Summary: Theoretically non-lethal sport involving bringing a ball into an enemy’s goal, causing as much collateral damage and mayhem as possible.
Teams/Players: Small teams, 2-5 seem likely, AKA, one party. Though one wiki suggests teams of 13.
Uniforms/Equipment: Urban Brawl is played out in in the streets and buildings of trashed urban areas. The game uses a brightly colored ball made of dense foam, about five pounds and the size of a soccer ball. Each team has a goal about 15 feet across. Uniforms are usually light armor, lined with electroluminescent yellow markings to show “Surrender mode.”
Rules/Play: At the beginning of the Urban Brawl season, the game’s officials pick a number of urban blight areas to use as potential gaming sights. Each “Field” is a zone of about a quarter mile, four city blocks, clearly marked by open streets on each side. There’s no real limits to where a team can go inside the play zone, which sometimes causes problems if the players stumble across hostile outside forces.
Light weapons and light to medium armor are allowed, though some player types may have better equipment.
A match is broken up into four 30-minute quarters, with rounds of up to five minutes (shorter if a goal is scored, the clock runs out, or the match becomes unplayable. With breaks and medical pauses an average game can take four or five hours.
When a round starts, the team quickly moves the ball out of their goal zone. The ball has to be passed from block to block quickly, there’s a penalty if the ball stays too long in any one zone.
Variations: Of the two rules sets online, the older Shadowrun Fandom Wiki version seems to lend itself more toward freeform mayhem and joyful property destruction with a light dusting of rules. The Shadowrun Reawakened wiki is MUCH more formal, to a degree that seems to clash with the feeling of the original. Maybe that happened when the league went pro.
Use in HSD: Given the level of property damage involved, Urban Brawl type games may make a less ethically ambiguous substitute for Hot Zones, or an entertaining way to take down areas already marked for destruction. Simply quarantine a few city blocks, give two teams some nice explosives, and try and get the results on camera. The demolition is cheap and the masses are entertained, everybody wins.
Notes: Shadow Run’s other well-known sport, “Combat Biker,” is a “capture the flag” game played out in a maze-like arena, with motorcycles and weapons. This seems to be applying “TO THE DEATH!!!” and “it’s on wheels!” to Capture the Flag, so…may not be worth covering.