The rules of Zola Bola

by Hugh James Waters and Roger Knott-Fayle

Reproduced here in 2018, dating from about 1970 (?)

  1. Zola Bola, as its name implies, is played on an elliptical pitch called a Baldi.

  2. Each team (there are two of them) consists of six members called boots, and a bootlace who plays for both sides, according to certain rules which we shall discuss later.

  3. The positions are as follows:

    • A Backsplat

    • A Halfspring (Left & Right)

    • A Sentaboot

    • A Fullspring (Left & Right)

  4. Normally the bootlace plays on alternate sides — changing side each Midget. However, if a scream is committed, the bootlace changes side immediately. He can stand anywhere along the bootlace line until play starts, when he acts as an extra for the side he is playing for.

  5. Each game is divided into ten Midgets of ten minutes each, thus each game is 100 minutes long (plus 50 seconds if counting the 5 seconds between each Midget). However, if there are more than an average of 2.5 screams per 10 Midgets, another 2 Midgets are played.

  6. If any boot is hit above the knee with a Blop this is a scream, it is played as follows:

    1. The bootlace changes side if necessary and stands slightly to one end of the roundhouse, towards the ends of the offending boots.

    2. The offending boots then line up along an imaginary line between their verge and the roundhouse.

    3. The bootlace then runs along this line fending off attacks by the opposing boots.

    4. If the bootlace gets to their verge untackled this is a screamburp and counts for a couple of burps.

  7. Each player carries a rubber Blop.

That's as far as it goes. The scrap of paper I found has no diagram or any other clues as to how the game might have been intended to be played.

We must have been about 13 or 14 when we wrote them, probably as a reaction to the pointlessness of the rules of the sports we were forced to endure at the time.