It’s not every day that people try to invent a new sport, but that’s exactly what happened in Boothwyn yesterday as 240 recreation-league players cycled through the Maple Zone Sports and Fitness Complex to play eight games of “Kronum.”
Two at a time, 16 teams took to a field featuring three concentric circles with four goals on the outer ring into which they can score by either kicking or throwing a ball which resembles a soccer-volleyball hybrid past defenders or through five rings along the top of the scoring apparatus. The setting is unfamiliar, but the game features elements of soccer, basketball, handball and other known sports.
Bill Gibson, who has seen the rules evolve and interest multiply exponentially through word of mouth since he started brainstorming Kronum in Newtown Square in 2006, thinks the sport mirrors a shifting global culture.
“Here’s what I ask people: Do you listen to your grandparents music? Well, why are you playing your grandparents’ sports,” said Gibson, who owns a Philadelphia area software-company. “How does music evolve? By sampling existing styles and incorporating them into something that sounds new. That’s a lot like Kronum.”
Thanks to a viral buzz – a YouTube video is approaching a million views — and an open invitation to “just come out to help co-create and evolve a modern sport for the first time since basketball was invented,” Gibson is fielding interest in starting leagues around the country and globe.
“Our ethic is ‘Let’s do this together.’ It’s authentic, the anti ‘Slamball gimmick,’” he said.