field toward the opponent's goal line and attempt to score. The opponents of the team in possession of the ball try to intercept and obtain possession of the ball in order to move it toward the goal line in an attempt to score.
Scoring: Points may be scored as follows:
1) Field goal: A field goal is scored when a ball that has been kicked or legally played with any part of the body passes between the goal posts and under the crossbar. A field goal count for 2 points
2) Dropkick: A dropkick is made when the ball passes over the crossbar after having been dropkicked from the field of play outside the penalty area. A dropkick counts for 3 points.
3) Touchdown: A touchdown is scored when an offensive player passes the ball to a teammate who catches it behind the opponents goal line. A touchdown counts for 1 point.
4) Penalty Kick: A penalty kick is scored when the player awarded the try, kicks the ball between the goal posts and under the crossbar. A penalty kick counts 1 point.
Length of the Game
A regulation game of speedball consists of four quarters much like a basketball game. Each quarter can be up to 12 minutes long.
Beginning the Game
The kickoff must travel the length of the ball and may be lifted by the foot to a teammate. It may not be touched by the kicker until another player has touched it. Goals are changed at halftime. Following a score the team that did not score kick off.
Aerial or Fly Ball
A ball that has been kicked into the air is referred to as a fly ball or an aerial ball. A fly ball that has been caught may be passed from one player to another as in basketball or moved by a forward pass as in football. It can continue to be played in this manner until it again touches the ground becoming a ground ball. A player catching a fly ball is allowed to take one step in making a pass if the ball is caught while the player is standing still, or two steps of the player caught the ball while running.
A ball that is in contact with the ground is called a ground ball, whether it is stationary, rolling, or bouncing. The ball remains a ground ball, even though it may bounce into the air, until it is lifted into the air by a direct kick. A ground ball can be kicked, headed, or played by any part of the body except the hands and arms.
Dribbling the Ball
A player may dribble a ground ball with the feet with a succession of short kicks. A player may use on overhead dribble (air dribble); that is, after catching the ball, the player may toss it into the air and catch it again. The player may toss it in any direction and run and catch it before it strikes the ground. Any number of steps may be taken before catching the ball after tossing it. Only one overhead dribble is permitted before passing to another player. A touchdown cannot be score by an overhead dribble.
The main work of the goal keeper is to keep the a ball from going through the goal. The goal keeper is the only player on the floor that can pick the ball up using their hands.
Although defensive play is allowed in speedball, blocking and tackling as in football are illegal. A player must attempt to score the ball legally and without undue body contact or roughness.
A tie ball is called when two opposing players catch the ball simultaneously, hold the ball without gaining possession, or commit a double foul or when the officials are in doubt as to which side last touched the ball before it went out of bounds. In case of a tie ball, the official puts the ball into play by a jump ball as in basketball. All players must be back five feet from the spot of the jump ball until one of the jumpers has touched it.
Out of Bounds
When a player causes the ball to go out of bounces over the sidelines, it is put into play with a pass by a player of the opposing team.
A placekick is used in making a penalty kick. A penalty kick is awarded as the result of a foul. The defensive players may be behind the goal or on the field so long as no one is within 5 feet of the kicker.
The free kick is awarded in the following cases:
1)For an individual or personal foul committed on the field outside the penalty area.
2)For a personal foul behind the goal line committed by the attacking team.
When a free kick is awarded, the ball is placed at the spot where the foul was committed. The ball may be kicked in any direction and must travel at least the length of the ball. No opposing player may approach within 5 feet of the kicker. The ball must be kicked, but it may be turned into an aerial ball.
Fundamental Techniques and Skills
Dribbling with the feet
Dribbling with the feet is used in moving the ball toward an opponent's goal line, most often in a situation where it is not advisable to kick up or kick to a teammate. In dribbling the ball it is extremely important that the player keep control of the ball at all times, which means that it must not be kicked with force. In most cases, the inside surface of the foot should be used for best control, although experienced players may use the outside of the foot along the area of the little toe. Ordinarily, for best control the ball should be kicked from an even run about every third step.
Many types of basketball passes may be used. Any kind of one or two hand throw is acceptable depending on the particular situation . The baseball type pass is used extensively in speedball because of the wide playing field available. A player with the ball may pivot as in basketball if one foot is stabilized. This sometimes helps in finding a teammate open to receive a pass.
Overhead dribble/Air dribble
Only one overhead dribble is allowed. The overhead dribble is made by tossing the ball into the air and running to catch it before it strikes the ground. There is no restriction on the number of steps that may be taken after tossing the ball and before catching it again. The overhead dribble is particularly useful when a closely guarded player tosses the ball over the head of the opponent in order to get free.
The object is to kick the ball past the goal keeper, between the goal posts and under the crossbar. The goal keeper is the only player on the opposing team who is permitted to defend against the placekick.
For the best control of the ball in drop-kicking, hold the ball just above the knees, flex at the waist, drop the ball to the ground, and kick it just as it bounces; take one step with he left foot and kick the ball with the right foot, or vice versa.
Punting in speedball is used to advance the ball toward the opponent's goal line as quickly as possible. Techniques of punting in speedball are similar to those in football. The ball should be kicked with the upper surface of the instep. Take one step forward with the left foot, drop the ball from extended arms, and kick the ball with the right foot. The ball should be dropped as the foot starts its upward swing. If the player kicks with the left foot, the reverse technique should be used.
The ball should be caught with the entire hand, because many passes are vigorously thrown. After the catch, the ball should be held with the fingers. In as much as catching a speedball is similar to catching a basketball, the same technique should be practice in perfecting this skill.
Any part of the body, except the hand and arms, may be used to stop or slow the ball.
In trapping the ball with the foot, the player extends the leg forward toward the ball with the heel 4 to 5 inches above the ground and the toe pointing upward. The sole of the foot is presented to the ball as it approaches. When the ball comes within reach of the foot, press down and trop the ball between the sole of the foot and the ground.
In trapping the ball with the right leg, the player slightly advances the left leg diagonally forward and outward and flexes the right leg as though intending the kneel.
In many situations in the game of speedball a ground ball may be played more advantageously by converting it into an aerial or fly ball. A player may convert a ground ball into an aerial or fly ball by kicking it into the air.
Kick up with two feet
With the ball held firmly between the insides of the feet and ankles, the player jumps into the air, lifting the ball upward. When the ball is released by the ankles and feet, the player catches it before it touches the ground. Because the kick up is one of the easiest ways to pick up a ground ball, players should practice and develop considerable skill in its use.
Kick up with one foot
The play can be made on a rolling ball by flipping the ball into the air with the foot and catching it after it leaves the foot but before it touches the ground. As the rolling ball approaches, the player should extend the leg forward with the pointed toe touching the ground. As the ball rolls into the instep of the foot, the player flips the ball into the air and catches it.
The one foot kick up can be made on a stationary ball by placing the foot on top of the ball and drawing it backward to start the ball rolling toward the player. Then toe is quickly place under the ball so that is will roll into the instep. When it rolls onto the instep, the player quickly flips the ball into the air and catches it before it touches the ground. The kick up technique on both a rolling ball and stationary ball can also be used to lift the ball to a teammate.
In moving the ball down the field, the forward line should be spread and the players should attempt to keep in front of the ball. As the ball approaches the goal line the wing would go across the end line to receive a forward pass. The halfbacks should be ready to guard against the opposing team if the ball is intercepted and lost.
In as much as the kick off need not travel more than the circumference of the ball, the best strategy often is to keep control of the ball by dribbling it along the ground or converting it into an aerial ball or to gain possession of the ball by a kick up or by using a short control pass.
One on one defense is most often used in the game of speedball. Fullbacks, guards, and halfbacks guard the opposing forwards. The goal keeper may leave position to assist in stopping a touchdown play when necessary.