Originally conceived as Legendorb in December of 2014, I revived this unique sport in May of 2018 and renamed to Tri-Orb, and the name is fitting, given that three not two teams compete against one another. It borrows several elements from soccer but is pretty unique as well. It would be nice if someday it could compete with the other big team sports like soccer, American football, baseball, basketball, cricket, and all the others. An alternative name would be tripleball.


The shape of the playing field is that of a reuleaux triangle or simply a triangle with rounded corners. 


Three teams play at once, but the number of players are not even. See, the team that plays at the top of this triangle is referred to as team major, and the other are referred to as teams minor A and B. (The three teams rotate clockwise among the positions, of course.) Team major will play with 11 players at a given time while both teams minor will only play with 5. Each individual team (be it national or municipal or whatever) will have 15 total players, and for the teams minor, only five of their choosing will be on the field, and for the time they play as team major, they will be allowed eleven while the remaining 4 will be available to replace injured players or be available for substitutions.


A Tri-Orb match lasts 120 minutes. In the spirit of threes instead of twos, there are no halftimes but instead third-times. A round will last 40 minutes with a subsequent break of 15 minutes. The next round will last 40 minutes once again, and the second and final break will again be 15 minutes. The captains of teams minor A and B are allowed to coordinate with one another, but they have their own respective score counts. Team major defends three goalposts with three different point values: 1, 2, and 5, while teams minor only have one goal post, and that is a value of 3. A and B may not attempt any goals against one another. They are only to attack team major. Team major, however, may go on the offensive on either one.   


Let me describe a match for you: Brazil, Germany, and the United States are in a tournament against one another. By way of double coin toss (two heads for Brazil, heads and tails for Germany, and two tails for the U.S.), Brazil is the first team to be team major. Germany and the U.S. are teams minor A and B for the first round. Brazil has its 11 players on the field, and teams minor A and B have their five. The match begins. Germany manages to score a five-point goal. Brazil twice score the three-point goal of the U.S. But an American player gets injured, and he is replaced, and that round is extended by the time the referee decides to compensate them with. Round one concludes with Brazil-Germany-U.S. being 6-5-0.


After the first break, the teams rotate, and the U.S. is team major now. The U.S. is able to score a three-pointer and somehow manages to defend its three goals against Brazil and Germany. This would make the tally 6-5-3.  After the second and final break, Germany is team major now, and it scores a three-pointer. Because of the superstar, popular substitute player that replaced the injured American player, the United States is able to score a five-pointer, which makes the tally 6-8-8. Brazil then manages to score a two-pointer before the time is up. It is an 8-8-8 tie of all three teams.


It may be unlikely for things to end up that way, and the point values will likely be much higher, but if they do, here is the mechanism for breaking ties: the three teams elect one of their players, and whoever they choose come together and do penalty kicks like in soccer. They are only to be shooting at the five-pointer goal.

While it may be up to individual clubs, leagues, or organizations to segregate by sex or gender identity, that is not my intent at all. I don’t see the point in the least, but they can have at it if they so please. It is about the vetting that is applied equally to all people who wish to play for a team, and if someone has the skill necessary to play, then that is all that matters.


Like soccer, there are the goalkeepers, the defenders, the midfield, and the offense. Although there is overlap between midfield and offense. They’re the same group more or less. The coaches of the individual teams set up the positions, but they are only guidelines and are not super strict. That is, they are not strict for anyone other than goalkeepers and defenders. Midfield and offense are able to go just about anywhere, while defenders and goalkeepers are confined to a particular area.


Unlike most sports, Tri-Orb does not use penalty cards. Instead what happens is that the referee will display a large board and will tally up infraction/foul points. A minor infraction equals one, while intermediary ones are 2, and major ones are five. A major infraction will lead to immediate dismissal. As lesser infractions can genuinely be mistakes, it requires five of them to lead to dismissal, and the player can be substituted with no further penalties against his or her team. Also, touching a ball with one’s hands is not a foul either, for it is allowed in this game. A single five-point infraction will lead to immediate dismissal with no substitution possible.


Lesser infractions/fouls (1 point)

Making contact with a player not in possession of a ball

Defenders leaving their designated regions


Intermediary infractions (2 points)

Attempting to trick or deceive referee

Kicking or tripping an opponent

Jumping into an opponent

Pushing, tackling from behind


Major infractions (5 points)

Acts of violence or threats of violence

Causing a scene or unnecessarily delaying the game

Sexual harassment of any kind

Conspiracy/coordinating with another player to gang up on an opposing player


Now if a goalkeeper is dismissed due to a major infraction, he or she may be substituted but only by a player already on the field.