Lord of Columbia is Your Fantasy Sports Home

No, not computer-based fantasy sports! When I say fantasy sports home, I mean that since Lord of Columbia takes place in another world quite like our own, I decided to combine my love of fantasy with my love of sports early when creating the urban fantasy series.

I just had to have a sport – but a sport that resembled American football. A fall sport that took place over the course of a sixteen-game season complete with a Bowl season afterward. But, Summit University is a standalone school, given that it’s the only one located in the free region of North Columbia and it’s also a hub – meaning students from all over North Columbia attend Summit, rather than the school having branch campuses.

Alright, so my love of Harry Potter also influenced this sport was well – but since those with both magical and non-magical ability attend this school located in a secluded area of North Columbia, I wanted a sport the average sports fan could relate to. Sports fans like myself, who continually read urban fantasy – rad combo. Probably a rare combo, nonetheless, but definitely a sport that you can grab a ball right now and play.

I called it shotball and its history dates back to 2009.

Let me tell you the story.

 

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Rodger Goodell Sucks!

Yeah, that was the first thing that ran through my mind as I sat in my parents’ living room at age eighteen with my laptop on me – much like I am right now. Goodell did his usual, making more changes to the previously violent game of football that I started to fear he was going to eliminate the most exciting play in the game – the kickoff.

Well, two years later the NFL bumped kickoffs up to the 35-yard-line, culminating in two-thirds of them ending in touchbacks. Though, there’s hope here in 2020 as the XFL appears to have solved the kickoff problem.

Anyway, the safer game measures was taking the risk and violence out of the game. Don’t get me wrong – I hate seeing players get injured with severe injuries – but when you’re earning millions to stay in shape and entertain, there’s risk involved.

Right then and there I started designing rules to a new game – one that allowed such violence so long as it wasn’t intentional or a blatant target to injure an opponent. A game that allowed fighting to an extent. And one that encouraged ruthless aggression.

Hence, shotball was born – previously known as warball and thrashball, until I found the names were used elsewhere.

 

Shotball in Lord of Columbia

Shotball is the American football in Lord of Columbia. Though it originated in Ddraigoch, Eura five-hundred years prior, shotball itself never reached the popularity its founder Neo Skyehawk intended as he was never able to market the game. However, a few Columbian settlers were amazed by the game and introduced it to the Native Columbians upon their arrival in the new world.

The Native Columbians adopted the game as their own and soon, more settlers from Eura took note of the game and perfected the rules, prompting shotball to become Columbia’s game as the industrial revolution and tech revolution overtook the 150-year-old colony, with both collegiate and professional leagues earning millions of dollars in revenue from the game.

Fast forward to Northern Knights, where Cain Riscattare is the primary captain for his Santos Knights – the Complex he belongs to in the work for which there are eleven plus an additional commuting team from within the Summit University area. While Northern Knights is about a revolution, shotball remains in the work as a subplot – and a strong one at that which will tie into the main plot.

Readers in Northern Knights will see four shotball games played, and while I explain the game in action as the reader courses through the book, I’d like to explain some of the finer elements of the game here.

 

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Important Rules!

Okay, so each team has eleven players per side playing on a field that’s the exact length and width of an American football field. There are five positions: One goaltender, Two defenders, Four centers, Three attackers, One wanderer.

The goaltender plays within the goalkeeper box.

The defenders play on their defensive half of the field.

The centers play between the 25-yard-lines on both sides of the field.

The attackers play on the offensive half of the field.

The wanderer has free reign and can play anywhere.

You can also refer to them as a specific chess piece – Goaltender = King; Defender = Bishop; Centers = Knight; Attackers = Rook; Wanderer = Queen.

Much like in American football, where you have the flanker, split-end, tight-end, and slot receiver also known as the X, Z, Y, and F.

There are three ways to score.

Drop kicks are worth three points.

Punts or kicks are worth two points.

Throws are worth one point.

So, the more difficult the method of scoring, the higher the reward.

Jump ball decides the start of the game, whereas the team that lost the jump ball gains possession to begin the second half of play EXCEPT if the game is an elimination game – a little twist on the rules.

Common penalties act as minors, double-minors, and majors, much like hockey.

Common minor and double-minor penalties are holding, pass interference, tripping, illegal block in the back, elbowing, cross-checking (rare in shotball), and illegal contact with the goaltender (unless if the ball is in the air during a shot).

Your majors are fighting, targeting, and anything flagrant.

If a penalty occurs on a player in the process of shooting, a penalty shot is awarded.

Just like in hockey, teams operate on a power play or a penalty kill.

Unique Features

Okay, so shotball is played without pads, with the players wearing sleeveless muscle shirts and Adidas-like pants as a uniform – basically inspired by what I used to wear to the gym and still do at times.

Numbers are on the front and back, just like an NFL uniform has, and the team’s logo can also be emblazoned on the jersey-front as well.

Shotball is also co-ed, where men tend to be your power players such as grinders and enforcers while women take on the more finesse and endurance roles. For example, it’s far more to see a female playing wonderer as well as center – two positions that require finesse, quick passing, and endurance, along with analytics.

Men tend to play attacker and defender, where most of your biggest collisions occur, but it’s not uncommon to see women playing attacker, as in Northern Knights, both Lira and Savannah play attacker on the first-line. However, each display plenty of speed and quickness, allowing them to not only be evasive but to outrun the defenders, which often works in their favor.

The ball is the size and shape of a soccer ball or kickball, but is lime green to allow for better seeing. This feature was inspired by my baseball league when I was younger, where we used green baseballs instead of white for that reason.

The fan bases can be brutal. For example, it’s common to see Santos Knights fans show up to games with dog biscuits and chuck them at opposing players. In an infamous incident in Northern Knights, following a controversial loss, frustrated fans showered the field with bottles – which is a reference to Bottlegate.

 

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Oh, Since Sports are Suspended…

I may as well post some highlights of games seen in the book ‘Taking Back Saturday,’ and I’ll be doing so Chris Berman and Tom Jackson-style. So, if you’re missing sports at all, I have you covered as WE all need a little bit of normalcy in our lives. So, stay tuned, and since my ‘non-essential’ day job is canceled until further notice, I’m taking advantage of the time to build my author platform SO, I have THREE free offers for YOU if you haven’t already clicked my links earlier in the article out of curiosity!

The first, of course, is the free series starter to Lord of Columbia entitled ‘Northern Knights.’ Click here and click on the corresponding online retailer to claim your copy.

The second is the free prequel to Northern Knights, entitled ‘Taking Back Saturday.’ This book has A LOT of shotball in it and reads more like a coming of age tale. Click here to download.

And the third is for those who wish to receive bi-weekly emails from me which usually go out every Monday. So, if you wish to be part of my mailing list, why not download ‘The Skyehawk Chronicles?’ Click here to do so.

2 Comments

  1. Alex Chivers says:

    Hi Todd,  You have a very vivid imagination I will give you that.  Your writing ability is very good as well – I take it you are a fiction writer and these are excerpts from your book?  I have always wanted to do this myself although quite as a fantasy world genre but more this world with paranormal elements.  I have a book I will have to get back to at some stage.  Maybe I could do something similar to you and use a website to promote it.  Best of luck;  Alex

    1. Todd Matthews says:

      I’m a fiction writer but these are actually highlights of made up from actual games in my books – just really trying to get my and other sports fans’ fixes in during the COV-19 pandemic. And yes, I’d definitely recommend using a website to promote your work – preferably with a method of collecting email as front and center – this blog actually isn’t my pivotal focus but it does play friendly with search engines. 

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