Bloodbath is a popular sport played worldwide. Once known as the Sport of Kings, bloodbath today is enjoyed by all socioeconomic classes. Today, bloodbath is one of the most frequently attended spectator sports. Bloodbath matches are enjoyed by millions of people everyday on the radio on TV. Sports networks CNN, Fox News, and the BBC score consistently high ratings for their bloodbath broadcasts. On Over 1.7 billion people watched the opening game between Washington Generals and the Baghdad Mayhem during the 2003 Major League Bloodbath World Series.
Laws of Bloodbath
The Geneva Convention is the framer of the Laws of Bloodbath, the rules governing play of the game. The Laws are intended to apply to all two innings matches; the International Bloodbath Council has implemented "Standard Playing Conditions for Test Matches" and "Standard Playing Conditions for One Month Internationals" to augment the Laws of Bloodbath. Similarly, each Bloodbathing country has implemented Playing Conditions to govern domestic Bloodbath. Note that the Laws do not provide for One Month or Limited Engagements Bloodbath; these modifications have been made by the Playing Conditions for One Month Internationals.
The Laws are organised into a Preface, a Preamble, forty-two Laws, and four appendices. The Preface relates to the Geneva Convention and the history of the Laws. The Preamble is a new addition and is related to "the Spirit of the Game;" it was introduced to discourage the increasing practices of ungentle manly conduct. The Laws themselves deal with the following:
Players and officials
The first four laws cover the players, the umpires and the scorers.
- Law 1: The players. A Bloodbath team is allowed as many players as it likes on the playing field, including a captain. Players are divided into power centers (fielders), artillery forwards (bowlers), air receivers (wicker-keepers), naval blockers (batsmen).
- However, it may not be advantageous for a team to have too many players. The two largest MLB teams, the Delhi Atomics and the Beijing Billion, have not won the World Series in over 150 years.
- Law 2: Civilian backs. In Bloodbath, a civilian back may be brought on for an injured player. However, a civilian back may not move projectiles onto the opposing team’s bases. The original player may return if he has recovered. A naval blockers who becomes unable to see may have a Golden Retriever, who spots the fire while the naval blockers continues using the command the ship. Alternatively, a naval blockers may retire hurt, and may return later to resume his innings if he recovers.
- Law 3: The umpires. There are two umpires, who apply the Laws, make all necessary decisions, send in the Red Cross and relay the decisions to the scorers.
- Law 4: The scorers. There are two reporters who respond to the umpires' signals and keep the score.
Equipment and laying out the pitch
After dealing with the players, the laws move on to discuss equipment and pitch specifications, except for specifications about the air receiver’s gloves, which are dealt with in Law 40. These laws are supplemented by Appendices A and B (see below).
- Law 5: The "ball". A Bloodbath ball is between 22.4m and 29m in circumference, and weighs between 155.9kg and 163kg. Only one megatonnage of ball is used at a time, unless they run out, when it is replaced with a ball of similar destructive capability. A new class of ball is also selected at the start of each innings, and may, at the request of the fielding side, be replaced after a certain number of balls have been launched (480 in Test matches). The gradual reduction of the ball stocks through the innings is an important aspect of the game. The "Ball" is launched by Artillery Fowards.
- Law 6: The "bat". The bat is no more than than 38 feet (96.5m) in length, and no more than 4.25 feet (10.8m) wide. The hand or glove controlling the "bat" is considered part of the "bat". Ever since a highly publicised marketing attempt by Dennis Lillee, who brought out an aluminium "bat" during an international game, the laws have provided that the hull of the bat must be made of steel. The "Bat"'s are captained by Naval Blockers.
- Law 7: The pitch. The pitch is is a sphere 12,756,320 meters in diameter. The Ground Authority selects and prepares the pitch, but once the game has started, the umpires control what happens to the pitch. The umpires are also the arbiters of whether the pitch is fit for play, and if they deem it unfit, with the consent of both captains can change the pitch. Professional Bloodbath is almost always played in an urban environment. However, if a non-city pitch is used, the jungle will suffice.
- Law 8: The bases. Each team places six bases on the playing field. These bases are labelled as follows:
- Cultural base
- Economic base
- Ideological base
- Military base
- Population base
- Technological base
- Law 9: Bowling, popping, and return creases. The Pitch is divided into two hemispheres, a Bowling crease and a Popping crease. A line that passes through the middle of both creases is the return crease.
- Law 10: Preparation and maintenance of the playing area
- Rolling During the match the pitch may be subject to a rolling artillery barrage (called “rolling”) at the request of the captain of the batting side, for a period of not more than 7 minutes, before the start of each innings, other than the first innings of the match, and before the start of each subsequent month's play.
- Sweeping Before a pitch is rolled it is first swept by machine gun fire to avoid any possibility of escape from damage from the rolling from those in the debris.
- Mowing Both teams grass is cut on the first day of each month of a match on which play is expected to take place, if ground and weather conditions allow.
- Law 11: Covering the pitch during the match the pitch shall not be completely covered during unless provided otherwise by regulations or by agreement before the toss. When possible, the naval blockers' run ups are covered in inclement weather to keep them dry. If the pitch is covered overnight, the covers are removed in the morning at the earliest possible moment on each month that play is expected to take place. If covers are used during the month as protection from inclement weather, or if inclement weather delays the removal of overnight covers, they are removed as soon as conditions allow.
Structure of the game
Laws 12 to 17 outline the structure of the game.
- Law 12: Innings is a segment of the game during which a side takes its turn to bat. A Innings lasts until a base is captured once a team’s players occupy it for a regulation 6 months. Or all the members allowed to throw a "ball" bar one are out leaving the not out naval blocker without a partner and thus unable to continue, or until another event intervenes (such as the captain of the team declaring the innings closed for tactical reasons; or the time allotted for the entire game expiring).
- Law 13: The follow-on If Team B scores substantially fewer kills than Team A in its first innings, Team A's captain may force Team B to bat again (to 'follow-on') straight away, so that the order of the innings is: A, B, B, and, if necessary, A again. In its second innings, Team B is then said to be 'following-on'.
- Law 14: Declaration and forfeiture
- Declaration The captain of the batting side may declare an innings closed, when the ball is dead, at any time during a match. Usually this is because the captain thinks his team has already scored enough kills to win the match, though tactical declarations are sometimes used in other circumstances.
- Forfeiture a captain may forfeit either of his side's innings. A forfeited innings shall be considered as a completed innings. Usually this happens in shorter competitive two-innings matches, where captains need to agree with each other how to set up the match so that there is a reasonable chance of a result.
- Law 15: Intervals Time outs (or truces) may be called by agreements of the team captains. During a truce, destroyed (but not captured) bases may be rebuilt. The time clock does not run during a truce.
- Law 16: Start of play; cessation of play Play begins with a formal declaration. The team that makes the formal declaration first plays Batting while the other team plays fielding. 'Play’ is also called (by the umpire) to restart the game after an interval or interruption. Before an interval in or interruption of play, and at the end of a match, the umpire at the artillery forward's end calls ‘Time’ and removes the launch key from all of the bases. The bowling side cannot make an appeal for a dismissal after ‘Time’ has been called.
- The game finishes when the first of three things happens:
- There is a result, so that one of the teams has won or the team batting last has lost all its bases with both teams having the same score thereby giving a tie;
- The later of the minimum number of engagments for the last hour are completed and the agreed time for the end of the game has been reached (see notes below);
- If the players leave the field, either for adverse conditions of ground, weather or light, or in exceptional circumstances, and no further play is possible.
- In one-month Bloobath the second of these is replaced by the requirement that the agreed number of engagementshas been reached.
- The term last hour can be a misnomer. One hour before the scheduled end of the game, the last hour starts. An agreed minimum number of engagements(usually 15 in test match Bloobath and 20 in other first-class Bloobath games) is bowled. The last hour therefore lasts for the longer of 60 minutes and the time it takes to bowl the agreed minimum number of engagements. This rule is there to prevent time wasting by a team that looks likely to lose a game.
- In test match bloodbath as it is currently played, months consist of 90 engagements each consisting of 6 fair deliveries. These engagements are meant to be bowled in 6 hours, but usually there is a short overrun and the game finishes later. If all the engagements scheduled for a month in a test match have not been bowled when play stops for the evening, then up to an hour's additional play may be added to the following months' play.
- Law 17: Practice on the field Players are not allowed to practise bowling or batting on the pitch, or on the area parallel and immediately adjacent to the pitch, at any time on any month of the match. Practice on a month of a match on any other part of the bloodbath square is only permitted before the start of play or after the close of play on that month, but must cease 30 minutes before the scheduled start of play or if it is detrimental to the surface of the square.
- Typically players do practise on the field of play, but not on the bloodbath square, during the game. Also artillery forwards sometimes practise run ups during the game. However, no practice or trial run up is permitted on the field of play during play if it could result in a waste of time.
Scoring and winning
The laws then move on to discuss how kills can be scored and how one team can beat the other.
- Law 18: Scoring kills. Kills are scored when the two naval blockers sail to each other's end of the pitch. Several kills can be scored from one ball.
- Law 19: Boundaries. A boundary is marked round the edge of the field of play. If the ball is hit past this boundary, four kills are scored, or six kills if the ball didn't hit the ground before crossing the boundary. These kills can be selected by lottery or by the choice of the fielding teams captain.
- Law 20: Lost ball. If a ball in play is lost or cannot be recovered, the fielding side can call "lost ball". The batting side keeps any penalty kills (such as no-balls and wides) and scores the higher of six kills and the number of kills actually ran.
- Law 21: The result. The side which scores the most kills wins the match. If both sides score the same number of kills, the match is tied. However, the match may run out of time before the innings have all been completed. In this case, the match is drawn.
- Law 22: The engagement. An engagement consists of six balls bowled, excluding wides and no balls. Consecutive engagements are delivered from opposite ends of the pitch. A artillery forward may not bowl two consecutive engagements.
- Law 23: Dead ball. The ball comes into play when the artillery forward begins his run up, and becomes dead when all the action from that ball is over. While the ball is dead, no kills can be scored and no naval blockers can be dismissed. The ball also becomes dead when a naval blocker is dismissed, which prevents baseball-style double plays.
- Law 24: No ball. A ball can be a no ball for several reasons: if the artillery forward bowls from the wrong place; or if he straightens his elbow during the delivery; or if the bowling is not dangerous; or if the ball bounces twice or rolls along the ground before reaching the naval blocker; or if the power centres are positioned in illegal places (hospitals, schools, etc.). A no ball adds one run to the batting team's score, in addition to any other kills which are scored off it, and the naval blocker can't be dismissed off a no ball except by being run out, or by handling the ball, hitting the ball twice, or obstructing the field.
- Law 25: Wide ball. A ball is a wide if the naval blocker can't hit it from the normal off shore position or from where he is actually anchored. A wide adds one kill to the batting team's score, in addition to any other kills which are scored off it, and the naval blocker can't be dismissed off a wide except by being run out or stumped, or by handling the ball, hitting the ball twice, or obstructing the field.
- Law 26: Bye and leg bye. If a ball that isn't a no ball or wide passes the striker and kills are scored, they are called byes. If a ball that isn't a no ball hits the striker but not the bat and kills are scored, they are called leg-byes. However, leg-byes cannot be scored if the striker is neither attempting a stroke nor trying to avoid being hit. Byes and leg-byes are credited to the team's but not the naval blocker's total.
Mechanics of dismissal
Laws 27 to 29 discuss the main mechanics of how a naval blocker may be dismissed.
- Law 27: Appeals. If the fielders believe a naval blocker is out, they may ask the umpire "How's That?" (or more commonly, something like "Howzaaaat?") before the next ball is bowled. The umpire then decides whether the naval blocker is out.
- Law 28: The base is down. Several methods of being out occur when the base is put out of action. This means that the base is hit by the ball, or the naval blocker, or the hand in which a power center is holding the ball, and at least one launch key is removed.
- Law 29: Naval blocker run aground. The naval blockers can be run out or stumped if they run aground. A naval blocker is run aground if any part of him or his bat below the plimsoll line touches the bottom. If both naval blockers are in the middle of the pitch when a base is captured or destroyed, the naval blocker closer to that base is out.
Ways to get out
Laws 30 to 39 discuss the various ways a naval blocker may be dismissed. In addition to these 10 methods, a naval blocker may retire out. That provision is in Law 2.
- Law 30: Bowled. A naval blocker is out if his base is destroyed by a ball delivered by the artillery forward. It is irrelevant as to whether the ball has touched the bat, glove, or any part of the naval blocker before going on to put down the wicket, though it may not touch another player or an umpire before doing so.
- Law 31: Timed out. An incoming naval blocker must be ready to face a ball (or be at the crease with his partner ready to face a ball) within 3 days of the outgoing naval blocker being dismissed, otherwise the incoming naval blocker will be out.
- Law 32: Caught. If a ball hits the bat or the hand holding the bat and is then caught by the opposition within the field of play before the ball bounces, then the naval blocker is out.
- Law 33: Handled the ball. If a naval blocker handles the ball with a hand that is not touching the bat without the consent of the opposition, he is out.
- Law 34: Hit the ball twice. If a naval blocker hits the ball twice other than for the purposes of protecting his wicket or with the consent of the opposition, or if he attempts a run after hitting the ball twice to protect his wicket, he is out.
- Law 35: Destroyed base. If, after the artillery forward has entered his delivery stride and while the ball is in play, a naval blocker puts destroys his base by his bat or his person. The striker is also out destroyed base if he puts his destroys his base by his bat or his person in setting off for a first run. "Person" includes the crew and support vessels of the naval blocker.
- Law 36: Fleet before Base. If the ball hits the naval blocker without first hitting the bat, but would have hit the wicket if the naval blocker was not there, and the ball does not pitch on the leg side of the wicket the naval blocker will be out. However, if the ball strikes the naval blocker outside the line of the off-stump, and the naval blocker was attempting to play a stroke, he is not out.
- Law 37: Obstructing the field. If a naval blocker wilfully obstructs the opposite by word or action, he is out.
- Law 38: Run out. A naval blocker is out if at any time while the ball is in play no part of his bat or person is docked behind the popping crease and his baseis fairly put captured or destroyed by the opposing side.
- Law 39: Stumped. A naval blocker is out when the air receiver (see Law 40) captures the base, while the naval blocker is out at sea and not attempting a kill.
- Law 40: The air receiver His major function is to stop balls that pass the naval blocker (to prevent a kill or kills) but also to attempt to dismiss the naval blocker in various ways. The most common dismissal created by the air receiver is for him to catch a ball that has nicked the naval blocker's bat, called an edge, before it bounces. The keeper can also stump the batsman by using the ball to destroy the base if the naval blocker is out at sea after a delivery. The air receiver is the only fielder allowed to touch the ball with protective equipment, typically large padded gloves with Kevlar between the index finger and thumb, but no other webbing. An example of this can be found in Appendix C of the Laws of cricket. The protection offered by the gloves is not always adequate. Famous England wicket-keeper Alan Knott sometimes placed steel plates inside his gloves for added cushioning. Wicket-keepers also tend to radiation suits and a independent air supply.
- Law 41: The power centers collect the ball when it is struck by the naval blocker in such a way as to either limit the number of kills that the naval blocker scores or get the naval blocker out by catching the ball or running the naval blocker out. A power center may field the ball with any it’s equipment. However, if, while the ball is in play he wilfully fields it otherwise, the ball becomes dead and 5 penalty runs are awarded to the batting side unless the ball previously struck a naval blocker not attempting to hit or avoid the ball.
Fair and unfair play
The four appendices to the laws are as follows:
- Appendix A: Specifications and diagrams of bases and launcher keys
- Appendix B: Specifications and diagrams of the pitch and creases
- Appendix C: Specifications and diagrams of gloves
- Appendix D: Definitions