Wundercrosse is a team contact sport played on a field using specially designed sticks with heads strung with loose mesh, and a heavy leather-seamed ball. The objective of the sport is to score into an opponent's goal (or net), using the wundercrosse stick to catch, pass and carry the ball in order to do so. Defending one's goal primarily revolves around dispossessing the other team of the ball through stick checking, body contact, or positioning.
Wundercrosse is the national sport of Andervaan and one of the nation's most popular pastimes. The sport is represented at the recreational level, the junior and collegiate levels and, at the highest level, a 16-team professional league called the National Wundercrosse League.
Wundercrosse is played between two opposing teams consisting each of nine players (one of which must be a specially designated goaltender). The standardized playing field is exactly 100m in length and 55m in width, split into three zones demarcated by lines: two offensive zones at either end measuring 35m in length, and a neutral zone in between measuring 30m in length. Each goal is 6ft x 4ft and is situated 12m from the end of the field, with a designated crease 5m in diameter surrounding the goal. In addition to the actual playing surface, a wundercrosse field typically has designated areas for penalty boxes and team benches.
A typical wundercrosse game lasts exactly ninety minutes, divided evenly into two halves. There are no clock stoppages throughout the game except at halftime. Generally the starting lineup for each team plays the entirety of the ninety minutes. Each team is allowed up to three substitutes, including those made to replace injured players.
While generally regarded as a sport of gentlemen and ladies (unlike the cruder and more violent sport of Dervish), an integral part of wundercrosse is the allowance of physical contact between players. Typically players are allowed to initiate body checks and stick checks in order to dispossess an opposing player of the ball, or to protect one's own possession of the ball. Penalties are assessed for excessive or illegal body checks or for unnecessary roughness, along with illegial/violent stick checking, interference, tripping, and equipment violations. Players who incur penalties are sent to the designated penalty area, in which they must remain for a duration of 60 seconds. Any player who incurs six penalties in a single game is ejected, and the team is forced to play shorthanded for the remainder of the game.
Typical wundercrosse attire includes a helmet with facemask, a team jersey worn over chest and arm pads, shorts, and wundercrosse gloves. Shinguards are not required, though many players wear them for additional protection. The specially designed wundercrosse stick is between 40 and 55 inches long, with a meshed head between 4 and 8 inches in width. The wundercrosse ball is exactly 9 inches in circumference.
A typical Wundercrosse team consists of one goaltender, three defenders, two midfielders, and three attackers. Depending on the coaching formation, certain positions may have more or less players. However, each team is only allowed one active goaltender.
National Wundercrosse LeagueEdit
The National Wundercrosse League is the highest tier wundercrosse league in Andervaan, a major professional league consisting of 16 teams. The NWL is divided into two divisions of 8 teams each, with all cities of Andervaan represented by a team from each division. The Chancellor's Cup, the sport's most venerated award, is awarded annually to the playoff champion at the end of each season.
Each wundercrosse regular season is played from October to May, during which a team plays a total of 36 games. At the end of the season, a playoff pool is formed out of the six best teams from each division to play in three rounds of playoffs. The four top teams are given byes directly into the second round, while the remaining eight teams each play a single elimination wild-card game to determine the remaining four teams in the top 8. The subsequent playoffs each consist of two games (one at each home stadium) with the victorious team advancing. Tiebreakers are sorted first by wins, then by points scored, then by fewest goals against. Should there be a tie after these, a penalty shootout determines which team advances. The winner of this playoff bracket is awarded the Chancellor's Cup.
|Division/City||St. Bannick||St. Barnibus||St. Bastien||St. Devon||St. Gideon||St. Jeorge||St. Kampus||St. Wilffore|
Professional wundercrosse players in the NWL are among the highest paid citizens in the nation, with the average contract paying a player roughly 8.2 million credits a year. In addition to stadium revenues, the NWL also possesses merchandising rights for each team as well as lucrative network contracts with the largest media networks in Andervaan. Average attendance per game is 72,065. The largest home stadium is currently Chancellors Stadium (St. Bannick Chancellors), able to accomodate 103,000 spectators. Each of the 16 teams currently rank among the top 50 most profitable businesses in all of Andervaan.
List of NWL AwardsEdit
Chancellor Bannick Trophy - League's most valuable player
Stephan Gideon Memorial Award - League's top scorer during the regular season
Devon Trophy - Best offensive player
Barnibus Trophy - Best defensive player
Mikael Sturm Memorial Trophy - Best goaltender