It all started during the Basketball final during London 2012. Now @emmawoods is pretty good at basketball, she even got the the trails to play for the Ireland under 19 team, and it runs in her family, an elder sister of hers played for Ireland’s full team, and even got to scholarship to the USA based on her fantastic basketball ability. I on the other hand played Rugby at school, and not brilliantly. I did once or twice try my hand at basketball….

USA winning gold at London 2012

While exchanging tweets with @macermott, myself and @emmawoods and I started swapping school sports stories. Emma was explaining the finer points of blocking, and how you can step in front of a player running with the ball and if they run into you it’s their fault (I think). (You may correct me on this). This reminded me of what myself and my class did while playing basketball, we stepped in front of any on coming player (ball or no ball) and turned our backs on them. They’d run into us, then we’d quickly - out of the eye of the teacher, swing our elbows back and ensure we made contact on the solar plexus at optimum speed… a move was really wasn’t allowed. But hey, we were 14/15 and just happy not to be outside trying to rugby tackle each other on a pitch of frozen razer-blade mud.

Ireland v New Zealand Rugby World Cup 2011

This got me thinking, what if you could combine basketball with rugby and have a proper contact sport out of it. Sharing the idea on Twitter with @macdermott produced further refinements, until we came up with the rules of what we hope will be a new Olympic sport - RugbyBall!

The Rules of RugbyBall

  1. Played on a basketball court
  2. Played with a rugby ball
  3. Played with rugby rules on passing - no forward passes
  4. Played with rugby tackles allowed - you can now actually sweep the legs out from under a player and get away with it
  5. The “travelling” rule is converted to allow kicks to the ball
  6. The only way to score is to either dunk the ball in the basket, or kick it into the basket (a result of the no forward pass rule)

Now… we just need to play the first ever game…. any takers?