H is for Hedgehog
Hedgehog and porcupine - little ball of spinesHedgehog and porcupine were the collateral victims of Rotzball in Wissenland. This traditional sport is pulling in more and more spectators and fans. Betting has never been so popular and lucrative therefore cheating is becoming a real nuisance . Severe sanctions have been taken against the poor referees and coaches that have been caught. They were sanctioned by huge fines and even few case of public humiliation. All these scandals result in an increased popularity of this noble sport.
Rotzball rules are simple, two teams of eleven players try the ball between two poles on other team side by all means possible. Snotball is a variant played in Middenheim, the most obvious difference is that the ball is replaced by a snotling. But other rules differ and cause a lot of discussion in tavern of that great city. Regional variant also change few rules making professional referee a necessity.
One of these rules is that only head, elbows and knees are protected by leather straps or piece. In old time it was a way to avoid the most damaging injuries while keeping the show attractive and spectacular. People running in armor isn’t that fun as we don’t see much blood from the audience.
Another rule is that those piece of light armor are stamped with the colors or mascot of the team. Team can’t have armory or heraldic symbols but are allowed to have animal on a blazon if that animal is also the mascot of the team.
The coach of the Pfeildorf hedgehogs find a loophole in the rules. He replaced his player protection by hedgehog skins still wearing spines. The protection naturally becoming spiked leather piece. He did this for the first time, two weeks ago during the regional derby against the Wusterbug Ducks. The opposing coach protested but the referee found nothing to rule against that play. Hedgehogs beat the Ducks and won the Wissenland cup.
This move created a precedent and teams started to change their mascot as soon as the news reached the different town and village. Wusterburg mascot died in a terrible locker accident on that same day. It was replaced by a porcupine. Spines are longer and are less likely to shed from the skin. Wusterburger fans were delighted to see their team win against Heisenberg Moose on the score of 3 dead to 1. Heisenberg coach collection of antlers shed was effective for blocking but not for scoring.
Since that day, Rotzball’s rules are modified so that all the hedgehogs and porcupine can live a peaceful life.