Description and History

The game is a fast-paced combining the skill with both speed and brute force. Pyramid synthesizes football and basketball, with elements of baseball and rugby. You score by hurling the ball through a small hole in the key backdrop; no easy feat if you’re alone on the field with soft music playing in the background. As the game is played, the player is lucky to catch a millisecond before he or she is tackled.

The game gets its name from its triangular shaped court, the origins of which go back hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. No one element can win. A team that dominates physically, could still loose to a highly skilled team and vice-versa.

The first backdrops were discarded cutter fins from open pit mining machines. The myth persists that the miners actually got the game from the Sagit tribe of Asthates, who had played it for thousands of years. Most people believe that pyramid originates hundreds of years ago on Caprica, developed as a diversion in the isolated mining outposts in the backlands. Companies started to match their teams against the competition, and we had our first league!

It caught on throughout the Colonies, pushed by corporations as a way to market product, but it was also embraced on a local “scrub” level. Multiple leagues developed, from pick-up to professional. Somewhere along the line it became the center-piece of every “sports-meet”. To the Colonies it is their universal game, addictive to participants and spectators alike. It’s their soccer of world game.

The ball has evolved from a goat’s skin stretched over hard rubber to the current 5 inch diameter composite, hollow core ball.

Pyramid is flexible; it can expect or contract to almost any number of participants. While certain sets have become the norm; the core rules allow many variations to exist. For instance, the usual nine ball plinths that line the field can be expanded to as many as fifty or sixty in tournament play, and the field can be as large as the teams will agree on. On a tremendously large field (“wide or open play”), an inner ring of ball plinths is sometimes added.

The game also has an alley version, where there are no plinths at all, opportunistically using walls, dumpsters, unlucky vehicles and so on, for bounces and bounce passes. Street pyramid also has a running variation. The game proceeds street by street, alley by alley, roof by roof. The trick is to gain possession before the agreed upon goal, which could be a back wall or warehouse window.  In fact, many versions of pyramid have evolved from tournament play (not played since before the first Cylon war), ranging from the austere to the delinquent.

The larger tournament style of the game hasn’t been played since the Cylon attack. The smaller scrub style set-up has become the norm.

The Under-ten girls league has something called the N.A. guidelines

A favorite term of derision: “I can see you’re a “Nancy Rules” kinda guy.”
As many as twenty can play to a side or as little as two. The one-on-one version maintains most of the dynamics of a full game.  Pyramid is normally played by teams of six, on a field of the approximate size and shape of a baseball diamond. Football-style hits, as well as rugby-like scrums pepper any game. Almost anything goes. Someone that performed a bad hit – say a knee in someone’s face – may not actually get penalized. He might wish he had as he’d have to face at least a half dozen “get-even-tackles”. The game is self-monitoring.

It is bad form to tackle anyone who doesn’t have the ball, but the code of retribution often over-rides this nicety.

Even these simple rules are often abbreviated to produce a no-rules-football type of play.
Initial possession is decided by the center toss. Possession turnovers happen within the play. Play stoppage of any kind means that the team with possession starts from their safe area. If possession isn’t established there is another toss that can happen at any area of the field.

The ball starts in the Team Zone or Safe Area, on the ground. As soon as the player lifts the ball, he or she may be tackled. The player with possession may only take three consecutive steps before they either pass the ball to another player or bounce it back to themselves. If the ball touches the ground, the other team gets possession and starts in their Team Zone (little league play allows a form of ground-bouncing – “The Nancy Rules”).
A ground ball resulting from a tackle is still in play and can be recovered by either team. If possession is stalled in a pile up for more than ten seconds, a neutral toss will decide the issue.

A player scores by throwing the ball through a hole in the backstop. Pop-ins or long throws are allowed but are part of the dynamics of the game. Five missed shots result in a null-frame. You win the game by winning most rows. You win a row by winning most frames on that row. If neither team wins a row (a null-score) play progresses to the next row.

Most fouls result in a free throw. Personal fouls (attempts to injure) of an extreme nature means that the offender is ejected for at least one row of play. Lesser fouls in the “unfair play” category mean that the player may not touch the ball for one frame. Players often don’t leave the field for these penalties, but just keep out of the way until the frame is over and they can jump into play again. Fouls are hardly ever called, as they fall out of the “no rules” culture of the game.

There are literally no rule books. They did not make it on anyone’s escape ship, and it has become part of the pyramid culture to distain arcane and fussy rules. Most games happen without any referee.
The game is scored starting from the bottom of the triangular shaped scorecard, the winner of each frame chalked into a yellow triangle. If one player or team wins an entire row, the game is over.

NULL SCORE: Five missed shots (a missed shot hits the ball return backdrop but does not go in) from either player means that a frame is marked null and play progresses to the next frame. Null scores do not impede the progress of the game.

An entire Row can be null and play progresses up to the next.

The gray squares are scored separately. These are a balance of penalty bonus points. Important in league play but not in a scrub game. Since complicated league games have almost disappeared, team captains have started to use the gray squares to mark substitutions, line rotations and side bets.

Other than the regular-league games and Street pyramid, there is also a bar-game based on the popular sports. In Pyramid X, one scores points by shooting a pyramid ball at a single goal a few feet away from the player.

Boskirk All Reds – Virgon
Canceron Hydras – Canceron
Caprica Buccaneers – Caprica City (Caprica)
Delphi Legion – Delphi (Caprica)
Gemenon Twins – Gemenon
Hades Vice – Hades (Canceron)
Leonis Wildcats – Leonis
Mangala Krill – Mangala (Canceron)
Olympian Stallions – Olympia (Tauron)
Picon Panthers – Picon
Sagittaron Archers – Sagittaron
Tauron Bulls – Tauron


Battlestar Olympia alvin_leadbetter