A Space Sport
Octagla is a rough, fast-paced zero g sport, played in a transparent eight sided court. The players are amongst the highest paid athletes in the galaxy.
The aim of the game is to score by shooting a ball into a goal protected by a goalkeeper. The rules are designed to keep the play going at a fast pace, and to maximize the shots on goal. All eight court surfaces enclosing the zero gravity court are active play zones, as is all of the court space. The players bounce off the walls as freely as the ball, or if it suits them, run on the walls or roof with adhesive shoes. They wear compressed air jet packs for maneuvering in the open court space.
In free space players maneuver using a combination of momentum and skillfully directed jets. It requires exceptional spatial coordination to not get disoriented when the other players are just as likely to be upside down or sideways coming at you.
Players have to be trained for years to be able to instinctively work out the bounces a ball takes off the walls set at 120 degree angles to each other. Initially this made Octagla a rich man’s sport, but scholarships now exist. Stick handling skills for making passes or shots on goal are a real art compared to similar planet-side games. Catching a pass in zero gravity then smoothly converting the resulting angular momentum into what you want is much more difficult than in a game where your feet are rooted to the ground.
An Octagla Team:
A team for this space sport consists of:
and a goalkeeper.
The center forward is usually a small player. This gives the center the advantage of agility due to less mass and therefore more control of their angular momentum. This means they can push off big players easily to change momentum in a ricochet play, or they can be propelled by their larger teammates in a slingshot play. They can also have the longest shifts in the court as their jet pack lasts longest.
The left and right wingers are larger players. This gives them harder shots because of the ratio of their mass to the ball mass. They are more stable than the center receiving a pass, and are more difficult for the defense to stop.
The defense are massive, among the largest athletes in the galaxy. This gives them the stability they need to stop opposing players, and the strength for hard end-to-end passes. Their size is essential for slingshot plays.
Goaltenders vary considerably in size and style of play, as coaches differ in their assessments of the relative importance of agility, mass, and reach. Focus, quick reflexes, and coordination are essential to stop a projectile coming at over 150 km/h from any angle.
There are pages of rules as to what is, or is not, legal in the space sport Octagla, but they condense down to two very simple maxims:
1) Do not hit or kick an opponent in the head or groin, and
2) If you do, and it’s artistic enough to look accidental, you will probably get away with only a five-minute penalty, so it may be worth a try depending on the circumstances.
The result of this mindset is that a player is simply expected to come out of the game black and blue. Recovery time is planned into the schedule between series of games.
How to Play a Lacrosse-Hockey Hybrid Space Sport Weightless
Octagla Sticks have a shaft that is solid - a bit thicker than the average broom. Initially we thought the catching net would very deep to hold the ball, but shaped to allow re-throws. However we are currently considering a flat net made of an elastic memory fibre. The stick is used either for ball handling or as an offensive or defensive weapon.
Adhesive shoes are used for running the surfaces of the court. Every player has their own theory as to what works best, literally an adhesive sole or a magnetic shoe. It is always a trade off between how much they stick, and how easy it is to get free of the wall to return the play to free space. Goaltenders want to "stick". Forwards need to be able to return to weightless play easily.
Compressed air jet packs are used to maneuver the players. The jets are controlled by the artificial intelligence system in each player's helmet that monitors their brain waves. The jet packs are changed between periods, or during a period if necessary.
Sweat wicking weightless unitards are used to keep the players reasonably comfortable. As with all weightless unitards the goal is to regulate blood pressure away from the head and towards extremities.
Alien Truck Abstract