HomeRulesEquipmentLeagues SponsorshipsPhotos FAQsEvents Schools
- AZ Adult Leagues
- AZ Teen Leagues
- AZ Youth Leagues
- Pay Registration Fees
- League Web Sites
- Download Waiver
- Start a League
- Photo Gallery 1
- Photo Gallery 2
- Adult Division
Special Events
School Clubs
Collegiate Play

Sabakiball Rules of the Game

The following is a summary of Official Sabakiball rules.  Complete rules including Officiating, Penalties, Court Dimensions, etc. can be obtained by contacting M.L. Cerpok at mlc@sabakiball.com or by calling 480-816-5012.

  The ball game method termed Sabakiball, as well as the BakiBoard backboard system and the BakiPin goal pin, are protected by PATENT NO. US 7,935,010 B2 WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  
Any revenue generating activities MUST be licensed by Sabakiball International, LLC.

The word Sabaki is a Japanese word which means Movement. Sabakiball was created by Michael Cerpok of Arizona in 2008. After just four years Sabakiball had been played by nearly 500,000 adults and children. One of the reasons for its rapid growth is the non-stop action of the game and it is strongly encouraged that schools and league organizers gain the most benefit and fun from the sport by adhering to the basic rules of play and using Official Sabakiball equipment.

The Equipment

The BakiBall is small and soft. It is made this way so that it can be gripped and manipulated easily be even young children, and so that it doesn't hurt as much as when you get hit with other types of balls. Its design also helps to ensure that a players fingers are always on a seem when attempting a pass or shot-on-goal.

The BakiPin goal-pin is also soft and has a carefully measured sand-bag bottom to keep it standing and to ensure that, while it is not difficult to knock down, you do need to strike the goal-pin solidly in order to score.

The BakiBoard backboard is an important part of the sport. Because it is easy to protect the BakiPin from direct attempts to knock it down, the BakiBoard allows players to utilize “bank-shots” in order to score more often. This also increases a player’s hand-eye coordination and makes the sport a higher scoring game. The BakiBoard is a precision piece of sports equipment. It is not made to lean on, fall into, or jump over. At no time should a player touch any part of the BakiBoard while playing. In fact, the “PIN TIPPING” rule states that if any player touches the BakiBoard during a game, he/she is assessed a two minute minor penalty. Another reason for using the BakiBoard (rather than a wall, for example) is that the Back Court, or area behind the BakiBoard, is vital to both offensive and defensive strategies and keeps the goalie position as the most endurance oriented position on the court.  

The Basic Rules


Interactive Training Materials

 A complete Official Sabakiball Rule Book can be obtained by contacting Sabakiball International at 480-816-5012 or contactus@sabakiball.com. The following rules are the fundamental elements of the sport, and will suffice for most games being played by youth organizations. 

The object of the sport. Score goals by striking the BakiPin with the BakiBall. You can strike the pin directly or by re-bounding the ball off of the BakiBoard. Under the goal pin is a small red circle. A team is awarded one point if the goal pin is knocked down, knocked off of the red circle or knocked back into the BakiBoard. So, the goal pin does not necessarily need to be all the way down for a goal to be awarded. 

Starting and stopping the game. The game starts out with a tip-off at center court, like in basketball. Players may either grab or tip the ball to their teammates. On subsequent stops in play, the referee will point to the goalie that starts with the ball. The goalie has three seconds to retrieve a new ball from behind the BakiBoard and step into their goalie box. The referee now blows the whistle to start play, giving the goalie three seconds to release the ball. Don’t chase after balls that go out of bounds. Sabakiball is a non-stop action sport! 

Three Pass Rule. A team must complete a minimum of three consecutive passes before attempting a shot on goal. If the ball hits the ground for any reason, or if the other team gains possession of the ball, you must start your three passes all over again. It is important to remember that, while you can move the ball up the court in any way you wish; running, dribbling, passing, even using your feet, if the ball touches the ground you start your three passes over again. Also, a ball on the ground is called a scrum and any player may grab the ball gaining possession for their team.

Three Second Rule. Once you gain possession of the ball, you have just three seconds to get rid of it; either by passing the ball to another player, taking a shot, or otherwise releasing the ball. Dribbling the ball does restart your three seconds, but it also restarts your three passes. Goalies may not restart their three seconds while in their goalie box. The Three Second Rule should not be confused with the three steps allowed in Team Handball or Ultimate Frisbee. In Sabakiball your feet should ALWAYS be moving and some players can run the entire length of the court in three seconds!. 

Goalie Box. In front of each BakiBoard is a clearly marked Goalie Box. Players other than the goalie can not reach in, step in, or run through the Goalie Box. In fact, when a player takes a shot on goal, their arm can not go over the Goalie Box line as they release the ball. Entering the Goalie Box results in the ball being given to the other team at mid-court and a warning is issued. After a third warning, a two minute penalty is assessed and the team has to play short-handed. 

No-Shot Zone. Extending all the way across the court, along the front of the Goalie Box, is the No-Shot Zone. Players CAN go into the No-Shot Zone, but can NOT score a goal from the No-Shot Zone. Sometimes players DO take their shot from inside the No-Shot Zone. KEEP PLAYING! If the pin goes down because of a shot from the No-Shot Zone the goal is disallowed. A Jump Shot is where a player jumps into the No-Shot Zone and as long as the ball leaves your hand BEFORE your foot hits the ground, you are not considered to be in the No-Shot Zone and a goal resulting from a Jump Shot WILL be allowed. 

IMPORTANT NOTES. In many sports that use a goalie, the goalie waits while their team is on offense.  NOT IN SABAKIBALL!  This is one of the hardest things to get used to for new players.  When the goalie’s team has the ball, the goalie advances to mid-court to become part of the offense.  This is called “playing the point.”  Goals can be scored from the point.  More importantly, if the team has no clear shot and no one open for a pass, they can utilize their goalie. 

Sabakiball is a NON-CONTACT sport! You can not knock people off of the ball and you can not strip the ball away. Block the ball, intercept the ball, if the ball is on the ground (called a scrum) go and get it. But, watch the contact! 

Remember, keep moving! In order to find an open receiver within three seconds, and to complete your three passes allowing for a shot on goal, all of the players must be continuously moving into open spaces on the court.  Above all… HAVE FUN!
Sabakiball Demonstration Video

Sabakiball on The Fan AM 1060

Check out our youtube channel for Official Sabakiball videos including instructional videos and more! Be sure to subscribe to the channel while you are there in order to receive notification when new videos are added as we will be updating videos often.