Lunar Hockey League
Lunar hockey is inspired by the original game on ice, but draws inspiration from lacrosse, football, and quidditch. It is played in three dimensions, taking advantage of the low lunar gravity, enormous Thing: magnetic fields, and switchable superconductors to create an action packed, hard hitting game. It was invented by some engineers who discovered they could climb and glide on shaped magnetic fields in lunar G.
Established in 2030, the LHL has only six teams playing at a Premiere level in 2034. The other 12 teams compete for two wildcard slots in the Premiere league playoffs each year. Most players have other jobs in Luna Alpha, though some of the premier players make enough in pay and endorsements to go full pro. The league is expected to expand dramatically over 2034 as 100000 more colonists show up. Eventually, the Premiere league is expected to have teams in individual colonies.
The physical structure of the rink is similar to a hockey arena, but in 3D. Take a standard rink that follows the National Hockey League (NHL) specifications of 61 m × 26 m, with a corner radius of 8.5 m. The distance from the end boards to the nearest goal line is 3.4 m. Imagine that the boards extend upwards a full ten metres. Instead of having two ¼ circle corners at each end, you have four 1/8 spherical corners. The goals are not on the floor, either. They are replaced by pillars, 2m across. The middle 2m section – from 9m to 11m off the floor – is extruded out in a 2m by 2m square, facing the opposing teams pillar. These squares are the goals. The goals have ‘posts’ – a cylindrical border that is 10cm in diameter. When the puck hits one of those squares the opposing team gets a point. It’s surprisingly easy to hit the post.
The zones of a regular hockey rink are three dimensional. The red, blue, and goal lines extend from floor to ceiling. They are painted on the boards, floor, and ceiling. These are visible as a tinted area in AR space. Face offs spots are positioned toward the ceiling and floor, equidistant from the boards and the floor or the boards and the ceiling. The red circles are spheres, not columns. Centre ice is dead centre of the whole structure. The crease is a sphere 4m across, centred on the exact centre of the column. This gives the goalie some extra space behind the net. Like in hockey, the blue line is the offside line. The Goalie can ‘travel’ behind the blue line (see sticks, rules).
The magic of the game comes from the other field, however: the magnetic field.
The goal pillars are actually powerful magnets, creating a horizontal magnetic field between N and S poles. The field bends in a pattern much like what is produced at the end of a bar magnet. The boards and floors ‘crop’ the field to provide a useful ‘skating’ surface throughout the field.
Eleven players take the field. Five substitutions are allowed each period. Players can be brought back on in the next period. Most teams have 20-25 players with various specialties. A standard compliment is:
- 5 Forwards – Centre, Top, Bottom, Port, Starboard
- 4 Defensemen – 1, 2, 3, and 4 (the corners clockwise from top left)
- 1 Raptor – A roving player who covers the whole field.
- 1 Goalie – Tends to stay in the crease most of the time.
Normal uniforms have pads and protection much like in hockey, but all non-magnetic materials. The helmets have a very simple AR interface to show players the magnetic field (spectral lines), the offside and zone lines, and allow coaches to tell players to come in for substitution.
The Goalie looks a lot like a hockey goalie, but with an LHL style basket/blade stick. They can also turn their gloves into superconductors, allowing manoeuvres no one else can perform.
The Raptor uniform has wings on the arms, and no superconductors in the skates. Instead, a raptor uniform can turn the whole torso into a superconductor, locking them in at a height, but freeing the arms to stickhandle. This position requires enormous strength and stamina.
A hybrid of a hockey stick with a blade on one end and a lacrosse basket on the other. The stick is superconducting when held in two specific grips mid-stick. This is useful for climbing and gliding at angles. A player hanging from their skates can use the stick as a gymnastic bar, swinging in great circles and then launching themselves in a desired direction.
The floor is ice covered up through the corners until the boards are vertical. Players make best speed forward on the ice, using the skates as skates. As soon as the player leaves the ice the blades turn superconducting. Players have to train their skates to teach them what motions require engaging the skates as superconductors, and which turn that off.
Some players can skate the magnetic field upside down.
Sized and shaped like a traditional hockey puck, this black disk is actually a superconductor encased in a hard rubber shell. If the last contact was the blade side of the stick, the puck is superconducting and stays horizontal unless forced out of the plane. If the last contact was the boards or the basket end of the stick the puck is not superconducting, and flies in ballistic arcs. Banking is quite tricky in this mode. Passes and shots from the ice are always ballistic.
- Offside: Player crosses centre or blue line ahead of the puck.
- Travelling: When the puck is in your basket you can not move toward the opponent goal. You can always throw in any direction.
- Handball: Incidental contact with the puck and batting it out of the air are fine. Catching and throwing are not.
- Checking: Body to body only. No rugby tackles, scrums, throws, punches, etc.
- Roughing: Any aggressive physical contact with intent to injure, including blind hits (from behind, below, etc.)
- Substitutions: Trade our up to 5 players per period. Pulled players can be started or subbed in the next period.