I'm interested in activities that require a lot of physical exertion and a lot of mental focus. Chessboxing, for example, I think is fascinating. My friend Jesse Danger and I once played Bananagrams... but the bag of tiles was at the bottom of a forested hill covered in 3 feet of snow. It was a 2.5 hour game of alternating between the worst hill sprints ever and concentrating on building anagrams. Brainball, I suspect, is the natural evolution of this type of game.
Here is version 1.2 of the rules. If you have any feedback or want to play (and live in the Seattle area), please leave it in the comments or email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I've italicized some of the rules that should be playtested and might need tweaks, but the fundamentals I suspect this is pretty close to the final version of the rules.
There's a square field comprised of 36 smaller, numbered squares. There are 2 teams, each have two players on the field at a time. Players have to pass a ball around and avoid being tagged by the other team while listing answers to a question (Example: Name 8 State capitals). Once they've called out all their answers, they try to "claim" a numbered square by placing the ball on it (again, without being tagged). 1 square is worth 1 point. Teams can also recapture opponent's squares if they capture all the surrounding squares (similar to Go or Othello). The game is over when all squares are captured or 60 minutes is up.
The first game is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 9th in Seattle. If you're interested in playing, email me and let me know! email@example.com
(Aside: Brainball is inspired by Mindgame, which is a fictional game featured in "Eggheads," an episode of Sliders.)