The American Truck Soccer League
by Guy Worthy
Truck Soccer is traditionally played as a three-on-three sport. Each team of three tries to be the first team to score ten goals. This sounds easier than it actually is.
At the start of the match, a neutral party (or referee, if you have a nice shirt) drops the ball in the center of the field. A recent rule (#1 of three total) says your truck must be stationary during any drop-in. Play continues until a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play. As with soccer, the team that did not hit the ball out of bounds is awarded the drop-in.
During a stoppage in play, a player may elect to change batteries. If so, the game is halted until that player is ready. In general, after any play stoppage, all players must acknowledge their readiness to begin play (rule #2). If desperate enough, you can change batteries DURING play, but must remove both the truck and your body from the field.
Right now trucks share the field with their "controllers." The only current rule is that you must not interfere with an untangled truck or physically interfere with another controller (rule #3). Trucks that are tangled may be kicked apart by either player (ouch). There are no rules as of yet except for fair play in regards to this "separation maneuver."
As for the team itself, it consists of three distinct trucks: The Charger, The Popper, and the Blocker.
The charger's job is to score goals. To that end, it is often necessary to control the path of the ball. Many chargers have a scoop or rails on the front end to help guide the ball forward or even when turning. There are currently no guidelines, much less rules, pertaining to truck modifications.
The Popper's duty is to knock the ball loose, hopefully towards his teammate. If at any time the ball can be "popped" free, a charger can charge towards it (thus the names) and run the ball into the goal. This type of 1-2 punch breakaway is the most common method of scoring.
The Blocker's job is actually twofold. The first is defensive, when the blocker remains on his own side of the field to play goalie. He can't play too far back, though, because of his other job. Mayhem. When the blocker determines that his team has the ball and a good chance to make something happen, he will attempt to entangle or wreck as many opposing trucks as possible. If the blocker can tie up one or two trucks just before the Popper knocks the ball free, a goal is inevitable. At rare times, a desperate blocker will even go for the "controller" and try to trip him as he runs after his truck! (Note: trucks MAY interfere with controllers freely).
All Truck Soccer games are "spectator friendly."