Calvinball (Sport)

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The flag of Excelsior, where the game is most commonly played.

Calvinball is a game most commonly played in Excelsior, and is the national sport. Calvinball is a deliberately absurd game created by Bill Waterson and his friend Calvin. In Excelsior, the game has been adapted a bit, but still resembles the original sport. It was officially proclaimed the national sport in early March of 2021. The previous national sport was skiing. The game is an interpretation of the one featured in the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes".

"No sport is less organized than Calvinball."



When playing Calvinball, players make up rules as they go. this way, every game has new rules. There is only a handful of permanent rules. The game is designed to be deliberately absurd and/or unplayable. However, it is still commonly played. Many rules don't make sense, and since rules are enforced by the players themselves, the game effectively has no rules.

As stated said before, when playing Calvinball, players make up rules as they go. this way, every game has new rules. There are only a few permanent rules, that are allowed to be used again. Here are some permanent calvinball rules:

  1. A rule created in one game (permanent rules exempt) may not be used in another game.
  2. Players make up rules as they go, and the rules can be contradicted by other rules made up by players in retaliation, which really is the only strategy in the game.
  3. Traditional Calvinball fields are grass.
  4. If a player is able to touch the opposite pole, which is a long wooden pole at the end of a calvinball field, the rules of the game are reversed, and can only be set back to normal if the pole is touched again.
  5. All players MUST wear a mask over their eyes while playing the game. Failure to comply is actually a class C felony in Excelsior.
  6. Questioning why the masks are worn is also not allowed. This is a class C felony as well.
  7. The Calvinball theme song must be sung at the start of every game.


This is an illustration of a game of Calvinball in the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip. This game features classic equipment, like time fracture wickets, croquet mallets, masks, badminton birdies, tennis racquets, and volleyballs.

As said before, players make up the rules of Calvinball as they go, so every game as new equipment, but there is some equipment that must be used every game, for any purpose the player can think of, such as knocking out a player.

Here is a list of equipment that must be included in every Calvinball game:

  1. masks for eyes
  2. wickets (more commonly referred to as time fracture wickets)
  3. croquet mallets
  4. volleyball
  5. soccer ball
  6. lacrosse net
  7. cricket bat
  8. tennis racquets
  9. mops
  10. badminton birdies

Theme song

Calvinball has a theme song, written by Calvin. It, under penalty of the law, must be sung at the start of every game. Here are the official lyrics, as sung by Calvin:

"Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!"
Back-up singers are present to sing "rumma-tum-tum"s while the song is being sung.