YORKTON - You might think, given the literally hundreds of sports already in existence, that nothing new is left to be created.
But, that is not the case.
Do a bit of web surfing as I do on occasion looking at different sports, and you find sites dedicated to posting new sport ideas, admittedly most developing little further than to have the idea posted – and frankly most ideas are little more than trying to combine other sports into some ‘Frankensport’ creation hardly worth the effort of writing down the idea.
Of course there are always exceptions to the general rule, and so it was when I came upon OmegaBall.
It’s likely most readers will not have heard about OmegaBall. It truly is a recent sport creation with its founder Anthony Dittmann just starting to promote the game.
So what is OmegaBall?
Well it is a soccer variant, which admittedly would have me heading for a nap, but I persevered and watched a game via YouTube, and right away this soccer variant proved to be decidedly different, starting with addressing the almost total lack of goal scoring which plagues field soccer in my mind.
Dittman said when he first started playing around with the idea of doing something fresh with soccer he had a few things he wanted to change, adding he was at best a casual fan of the game in part because of things he saw as shortcomings, including low scoring games.
So Dittmann started by envisioning the sport played on a circular field, one which ultimately ended up putting goals approximately 30 yards between each goal to the center spot.
But then Dittmann went a step farther in his creation process reasoning if two teams are good, three teams could be better.
A match of OmegaBall involves three teams, each with five players, including a goalkeeper.
Each team has a goal to defend. Those goals are spread evenly around the outside of a circular pitch.
Teams earn a point for every goal they score against an opponent, but do not lose points for goals conceded. If a team scores on their own goal, each of the other two teams earns a point.
As you might imagine with a small field and three teams the action is fast and furious almost to the point of being chaotic. As a neophyte viewer I was at times near lost in the who was doing what, but that would likely disappear as fans become experienced. I recall an Aussie friend visiting years ago and liking hockey but often being confused too.
The ‘feel’ of OmegaBall’ does remind of the original circular court and multiple goal lay-out of Kronum, a sport that I wish had carved out a serious niche but really didn’t.
Having three teams certainly makes OmegaBall different. I can think of only one other sport which features three teams on the court at the same time, that being Kinball, a team sport created in Quebec in 1986 by Mario Demers.
The three team aspect has already helped draw some TV interest.
“They are excited about three teams on the field. They find three teams very interesting,” said Dittmann.
Dittman however was not done in addressing perceived shortcomings of field soccer.
“Offside. I didn’t like that rule. I don’t know anybody that likes the rule,” he said in a telephone interview.
So Dittman just tossed the idea of offside in OmegaBall, another step which opens the game to far more offence.
There aren’t throw-ins either.
“We got rid of that. Nothing really exciting comes from a throw-in,” said Dittmann.
And action is continuous, with no face-off after goals, which Dittmann says gives OmegaBall a flow more akin to basketball.
The games are short too, with three 15-minute periods, so a game plays generally in an hour, said Dittman, who added the game time is important as he hopes it will attract sport TV interest since it can fit nicely in an hour time slot.
“It’s a chance (for TV) to insert some live content into just an hour,” said Dittmann.
In the end though it is the action which sells OmegaBall. Goals come with regularity. It’s not out of the question to see three teams combine for 15-plus goals in a 45-minute contest. For comparison Canada’s three MLS teams – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – combined for only 152 goals in 102 games.
Dittman certainly hopes the sport catches on, and he has a vision for its development which so far has included some exhibition style games with semi-pro soccer players taking to the circle in both men’s and women’s play.
“The athletes really love it,” he said, adding the shorter games and all out action are appreciated by players.
In 2023 Dittmann plans a series of events in various cities in conjunction with United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) activities, as OmegaBall now has an agreement with the USSSA.
By 2024 Dittman foresees a pro OmegaBall league. I doubt a Canadian franchise will be a priority, but if there was I’d watch it.
Dittmann said that with a game played in an hour, it will be possible to offer a men’s game and a women’s game on a single ticket and that it should be a perfect family sport outing with team’s moms and daughters can relate and aspire too.
“We feel that is would be an incredible family activity,” he said.
Overall, Dittmann said OmegaBall comes across as a fresh idea for players and fans, and he hopes to build on that.
“It checks a lot of boxes,” he said.
You can follow the sport’s development at omegaball.com