Jailbreak is a game for at least six people arranged into two teams.
The objective of Jailbreak is to be the first team to score five points.
Jailbreak requires two footballs, an open field of size 200' x 100', and markers to divide the field into specific zones of play.
There shall be two footballs, each made of foam, for instance of the NERF™ brand.
The field of play shall be a level plane, within reason, and shall not contain any obstructing trees, rocks, fences, etc.
The field of play shall be rectangular.
The field of play shall be one hundred feet in width and two hundred feet in length.
The field of play should be open enough that there is at least five feet of space around the actual field of play.
Markers should be unobstructive to the path of a running person and be easily moved upon contact. Hula hoops, cones, and spray-painted grass are suggestions.
The perimeter of the field shall be marked clearly, with each corner and the midpoints of each long side of the field having a marker and subsequent markers being no closer than five feet apart.
At the center of the long side of the field, a perpendicular line consisting of markers not closer than five feet apart shall split the field into two squares. This line is the HALF-COURT LINE.
In two opposite corners of the field a five foot by five foot square shall be boxed off with markers. Excepting the boxes set forth in this Rule, the two halves of the field shall be symmetric.
There shall be three circles of diameter three feet on each side of the half-court line. One shall appeared centered widthwise, ten feet from the half-court line. The other two shall appear halfway between the short end of the field and the half-court line and ten feet from the edge of the long side of the field. (Hula hoops are preferable for this.)
Each half of the field shall have an arch, centered on the width of the field opposite the half-court line. The base of the arch shall have length twenty feet; the arch shall be ten feet in height.
A delineation of the field of play exists as figure 1
All of the area enclosed by the perimeter of the field is the ENVIRONMENT.
Each half of the field, as divided by the half-court line, shall be considered TERRITORY.
The boxes in the two corners are the JAILS.
The arch at the back of each territory is the GOAL.
The circles in each zone are the SAFE ZONES.
Each team shall have an equal number of players, decided upon before the game begins.
After teams are chosen, teams may trade players from one team to another only between points and only to attempt to balance the overall ability of the teams. Additional players may enter the game only between points and only in pairs in order to maintain the balance between the teams.
Each team shall control a territory. This includes the jail, goal, and safe zones, as well as the area of the territory itself.
Before the commencement of play, one player on either team shall be designated the OFFICIAL.
It is the official's responsibility to commence the game by first assuring that all players are prepared to begin and then announcing that the game has begun.
It is the official's responsibility to keep track of the score of the game.
It is the official's responsibility to maintain the countdown timer, as explained in Rule 7.3.
The members of each team must stay in their own team's territory until the game is begun by the official.
A CAPTURE occurs when a player successfully steals the opposing team's football and returns it to his own team's territory. A capture is worth one point.
If a player, while in his opponent's territory, is validly tagged by a member of the opposing team, he is considered CAUGHT and must go to the jail area in the opponent's territory. All tags are valid unless another Rule specifically states otherwise.
A player in his opponent's jail must continuously be touching the ground within the jail zone. He may not leave unless freed by a teammate; see Rule 7.2.
(The Chain Rule.) If two players are in jail at the same time, they may form a chain by holding hands or other methods of continuously remaining in contact with each other. Only one member of a chain needs to stay in contact with the ground in the jail area, and further members of the chain may extend past the jail.
A player can never be sent to jail from his own territory.
(The Secret Agent Rule.) A player may only enter his opponent's territory by crossing the half court line. He may never leave the environment from within his opponent's territory. Violation of this rule involves sending that player to his opponent's jail. If a player who is not in the environment tags a player of the opposing team in his team's territory, the player of the opposing team needs not report to jail.
A player who is in contact with the ground at the safe zone in his opponent's territory, upon tagged, needs not report to jail. Players cannot form chains from the safe zones in the same fashion that they may from jails.
(The Bubble Rule.) Any tag which involves hitting the neck or head of a player is automatically invalid. Particularly violent tags are also invalid. If such contact occurs, the tagged player is allowed free passage back to his own territory.
If there is any dispute about the validity of a tag, the person who was tagged and the person who did the tagging play a single game of Rock-Paper-Scissors; if the tagging player wins, the tagged player goes to jail; if the tagged player wins, he receives free passage back to his own territory.
A player can never stand in the goal arch of his own territory attempting to defend the ball. If for some reason he enters his own goal arch, he must leave it immediately. A tag applied by a player standing in his own goal arch is invalid. However, if a player standing outside his goal arch reaches in and tags a player of the opposing team standing inside the goal arch, the player is caught.
After a successful capture of the ball, all players must return to their own zones, and the official must re-commence play. Teams should switch sides after each point, defending the opposite goal.
The first team to score five times wins the game.
(States of the Ball.) A capture only scores a point if the ball is live when it crosses the half-court line. When the ball is at rest in the goal zone, the ball is dead. As soon as a player picks it up, the ball becomes live.
The ball becomes dead if a player holding the ball is validly tagged during his return to his own territory.
If a player attempting to capture the ball is tagged, he must return the ball to its goal, which must be done in a timely fashion. Then he goes to jail.
(The Lateral Rule.) After a player picks up the ball, he is allowed to pass it to one of his teammates, but only by passing it away from the half-court line (a backwards pass). He may throw such a pass to get the ball out of the goal arch.
If a player throws a forward pass, he is caught and must go to jail. The ball is immediately dead. A player who catches a forward pass and then is tagged is not considered caught and is allowed free passage back to his own territory.
If a player drops the live ball, or if a pass is thrown which is not caught and the ball hits the ground, the ball is dead. If a player of the opposing team intercepts a pass, the ball is dead.
A dead ball will not become live again until it touches the ground within its respective goal arch. Players from either team may advance the ball to its rightful goal, but a capture that occurs before the ball had been returned does not score a point.
(The Arch Rule.) This Rule has three parts:
A player who runs through his opponent's goal arch and leaves the environment is not considered caught, and may return to the goal arch.
Only one player may be in the goal arch at a time.
A player may only be in the goal arch if the ball is also in the goal arch with him.
A player who is granted FREE PASSAGE from his opponent's territory by another of these Rules must return to his own territory. If tagged during his return, he needs not report to jail. Both his feet must touch in his own territory before he may return to his opponent's.
If a player tags a player of his own team who is in the opponent's jail or is part of a chain extending from an opponent's jail, the jailed player is free. Both players are granted free passage back to their own territory.
After the first player is captured, the official starts a five-minute countdown. At the end of this countdown the official calls "Jailbreak!" and all players in all jails are granted free passage back to their own territories.
The official's discretion is to be used in matters of the countdown timer. In general, Jailbreak may not be called within three minutes of a previous Jailbreak. If both jails are emptied, it is the official's choice to let the clock run, or reset it, or set it to a fixed time to be restarted once a player goes to jail. (Note the goal of the timer is to encourage action; if the pace of the game is too slow, he may increase the frequency of Jailbreaks, and vice versa.)
If a capture occurs, the timer stops and is reset, and "Jailbreak!" is called as per Rule 7.3.