Referee unveils new set of rules

LTLF Exclusive by Travis Tey
September 30, 2012

Forest-Derby match referee Robert Madley stunned waiting reporters after today’s game when he announced that he intends to create his own version of football with a new set of rules.

Mr Madley was expected to face tough questions over the controversial red card he showed to Dexter Blackstock during the game.

Instead he used the meeting with the press to reveal his plans to form a breakaway sport.

Mr Madley said: ‘After 150 years or so, Association Football is becoming a bit old hat. I think it’s about time the game was revitalised and I believe supporters will be ready to embrace my new rules.’

The new sport, which Mr Madley plans to call ‘Madball’, still has the same basic premise of football – players from two teams will kick a ball around on a grass field – but it will include several key rule-changes.

Jumping for headers will be outlawed unless players have had their elbows surgically removed beforehand. Furthermore, standing anywhere near a goalkeeper will result in an automatic yellow card.

However, Madball is not only about introducing new offences – the aim of the game will no longer be to score goals but instead for defenders to repeatedly knock over forwards.

One intrigued journalist asked Mr Madley how he thought teams used to the traditional rules of football will adapt to his new regulations: ‘Well I must say, Derby County played the perfect game of Madball today – and their fans clearly loved it too!

Robert Madley, referee and inventor of 'Madball'‘I would have given them a huge half-time advantage for the performances of Jake Buxton and Gareth Roberts alone. When I saw the way they were playing, I couldn’t help but wonder if Nigel Clough had somehow got hold of a copy of the Madball Rule Book. He even played Conor Sammon up front to try and avoid scoring any goals.’

However, Mr Madley admitted that the rules of Madball would take referees a while to adjust to: ‘It took me more than half the game to realise that Blackstock had a pair of elbows attached to his arms, but as soon as I noticed I had no hesitation in sending him off the field.

‘He gave the game away really by trying to win a header and keeping his eyes on the ball, when under my new rules he should have just forgotten about the ball and shoved the player next to him to the ground.’

Mr Madley says he will be publishing the rules of Madball in the next few weeks and it will shortly be followed by his rulebooks for Triangular Chess, Zero Gravity Snooker and Underground Rugby (in which players score points by burrowing tunnels underneath the goal posts).