2 – Understanding The Track

In my previous posts, I referred to NimGuerra as being a battle roller sport, played on a banked roller derby type track. That was sort of a generalization, mostly because in NimGuerra the safety rails and guard rails become a part of the playing surface.

If you take a look at the picture shown below, you’ll notice a few variations in the shape of the track. For one thing, the outer wall or guardrail, whichever you prefer, is a semicircular or gutter shaped structure made of PETG or poly carbonate plastic. You know, the bulletproof stuff they have in banks.

Normally, in roller derby, players would crawl between the metal bars in the guardrail. Because the cannonballs roll along this outside gutter, they are a solid surface, curved to send the ball back toward the players if it should be shot directly into the wall.

In order to maintain the ability of the cannonball to roll along the gutter wall, a space for the Canon is added just as the balls complete circumnavigating the curve at each and of the track. The space also acts as the entrance for the teams playing in the match.

At the extreme widest point in the structure, the plywood surface where the players enter, is 12 feet wide. The narrowest point in the structure, the surface where the track curves around at each end is 10 feet wide. The highest edge of the bank during the curve is just under 3 feet high, allowing spectators and fans to view the action through the polycarbonate or PETG, or if higher in the bleachers, then over the wall.

The bottom edge of the track is built as a small retaining wall which acts as an interior gutter, keeping the cannonballs from rolling into the infield, where the other teams are sitting waiting for their turn at play. Outside the rink there is a 5 foot walkway which doubles as a safety area in case a player is knocked out or falls off the rink.

The safety area is there for a very good reason. NimGuerra is a fast sport. The minimum requirements for a player are that they must be clocked at over 10 mph, however to be a top player they must be able to maintain a speed of over 15 mph. Many top players will clock in at sustained speeds of 18 to 20 mph.

The exhausting effort required to compete in NimGuerra is only complicated by the fact that the players are trading body blocks and strikes, often having to avoid being struck by the laminated ash battle club of their opponents. No wonder they have to wear so much body armor.