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This blog is inspired by the title of the upcoming season 6 episode Buckball Season. I'm hoping that Buckball is not just a ponification of a human game. I'd like to have something at least semi-unique to Equestria for us to enjoy rather than just see a group of quadrupeds playing a game meant for bipeds.

BenRG's Buckball Idea

Buckball is a deceptively simple yet horribly complex game with centuries of precedent, tradition and often-obscure rules that have built up during the time of Princess Celestia's rule. In its simplest form, it is two teams of eleven ponies, five Attackers, four Defenders and two ponies (usually pegasi) that are referred to as Interceptors.

Basically, the objective of the game is to kick (or buck) the ball into a basket-like net at the top of an 18-foot tall Y-shaped frame. You can carry the ball down-field, kick it and even hold it in a telekinetic field but the only scoring act is to kick or throw the ball in the net from ground level. The Interceptors' main role is to block long passing moves and kicks and send the ball back the other way. An Interceptor cannot attempt to score but must pass the ball to an Attacker to attempt to score. That said, there is no limit to where an Interceptor takes the ball to hoof it off to their team-mates and some games have degenerated into pretty elaborate dogfights between enthusiastic pegasi as Attackers and Defenders jockey for position on the ground.

A Defence player is basically a tackler, whose role is to prevent the other side's Attackers from advancing too far and disrupt any attacking moves in any way possible. Interceptors are not permitted to assist in any defensive moves; they are only permitted to collect a loose or airborne ball. The obvious and most basic defensive move is for a Defender to knock a ball out of the Attacker's grasp and upwards so it can be collected by an Interceptor.

Whilst it is traditional (and near universal) for an Interceptor to be a pegasi, there have been some great Interceptors who were unicorns with particular mastery of levitation or even earth ponies who can jump fantastic distances.

One universal rule is no magic. Whilst a unicorn can levitate a ball or a Pegasi fly with it in their hooves, they are not permitted to use magic to take possession of a ball or engage in a scoring attempt. They may only do so by physical contact or by kicking. Similarly, a pegasi in the offensive group can fly to the goal line but then must deliver the scoring kick from ground level.

It is against the spirit of the game but is still legal for Interceptors to act as 'spoilers', flying ahead of their defensive or offensive lines to confuse, distract or startle opposing players.

Some forms of the game allow for a fifth defensive player called the Keeper, traditionally a pegasi or levitating unicorn, to stay in front of the goal net to try to block scores, adding an extra level of difficulty to the game. However Equestrian Major League Buckball does not use the Keeper in its regular league and cup matches.

Over the years, many convoluted tactics and strategems for winning a Buckball game have developed and, in the past, quite firm rules have been put in place by the League in response to teams that have attempted to circumvent the 'no magic' rule by either stealth or just lateral thinking. Additionally, a rising tide of injuries has led to the imposition of very strict limits as to legal tackles and the level of contact used to block an Attacker's advance (especially necessary for large earth ponies with very high strength).

Some story ideas arising from my concept for Buckball

  • Sunset Shimmer tries to teach her human friends how to play the game (with some modifications for the lack of fliers)
  • As part of the reconciliation between ponies and the Griffons of Griffonstone, Twilight arranges a Equestria All Stars vs Griffonstone charity match
  • The Crusaders are selected for a youth team and Scootaloo is determined to be an Interceptor.

The Ponyville Harmonics (Starting Line-Up)

Attackers

The Doctor (Centre Forward) - Captain

Pinkie Pie (Left Forward)

Thunderlane (Right Forward)

Carrot Cake (Left Wing)

Comet Tail (Right Wing)

Defenders

Big MacIntosh Apple (Nose Tackle)

Lyra Heartstrings (Centre Back)

Golden Harvest (Left Back)

Dark Moon (Right Back)

Interceptors

Fluttershy (Left Interceptor)

Cloudchaser (Right Inteceptor)

We Will Buck You (The Harmonics' Theme)

Based on We Will Rock You by Sir Brian May of Queen ((Entire song has a rythmn of ponies clopping their forehooves together twice followed by stomping once: Clop-clop Stomp, Clop-clop Stomp))

Buddy you're a colt make a big noise

Playin' in the street gonna be a big horse some day

You got mud on yo' face

You big disgrace

Kickin' your can all over the place


Singin'


We will we will buck you!

We will we will buck you!


Sist'h you're a young mare hard mare

Shoutin' in the street gonna take on the world some day

You got blood on yo' face

You big disgrace

Wavin' your banner all over the place


We will we will buck you

(Sing it!)

We will we will buck you


Buddy you're an old poor stall'n

Pleadin' with your eyes gonna make you some peace some day

You got mud on your face

Big disgrace

Somebody better put you back into your place


We will we will buck you

(Sing it!)

We will we will buck you


(Everybody)


We will we will buck you!

We will we will buck you!


(Alright)