Norman Jewison’s classic dystopian masterpiece starring James Caan and John Houseman, on glorious blu-ray.
In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.
The game and its rules
- Rollerball is played by two teams of 10 players each (five skaters, two catchers, and three motorcyclists).
- The game is played in three 20-minute periods, making for one hour of total playing time.
- A steel ball is shot into a circular arena (whose “sidelines” for both teams are located in its center). One of the catchers must capture the ball before it rolls into the “gutter”, whereupon it is declared a “dead” ball and a new one must be fired.
- Once a catcher has captured the ball, he passes it to a skater; their team goes on offense and attempts to score a point by placing the ball in the defending team’s goal, at one side of the stadium. The defending team attempts to steal the ball while protecting their own goal.
- The ball must be held in plain view at all times, or else it is declared “dead” and a new ball is fired.
- Skaters may latch onto their own team’s motorcyclists and be towed to gain momentum.
- Motorcyclists may attempt to block the opposing team’s skaters.
- Injured players are removed from the field by medics, and are replaced with “substitutes” (that is, fresh players).
- Skaters may use force against each other, but not against motorcyclists.
- Motorcyclists cannot use force against skaters or each other.
- Skaters are not permitted to forcibly engage fallen players.
- Violating any of these three rules is punishable by three minutes out of play for the violator.
- If the violator’s team has possession of the ball, the defending team receives automatic possession and goes on offense.
- If the violator’s team is on defense, the team with possession of the ball automatically scores a point.