Hey LeBron, let’s see you dominate the sport of Regball, which is a cross between Greco-Roman wrestling, rugby & basketball that requires zero dribbling. The Russians are the superpowers behind this new sport that’s now going viral across all the social media channels because it’s bizarre, it’s Russian, and American social media managers love this type of thing.
This is just the latest Russian export — slap fighting was the big craze in 2019-20 — to be used for clicks, so of course here at OutKick we’re going to jump on the train and see if you guys are interested in men wrestling around and shooting hoops.
Let’s get it on!
El Regball sólo podía surgir en Rusia. Variante del baloncesto que acabo de descubrir pic.twitter.com/480plsTXg9
— JCV (@jcv249) March 2, 2021
According to the Russian Regball Federation, there are approximately two dozen teams across the country participating in the sport with other countries starting to get in on the craze. The Dutch, French, Czechs and a few former Russian federations have joined in the fun.
As for the rules, you guys should be able to follow these fairly easily:
“Everything is allowed, except for foot pegs, shocks in the back and a clear provocation to the collision. No basketball dribbling and free throws. Violent power struggle in combination with the dynamics makes REBOL very entertaining and exciting game,” the Federation says in its rulebook.
“The aim of the game is to hit the ball the ring of the opposing team are allowed everything but the foot grips, foot pegs, shocks in the back when throwing and obvious provocation to the collision. As the name implies, regole there are elements of wrestling, basketball and Rugby.
“Therefore, in order to prevent injuries and protect players, provided by knee pads, elbow pads and helmets.
“Each team consists of 20 players, but no more than seven can be on the Playground. The game begins with a throw-in in midfield. The ball you can pass, throw, hit, carry, roll in any direction. The player with the ball is allowed to run. The game lasts two periods for a 20 minute clean time with a 5 minute break.”
Being the top-notch American journalist that I am, it was my job to sift through the Federation’s Instagram page to get a better appreciation for what this sport is all about. I was looking for fights, dunks, broken bones, gun battles breaking out between ownership groups, the LeBron of Regball and whether this sport could have a run in the United States.
My Regball observations:
• These guys are horrible at basketball. Yes, I get it, they’re mostly trained Greco-Roman wrestlers who were thrown out on a basketball court, but it’s not like these guys even shoot hoops at the Russian Y on their days off from the natural gas company they work at.
• There’s too much wrasslin’ & grabbin’. Yes, that’s what happens when you cross Greco-Roman with basketball, but it feels like there needs to be more balance with the basketball element. Let’s see some ball movement, fellas.
• There are way too many dudes in these gyms. The sport needs cheerleaders, bad!
• Need line brawls. This is Russia. I expect to see someone hauled off behind the arena and executed for taking a cheap shot at an opponent.
• I can’t figure out if dunking is outlawed or if these white boys just can’t jump. Perhaps I just haven’t come across a 6’5 Russian monster who can get up and electrify the crowd.
• Would it fly in the U.S.? Only if fighting is involved. It’s hard to believe as physical as this sport is, I can’t find videos of Russians breaking the clinch and wailing on each other.
• Putin needs to play to really ramp up interest. He’d score 50 and have 35 rebounds. The losing team would be executed.
• Should ESPN test this out during its Ocho broadcast? Absolutely.