Today begins our look at Kronum, a sport founded in the Philadelphia area in 2008. For those Kronum virgins out there, I highly encourage you to watch some quick videos on the sport either by visiting the official league website or through the league’s YouTube channel (this How to Play video would be a helpful one). As with any new concept, the game is difficult to describe until someone sees the product for him or herself, either live or via video (so if you’ve never seen the sport before, the following paragraph may make less sense than giving Joe Johnson $20M a year).
In a nutshell, however, Kronum is a mixture of handball, soccer, and basketball, played ten to a side on a circular field divided into four quadrants. The offensive team can shoot at any of four goals with different zones on the field awarding different point values (see diagram below); so if you ever wished the hot spots in NBA Jam T.E. existed in real life, this is as close as you’re going to get. Each player switches between offense and defense with possession changing either when the ball goes out of bounds, the defense makes a save or steal and clears the ball to the center ring (think half court basketball), or following a score.
Now that I’ve detailed the bare bones of the sport for those unfamiliar, let’s turn to the main focus of today’s discussion. Why has the sport attracted such a rabid following in the Philadelphia area and beyond? Beyond the simple fact that the game is fun to play, let’s discuss a few key components that have helped the rapid ascension of the sport in the public eye.
First, the hybrid nature of the game provides something for everybody. You grew up wanting to be the next Lionel Messi? You can lead the league in kick scores. You worked on your post-up game to be the next Tim Duncan? Go to work dunking over a wedgeback in the goal zone. You always wanted to headbutt someone a la Zinedine Zidane? Kronum isn’t for you, maybe try UFC. The point is, there’s a facet of the game that appeals to nearly every type of athlete, whether playing or watching it. As the game is still evolving, new moves and strategies are being developed all the time and chances are, you can incorporate your own unique style into it to further the sport’s growth.
Furthermore, similar to a start-up company, both players and fans feel a sense of ownership and pride in the growth of the game. It’s exciting to rank among the forerunners of players in the professional league, have your high school team declared one of the earliest official club teams, or be the first person in your area to own official playing equipment to play at home. Going forward, the sport’s expansion into new markets and audiences validates the time and energy someone placed in this new endeavor, furthering his or her commitment and appreciation of the sport.
Additionally, people want to be on to the next big thing before it hits the mainstream. We see this scenario all the time in the world of music where fans become cult-like in their following of a local band or artist because they see the potential for something truly great. Joining in the Kronum movement now is like telling all your friends about Eminem after Infinite and soaking in the credit once Slim Shady LP drops (or so supporters hope). Only time will tell the extent to which the sport will succeed but based on the support of its followers, they clearly feel it is heading for big things.
What additional factors do you believe play a role in the sport’s appeal? Discuss in the comments section below as we look forward to bringing you additional coverage in the world of Kronum!