Unicycle football takes sport to a new level

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The saying used to go that there are two sports in Texas: football and spring football. In San Marcos, they now have unicycle football.

Their motto: Pedestrian football is outdated. If you haven’t seen the above video, it’s unique. Make sure you watch long enough to see one of the players punt the ball.

The Unicycle Football League is a five-on-five competition termed “flackle” football. Like flag football, each player has a belt with two flags that can be pulled, but a player can also be tackled so long as the defender doesn’t use too much force.


Dan McCarthy, a nephew of former Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, decided to take up the sport after realizing it wasn’t as dangerous as it sounds.

“When I very first started watching this, I just thought people were asking for a trip to the emergency room,” McCarthy told a local TV reporter. “When nobody got hurt and I was bored one summer, I picked up a unicycle and soon enough I got recruited.”

According to the league’s rules on tackling: A person with the ball may be tackled by removing their flags during play. A player may also be tackled by a technique referred too as “the least amount of force required to cause the ball handler to dismount their unicycle.” This definition implies a “sliding scale of force” may be used to dismount a ball handler on a need-too basis only. Any shove, push, hit deemed excessive could result in a minimum punishment of a 10-yard penalty or up to a maximum of removal from the league.

Some other rules unique to unicycle football: Play begins with a joust (it’s like the coin toss, only more violent, although there is no striking of the head); winner of the joust chooses to kick or receive; five on five is preferred but games can have any number of players from four on four to 11 on 11; playing surfaces are parking lots capable of having a 100-yard field, although the gridiron can vary.


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