The rules of Schtick by definition are loose and should be adapted to the situation. If you have 50 nuns, who insist on all playing in a single game & playing with their 2 manhole covers, then you should consider setting up a larger field, maybe divide it into 4 quadrants instead of 2, and get the hell out of the way. If one player is in a wheelchair, then you might want to come up w/ some acceptable variation to accommodate that player into a balanced, competitive game (e.g., that player gets to use a broom as an extension of his/her reach). If some irascible but intrigued aliens arrive on the scene & introduce some new technology involving worm holes and/or rocket belts, then you better incorporate same. You get the idea.
In its purest form, schtick is played with two sides of 4-6 players per side (though it has been played effectively w/ 30 or more or more on a side). There are 2 ~175gm flying discs (aka “Frisbees”) in play (though 3 discs works well, as does playing w/ different objects like balls, see “common variations” below).
The only boundary is a midline, which bisects the globe into 2 hemispheres (though play is typically confined to a ~50 x ~50 meter area within a single land mass). This divides the playing field into the 2 teams’ territories. Located 40 meters apart and 20 meters from the midline are the 2 scoreboxes. Each team defends one territory and the scorebox within it.
The midline & scoreboxes are typically laid out w/ rags or knotted up socks or the like.
Each team starts w/ 1 disc. Classically the discs start out in the scoreboxes, and they may be thrown from the scoreboxes upon someone announcing the begin of play. But in practice nobody usually bothers w/ this formality, just as an FYI.
Players may do anything with the discs, e.g. run w/ them, walk w/ them, throw them, or sit on them & spin. While a player is within her own territory, she is safe. However, when she possesses the disc in enemy territory, she is vulnerable to being tagged by an opposing player. When this occurs, she must immediately drop the disc to relinquish it.
Any disc that ends up on the ground (not within a scorebox) is the possession of the team defending that territory. So when a player has a disc and is in enemy territory, she can safely toss or roll the disc such that it ends up on the ground in her territory. The disc will then remain the possession of her team. Note that a disc that is in the air and has not touched the ground is always fair game for whoever can catch it.
Discs in motion which have touched the ground are said to be rolling or skipping. A rolling or skipping disc is the possession of the team whose territory it occupies. Players of the opposite team may not kick or redirect a rolling or skipping disc. Discs at rest on the ground are down and may not be redirected.
A score is scored when a disc is down within a scorebox. Play immediately stops, and the team not defending the scored scorebox is awarded the score. Players must return to their territory, the discs are then reset to their starting positions. The next round begins when the begin of play is announced. Play is usually conducted until a pre-arranged score is met (e.g. 7 or 11 points).
- The location of a disc or boundary marker on the ground is defined by its center of mass.
- A rolling or skipping disc which is in a scorebox has special rules to avoid frantic kicking/corpses. Such a disc may not be touched while it is in the scorebox. If a defending player touches this disc, then a score is scored against the defender. If an offensive player touches the disc, then the disc is down and there is no score.
- As in ultimate, the game is self-refereed. It’s one big happy altruistic world, people.
implications of it all
- Unlike virtually all other sports, there are more than 1 object in play at one time. This requires a different kind of field awareness, and it results in a constant level of intensity.
- Consequently there are 3 or more possibles states at any time within a schtick game: (1) your team has both discs, and you are on total offensive; (2) the other team has both discs, and you are on total defensive, (3) each team has 1 disc (or more if 3+ discs are in play).
- Unlike most disc sports, you can run with the disc. You will get a lot of exercize playing schtick. However, due to the frequent excitement & shorter playing field than most field sports, people rarely report feeling very tired.
- When carrying the disc & threatened by enemy players in enemy territory, you can fire the disc back into your own territory. As long as the disc is not intercepted by the enemy and ends up on the ground in your territory (but not in your scorebox), then you have saved your disc from capture.
- A disc in your own territory cannot be captured unless an enemy player intercepts it in the air (or unless you errantly throw it into enemy territory).
- 3 or more discs. the odd disc starts out the game on the midline, and all players must start from within their own scorebox. On subsequent points, the team who has been scored upon starts with 2 discs.
- play with non-disc objects, e.g. kickballs: a ball is considered up & in the air until it bounces a second time.
- 7 or more players on a side. This often works best with 3 or more discs.
- larger field
- 3 or more teams & territories (carved up in a pie shape). Never tested.
- play on different surfaces, such as beach, snow, in water, etc.
- see also, schtick variations
spirit of the game
Schtick inherits the concept of “spirit of the game” (SOTG) from Ultimate (Frisbee). SOTG should permeate everything that occurs on the schtick field, even moreso than it does in ultimate. For example, in schtick, players are encouraged to modify the rules to best suit those who want to play (see variations). Here is a reference on SOTG.