Royal Ringball Rules (R)

Derived from the royal ballgames first played by the pre-Maya people of Mexico before 3,600 years ago, Royal Ringball is played by 8 to 13 mixed-gender players per team on an 80-foot square synthetic surface marked with equal quadrants, two incline structures, and two 20 x 120-foot side/end fields.

Three evenly spaced 36-inch inside-diameter vertical ring goals are mounted at each side/end of the field atop the 80’ long, 25’ deep, 20-degree (18%) sloping modular inclines with special playing surfaces, 48-inch high Lexan back- and side-boards and 18’ back netting. A flat, level, one-acre, site is minimally required.

At least two strategic variations of the game are practicable: For the adjacent game, teams line up in balanced echelons facing the inclines across the midfield/centerline- 3 or 5 strikers, 3 or 5 blockers, and 2 or 3 defenders. In the opposite game, the teams face the side/end fields in a similar wedge formation. Suitable protective gear, eye guards, and singlet attire may be worn. A referee (or two) and two line judges officiate.

A custom designed ball is first put in play upon a coin toss with either a cross-court end/side-zone serve to the far incline or a center-court jump ball. The ball is moved only by impact with any part of the body (i.e., kicking, punching, slapping, spiking, deflecting, etc.), BUT NOT HEADING and once in play is never held, palmed, grasped in any manner or thrown.

Any player may possess and/or control the ball by lofting, passing or shooting any number of times in any succession. The ball may not fall to the field but may be dribbled, bounced and rebounded off the inclined surfaces, backboards, and sideboards. Should the ball fall to the field, it is brought by a referee to the center mark of the quadrant of the last-touched player, or that of any player who may have intended it to ground, and a free-strike/punt is awarded to any eligible opponent striker in order to restart play. Strikers only may play in the 8’-radius defense-excluded scoring zones.

Only strikers may advance (attack) across the midfield line (to opponent territory). Only center position players- strikers, blockers, and defenders, may straddle and/or cross the centerline left or right. Only strikers and defenders may mount and play on the inclines. Only blockers may play on their side/end fields. A “one-bounce” rule may be used for JV play. Tackling is prohibited. No off-side rules. No cleats.

Adjacent points are scored at 5 for the center and 3 for each side goal. Opposite points are 5 for each near goal and 3 for each far goal when scored from on an incline. A player scoring unassisted with one or both feet on the field adds 2 more points. Any scoring play or any completed pass using a hip, i.e., “hipshot,” adds 2 points. “Trespass,” i.e., a defender intentionally entering any 12’ radius marked goal zone is a penalty point deduction at referees’ sole discretion. Game orientation may be changed by a receiving team prior to any out-of-bounds return.

With the exceptions of “handling,” (but not “grasping,” or “holding,”) and its various resolving kicks, penalties for fouls shall approximate those described under soccer’s “Laws of the Game” with a strict application of the “Yellow” and “Red” card penalty procedures. “Grounding,” out-of-bounds and possession calls are made by asst. referees and the ball may be struck or kicked back into play in any manner.

Four periods of 15 minutes each plus timeouts are played with a 20-minute halftime under a game clock system similar to basketball.

Warm Up Ball-Handling Drills – 20 t0 40 players:

Spread out across the field/floor to begin:

1. Lofting (dribbling): Keep the ball in the air while moving in place for at least 5 hits by striking with any part of the body in combination Footbag, (Hackey Sack,) soccer, hot potato or volleyball moves. Try to loft the ball to about twice your body height.

2. Passing: Using the above rules, team-up in a circle and start controlled passing at 10 feet apart, moving to 15 feet, and then 20 feet. Practice each distance for 5 minutes. Practice for at least 5 passes.

3. Shooting: Start at 30 feet from the 2-sided vertical ring Pokatok training apparatus off-centered left and right by 30 degrees. Group-off evenly at the 4 markers and spike ball volleyball-style with palm or fist, or kick on a bounce or punt. Retrieve any ball and shift goal orientation, spending 10 minutes on each.

4. Putting it all together: Pair-up 15 to 25 feet apart at the team markers, pass at least 3 times and alternate shooting on the fly at each practice ring.

Rev. 11/1/17

ROYAL RINGBALL is a trademark of M.K.Zitter & Assocs.
© Copyright 2016 by Martin K. Zitter –
For further information: 626.398.1960; also see