Invented by a group of Ukrainian students who apparently thought regular football wasn’t exciting enough, footdoubleball is a wacky sport played with two balls of different color, at the same time.
Footdoubleball isn’t exactly new, since it was first played in 2007, but it’s definitely new to many people in western European countries, and especially North America, where regular football (soccer) isn’t as popular as in other parts of the world. Most of the rules that apply in a game of football are also obeyed in footdoubleball, but there are certain alterations and additions supposed to make the game “more dynamic and dramatic”. The most notable difference between the two sports is that footdoubleball is played with two balls (of different color) at the same time. At the start of the match each team is awarded one of the balls, and goalkeepers have to kick off the game from the corners of the keeper’s area. That’s when it starts getting really confusing. Each team tries to attack with one ball and defend its goal from the other team at the same time. If one team manages to steal the ball from the other team it can attack with both, and goalkeepers often find themselves in situations where they have to parry two strikes at the same time.
A game of footdoubleball is controlled by a referee, an assistant referee, two linesmen, and a reserve referee. The referee controls the play with one ball and only he has the power to stop the game in case of injuries, while the assistant referee controls the play with the other ball and has to use different sound signals from the one used by the referee, so not to confuse players…Linesmen must use two flags of the same coloring as the balls in play, so they can raise them according to the ball that was in play when they signal a foul. There is no such thing as “off-side” in this crazy sport. If a team scores a goal with one ball, play with that ball is interrupted until the other ball leaves the field or is also scored in one of the goals. If both teams score simultaneously, each goalkeeper kicks their ball from the penalty spot, and if one team scores in the same goal with both balls, they are thrown-in at the same time by the team who lost the goals.
According to Ukrainian players, footdoubleball is more interesting than normal football; it requires a lot more coordination because you have to keep your eyes on both balls. It’s also a lot faster than football and offers plenty of chances to score. While many football matches end with scores like 0-0, 1-0 or 2-o at most, footdoubleball games end with scores like15-8 or 20-11, and almost all the players on the teams get to score at least one goal. Oddly enough, referees say controlling a game of footdoubleball is easier than regular football, because players almost never have the time to argue about the rules, with a second ball almost always in play.
I’m not the biggest football fan myself, but I don’t think adding a second ball makes it a lot more interesting, just a lot harder to follow. But that’s just my opinion, what do you think?