Rules of Speedball
Speedball is a game played with two 11-player teams, each of which attempt to advance a soccer ball down a field to score at a goal line. Players kick the ball -- as in soccer, throw and catch the ball -- as in basketball, and punt and pass -- as in football. Football rules generally apply for passing the ball and scoring; basketball rules apply to fly or aerial balls; and soccer rules mostly apply when the ball is kicked on the ground.
The speedball goal is 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The penalty area is 5 yards in front of each goal and end line. Players can score three ways in speedball. A field goal gains three points and occurs when a ground ball is kicked under a goal’s cross bar and between its uprights. A drop-kick gains two points. It occurs when the ball goes over the cross bar from outside of the penalty area. A touchdown gains one point and occurs when the ball is passed to a player who is behind the goal line. Rules in some programs also allow for one point to be scored on a penalty kick.
Ground, Fly and Dribble Rules
A rolling, bouncing or stationary ball is considered a ground ball. A ground ball cannot be touched with the hands or arms, but has to be kicked or bounced off of a player’s body. When the ball goes airborne via a kick, it becomes a fly ball. A fly ball can be caught and then passed, punted, held or drop-kicked. It also can be played as an overhead dribble. That means the player can throw the ball and run to catch it before it hits the ground.
In some programs, teams can have more than one goaltender. In fact, some place no limit to the number of goaltenders a team is allowed. However, the goaltenders are subject to the same ground and fly rules as other players. Some programs allow goaltenders to take two steps with the ball, pick it up, bounce it, throw it, punt it or drop-kick it.
Fouls in speedball include pushing, tripping, traveling, handling a ground ball with the hands, charging, blocking, unnecessary roughness, drop-kicking in an attempt to make a goal or making a forward pass in an attempt to make a touchdown while inside the 5-yard penalty area. Other fouls include having the ball for more than five seconds during a free kick or more than 10 seconds on a penalty kick. When an attacking player commits a foul behind his opponent’s goal line, the opposing team gains a free throw or kick on the goal. If the foul is incurred outside the penalty area, the free kick or throw is awarded at the location where the foul was committed.
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.