Introduction: Richieball

Richieball is an event that has been a Chicagoland staple now in its 11th year.

Richieball is an experience. It is a sport. It is a festival. It is friendship. It is a gathering. It is competition. Richieball is an experience.

Richieball was founded on a Summer day in 1997 when seven friends gathered to have a barbeque. They began mindlessly throwing a softball into a garbage can from roughly twenty yards away. A nickel was awarded when a person successfully made it into the can. The game lasted throughout the day and was given the name Richieball after Richie Hildreth who was visiting Chicago from Virginia.

Over the course of the next few years Richieball grew in popularity because of the game's simplistic nature coupled with an ultra competitive approach by its players. Thanks in large part to the No Practicing Clause, every competitor enters the tournament on an even playing field.

Today Richieball has evolved into a phenomenon that is sweeping across the Southwest Chicagoland area and beyond at a rapid pace. Players, families, and fans travel from 100's of miles away for one weekend a year to celebrate this phenomenon.

The Fans are the engine that drives the Richieball machine. The entire Richieball festival is made possible through the contributions of those who play the game. By providing plenty of beer and burgers for all, Richieball is the only sport where the players pay and the fans come for free.

To learn more, see the Richieball Hompage.

Richieball on MySpace.
Richieball on Facebook.

Step 1: Number One Rule...

The Number One Rule in Richieball
There is no practicing for Richieball. Unlike most sports where dedication and practicing are essential to becoming a great player, we at Richieball not only frown upon it, but have BANNED it. We throw Richieballs only once a year, on Richieball Day, and demand that everyone do the same. Any person who is caught practicing for Richieball will face the harshest of penalties.

Step 2: Game Layout

Two Richieball goals (remarkably similar to 55-gallon garbage cans) are placed 20 yards apart from one another. Measurement takes place from the front of the goals.

One regulation Richieball (remarkably similar in shape and appearance to a 16" softball).

Step 3: Gameplay

A team consists of two players who both stand at the same goal.

A coin flip will be used to determine who gets first shot or choice of goal.

Teams alternate shots.

One round consists of all four players taking a shot.

Players must throw from behind the front of the goal. Any violation will result in loss of throw.

Step 4: Scoring

A goal consists of the Richieball entering the can either on the fly or on the bounce.

If the other team accidentally hits the ball into the goal, the goal counts.

If a player makes a goal, the remaining players get a chance to rebut that goal. If the last player in the round makes a goal, the round is over and a point is awarded to the team that scored.

If a two players make a goal from opposing teams, the goals cancel out. The same is true if all four players make a goal in the same round.

If two players from the same team make goals in a given round and the other team misses both, two points are awarded to the scoring team.

Step 5: Richieball Etiquette

Team unity is a cornerstone of the Richieball atmosphere and can be expressed in many ways. Traditional approaches have incorporated flashy uniforms, extravagant entrances, creative team names, the signing of contracts, alliance-forming, and the unveiling of surprises of great magnitude. However teams (or fans) wish to express their unity is totally in their hands. Doing nothing special on Richieball Day is frowned upon.

Player promptness is critical to Richieball. While players and supporters are generally required to arrive by Noon, the Richieball Head Council suggests getting to the site hours before gametime. The few hours before gametime can sometimes be the most enjoyable.

Becoming the Richieball Champion is something that most kids can only dream about. That is precisely why when one becomes Richieball Champion, it is imperative that he carry himself with the utmost dignity. The Richieball Champion must serve as an ambassador of the sport, promoting the game whenever possible.

Players are expected to act in the best interest of Richieball at all times. Any player that takes this for granted may be banned from the sport by the Head Richieball Council.

Walking through the alley while a game is in progress is disrespectful to the competitors and the sport.

"Walk-Throughs" will not be tolerated and will be taken into strong consideration when inviting teams to return to Richieball.

At certain points throughout the competition, exclaiming "Noonan!" is indeed necessary. Noonans can be an important tool in a team's effort to mentally defeat their opponent. Players are cautioned, however, not to use the Noonan in an obnoxious fashion. Excessive use of the Noonan should not be practiced.

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