Kandai (kɑn'dɑi) is a sport played by teams of twelve people in which the goal is to move a round ball across a field into an area on the opposite end. It is a sport native to the nation of Casari, where it is played on a mostly amateur status.
Kandai involves two teams of twelve people a side plus up to eight reserves, who try to move a round ball down a field to their opponent's goal. The ball can be moved by several methods, by either running it downfield, kicking it to a teammate, or passing it through the air. Points are scored by either carrying the ball into the opponent's goal, kicking it between the goalposts, or forcing a player on the opposing team down in their own goal zone. The game traditionally takes place over three periods of thirty minutes each.
The game of Kandai is played on a pitch 160 yards long and 80 yards wide. 20 yards on either end are termed the Goal Zones and are marked by solid white lines. The central area of the field is split into 30 yard sections marked by solid lines, with dotted lines fifteen and five yards from each Goal. In the center of the end zone are a pair of 15 foot tall goal posts set fifteen yards apart. Sometimes, marks are placed on the Goal, 30, and Center lines in order to split the field into quarters along it's width as well.
A match of Kandai has three thirty minute periods, between which are pauses of ten minutes each. In the case of a tie, the match can either end and be settled on tiebreakers, or in championship games, another fifteen minute period can be played after a five minute delay. If a tie exists after the first extra time period has passed, a second will be played. If the match is still a tie at that point, the game then ends either in a tie or a replay is required to get a definitive result. In Kandai, the game clock runs continuously, unless halted by the referee in the case of injury or inquiry, to set up again after a Goal is scored, or a team calls a timeout.
Each team recieves three timeouts that can be used anytime during the match. In the case of extra time, an additional timeout is awarded to each team.
Kandai requires similar equipment to other team ballgames.
Uniforms for Kandai consist of a shirt, shorts, socks, and footwear. Pads are allowed, but they may not have any plastic or metal reinforcement other than pads worn to protect a player's personal areas, such as a protective cup.
The ball used is made from leather with a minimum diameter of 9 inches and a minimum weight of 20 ounces. Balls are usually leather or synthetic, manufactured in several sections and stitched together. Both twelve and eighteen panel variations, similar to a volleyball, and a thirty-two panel version like a modern association football exist. Rules indicate that the ball's surface should consist of alternating light and dark colors, usually white and black, with no more than seventy percent of one color. However, more colorful variations are popular as well.
A top level Kandai match usually involves anywhere from three to five officals:
- A Referee, who is on the pitch and declares when a team has scored and issues fouls, penalties, and maintains the flow of the match. He also might be in charge of keeping the official match time, penalties, and downs if a dedicated timekeeper is not available.
- Linesmen, one on either side of the pitch, who watches to see if a player steps out and assist the referee in confirming when the teams score points.
- In most matches there is also a Timekeeper, who keeps the offical match time and score, starts and stops the game clock under the direction of the referee, keeps count of penalties and downs, and tracks the timeouts each side has left.
- In most professional matches and high level amateur matches, a Replay Offical is present, who uses the television recording to make a final ruling on all questionable calls.
Method of Play
Games usually start with a coin flip or another appropriate game of chance in order to decide who gets the initial posession of the ball and to choose which side is defending which goal.
To begin the game, the ball is kicked off from any point along the kicking team's 30 yard line towards the opposing team, who waits behind the center line. An ideal kick would put the ball on a high, arcing trajectory to give players from the kicking team time to get under the decending ball. After the kickoff, open play ensues.
After the kickoff, the team who gains posession of the ball tries to advance it from the opponents goal, through either carrying the ball up the field, drop-kicking the ball upfield to a teammate, or passing it through the air to a teammate. The defending team the tries to stop the attacking team's progress upfield by various mathods.
- Tackling the attacking player with the ball between the shoulders and the waist, so that either his knees or any other part of his body touches the ground. This results in a Down-Ball.
- Stealing the ball or knocking it free of the opponent's grasp.
- Knocking the attacking player with the ball out of bounds. This results in an Out-Ball.
If the attacking player loses the ball at any point on contact with another player or the ground, Open Play continues as another player picks up the ball. The attacking team can also choose at any point to try and kick the ball between the two goal posts to score a Field Goal.
When a player is downed with posession of the ball, they are required to take a drop or place kick from the place where the player was downed. On a down-ball, no attacking players can be upfield of the point where the ball was downed when the ball returns to open play, or they are offsides and posession is turned over to the other team. Also, no players from the defending team can be within eight yards of the kicker, or else a Free-kick is awarded. On the kick, the player can then attempt to pass the ball to a teammate or attempt to score a Field Goal.
When a player is forced out, he must either take a drop or place kick from the point where he went out. Again, no players from the attacking team can be upfield of the point where the ball went out when the ball returns to Open Play, or else the team is offside and the ball is turned over. No players from the defending team can be within eight yards of the kicker, or else a Free-kick is awarded. On the kick, the player can attempt to pass the ball to a teammate or attempt to score a Field Goal.
The ball can be turned over either by being offside on a Down- or Out-Ball, or by the team on offense committing a foul on the team on defense.
Points can be scored by various methods.
- If the ball is carried into or caught in the opponents goal zone, the attacking team scores a Goal and receives four points.
- If the attacking team kicks the ball through the goal posts, either on Open Play or on a Down- or Out-Ball, the team scores a Field Goal and a single point.
- If the defending team gets the attacking player with the ball down or out in their own Goal Zone, the defending team scores two points.
After any score, the team who was attacking when the score occured must kick off to the team on defense.
The referee has the ability to call a foul on either team for the following reasons.
- Holding away from the play
- Striking an opponent
- Pushing an opponent away from the play
- Delay of game
- Tackles below the waist
Penalties against the offense can result in a turnover, while defensive penalties can result in a free-kick. Any penalty that takes place in the end-zone results in a re-kick at the 15-yard spot.
A Free-kick is a kick similar to a Down-Kick with no limits on player positioning.
In the case of disruptive play, repeated infractions, or unsportsmanlike conduct, the referees can award penalties.
- Minor- A Caution is an official warning from the official. 2 Minors will result in a Major penalty.
- Major- A Major penalty requires the player to leave the pitch for the remainder of the game. He can then be replaced by a substitute.
- Match- A Match penalty requires the player to leave the pitch and suspends him from sanctioned play until a hearing can be held on the players actions. The player cannot be replaced if he is issued a Match penalty. If a second player in a match recieves a Major penalty, a Match penalty is issued against the team and the player cannot be replaced.
A game roster for a match of Kandai consists of 20 players, 12 starters and eight substitutes. In a match, each player can be substituted into the game once. This means that once a starter is removed from the game, they are still available to return to the match once. However, if they come off again, they are no longer available to play. Substitutes can only enter into the game once, and become ineligible to play once they are replaced again.
Kandai is a traditional game played in Casari for over one hundred years. It is believed that the game did not develop independently, but as a variation on some of the various football codes. The adoption of some rules similar to those of Rugby Football shows the influence that that particular code had in previous eras of Casaran History. Today, Kandai exists as a widely played amateur sport, but the recent foundation of the Casaran Kandai League and several semi-pro leagues filling the vacuum has seen the sport start to fight soccer and baseball in the professional sports market.
Leagues and Competitions
The only major competitions for Kandai currently take place in Casari. Other than professional championships, the most prestigous is the Casari Counties Cup, an annual competition between teams based in each of the different counties in the nation and recognized emmigrant populations. Other regional and local competitions take place during the season as well, on various levels of competition.
- Senior: Upper level men's amateur clubs
- Junior: Lower level men's amateur clubs
- Ladies: Women's adult clubs
- Minors: Under-21 clubs