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Handshake’s Top Five Sci-fi Ball Games

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With the World Cup now in full swing, we at Handshake decided to go through our favorite ball sports in contemporary science-fiction.

Let’s review:

Deathball (from the Futurama movie The Beast with a Billion Backs)

In this life-size game of Labyrinth, two teams go head-to-head on a shifty board full of Raiders of the Lost Ark-like boulders. Each captain can shift the board by working either a vertical or horizontal switch. Despite its inhumane brutality, we have to admit this sport would be awesome to watch IRL.


In the vein of ultraviolent, dystopic sports in sci-fi, Rollerball takes the cake with full-contact bashing and Fatality-like deaths. For anyone thinking of making this into a real game . . . don’t. But if you are horribly stupid and don’t heed this advice, please base your version of Deathball on the 1975 cult classic instead of the 2008 flop — less cgi carnage, more cheesy, self-aware speculative fiction.

Blitzball (from Final Fantasy X)

Contestants in Blitzball play inside a transparent watersphere. Forgetting, for a moment, that the water hangs in the middle of the stadium as a perfect sphere, like a magic faucet optical illusion — how the hell do the players hold their breath for so long? Who knows? In a world where dreams come to life and save the world, you probably learn to stop asking questions pretty quickly.

Pyramid (from Battlestar Gallactica)

As with most things BSG, this close-quarters ball game tries to explain the roots of Mesolithic athletic events (the Mayan ball game) and modern sports (American football’s tackling and crouching) in the show’s own world. Some fans have even created “regulation”Pyramid rings, but something tells us that BSG fans would much rather play the collectable card game instead.


Think about it: Does anyone personally know a professional cricket player? No, because they’re all androids, androids who are obviously not programmed to feel pain because those regulation cricket balls must pack a wallop if they were ever to hit a human in the face.

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