|Highest governing body||Kronum League|
|First played||2006, Villanova, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Team members||10 to 20 (10 at a time)|
|Categorization||Outdoor (2006-2010), Indoor and Outdoor (2011)|
Kronum is a sport which was invented in 2008 by Bill Gibson in Villanova, Pennsylvania. It is played only in the United States, with professional league games taking place in Philadelphia. Kronum is becoming more popular in Europe. Gibson decided to include elements of different sports: soccer, basketball and handball. The main philosophy of Kronum is to introduce a new gameplay experience to the world of sports, this is why the main slogan of Kronum is “join the revolution." This sport combines classical activities (football, basketball, handball, rugby…) into a common sport where players can contribute their unique skill-sets to the game. The website of the American Kronum league also works like a social network where fans and players can stay in contact.
Kronum is played by two teams, each with 10 players on the field at all times. The match is divided into three phases of 20 minutes. The goal of this sport is to score as many points as possible. When someone scores a goal, the number of points awarded are dependent upon the place where the shot was taken on the field. Kronum goals are split into two separate constructs. The bottom of the goal ("Chamber") is structured like a soccer or handball net. Extending from the top of the chamber is the "Crown", which consists of five congruent rings that the ball can be thrown, kicked, or dunked through. When a player scores through one of those rings (“Ring Shot”), points are worth twice what they would be scoring into the chamber. Physical contact is allowed like in rugby for example, though excessive contact may result in the fouled player being awarded a penalty shot.
A typical score for a match is between 80 and 120 points.
The field consists of three concentric circles. On the outer circle are the four Kronum goals which are shared by the two teams. In front of every goal is a round Goal Zone and a rectilinear Wedge Zone. Bordering the Wedge Zone is the Flex Zone. The only difference between the two zones is that the use of hands in the Wedge Zone is restricted. Then is the Cross Zone, having the shape of a cross. In the middle of the field there is a smaller ring called the Second Ring, and inside that, the Prime Ring.
There are two main pieces of equipment used in Kronum: the ball and the four goals. Many players also wear minor protective gear such as shin guards and cleats, but they are not mandated by the rules.
The Kronum ball is a unique ball specially designed for the sport. Its size is comparable to a soccer or volleyball but is more bouncy, allowing it to be dribbled with the hand more easily. This design allows it to be handled effectively with both the hands and the knees.
The Kronum goal is designed for a wide range of scoring opportunities. The main opening of the goal, called the chamber, is about the size of a football goal. Above the chamber is the Crown, which has five 20 inch (50 centimeter) openings called the Crown Rings.
Prime Rush and Game Play
Each of the three periods starts with the "Prime Rush" when the referee bounces the ball on the ground inside the prime ring high into the air. Only two players from each team may enter the Second Ring, in an attempt to gain possession of the ball. Strategic teams will send players immediately toward each goal, even before one team gains possession of the ball. These players will then be in position to defend or score quickly. All 10 players from each team are allowed to use any part of their body to dribble, except in the Wedge Zone where the use of arms and hands is prohibited. Like in Basketball, players can dribble with their hands, and may only take two steps with the ball in the hands without dribbling. This violation of the rules is called traveling. At any given moment of the game, one team is trying to score on any of the four goals, and one team defending all four goals. All players are allowed to touch the ball with the hand in the Goal Zone. When the attacking team scores, a player from the defending team is given the ball to establish possession in the Second Ring, and that team becomes the attacking team.
Each Kronum team on the field consists of 10 players, who play three distinct positions: Wedge backs, Rangers, and Crossers.
- Wedge Back: One Wedge back plays in each of four Goal Zones, where use of hands and arms is allowed to defend the goal. The Wedge back must defend the goals when the opposing team is in possession, and score low-point goals during periods of possession.
- Ranger: The area beyond the Wedge back position consists of one Ranger for each goal, resulting in four Ranger positions during game play. Rangers may cross into other goal zones to assist in defending or scoring, but tend to focus on scoring from the two or four point zones of a particular goal during game play.
- Crosser: The two remaining players are in a position referred to as Crossers. Crossers are similar to point guards in basketball, and focus on gaining possession of the ball, and getting the ball out to other players who can score easily.
The game is fast-paced because possessions can change quickly, and players must be able to adapt to defensive or offensive positions at any given time during game play.
The points are counted depending from where the shot was taken:
- Goal Zone = 1 point
- Wedge Zone = 2 points
- Flex Zone = 2 points
- Cross Zone/2nd Ring = 4 points
Those points are doubled if the player makes a Ring Shot instead of simply kicking or throwing the ball into the chamber (the goal under the rings). If the player makes a Ring Shot from the Second Ring (for example), he scores 8 points for his team, called a "Kronum." A Kronum is an extremely difficult shot to make, since it must be made from at least 25 feet from the goal.
A foul is committed when a defensive player engages in contact with the opposing player in possession of the ball without making an attempt to create a turnover. This kind of foul awards the offensive team a penalty shot (or kick) taken from the point at which the wedge zone touches the second ring. No player is allowed to interfere with the shot except a single wedge back guarding the goal. 3 points are awarded for a shot into the chamber, and 6 for a Ring Shot. An offensive foul can be committed by engaging in excessive physical contact or playing the ball with the hands in the Wedge Zone, which results in a throw-in for the opposite team at the nearest point at which the wedge zone touched the edge of the field of play.
There are only 7 teams. They are all based in U.S.A. and took part in the American Championship:
- Jet Sets
- Night Owls
- Nimble Jacks
- Urban Legends
- Work Horses
- Limelights (Disbanded after 2010)
- Morningstars (Disbanded after 2010)
- Evergreens (since 2012)
The Nimble Jacks won the first championship and the 2nd Kronum Captain's Cup. The Urban Legends won the 1st Captain's Cup. The next Kronum Recreational League has been underway since the beginning of May 2011 and it is played in an indoor arena with a 50-yard (46 m) diameter field. The first Kronum League Championship to be played on this new "K-50" field was played on Sunday, January 22, 2012, between the Nimble Jacks and Urban Legends. The Nimble Jacks won the game, earning another championship title. The professional league will resume play in 2013.
Season 4 of the Kronum League concluded on July 13, 2013, with the Night Owls taking on the Nimble Jacks, who were looking for their 4th straight title. The Night Owls defeated the Nimble Jacks 125-106, to earn their first championship in club history. [dated info]
Developing and diffusion
The media has grown more interested in Kronum in the U.S.A., especially Wired and the ESPN TV show SportsNation. Fans of the sport are using social networks to organize local Kronum recreation leagues. In Europe, interest in this sport is growing through social networks, press and the internet. The New York Times, the French newspaper Le Monde, the Italian La Stampa and the Spanish, Italian, UK versions of Yahoo/Eurosport wrote about Kronum.
- Article on Wired.com
- One of the ESPN videos about Kronum
- Building Sports, on the NY Times
- A la découverte du Kronum, grand mix des sports collectifs, on LeMonde.fr (French)
- Un mix di calcio e pallamano: dagli Usa ecco Kronum, on LaStampa.it (Italian)
- ¿Será el Kronum el deporte mundial del futuro?, on Yahoo/Eurosport España (Spanish)
- Ecco il Kronum, lo sport del futuro, on Yahoo/Eurosport Italia (Italian)
- Will Kronum be the world's next big sport?, on Yahoo/Eurosport UK