|Highest governing body||Mercury Footby League|
|Team members||10 per side|
|Type||Team sport, ball sport|
Footby is a sport played between two teams of ten players on a rectangular field similar to a rugby league field. The players score points by touching the ball to the ground inside the try area and kicking the ball between the opposing team's goalposts. The team with the higher total score at the end of the match wins.
Footby is the national sport of Mercury.
Footby was invented in the late 2000s in Barrington. The game was originally a contest of accuracy, with points being scored by kicking or throwing the ball from within their own half of the field so that it landed in the end zone. Over the next few years, the rules were developed to allow players to advance the ball anywhere inside the field of play, and the scoring was changed so that players could score tries by touching the ball to the ground inside the end zone and goals by kicking the ball so that it bounced inside the end zone.
The team size was increased from six to ten in 2010, and the length of each side of the field was doubled. It was at this stage that the four playing positions were established.
Footby is played using a spherical ball. Two teams of ten players each compete to touch the ball to the ground within the other team's try area or kick the ball between the other team's goalposts to score points. The team that has scored more points at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of points then a tie-break occurs.
Tries can be scored with any part of the body, and score 3 points. After a try, the scoring team has the opportunity to kick the ball between the goalposts from the 10 metre line, in line with where the try was scored. Scores occur when the ball is kicked between the goalposts and below the crossbar, and are worth 2 points. Goals occur when the ball is kicked between the goalposts and above the crossbar, and are worth 1 point.
If a team is deprived of a score due to the unfair play of the opposing team, a penalty score may be awarded by the referee, which is worth an additional two points to what would have otherwise been scored.
Footby has a complex system of penalties. For minor fouls, a penalty kick is awarded from the spot of the foul. For other fouls, the ball is advanced by either 5, 10 or 15 metres before the kick is awarded. 10 metre penalties are usually accompanied by a yellow card for the offending player, meaning they have to sit out for 10 minutes. 15 metre penalties can be accompanied by either red or black cards, which mean that player is out of the rest of the game, and may or may not be replaced depending on the severity of the foul.
Laws of the game
Footby is played on a rectangular field, 90-100 metres long, and 50-70 metres wide. No more than ten players of each team may be on the field at any time.
The longer boundary lines are called side lines, while the shortest boundaries are goal lines. Two goalposts are positioned 5.5 metres apart, and at the centre of each goal line. A rectangle spanning the full width of the field, with a depth of 10 metres is marked outside of the field of play, with one long side coinciding with the goal line. The other three sides of the rectangle are collectively known as the back line. Additional lines are drawn at 10 metre intervals across the width of the field of play.
Match duration and tie-breaking
A standard footby match consists of two periods of 40 minutes each, with a ten-minute interval between them. The referee only stops the clock when it takes too long for the ball to be put back into play.
If a match ends in a draw, each team will alternate possessions until one team scores more points than the other from the same number of possessions, with that team being declared the winner.
The Mercury Footby League (MFL) will begin running a national league in 2015, with annual seasons. Previous attempts to form a national competition had been abandoned.
A number of international exhibition matches have been played, and footby was included in the 2012 Territories Cup.