Chinlone and nine other Ways to Play Soccer

The ever-resourceful Neatorama points us to this article describing "10 Strange Football Mods." So I clicked. And I read. OK, so it's not about what I, American that I am, think of as football. It's about what the world thinks of as soccer. But that's neither here nor there. Or both. And, speaking of soccer, it does in fact point us to 10 different, highly soccer-like, but arguably non-soccer games, which is something in which I, as your local Junkmaster, seeker of the sport-variant, have significant and public interest.

What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the very first soccer-like game I read about - a game called "Chinlone" or "Mystic Ball" - a soccer variant that is so beautiful and so beyond soccer that it is the subject of a most lovely-looking movie.

"Chinlone," the movie site explains, "is a combination of sport and dance, a team sport with no opposing team. In essence chinlone is non-competitive, yet itís as demanding as the most competitive ball games. The focus is not on winning or losing, but how beautifully one plays the game. A team of six players pass the ball back and forth with their feet and knees as they walk around a circle. One player goes into the center to solo, creating a dance of various moves strung together. The soloist is supported by the other players who try to pass the ball back with one kick. When the ball drops to the ground itís dead, and the play starts again."

"...a team sport with no opposing team." "...the focus is not on winning or losing, but how beautifully one playes the game"! How inspiring, how Well-Played Game-like is that?!

There are nine other soccerish games described, including the afore-described Bossaball, the yet-to-be-sufficiently-delved-into Jorkyball and several many clearly playworthy, probably innovative soccer-like sports. But this chinlone game touched my veritable spirit, engaged my actual faith in what play can lead us into.

via Neatorama
from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith


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