Null Grav Football


The main sport on board Asimov is NGF. Even children play a version of it in their low-gravity playgrounds. The league consists of teams from each sector and department, with Red and Green traditionally fighting over the top two spots, leaving the other teams to squabble for third place. The Computer runs the league, and the referees and crowd control (if needed) are provided by the Department of Harmony. The Computer allocates a large resource prize to the winning sector or department, and moderate prizes to those in second and third. There are many betting syndicates which the Computer does not discourage.

A brief introduction can be found on the Ship Life page.

The game

NGF is played by two teams of 11 players with a spherical ball 200mm in diameter. The walls of the pitch are transparent, allowing the audience to view the game strapped into banks of chairs. The players wear special footwear which, when stamped with sufficient force, sticks to the walls. This creates a semblance of gravity, and allows players to arrest their momentum and change directions. Top players make this look easy; the teams at the bottom of the league show the difficulty of these acrobatic manoeuvres.

Although called football, players can use any part of their body to propel the ball. It is a contact sport, and there is no penalty for physical challenges. It is also legal to propel a team-mate with the ball. To stop a player 'hugging' the ball and being propelled into the goal, the opposing team can perform a 'tackle', which involves any manoeuvre which causes the player in possession to stop moving towards the opposing goal-wall. The player in possession must then relinquish the ball within 3 seconds or be sent off for 5 minutes. The match consists of two halves of 40 minutes each. The number of substitutes depends on the league, but is generally high as the injury rate tends to be high.

There are two referees who stay off the pitch in the normal run of play. They will enter the pitch if a player who has been sent off refuses to leave, and are permitted to use sufficient force to remove them.

The League

Each team plays all the other teams twice in a season. To add a little more excitement, there is then a knockout stage between the top four teams.

The table at the end of last season:

Won Drawn Lost Points
Red 11 4 3 37
Green 8 7 3 31
White 7 6 5 27
Blue 6 8 4 26
Navigation 6 5 7 23
Rainbow 5 7 6 22
Engineering 5 5 8 20
Recycling 4 7 7 19
Health 4 5 9 17
Harmony 2 10 6 16

The results of the knockout stages provided only some upset, with Red finishing as champions, Green second and Blue beating White in the 3rd/4th place play-off to go home with the spoils.


Red players rate their duty to the team as highly as you'd expect. They are also not known for their subtlety, and quite often use brute force as a valid tactic. One of the reasons that Harmony does not fare well in the league is that all the good players from Enforcement play in Red.

Jenny Red is the current coach.
Jan Viteri is a striker.


The Green team uses skill and finesse much more than their Red opponent. There is a theory that the culture of good food and good exercise is the key to Green's success on the field.

Wes 'Nipper' Viteri is a defender.


White has the advantage of a vast population from which to select its team. The competition for a place is stiff, and personnel change rapidly in the White team, and therefore so do tactics and play-style.


Team Rainbow prizes flair and interesting manoeuvres. They have complex set-ups and their play is more akin to synchronised dancing than football. Whilst interesting to watch, they rarely use the manoeuvres to score more goals than the opposition.


The Blue team is usually the team with more cybernetically enhanced players than the others. There is often controversy about whether cybernetics should be allowed in football, but the Computer has yet to ban them. Perhaps if Blue actually gained a significant advantage from them, Computer would reconsider, but so far the skill level of Blue leaves something to be desired.


Engineering seem resigned to mid-table obscurity. They neither excel nor fail - they get the job done and not much more. Whenever they get a player that's any good, they tend to go play for their sector anyway, so let's not try too hard, eh?


Navigation is traditionally the best of the department teams. There are two theories for this: the first is that the department has so little work to do that they have more time for training. The other theory is that even if a player were good enough, no sector team would want to cope with the quirkiness of a Navigator or Monitor so the department team has high retention of good players.

Recycling, Health and Harmony

These three teams make up the dregs of the league. Most players in these teams aim for individual success, so that they can be picked for a sector team.

sport.txt · Last modified: 2012/09/23 19:52 by gm_dave
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