Moopsball, a contact sport for up to 324 players merging soccer, medieval combat and a lot of tomfoolery, originated as a piece of fiction, “Rules of Moopsball” by Gary Cohn, first published in Damon Knight's anthology Orbit 18 (1976). But then fans began to play it.
Notably, in the 1980s, Barry Gehm, Bill Higgins and Renee Sieber organized a Moopsball game involving fans from all over the Midwest. Steve Johnson provided equipment for the game with the unwitting participation of the DePaul University athletic department. The Michigan State University team, The Professor George Edward Challenger Memorial Tectonic Plate Pushing and Freestyle Dinosaur Wrestling Team, prevailed.
Cohn having gone on to become a comic-book writer for DC Comics, Moopsball was mentioned repeatedly in the Legion of Super-Heroes comics as being one of the most popular sports of the fictional 30th-century DC Universe. It’s a favored campus sport at GURPS Illuminati University. In Gene Wolfe’s 1988 novel There Are Doors, inmates of a psychiatric hospital play Indoor Moopsball; one of the players is named Cohn.
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