How to Play Yooyuball... Without a Yooyu!
So you’ve caught Altador Cup fever and you want a piece of the action, but
you don’t live in Neopia, so you can’t get hold of a Yooyu? No problem! Here’s
a how-to guide.
Okay, first things first, you need the equipment.
So you don’t have a Yooyu, but you can still play!
Faerie Yooyu – Use a tennis ball-sized foam ball – it will stay in the air
for a long time, is hard to throw straight, and if a gust of wind catches it,
who knows where it will end up?
Mutant Yooyu – Dip half your foam ball in water. One side is now heavier than
the other, and it will react in strange ways. And of course, your ‘mutant’ may
start dribbling on you if you don’t pass it or shoot quickly!
Ice Yooyu – Unless you live in a very snowy place (in which case you can play
with a snowball!) you’ll find it difficult to play with an icy ball. Instead,
dip the whole of your foam ball in water – it will be slow and heavy, just like
the Ice Yooyu, and you run the risk of getting very wet if you hold onto it
for too long. If you want to make it icy water, so that it’s still a very cold
ball, go right ahead!
Fire Yooyu – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT set your foam ball on fire! The Fire
Yooyu is fast and accurate, so use a tennis ball instead of the foam one.
The catchers – Ideally you want something to catch the Yooyu in that you can
attach to your hand. I found some great little plastic catching scoops, sort
of like mini-lacrosse nets, in a shop on holiday a few years ago, and they work
perfectly. If you can’t find any of those, try using a (clean!) piece of guttering
(put tape over any sharp edges – ask an adult to help if you’re in any doubt),
or even a mini fishing net!
Gloves and a long-sleeved top – Very useful – you’ll see why when we reach
Nets/Goalposts – If you’re one of those lucky people that live by a park with
football nets or, even better, mini football or hockey nets, they are perfect
for playing Yooyuball. If not, improvise! Mark out the edges of the goal and
make a rule about how high the goal is, i.e. as high as your Goalkeeper’s shoulder.
A pitch – you’ll need to mark out a goal line, a small area in front of the
goal, a larger area in front of the goal, and a dot in the middle. Skipping
ropes make good line markers, but a jumper on each corner of the area would
work almost as well.
A bucket of water – It may sound strange, but you’ll need it if you want to
use your various Yooyus!
So now you’ve got the equipment, you need to know how to play!
Players – you can have as many players as you like on a team – just make sure
that each team has a Goalkeeper and a Forward. You can play this game with as
few as four people, and as many as you’ve got room for!
Boundaries – Your Goalkeeper can only go inside his or her goal areas – that’s
the small goal box and the larger goal box you marked out earlier. Everyone
else can go wherever they like except inside the small goal area.
How to play – The game starts with a tip-off, just like in basketball – someone
(ideally a referee, but it can be anyone) stands in the middle of the pitch
with the two forwards, throws the ball into the air, and the forwards try to
catch it. Once one of them has the ball, the game has started!
The idea of the game is to throw the ball into the other team’s net and score
a goal. If someone has the ball in his or her catcher, the other team can try
to knock the ball out of the catcher, but they’re not allowed to hit any part
of the other player aside from their arm (this is why gloves and a long-sleeved
top are a good idea!).
You’re only allowed to catch the Yooyu in your catcher unless it’s on the floor,
in which case you can pick it up with your hand, but you can throw it with your
hand or with your catcher.
Defending and blocking is allowed as long as you don’t push or hold the other
The Goalkeeper is allowed to use any part of their body to stop the ball going
into the net. If the Goalkeeper is holding the ball, no one is allowed to try
to hit the ball out of his or her hands, but they’re not allowed to hold onto
the ball for more than 10 seconds!
Once a goal has been scored, everyone goes back to the centre for another tip-off.
The person throwing the ball in the air for the tip-off can choose which ball
to use each time.
What’s not allowed – No grabbing or holding any part of another player at all;
no hitting any part of another player aside from their arm (if they’re holding
the ball); no kicking the ball (unless you’re the Goalkeeper); no aiming the
ball at anyone’s head!
Time – You can play the game for as long as you like, but to start with, try
playing short games – say five or ten minutes long. If you have lots of players,
you can play for five minutes, then switch players out and carry on for longer.
This is when it’s useful to have a referee who can watch the time, keep score,
and bring you Yooyus!
I hope you don’t find that too complicated, and you enjoy playing Yooyuball
now! If you do organise a game, I’d love to hear how it went – please drop me
a Neomail with any comments or feedback you have!