Unicycle Joust

You ever?

My boys and I learned to ride in the living room one winter trying to ride corner to corner. When we accomplished corner to corner, we took up jousting tournaments from the same corners with cardboard wrapping paper tubes. It was great fun bouncing off the furniture and running into walls until Mom caught us. As restitution, I remodeled the living room in oak this past Christmas holiday.

Bruce

I have wanted to joust since I got my first uni in 1987. It seems a natural thing to do on one. Unfortunately, I never met another unicyclist until very recently. Am now training a friend in the hope he’ll be a willing opponent. ;0)

I have dogfighted (dogfought? dogfitten?) with someone on roller skates though.

One of the fun games we participated in at TCUC’s Regionals in April was sumo wrestling on uni’s. We locked up and tried to either knock the opponent off the mount or push him/her out of the circle.

Bruce

I haven’t personally but some unicyclists were at BUC9, including my son, some of them even had a go with giraffes!!!

Gary

Here is a pic and a write up of some jousting at Microsoft
<http://www.unicycling.org/unicycling/unijoust.html>

I have never tried jousting, and I’m not sure that I would really want to. Maybe one day…

john_childs

My friend and I did. We used old brooms with most of the bristles gone. Slivers galore! Ooo that hurt a lot!

Re: Unicycle Joust

I personaly feel that dogfighting (i prefer unidurby)is the absolute
most fun i have ever had on a unicycle. I have spent countless hrs
with the people i ride with fighting on unicycles in the street. with
my little brother compleatly distroying both me and my cousen cause he
has been riding twice as long as either of us and he has devoted every
single min of his riding to obtaiing perfect balence, unlike us who
were attemping our first stair case after riding for roughly 3 hrs.
it makes for a compleatly amazing mesh of different skils, and the
direct compititon is always fun. plus you get just the right amount
of injurys that its still fun. i approve

never tryed jousting though. i’d like to, but we cant find anything
that would be painless enough.

Re: Unicycle Joust

Arnold the Aardvark wrote:
> At BUC9 we used broomsticks with a big
> cushion on the end … No shields.

Erm - does that mean Richard didn’t have room in his car for the shields?
We used to use a pair of dustbin lids.

Maybe if I’d taken one less wheel we’d have been able to take the shields.
But then, I did use all the wheels I took.


Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
Recumbent cycle page: http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/
“I don’t think proofreading is adequate. All posts should be waxed and
buffed. Then they should wear little tuxedos.” - Greg Harper on usenet

RE: Unicycle Joust

> I personaly feel that dogfighting (i prefer unidurby)is the absolute
> most fun i have ever had on a unicycle.

For me it ties with a few other things, but it’s definitely loads of fun
with no special equipment.

Where did you get the name Dogfighting? That’s what Bradley Bradley and I
used to call it when we did it long ago on our 6 footers, because we were up
in the air. That was stupid, by the way, but we did have fun until some
spectacular pileups where we got bruises in weird spots and pedals in body
cavities where they had no business being. :slight_smile:

I like the name Unidurby, though I think you mean Uni Derby. We used to call
it Demolition Derby when there were more than two riders. In England/Europe
(don’t know where it originated) they call it Gladiators. In more recent
years my friends and I had settled on the name Sumo for various reasons:

  1. Even if you have a group, doing 1-on-1 gives people a chance to rest
    (though you can still do a free-for-all if you want)
  2. Sumo is a somewhat similar sport that already exists
  3. Our rules are similar to Sumo
  4. The Sumo name implies that you actually have rules, and some sort of code
    of honor in the game. (it also implies big fat guys with skimpy underwear,
    but we ignore that)

I don’t think I’ve ever written down my Sumo/Gladiators/Demolition
Derby/Dogfighting rules. Part of this was due to concerns about liability,
and part due to so many other projects on my plate all the time. But since I
just finished the July issue of On One Wheel (at 2am), I’m going to take
some time to do this. I will post this again with a different subject line
so it doesn’t get missed by the Sumo crowd.

At the last two UNICONs, Steve Dressler and I have hosted very informal Sumo
tournaments. We had lots of fun, and yelled ourselves hoarse officiating
round after round, and explaining the rules. So here they are, for maybe the
first time ever in detailed writing:

UNICYCLE SUMO RULES
BY JOHN FOSS

This set of rules was developed by myself and the people I used to ride with
in the 1980s, in Michigan and New York. The rules were modified and changed
over the years to allow greater safety, less ripped clothing, and better
flexibility for different conditions. Example: In the early days, we didn’t
allow people to grab seats, because we couldn’t defend against it. Later we
got better, and allowed it. This rule can be optional, depending on who’s
playing (long as you set it in advance).

BASIC VARIATIONS:
There are four basic variations on the game that I can think of off the top
of my head:

  1. 1-on-1 with boundaries (standard Sumo)
  2. 1-on-1 without boundaries (Gladiator style?)
  3. 3 or more players with boundaries (group Sumo?)
  4. 3 or more players without boundaries (Demolition Derby)

BOUNDARIES:
Since this game has never been played formally, your boundaries should be
whatever’s convenient. In a gym, pick out some lines painted on the floor.
Outside, use parking spaces or cracks, or any way to determine your playing
area. The size of the area should allow room to move around, but not enough
room to pick up any high speed. You don’t need that much room. At UNICON X,
we taped out a circle that was about 5-6 meters across. For the finals (at
the closing ceremonies) we used the inner Standard Skill circle, which is 4
meters. You can see some pictures in my UNICON X Ofoto album by scrolling
most of the way down: http://tinyurl.com/b8y

Rectangles work as well. The shape is not important, but if you are using
boundaries it’s important that they are somehow marked on the ground so you
can see when a tire goes over. Unless you’re playing without boundaries, in
which case you don’t need any.

THE OBJECT:
When playing standard Sumo, the object is to either push your opponent out
of the circle or knock him or her down, while staying up and inside the
circle yourself. When playing without boundaries, it’s just the knocking
down part. When played with a group, the object is to be the last one
riding.

ROUNDS:
We play the game with multiple rounds. Each round ends with either a victor,
or in a draw (see below). The victor gets a point. You can play for points,
or best 2 out of 3, or whatever you choose. In the UNICON IX tournament
(Germany), we counted how many rounds a person won in a row. The highest
number was the champion. This works if all players are present at the time,
but is not accurate if people come and go. At UNICON X there was more of a
turnover of riders, so we kept pitting individual riders against each other
to see who was having the best averages. The top four players were Jose
Roman (Puerto Rico), Jamey Mossengren (USA), Lars Lottrop (Denmark) and a
guy named Lau(?), also from Denmark. The reigning world champion of Sumo
(unofficial, of course) is Jose Roman.

STARTING:
Riders must be on their unicycles, and inside the boundary (if any). When
ready, the players should first bow to each other (indicates politeness and
also that you are both paying attention). If a referee is used, the referee
then indicates the start of play by shouting “Kill!” or whatever suits his
fancy. In group games, all riders must ride out somewhere into the middle of
the playing area at the beginning of the round. We employed this rule to
keep people from hiding while other riders eliminated each other.

FINISHING:
A rider is out of bounds if his or her tire touches the ground outside the
line. It’s all in the tire (unless your foot touches outside the line, which
would also count as a dismount). So you can be on the line, but the round is
only over if you touch outside it. For dismounts, any body part touching the
ground with weight on it counts as a dismount. So a toe-touch to the ground
is a dismount, but a hand brushing the ground is not.

WINNER MUST STAY UP:
If both riders dismount, the round is a draw and no points are awarded.
After one rider is defeated by dismount, the other rider must remain up and
inbounds for at least three seconds. Riders dismounting may not try to drag
their opponents down with them. Once they have touched the floor, dismounted
riders must let go. On boundary victories, the round is over as soon as one
player’s tire touches outside the line, so the victor does not have to ride
the 3 seconds.

WITH MULTIPLE RIDERS:
When defeated, players in multiple rider games must exit the playing area as
best they can without interfering with mounted riders. Sometimes this means
holding still momentarily while waiting for them to move away. While still
in the playing area, defeated riders may be used as shields, props, or
obstacles. Players should note, however, that the defeated rider has no
obligation to you and is supposed to be getting out of there as quickly as
possible. This is a gray area I don’t have more detail on due to lack of
experience.

SAFETY:
This is the area where the most attention must be paid, and where we made
the most rule changes over the years. The overall goal is to have fun while
avoiding injury and damage to clothes and anything else. The basic ground
rule is that you are mostly doing pushing and pulling on the larger body
parts, or directly on the unicycle if you can grab it. Details:

  1. Remove earrings, watches, other jewelry, and anything else that could get
    snagged.
  2. No pulling on clothes. It’s easy to grab a piece of a shirt and pull, but
    then you end up with a ripped shirt. This tends to make the game too
    expensive. If you realize you are holding nothing but clothing, you must let
    go.
  3. No inflicting of pain. This is not very concrete, and must be interpreted
    with care. The basic idea is that pain is not one of the tools of the game.
    No poking eyes, pulling hair, twisting arms, bending fingers, etc.
  4. You may not push riders faster than they can go. This applies to larger
    playing areas, where a rider is trying to escape and picks up speed. A
    faster rider can easily give this rider a push from behind, which could
    result in a nasty fall. This is, in part, why the playing area should be
    kept to a minimum.
  5. No high lifting of riders’ feet. This means, for example grabbing the
    opponent under the knee and lifting way up. This can cause the rider to fall
    backward. It’s okay to lift the riders’ foot off the pedal, but not to keep
    lifting after it’s off.

Used properly, these five main safety rules will allow for round after round
of play with no serious damage to players or personal property.

SEAT GRABBING:
When my friends and I first played this game and thought about rules, some
of us had easy-to-grab Miyata seats while others had hard-to-grab Schwinn or
other seats. Plus, getting hold of the seat usually meant the round was over
for the grabee. So seat grabbing is a rule you should decide if you want to
use. The rule is that you can’t grab your opponent’s seat. We always allowed
grabbing of the seatpost, however. Later we allowed the seat as well. We
found that you can break away from this, and also that if you let your
opponent get a grip on your unicycle, you deserve it anyway.

DIFFERENT RIDER SIZE, AGE, WEIGHT:
You can’t have a good game with a child vs. an adult. In our UNICON
tournaments, kids wanted to play too. So we took turns between sets of
lightweight and heavyweight (expert) riders. If a lightweight rider was
doing too well against the other kids, we let them try their hands against
the experts as well. The sport can be divided by weight, or by skill level.
When everybody has a good skill level, it should be by weight. Age should
not be a factor.

PLAYING ON GIRAFFES (Dogfighting):
Bad idea. It’s only a matter of time before you fall, on your back, on top
of your unicycle. Can you say pedal-rectal? Been there, not going back. I
highly don’t recommend it. Suffice it to say that it only took one of those
really bad landings to stop us from ever doing it again, and that was way
back in my first year of riding.


So I hope you like the rules. Feel free to chime in with questions or
comments. We’ll clean it up into something that will eventually be added to
the IUF Rulebook.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
Sumo expert

Howard Stern: “How many wheels does a unicycle have?”
The beautiful but vacant, recently-crowned Miss Howard Stern:
“…Four?”

Re: Unicycle Joust

John Foss <john_foss@asinet.com> wrote in message news:<mailman.1023313150.17686.rsu@unicycling.org>…
> > I personaly feel that dogfighting (i prefer unidurby)is the absolute
> > most fun i have ever had on a unicycle.
>
> For me it ties with a few other things, but it’s definitely loads of fun
> with no special equipment.
>
> Where did you get the name Dogfighting? That’s what Bradley Bradley and I
> used to call it when we did it long ago on our 6 footers, because we were up
> in the air. That was stupid, by the way, but we did have fun until some
> spectacular pileups where we got bruises in weird spots and pedals in body
> cavities where they had no business being. :slight_smile:
>
> I like the name Unidurby, though I think you mean Uni Derby. We used to call
> it Demolition Derby when there were more than two riders. In England/Europe
> (don’t know where it originated) they call it Gladiators. In more recent
> years my friends and I had settled on the name Sumo for various reasons:

I think i saw the name dogfighting someplace else in the newsgroup and
figured it was a more standard name. And personaly i feel that
unidurby has a better visual ring when seen in text then Uni Derby. I
think it reflects more of the qualitys of the sport in an odd way then
if you put a space inbetween. I think i like sumo though. though
what we tend to do tends to be in groups and less structured then the
name would imply. Usualy in my expierience the game simply consists
of a bunch of kids riding around in the street trying by whatever
means to get eachother off of the unicycles. we have even included
bikes before.

> DIFFERENT RIDER SIZE, AGE, WEIGHT:
> You can’t have a good game with a child vs. an adult. In our UNICON
> tournaments, kids wanted to play too. So we took turns between sets of
> lightweight and heavyweight (expert) riders. If a lightweight rider was
> doing too well against the other kids, we let them try their hands against
> the experts as well. The sport can be divided by weight, or by skill level.
> When everybody has a good skill level, it should be by weight. Age should
> not be a factor.

I think that, in large arenas/no out of bounds, it comes down largy to
speed and manuverability, so that size is really not that big a
factor. This is how we have always played. Truthfuly the smallest
kid is the more skilled out of the 3 (though the gap has been
significantly closed) and he is usualy the last one riding. Though
with a small playing area I imagine weight would be a significant
factor because physical contact would play a larger part. In open
arena most of the game is played at or near the maximum speed the
rider can handle, and the winer is usualy the one who can manuver best
at this speed, therefore size and weight are largly boiled out and
whats left is skill (though i have to edmit saftey is seldom a big
issue for us, much less then it would have to be at an organized
event). I personaly feel that this approch is better if slightly more
dangerous. Of course non of our skill levels are really that high. I
can’t really foresee what the differences would be if played amoungst
more skilled riders.

trevor andersen.

Re: Unicycle Joust

On Wed, 5 Jun 2002 20:40:24 +0100, Danny Colyer wrote:
> Arnold the Aardvark wrote:
> > At BUC9 we used broomsticks with a big cushion on the end … No
> > shields.
>
> Erm - does that mean Richard didn’t have room in his car for the shields?
> We used to use a pair of dustbin lids.

Yuck. I hate those things. All they succeed in doing is hurting the hand
holding the shield, and making the stick slide into your face or groin. And
it’s harder to balance.

If you just have the stick, you can use both hands on it, which admittedly
gives you a shorter reach, but much more control.


Peter Haworth pmh@edison.ioppublishing.com
“I have a truly elegant proof of the above, but it is too long to fit into
this .signature file.”

RE: Unicycle Joust

> I think i saw the name dogfighting someplace else in the newsgroup and
> figured it was a more standard name.

Interesting. It might just be you and me using it…

> And personaly i feel that unidurby has a better visual
> ring when seen in text then Uni Derby. I think it
> reflects more of the qualitys of the sport in an odd way then
> if you put a space inbetween.

But do you want to spell it “wrong,” or like other forms of derby (Kentucky
Derby, Roller Derby, Demolition Derby)? How about UniDerby.

> what we tend to do tends to be in groups and less structured then the
> name would imply. Usualy in my expierience the game simply consists
> of a bunch of kids riding around in the street trying by whatever
> means to get eachother off of the unicycles. we have even included
> bikes before.

That to me is Demolition Derby or UniDerby. I have played these games
informally for over 20 years now. If we go more formal with it, there will
be people who complain we’re taking the fun out. No we’re not, we’re
spreading the fun around, and offering a consistent way to play it. Nobody
will make you play it this way, unless you choose to enter a formal
competition.

So if we want to be formal, we could come up with names for the various ways
of playing the game. The one you described should definitely be the UniDerby
one. Demolition Derby also works for me because that is a well known
automotive sporting event, at least in the US.

> I think that, in large arenas/no out of bounds, it comes down
> largy to speed and manuverability, so that size is really not
> that big a factor.

This only stays true until you get to higher skill levels. The danger with
speed is when one rider is running from a faster rider. All the faster rider
needs to do is give that rider a push in the center of their back, and
they’re going down, at what is their top speed. Messy. So my rules don’t
allow it.

As soon as you have riders with roughly equal unicycling skill but very
unequal weight, you will see the need for a way to divide riders by
size/weight. However if it hasn’t become a problem for you yet, you don’t
need to worry about it.

> I personaly feel that this approch is better if slightly more
> dangerous.

It’s a fun way to play too, but it boils down to who is fastest more than
anything else.

> Of course non of our skill levels are really that high.
> I can’t really foresee what the differences would be if
> played amoungst more skilled riders.

It’s really fun to watch, and play!

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

IF IT DAMAGES PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY,

SKATEBOARDING

AND UNICYCLING

IS A CRIME

(Mind where you grind)

Re: Unicycle Joust

In a message dated 6/7/02 3:16:42 PM, john_foss@asinet.com writes:

<< But do you want to spell it “wrong,” or like other forms of derby (Kentucky

Derby, Roller Derby, Demolition Derby)? How about UniDerby. >>

UniDerby is fine. If you’re looking for proper spelling/gramer and whatnot,
my typing is not the place to look. I tend to spell visualy and dont try to
hard even at that. basicly, if it appears to have a good amount of letters
extending beyond the x-hight (i.e. h, t…) and the right amount below the
baseline (ie p, y…) its fine with me. also severity of misspelling vs time
taken to press the backspace is a big consideration.

Re: Unicycle Joust

In a message dated 6/7/02 3:16:42 PM, john_foss@asinet.com writes:

<< > I think that, in large arenas/no out of bounds, it comes down

> largy to speed and manuverability, so that size is really not

> that big a factor.

This only stays true until you get to higher skill levels. The danger with

speed is when one rider is running from a faster rider. All the faster rider

needs to do is give that rider a push in the center of their back, and

they’re going down, at what is their top speed. Messy. So my rules don’t

allow it.

As soon as you have riders with roughly equal unicycling skill but very

unequal weight, you will see the need for a way to divide riders by

size/weight. However if it hasn’t become a problem for you yet, you don’t

need to worry about it.

> I personaly feel that this approch is better if slightly more

> dangerous.

It’s a fun way to play too, but it boils down to who is fastest more than

anything else.

> Of course non of our skill levels are really that high.

> I can’t really foresee what the differences would be if

> played amoungst more skilled riders.

It’s really fun to watch, and play! >>

I think i agree with most of this. still, i think its better to have it boil
down to whos fastest, as speed in unicycling seems to come far more from pure
skill then from physical fitness (though, of course ths is a large factor),
and i personaly feel that competition should be about skill. Of course like
you said, when all skills are even, weight becomes a factor. really though,
what it all boils down to, is how much fun your having. So, whatever needs
to be done to maximise the fun level, so be it.

__
trevor andersen