Thunder Ball

 

        There once was a show called "The Upright Citizens Brigade" on Comedy Central, and most likely due to low ratings it was canceled, but that's not the point of this page. This page is about Thunder Ball, this 'sport' started out as a skit on this show, however soon after the episode aired people began to imitate this episode starting their own games of Thunder Ball. I'd seen a couple of these games and they were AWESOME! The site for Thunder Ball is gone along with The Upright Citizens Brigade so here it is, the rules for Thunder Ball, along with some tips:

What the show tells you:

        Overview as stated in the show: "What is thunder ball? Three balls in play at all times. Batters fighting their ways around the bases using their bats as weapons. Wild hounds and gorgeous honeys wandering the field to distract the players. A car that roams the infield, protecting some and flattening others. And directly behind second base, the gun circle, inside of which is a fully loaded pistol which the players are forbidden to use. The rules, simple, the game, phenomenal, this is thunder ball!"

        Bats can be thrown at targets in the outfield to score points but it leaves the players defenseless. Wear whatever gear you want. Allowed to throw three ceramic balls that fragment when hit by players. Aside from the hounds and the honeys almost anything goes as a distraction. Anything that can hit the ball can be used as a bat, a boat ore, and axe, etc.

        "I can imagine a few instances in which a player might use the thunder ball gun. Like if a dear wandered into the infield, or if one of the hounds suddenly gone rabid, or if one of those honeys turned out to be a she-male, thus surprising a prideful rookie. Then you'd be able to use the thunder ball gun. Hell I've always said, its better to have a gun in the outfield then under a mattress where a child can get to it."

        Give away free stuff at every game like socks and oranges. Mascots are anonymous, cheerleaders are recovering junkies.

        "The thunder ball car drives around the bases during the entire seventh inning, allowing either team to use it for offense or defense."

        Referees can red-flag a play, but if the flag leaves their hand the play is still legal.

Condensed Version of the Rules and how to play:

Gear:  Players are allowed to wear whatever they want, football pads, shin guards, cups, helmets, whatever will help them succeed on the field.   In addition they are allowed to bat with the item of their choice as long as they can hit the ball.  This can include the basic baseball bat or a boat paddle or even an axe, whatever the player wants limited to how intense you want the sport to be. (If you don't want to hurt people too bad stick to the bat or the paddle because this will be your weapon as you run the bases)  As for the balls used in the game there are as many choices as there are bats.  You can use the traditional baseball, or a squishy kids ball that will bounce out of control, you could use a plastic wiffle ball, or a ball made of glass, again this all depends on how dangerous you want the game to be, normally most people will not use the glass ball because it doesn't go anywhere of if it does it may split into pieces making finding it harder.

When you go up to bat:  So now you've got your gear, your helmet, cup, wooden banister to bat with and its your turn at bat.  The ball comes at you and crack, its flying.  What next?  What's so different?   Well, you're going to run, you know that, but don't drop your bat (Well, if you're crazy you can throw your bat at one of the targets in the outfield, and if you hit it and knock it over you get that many points if you make it home instead of just one).   Your bat is your safety net, you battle with it to get to your base, fending off attackers with bashes and thrusts you try your best just to make it to first.  Anyone on the other team can tackle you, throw you to the ground, detain you, whatever.  But your not out until: A)You are tagged with at least 2 of the 3 balls (That's why you tackle and pin people so that you can tag them with the ball while they are incapacitated) or B) If you're heading towards first and the base gets tagged before you get there (Same as normal baseball).  From here on out beware of the hounds and the honey's and the other players.  They will try to tackle you and get you tagged if you leave base or they might try to drag you off base.  But once you've got as many bases as you want firmly hold your ground and wait for the next up to bat.

In the outfield:  In addition to the opposing team there should also be two team members from the team at bat in the out field for defense.   If it is the other team up to bat you have to watch out for the hounds.  The hounds are stray dogs that run around randomly.  They may attack you, catch the ball and run away with it, they might even hump your leg.  They're meant to get in your leg and screw things up for you and they're pretty damn good at it, they run between your legs and trip you up right when you least expect it.  Most often they are trained to follow the ball.  Also watch out for the honey's, these hotties are supposed to distract you, they yell things that would make a sailor blush, they make false promises, they distract you just like they're supposed to.  When the ball is hit you either try to fetch it if your close enough or try to catch the runner if you're close to them.   One final note, during the seventh inning in some thunder ball games (all the good one's) a car will drive around the outfield, preferably this car should be modified in some way as to make it be able to travel no faster then 5 mph because most thunder ball players cannot be trusted to keep the speed that low.  If this cannot be done simply make sure it stays stuck in first gear.  The car can be used by people in the outfield for defense or offense.  It can also be taken over by force by the other teams defenders, most notably to act as a carriage to drive the people on base to victory. (Note, no base runners may ride in the vehicle, they must ride on the hood, roof, or trunk of the vehicle)

The Ref:  Damn, this job sucks, knowing what most people accept is a must.  You hold up a red card if something is too unfair or extreme for thunder ball.  Players participating in the carded activity must stop immediately.  If, however, the ref is knocked down before the precipitating players see the card then they may continue. 

Additional Information:

The targets in the outfield should be able to be knocked over with nearly any hit from a baseball bat thrown from home plate.  If a player chooses to throw a bat at a target they must do so before taking two steps after a successful hit.  Denominations of points shall be 2, 3, 4, 5 and the dimensions of the target should be no less then 16 inches at the shortest diameter.

There are three balls in play at all time.  Most commonly the pitcher will only throw two balls at once (This is the minimum) and one ball is at first waiting for the next batter.  A player must be tagged with at least 2 balls otherwise it is not a legal tag and the player is not out.

The gun circle is a circle with a diameter of 4 feet outlined in white chalk with the leading point 10 feet behind second base.  The gun need not be a real gun if it is a real gun only blanks may be used, a paintball gun will work just as well.  Anyone entering the gun circle will be removed from the game immediately and subject to punishment determined by 5 randomly selected players once the game is over.

Anyone operating the thunder ball car must abide by the following rules: 1) Any player rendered immobile or laying on the ground cannot be run over, don't do it! 2) If you're coming up on someone and they have their back to you and cannot see you, you must honk your horn at least 2 times before hitting them.  3) You cannot run over home base and riders on the vehicle who are rounding the bases must touch each one with a foot or hand, the car going over them does not count.  Players must get off the vehicle and run the last 5 feet to home base.

Mascots should never reveal their faces to the crowd.   In addition, anyone who actually comes to watch and possibly pays money gets something free, an apple, a sock, just something.

The game runs the same number of innings as baseball and if in doubt of any rules baseball rules may be substituted.

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