Shieldball, also known as Bucklerball, is a sport where players use shields to smash a ball across a barrier. Played in 'Suits' of points, it is usually played individually against a single opponent, but occasionally is between two teams of two players each.   Originating as a way of practice against ranged projectiles, soldiers began using shields to hit the balls at each other, instead of tossing them. Drinking games had them compete in precision, and eventually opposed versions of the sport formed. Some cities hold tournaments between soldiers and citizens.   Many regional variants of the rules exist. At The Academy students tend to play the continental version at the Battle Arena, though they may use some variant rules for greater entertainment.   Though named shieldball, most variants also involve the foot. Players are allowed, or mandated, to kick the ball in the air once before using their shield. This rule is to prevent players from breaking their arm trying to catch a low ball. However, they are not allowed to kick the ball across the barrier.   Some variants include different field-sizes, mandatory kicks, different hitlines, and shield weights. Some even require dualwielding bucklers. At the Academy's Battle Arena, Long Rooms have three fields in them, with various hitlines in different colours. Long nets hang between the fields to stop missed balls.  
General Rules (Continental Version)
  • A ball must hit the ground past the hitline, but within bounds, to not be a foul
  • If a player fails to return the ball before second bounce, they lose the point
  • Players are only allowed to kick the ball once, and hit it with their shield once
  • Players that kick the ball across the barrier, lose the point
  • Players may only touch the ball with their legs and shield
  • Players may kick the ball anywhere past the hitline
  • Players may only bash the ball within bounds and past the hitline
  • A fouled serve gets one retry, other fouls immediately lose the point
  • Players switch serve every odd turn
  • When serving, players must kick the ball then bash it, while keeping one leg grounded
  • The first to fourteen points wins the Suit
  • Short matches are one Suit, longer matches require a player to win up to four Suits
Continental Version Requirements
8m wide, 10m long per side
3m from barrier
Pebbles or Gravel
1m high, 20cm thick

Circular and flat
36-40 cm diameter
1.7-2.0 kg

Inflated leather
18 cm
150-170 gram
Three Fifths

Notable Variants

Split Shield

Played with two teams of four players each, each existing of two Kickers and two Bashers. Uses a larger field (10m wide, 15m deep per side) with a hitline at 4.5m distance, while the bash-bounds end at 3m from the barrier. One of the Kickers has to kick the ball, after which a Basher has to bash the ball. If a Basher's body touches the ball, their side loses the point.


A twin-buckler variant without kicking and narrow 4m-wide fields. The hitline is located at 6m distance and the first bounce already scores. The bounds still end at 3m from the barrier, so players will be positioned to intercept the ball before the hitline. Players must bounce the ball with one buckler, then bash with the other. This variant is only played in single Suits.


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27 Dec, 2020 19:06

You are describing the continental version. How many different versions there are? Is it really a non-contact sport as the prompt says?

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27 Dec, 2020 19:37

I'd say as many different versions as there were soccer versions in the past. I added two specific variants here. And yes, given the large distance, hitting an opponent isn't a plausible act. Velocities are lower than tennis, and unlike volleyball you are not extremely close to your opponent, thanks to the hitline rules. This is why, unlike tennis, Shieldball has no explicit rule about hitting a ball against an opponent.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
28 Dec, 2020 18:34

This sounds like it would be a really fun game to play! :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
28 Dec, 2020 23:56

And I suspect the soldiers at the Academy also enjoy playing it from time to time. Plenty of those around after all, enough to put together an actual competition. I should look up the exact numbers, I forget them.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
29 Dec, 2020 23:07

I got ~800 soldiers writte down apparently. Plus >1500 staff members of various kinds. Plenty of people to play.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
2 Jan, 2021 16:51

What a wonderful game! I like the creative use of shields, particularly how it had been used to help people arm against projectiles in battle.

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