The sport of megaball was invented at Tate High School, and they’re hosting a tournament on Saturday: NorthEscambia.com

Eighteen high school teams will compete in the Northwest Florida Megaball Tournament on Saturday at Tate High School.

Major Steve Duckworth, Senior Army JROTC Instructor at Tate, developed the sport in 2012 and hosted the first tournament that year.

Megaball is derived from the sport of pushball, which was created around 1891 and played at the college level. Pushball was later taken over by the military.

Megaball is similar, in that a 6-foot tall “mega” ball is used, but was designed to be a much safer sport with smaller team sizes and stricter rules. Megaball also requires a team of trained officials. The 72-inch megaball is produced in Italy; the company actually uses a photo of Tate’s megaball team in its brochure.

Megaball has been so successful in the region that the US Army Cadet Command sends a JROTC representative from Fort Knox, KY to observe this year’s tournament to explore the possibility of creating a national competition.

Tate Army JROTCs, Milton and Pace Navy JROTCs, and Pensacola High Air Force JROTC) have regularly competed in local Megaball competitions.

Megaball is easy to understand and fun to watch. But it is a very physical game that should only be played by well conditioned students. The game has similarities to football, soccer and rugby. Although megaball is considered a non-contact sport (in the sense that opposing players do not come into contact with each other), players make a lot of contact with the ball, which often creates a lot of excitement .

Currently, nine girls’ teams and nine boys’ teams are entered for Saturday’s competition which begins at 8 a.m. The championship games will begin around 2 p.m.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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