Rugbull—also known formerly by the rare alternative spelling rugball—is a close-contact invasion ball game sport that was the national sport of the erstwhile Principality of New Eiffel. Played on the Rugbull Field in the city of Plitvice using a football, two players have goals on opposite sides and the game starts with the ball in the centre. Players can only kick the ball except during certain penalty shots. Kicking the ball outside of the field creates a "danger zone" and gives the opponent a penalty wherein the ball can be kicked or thrown, but only straight up. Casual games generally require 3 points to win while competitive ones need 5, and tournament finales demand 10 points. At the start of each annual tournament, a broom stick called the Rugbull Stick would be set ablaze to mark the new season.
Formerly a national symbol of New Eiffel, the origin of rugbull is obscure. The name was likely a combination of rugby, a similar close-contact team sport popular in South Africa, and bull, which may have been derived from ball. The sport was invented by 15 July 2018 by Janus Smith and Zabëlle Skye in the Kingdom of New Finland—the predecessor state to New Eiffel—originally as a form of roleplay entertainment, wherein the players would take turns competing for one of at least 14 fictional countries that would compete against each other in tournaments of eight. The 2019 rugbull season, which commenced on 26 February 2019, was the first to not have fictional countries but rather teams.
Both the origin and etymology of rugbull are obscure. The first part of the name is known to have been derived from the name rugby, a close-contact team sport popular in South Africa where all New Eiffelic citizens hailed or had heritage from. Bull may have been derived from the word ball, and rugball was even an obsolete variant of rugbull. The sport was invented before 15 July 2018 by Janus Smith and Zabëlle Skye in the Kingdom of New Finland—the predecessor state to New Eiffel—originally as a form of roleplay entertainment, and it was a national sport.
While the matches were not rigged, players would take turns competing for one of at least 14 fictional countries that would compete against each other in tournaments of eight. Each national winner of a tournament would qualify for a final tournament that would consist of eight of the previous winners. Skye recalls that four winners had been selected and that a fifth tournament had began but never concluded. Only the names of three of the fictional countries are known—the Kingdom of Britannia, Incendio Forestal and South Hungary.
2019 rugbull season
Rugbull may have been named the national sport of New Eiffel in the same month the micronation was declared on 11 August 2018. The 2019 rugbull season commenced on 26 February, and was the first to not have fictional countries but rather teams. Four teams entered; Smith played for both the Poisonous Potatoes and New Eiffelic Ultimates; Skye played for the Timber Wolves and Magic Unicorns. During the opening ceremony a broom stick—retroactively named the Rugbull Stick—was set ablaze to mark the start of the season, which became an annual tradition for each season. The winner of the season 2019 is unknown; it is known only that the Timber Wolves beat the New Eiffelic Ultimates 3–2 on 26 February, and the Magic Unicorns lost 0–3 against the Poisonous Potatoes on 27 February.
2020 rugbull season
The 2020 season commended between 8–13 April, though the Rugbull Stick was burned on 5 April. Sixteen teams (eight initially played by Skye and eight by Smith) entered the season—Average Army; the Defenders; Flaming Flares; Japanese Giants; the Kings; Magic Unicorns; New Eiffelic Ultimates; Poisonous Burritos; Red Foxes; Rugbull Giants; the Ruggies; the Storm Troopers; Tempting Tomatoes; Titan Slayers; Titans; and the Warriors. In order to win a match, a team must have reached 3 goals in the first two rounds; 5 in the semi-finals and match for third place; and 10 in the finale. The Flaming Flares ultimately won the tournament 10–3 against the Kings; the Japanese Giants came in third place after beating the Defenders 5–4 in the match for third place. The full results for the 2020 season are listed below:
|Poisonous Burritos||3–2||Tempting Tomatoes|
|Rugbull Giants||1–3||Japanese Giants|
|Magic Unicorns||3–2||New Eiffelic Ultimates|
|Flaming Flares||3–1||Average Army|
|Red Foxes||1–3||The Kings|
|The Warriors||3–2||The Storm Troopers|
|The Defenders||3–2||The Ruggies|
|Poisonous Burritos||1[a]–2||Japanese Giants|
|Magic Unicorns||0–3||Flaming Flares|
|The Kings||3–0||The Warriors|
|Japanese Giants||4–5||Flaming Flares|
|The Kings||5–1||The Defenders|
|Match for third place|
|Japanese Giants||5–4||The Defenders|
|Flaming Flares||10–3||The Kings|
Rugbull was played on the Rugbull Field—which was named after the sport—in the city of Plitvice using a football. Both players had a goal on either side. At the commencement of each round, both players start at their goals with the football placed in the centre of the field. The ball could only be kicked, and touching it with one's hands would result in a penalty shot (kick) for one's opponent in the centre of the field. Most games generally required 3 points to win when played casually and in the early matches of a tournament; 5 was required for more competitive games and in the later matches of tournaments, whereas 10 was required for the finale of a tournament. The winner of a rugbull tournament would sign their name on the ball.
Kicking it outside of the field—into what was called a "danger zone"—gave one's opponent a penalty shot or throw-in from the last location of the ball before it left the field. The ball could only be thrown directly into the air; throwing it forwards would result in a centre-field penalty shot for one's opponent. Danger zones included the surrounding Norton Street, New Eiffel Main Route 1, New Eiffel Gardens (north); Seat Square (east); the J25 road, Plitvice Bomb Shelter (south); Dead Tree, New Finland Monument or Gæ Pis Street, Main Route 1 (west). Kicking it past an opponent's goal would give the opponent a goal kick, and kicking it past one's own goal resulted in a penalty kick for the opponent from the centre of the Rugbull Field.
N.B.R. Bike Parking at the southeast of the field was not considered a danger zone, despite the ball often getting trapped between the bicycles. Major rule violations and causing minor to moderate injuries to another player—whether intentional or not—would result in a close penalty kick that was nearer to the opponent's goal. Furthermore, kicking the ball into the bomb shelter, a danger zone, gave the other player either a point or close penalty kick due to the difficulty of retrieving the ball. Pausing the game for a short break was allowed if both players agreed, and players could also forfeit the game all together causing them to lose.