This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the Star Wars content being covered here wouldn’t exist.
This week, the Women’s World Cup kicks off! Team USA is looking for a repeat championship for the third time in a row. They are the favorites to win, and you might be wondering why I am talking about the World Cup on a Star Wars website. Well, dear reader, I thought it would be an excellent segway to share the galaxy far, far away’s equivalent of soccer!
Let’s talk about bolo-ball!
Bolo-ball, called Limmie in the Core Worlds, was a popular sport on some planets. It was first introduced in the Legends novel The Crystal Star by Vonda N. McIntyre before it would pop up in various novels and comics before the Disney buyout.
The rules of the game are almost exactly like soccer. You have two teams who can kick, head, or slide tackle a ball around to try and get it into a goal. One goal is one point. The teams play over two halves, and bolo-ball has similar offsides rules. The only unclear rule is whether or not players can use their hands, but the assumption is no.
In the Star Wars universe, the sport was not popular on Coruscant. With Coruscant being the equivalent to America in the franchise, the lack of fans on the planet represented Americans’ lack of interest in soccer. Granted, this is dated information as recently, soccer has been the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. thanks to the Women’s U.S. Team’s constant titles, the growth of the MLS, and the availability to watch the sport on tv.
Participating planets had their team compete in the Galactic Cup of Limmie. Unlike Coruscant, other planets had spirited fans. After a significant win by Team Fwillsving, the people of the planet trashed the city of Svitalos during the celebrations. From Yag’Dhul to Mandalore, fans would turn out to watch their favorite players compete.
One team escaped tragedy thanks to bolo-ball. Team Alderaan was off planet when the Death Star decimated their world. One of their players, Cael Hanarist, was considered the fastest player in the galaxy. Losing his fiancé, he would join the Rebel Alliance. After the war, his team jersey hung in a cantina on Chandrilla. The Galactic Cup was put on hold after Alderaan’s destruction.
All of this information comes from the Extended Universe material. Only recently has bolo-ball come into the current canon, where it’s exclusively called Limmie. The Fantasy Flight role-playing guidebooks brought it back before appearing in the High Republic comics.
That is the basics of bolo-ball. As someone who loves both Star Wars and sports, having fun details about space soccer is something I personally enjoy as a fan. Also:
GO TEAM USA!
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