Sometimes still called ‘Dutch Gaelic’ by the Year 8 students who invented it, this is an extraordinarily athletic sport, played within the confines of the Hall, with no out-of-bounds to stint the relentless, non-stop action.
Drawing on soccer, rugby, handball, Gaelic and Aussie Rules football, College Rules features awesome handling, thrilling feats of footwork, intricate tactical kicking, and blasted shots on goal at extreme close range. It is played every lunchtime except Thursday, starting at 12:30.
Here is a brief summary of the rules and mode of play:
- The object of the game is to carry, pass or kick the ball into the opposing team’s territory and attack the goal.
- The goals are ‘reversed’. That is, they are placed inside the field of play, facing OUTWARDS.
- Goals may only be scored ‘off the foot’ i.e by kicking the ball into the net. The foot is defined as any part of the leg BELOW the knee, but not including the knee itself.
- ‘Back heeling’ the ball when in the goalie’s box – that is, shooting at goal using a back heel kick – is forbidden.
- No defender can come between the goalie and his own net. No defender may touch the goal at any time.
- After a score, the referee confirms the point with a short whistle and shout of ‘score’, immediately followed by ‘GOALIE PLAY ON’. There is no stoppage. The goalie must not play on before the ref’s call. The ref should try to make the ‘play on’ call as quickly as possible.
- You can run with the ball in hand in any direction, but only for four steps. Within four steps, the ball must be brought into contact with the ground – bounced or skimmed – to gain a further four steps running. A second bounce is not allowed, but within the next four steps the player can ‘solo’ the ball back into her own hands. After this four more steps are permitted before the ball must be passed or shot at goal. A second ‘solo’ is not allowed.
- The ball can be kicked on the ground, only once per possession. Dribbling or kicking to another player’s foot is not allowed.
- Whenever the ball is in a player’s hands, the other team can strike at the ball with their open hands. This is called hand tackling.
- Kicking the ball from the open field, into the goalie’s box, and having it caught ‘on the full’ by a member of your own team results in a ‘mark’. In a ‘mark’ situation, all defenders except the goalie must immediately get out of the box. The ball carrier goes one-on-one against the goalie, using his full allowance of steps, bounces and solos. A ‘mark’ is not a penalty: the goalie can come off her line and tackle. If defenders get in the way, the mark is played out and immediately followed by a penalty kick.
- The game is reasonably rough, depending on the age-group, and ball carriers can expect side-to-side, hip-and-shoulder contact. However, board-checking, shoulder-charging, tackling, holding with the hands, pulling clothes, or ANY contact with the neck, head or face are strictly forbidden. Referees must immediately stop over-physical play. No player is allowed to hold the ball against their body, except the goalie within his box.
- The game is always played ‘on the feet’. Going off the feet while attempting to get the ball is strictly forbidden. Playing the ball – or even reaching for it – when the player is on the floor is not allowed: except goalies in their box.
- Once the goalie has possession of the ball in his box, he cannot be tackled.
- Any break of the rules results in a turnover to the other team with a ‘free’ – the non-offending team gets the ball and can run, pass or kick the ball immediately. If they choose to run the ball, the other team cannot hand-tackle until TWO steps have been taken.