Competitive Fitness Activities - Strategy pushball

Strategy pushball is similar to pushball except that it is played on two adjacent fields, and opposing teams supply soldiers to the games on both fields. Team commanders assess the situation on the fields and distribute their soldiers accordingly. The commander decides the number of soldiers used, within limits imposed by the rules. This number may be adjusted throughout the game. Play on both fields occurs at the same time, but each game progresses independently. At the end of play, a team’s points from both fields are added together to determine the overall winner.
This game requires two pushballs that are five to six feet in diameter. Pull-over vests or jerseys of two different colors are used by each team for a total of four different colors. Starters and reserves should be easily distinguishable. Starters and substitutes should wear vests of one color, while the team commander and reserves wear vests of the second color.
Players may wear any type of athletic shoes except those with metal cleats. Combat boots may be worn, but extra caution must be used to prevent injuries caused by kicking or stepping on other players. Soldiers wearing illegal equipment may not play until the problem has been corrected.
The playing area is two lined-off fields. These are 240 to 300 feet long by 120 to 150 feet wide. They are separated lengthwise by a 20-foot-wide divider strip. The length of each field is divided equally by a centerline that is parallel to the goal lines. Lines are also marked 45 feet from each side of the centerline and parallel to it. The lines extend across both fields. Dimensions may be determined locally based on available space and the number of players. The space between the fields is the team area. Each team occupies the third of the team space that immediately adjoins its initial playing field.
Time periods should be adjusted to suit weather conditions and soldiers’ fitness levels.

There are 25 to 40 soldiers on each team. A typical, 25-member team has the following:
• One team commander. He is responsible for overall game strategy and for determining the number and positions of players on the field.
• Sixteen starting members. Eight are on each field at all times; one is appointed field captain.
• Four reserve members. These are players the team commander designates as reinforcements.
• Three substitutes. These are replacements for starters or reserves.
• One runner. He is designated to convey messages from the team commander to field captains. The proportion of soldiers in each category stays constant regardless of the total number on a team. Before the event, game organizers must coordinate with participating units and agree on the number on each team.
Runners serve at least one period; they may not play during that period. They are allowed on the field only during breaks in play after a dead ball or goal.
Reserves are used at any point in the game on either field and are committed as individuals or groups. They may enter or leave the playing field at any time whether the ball is in play or not. Team commanders may enter the game as reserves if they see the need for such action.
Reserves, substitutes, and starting members may be redesignated into any of the other components on a one-for-one basis only during dead balls, injury time-outs, or quarter- and halftime breaks. A reserve may become a starter by switching vests with an original starter, who then becomes a reserve.
When possible, senior NCOS and officers from higher headquarters or other units should be used as officials. Players must not question an official’s authority during play. Otherwise, the game can quickly get out of control. Chain-of-command personnel should act as team commanders and field captains whenever possible.

The Game
The object is to propel the ball over the opponent’s goal line by pushing, rolling, passing, carrying, or using any means other than kicking.
The game is officiated by two referees on each field, a chief umpire, and a scorekeeper. Referees concentrate on player actions so that they can quickly detect fouls and assess penalties. The chief umpire and scorekeeper occupy any area where they can best officiate the games. The chief umpire monitors the use of substitutes and reserves and ensures smooth progress of the games on both fields. The number of officials may be increased if teams have more than 25 players. Referees use their whistles to stop and start play except at the start and end of each quarter. The scorekeeper, who times the game with a stopwatch, starts and ends each quarter and stops play for injuries with some noisemaker other than a whistle. He may use such devices as a starter’s pistol, klaxon, or air horn.
The game begins after the ball is placed on each field’s center mark. Opposing field captains are three feet from the ball (six feet from the centerline). The rest of the starters are lined up 45 feet from the ball on their half of the field. At the scorekeeper’s signal, field captains immediately play the ball, and their teams come to their aid.
Starters may be exchanged between the fields if the minimum number of starters or substitutes per field is maintained.
Substitutes may enter the game only during breaks in play after a dead ball, goal, or time-out for injury. A substitute may not start to play until the player being replaced leaves the field.
When any part of the ball goes out of bounds, it is dead. The teams line up at right angles to the sidelines; they are 10 feet apart at the point where the ball went out of bounds. The referee places the ball between the teams at a point 15 feet inside the sideline. Play resumes when the referee blows the
When the ball gets tied up in one spot for more than 10 seconds for any reason, the referee declares it dead. He restarts play as with an out-of-bounds dead ball, except that he puts the ball on the spot where it was stopped.
Time does not stop for dead balls or goals. Play continues on one field while dead balls are restarted on the other.
At each quarter break, the ball stays on the spot where it was when the quarter ended. The next quarter, signaled by the scorekeeper, starts as it does after a ball goes out of bounds. At halftime the teams exchange goals, and play resumes as if the game were beginning.
A goal is scored when any part of the ball breaks the plane of the goal line between the sidelines. A goal counts one point. At the end of the fourth quarter, the points of each team from both fields are added together to determine the winner.
If there is a tie, a three-minute overtime is played. It is played the same as in regulation play, but only one field is used, with starting squads from both teams opposing each other. For control purposes, no more than 15 players per team are allowed on the field at once. The team with more points at the end of the overtime wins the game. If the game is still tied when time expires, the winner is the team that has gained more territory.
The game continues until four 10-minute quarters have been played. There is a 10-minute halftime between the second and third quarters. The clock stops at quarter breaks and halftime. Time-out is allowed only for serious injury. Play is then stopped on both fields.

Players may use any means of interfering with their opponents’ progress, but they are penalized for striking or clipping opponents or throwing them to the ground. These penalties are enforced by the referees. Force maybe legally applied to any opponent whether or not they are playing the ball. Blocking is allowed if blockers stay on their feet and limit contact to the space between waist and shoulders. Blockers may not swing, throw, or flip their elbows or forearms. Tackling opposing soldiers who are playing the ball is allowed. The chief umpire or any referee may call infractions and impose penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls on either field. Penalties may also be called for infractions committed on the field or sidelines during playing time, quarter and halftime breaks, and time-outs. Personal fouls are called for the following:
• Illegal blocking (below an opponent’s waist).
• Clipping (throwing the body across the back of the opponent’s legs as he is running or standing).
• Throwing an opponent to the ground (that is, lifting and dropping or slamming a player to the ground in stead of tackling cleanly).
• Spearing, tackling, or piling on an opponent who is already on the ground.
• Striking or punching with closed fist(s).
• Grasping an opponent’s neck or head.
• Kicking.
• Butting heads.
Unsportsmanlike conduct is called for abusive or insulting language that the referee judges to be excessive and blatant. It is also called against a player on the sidelines who interferes with the ball or with his opponents on the field. A player who violates these rules should be removed from the game and made to run one lap around both playing fields. A penalized player leaves the team shorthanded until he completes the penalty lap and the next break in play occurs on the field from which he was removed. The penalized player or a substitute then enters the game. Referees and the chief umpire may, at their discretion, eject any player who is a chronic violator or who is judged to be dangerous to other players, Once ejected, the player must leave both the field of play and team area. Substitutes for ejected players may enter during the next break in play that follows a goal scored by either team. They enter on the field from which the players were ejected.