Summary: This is one of the appendices I wrote for my story "The Hansen Diaries" at a point where I thought that a game would actually be appearing in the story. It was basically me just rambling on for a while. I had a blast writing it.
Categories: Meta, Essays and Everything Else Characters: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Word count: 1380 Read: 6019
Published: 19 Feb 2009 Updated: 19 Feb 2009
Parrises Squares by Tiberius
Parrises Squares is a challenging game of athletic skill played on a large square playing field that measures 16.864 meters by 16.864 meters. The playing field is divided into 64 smaller squares, measuring 210.8 centimeters, in the same way that a chessboard is marked in a checkerboard pattern. These 64 squares are further divided into four groups of 16 squares. Each group is assigned a different colour–green, blue, yellow, and red–and each group is set at a different height above the lower playing level, green being at the same level as the ground, and red being the highest above ground level. The actual heights vary widely according to skill of the players, species of the players and local gravity, but standard competition rules call for a difference of 52.7 centimeters between levels for a professional standard game between two groups of Correlians at 0.97G. At each end of the playing field there is a rectangular goal measuring 210.8 by 421.6 centimeters, with the lower frame of the goal being placed at a height of 105.4 centimeters above the green level.
The players in a game of Parrises Squares are divided into two teams of four players each. The players each have specific duties. The Keeper defends his team’s goal from attack. The two Shooters are responsible for attacking the opposing team and scoring points. The fourth member of the team is the Passer, and they are responsible for keeping the ball away from the opposing team. The Passer is not permitted to score points, and must therefore pass the ball to a Chaser before a point is scored.
History of Parrises Squares
Parrises Squares was first played in the Federation shortly after first contact with the Correlian civilization in 2297. When the Enterprise-B made contact with the Correlians, the Chancellor invited Captain Harriman and his senior staff to a banquet, followed by an invitation to a game of Parrises Squares. The Enterprise crew were impressed with the skill of the players as well as the unique challenges of the game, and Captain Harriman requested that information about the game be included as part of the cultural exchange he and the Correlian Chancellor had negotiated. The Correlians were pleased that the Federation had taken such a strong interest in the game, which is perhaps the reason why the Federation and the Correlian Alliance are the close allies they are today.
The Parrises Squares championships are held every year on Correlia Prime, and they are a major attraction, drawing people from both the Alpha and Beta quadrants. The Federation mounts its own Parrises Squares championship tournament each year, with the finals played in the Spacedock Orbital Complex in early June. While not as popular as the tournament held on Correlia, the Federation Championships bring a great many tourists to Earth.
Parrises Squares in Correlian Heritage
Parrises Squares is deeply rooted in Correlian heritage, originating in the Parrises coastal region on the northern continent where crystalline formations on the rocky shores formed natural Parrises Squares fields. Anthropological findings indicate the game was being played for as long as a millennium before Federation contact. Early forms of the game lacked the specialization of the different positions, and other evidence supports the lack of structure in the game. For example, the height of the crystalline pillars could vary widely, and the goals seemed to be nothing but sticks placed into the sand.
As the game spread across the planet with the development of ocean going trade, a system of regulations was required to ensure that a fair system was used planet wide. The square was chosen as the shape for the playing field, even though the natural formations were a hexagon formation. The exact reason for this change has been lost, but suggestions range widely.
The more plausible suggest a connection to the four Correlian gods, the four compass points, and the fact that since most Parrises Squares games seem to have been rather quickly prepared, it would have been much easier to create a square playing field than a hexagonal one.
Less plausible suggestions include the idea that an illiterate Correlian who was preparing a playing field had lost two of his fingers and was therefore unable to count to six.
The height of each level was fixed at 1 darcyn, the length of the lower Correlian leg, and equals a height of 52.7 centimeters. The width of each coloured square was determined to be four darcyns, equalling 210.8 centimeters, based on the distance between fingertips when the arms of a Correlian are outstretched.
The competition standard playing field for Parrises Squares is a square measuring 1686.4 centimeters, and is divided into 64 smaller squares measuring 210.8 centimeters. The 64 squares are divided into four groups, identified by colour - green, blue, yellow, and red, in order of height. The order is commonly remembered by the mnemonic “Good boys yell rarely”, although a more derogatory mnemonic “Green Bolians yell rudely” refers to Pataken Syndrome, a condition found in Bolians and other species with cobalt based blood which produces green blotching on the skin and random outbursts of violent behaviour.
The height of each level is one darcyn, or 52.7 centimeters, with the green colour group at ground level. The arrangement of the colour is random and therefore different for each game.
The goals are nets mounted in a rectangular frame on opposite sides of the field. The nets measure 210.8 by 421.6 centimeters, and are mounted 105.4 centimeters above the green level. The goal is scored by getting the ball past the Keeper and into the net. Each goal gains ten points for the team.
The standard game consists of four quarters of fifteen minutes, with breaks of five minutes in between each quarter. Before the start of each quarter, the colour groups are changed, so the layout of the playing field changes several times during the course of the game.
The four players on each team are the Keeper, the Chasers, and the Passer.
The Keeper remains near the goal net to prevent the opposing team from scoring. The Keeper may move to any square on the playing field, but it is unwise for him to move too far from the net. The Keeper may not score any points, and is not permitted to hold the ball for more than ten seconds.
The Shooters are the only people on a team who score points. They may move to any square and shoot from any square. The Shooters may only shoot for a goal if they have received the ball from the seeker on their own team. If they catch the ball from the opposing team, they must pass it to their own Passer and get it back from them before shooting for a goal. The Shooter may not hold the ball for more than ten seconds.
The Passers are responsible for catching the ball from any other player and passing it onto the chasers. They may not shoot for goals themselves. Like the Keeper and the Shooters, the Passers may not retain possession of the ball for longer than ten seconds.
The players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands. Instead, they use an ion mallet to control the ball. The ion mallet is a pole four darcyns long with a concave paddle at one end. A small magnetic field is used to hold the ball in this scoop. The length of the pole may also be used to help steady the player on the playing field.
The colours blue and red most commonly represent the two teams, although any colours may be used.
 Correlians have six fingers on each hand, resulting in a counting system based on the number twelve. A rather humorous incident occurred due to a combination of this, the Correlian appreciation of perfect symmetry and an improperly explained “Baker's Dozen”, when the Correlian Chancellor asked (after quite logically assuming that since he could count a dozen on his hands, he should be able to count a baker's dozen on his fingers as well) where the thirteenth finger could be located and still maintain the symmetry of a humanoid body. The matter was quite rapidly cleared up.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.