an (imperfect) zork


The Official Rules of the Sport

a goal on a zork court

1. The Court

Zorkball is played on an open grassy field, within which is found a traffic or street sign fastened to a metallic signpost. The field should be adjacent to a concrete sidewalk with a curb. All ground beyond the curb is "out of bounds."

2. The "Hez"

A circle three-meters in radius, and with the signpost at its center, is marked (typically, by a rubber garden hose) on the grass. The area of the court within this circle is known as the "hez."

3. The Zork

An aluminum soft drink can (preferably Dr. Pepper) is crushed vertically by sudden application of foot pressure, forming the zork. The zork should be as symmetrical and as compact as possible, and should hopefully be free of sharp edges.

4. The Teams

Two teams of two players each compete.

5. The Object

The object of a game of Zorkball is to have more points than the opposing team at the end of twenty minutes of play. If neither team outscores the other, the game ends as a tie and counts as one-half win for both teams.

6. Scoring

If either member of a team causes the zork to contact the signpost, that team is awarded one point. Additionally, if either member of a team commits any penalty, one point is awarded to the opposing team.

7. Play

To begin play, one team (the team which lost the most recent untied game played between the two teams, or, failing this, the team with the worse record, or, if both teams are tied in the standings, the "visiting" team) takes possession of the zork on the grass at some distance away from the post. Both teams then endeavor to cause the zork to contact the signpost. Whenever a point is awarded, the team not receiving the point re-starts play in similar fashion.

8. Chipzorking

If either member of a team causes the zork to go out of bounds, the opposing team is immediately awarded a "chipzork." One member of the chipzorking team places the zork on the upslope of the curb and kicks it back into the field of play. If a chipzork contacts the signpost or the sign before touching the ground, a point is awarded. (Only during a chipzork does zork-contact with the sign itself merit a point. Otherwise, points are awarded only for contact with the post.)

9. Penalties

If any player commits any of the following six penalties during play, even if accidentally, the opposition is awarded one point and play re-started as described in Rule 7:


Having both hands simultaneously in contact with the signpost.


Contact of the zork with the hand either:
  1. while the player is in contact with the ground within the hez, or
  2. while in mid-air and when the player's most recent and his next contact with the ground is within the hez.


Holding the zork in the hands continually through a change of position from one location on the ground to another. A player may move one foot if the other remains stationary throughout his entire possession of the zork. A player may also leave the ground with both feet as long as possession of the zork is given up before he once again comes in contact with the ground.


A delay penalty is called against a team when a count of ten (approximate seconds) is reached by the opposition. Such a count begins at the counting team's discretion, and delay is called if ten is reached in any of the following circumstances:
  1. If a player does not, through the count of ten, release the zork from his hand or from beneath his foot, or
  2. If a team, in possession of the zork out-of-bounds, refuses throughout the count of ten to take a chipzork attempt to which that team is entitled, or
  3. If the zork is sent far from the action and the team that last contacted the zork does not reach it through the opposition's count of ten. Note that if this count is begun while the zork is out of bounds, and if the team that sent it out of bounds is successful in reaching the zork before ten is counted, that team is awarded the chipzork.


Interference is called on a chipzork attempt when either:
  1. an opposing player is out-of-bounds or on the sidewalk when the chip is taken, or
  2. an opposing player contacts the zork with his hand before the zork contacts the sign, the post, a member of the chipping team, or the ground.


Physically restraining another player from play either by:
  1. embracing, grasping, or holding the player,
  2. tackling the player to the ground,
  3. refusing to yield possession of the zork to a team for that team's chipzork attempt,
  4. stomping on the player's foot while wearing hiking boots, or
  5. in any manner forcibly causing the player to commit what would otherwise be a penalty

10. Match Play

Zorkball is played in matches of five games (all five of which are always played). A match may end up tied at two and one-half games apiece, in which case it is awarded to the team having scored more points during the match. If both teams have scored the same number of points during the match, the match is tied, and both teams are awarded one-half of a match victory in the standings.

11. Rankings

Team standings in a Zorkball league or tournament are determined by number of matches won. Ties in the standings are broken by number of games won, and then by number of points scored.

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