The Unicycle Football Association is a North Texas-based amateur league for the sport of unicycle football, also known as unicycle rugby. Unicycle rugby is similar to American football in that it is played on unikes, which are circular cylinders with a circumference of about twelve feet. Unicycle rugby has the following rules and regulations: a total of sixteen men or teams may play. Each team must consist of at least three players.
Unlike football, rugby can have real time contact as well as relaxation. Unlike baseball, unicycle football doesn’t require any type of batting cage or pitching machine. The sport consists of a simple four-on-four match where each team defending has to defend the goal while attacking with the unicycle football provided by each other. The offense is made up of quick passes, scrambling, and kicking the ball around the field. Each team has five minutes to score more points than the other team.
In the game, each team is given two unicycles, one each from each team, and the same number of soccer balls. Each team starts at the foul line, where the referee will place the first unicycle at the center of the foul line. Then each team takes turns being the “ball handler”, or “kick holder”, who must carry and throw the ball over the ball line using only their unicycles and jousting their opponents using the unicycling wheels. There are only five minutes per game, so each team must have at least five minutes of rest between games.
The game is divided into two halves, ten minutes in each, plus the time necessary for regulation overtime. Overtimes are not used, since most teams don’t have the patience to play unicycle football for four hours straight. However, it can be interesting, since there are scoring opportunities every time the teams switch roles. For example, if a team wants to take control in the passing part of the game, they can do that by switching their flacks (the guys who handle the jousting parts of the unicycles) to the point-guard position. This allows the offense to use the time they have to make plays with the ball, instead of having to go through the motions of handling the pigskin.
On the other hand, teams must defend their goal using the “block” position, which consists of three people in the front, including two cornerbacks. Usually, the defense holds the ball until the whistle blows and the other “block” position players rush to their unicycles, which are located in the “go” position behind the two corners, just in front of the net. When an offensive player goes into the “go” position, his teammate must block down by either holding the net or flushing their opponent’s disc toward the goalie. Although this may seem straightforward enough, it gets complicated when playing unicycle football in San Francisco.
Because the net is always in play during unicycle football
each player is required to have good skills at “going full speed” on every rep, and must also learn how to “clamp down” when approaching the net. In other words, there are techniques for making a” Tackle” which includes grabbing the other team’s player with the bare hands (clamping) or using a piece of equipment such as a safety flag, which is waved in front of the quarterback while the tackle is being made. As the game has evolved over the years, there are now “help” words such as a “down” word, which basically means “not able to complete the tackle”. Most likely, you will see this “down” term in every professional game of unicycle tackle football, which makes the game much more interesting to watch.
Of course, there is also “gnarwhal” in the game; these gnarwhals represent the team’s “goat” or offensive player. Unlike the normal soccer player who runs around the field looking for a goal, the “gnarwhal” stays in one place and goes after the ball. If the other team’s player manages to get past the “gnarwhal”, then they are considered to be “stuck” and will not be able to make a play on the next play! Due to its intelligence, these little creatures often end up as the cause of a call against the unicycle football league.
A juggling class which involves the use of the various unicycle football devices such as the safety flag, may be held at various parks across the city. Most sports-lovers visit San Francisco each weekend in order to take part in the unicycle football league. The best time to organize a juggling class in San Francisco is during the summer since the weather is warm and beautiful. However, anyone can join the class regardless of their skill level. All that is required is to make sure that they have all the necessary equipment for the class before leaving home.
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