The Sport of Generals
Tyalie is a public sports game that is played in Onossilya throughout the year. There are five city teams and five community teams which play in a league style during the year. Playoffs commence in the fall leading up to the Year’s Ending and Year’s Opening games.
City and Community Teams
Teams consist of six mobile players and a single stationary goalie. Players receive three attempts to move their flag down the game field, which is approximately 250 feet in length and 100 feet in width. The flag can be passed hand-to-hand or thrown, but passing ceases if the carrier takes more than five steps. A “full goal”, worth 3 points is scored when the flag carrier reaches the goal post and performs a successful attack which knocks the pole to at least a 45 degree angle from plumb. If the team cannot score after their three attempts, possession moves to the opposing team.
Periods are 20 minutes in length, timed by magic, and a game has three periods. Each team receives 3 time-outs per period and 3 discretionary time-outs per game. Discretionary time-outs, if not used in a particular game, may be carried into additional games during the season up to a maximum of 21.
Additional points are awarded per individual performances. If a player executes a particularly spectacular move as adjudicated by the game referees, that player’s team receives 1 point. If a group of two or more players execute a teamwork play on another player, that group’s team receives 2 points. These “style points” may be awarded for either offensive or defensive maneuvers.
Penalties are awarded in several ways. If any player is injured to the point of removal from a game, the opposing team is docked two points. If referees deem a play degrading or unsportsmanlike, the team at fault is docked one point and may receive additional penalties in the form of loss of ground, loss of time-outs, or removal of an offending player to a penalty box for up to a full period. Other rules infractions include breaking of lines before play begins, too many players on the field, concealing the flag and taking too many steps before a pass.
Most games of Tyalie happen as passing and running games. Some teams favor short, fast passes between players or sleight-of-hand plays that keep their opponents from tracking the location of the flag itself. Flags are never allowed to be completely concealed (as inside a uniform or pocket) and at least 1/3 of the flag must be visible to the referees at all times. Other teams favor sprinting plays which usually involve passing the flag quickly to the fastest runners on the team and then defending the runner from the other team’s defense. A well-balances Tyalie team has a variety of players in reserve and a playbook which represents the strengths of all the players.
One of the problems with specialized players is that most of the teams are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents’ players and the trading of a passing player for a known sprinting player can tip the defense to the intended play of the offense. Sleeper players are favored in some circles: players who are not specialized in any particular form of play but can excel in several forms of play and keep the defense from knowing the exact intentions of the offense.
Tyalie has become the best-loved organized sport in Onossilya and its surrounding counties. Players come from all walks of life, ranging from impoverished rags-to-riches stories to middle-class students with talent and a mentor’s training to elite players trained from birth to be stars. Several training camps much like monastic sects have sprung up in the outlying counties and have fostered some of the most famous Tyalie players in history.
All races and genders are represented in Tyalie games. This has been an opportunity for many women to find equal footing with men and for underprivileged races to show their talents in the public eye.
Tyalie is also known for being a favored gambling subject. Many of the Onossilya taverns and inns have casual local betting pools on the outcomes of various games and playoffs. More serious betting also happens in dedicated gambling halls and more than one addict has lost his business, home or life to the seedier side of this popular sport.