THREE Teams Football is a unique concept that truly thinks outside of the box - or oval in this case.
Wimmera Football League side Horsham RSL Diggers will battle with Horsham District outfits Noradjuha-Quantong and Taylors Lake at Dock Lake Reserve in a world-first.
Melbourne-based conceptual artist Gabrielle de Vietri, who has been developing the project for about six months with project assistant Renae Fomiatti, will get to see her idea come to life tomorrow.
"I always wondered what would happen if we added a third team to a sport," she said.
"Being a conceptual artist, I have permission to experiment with these sort of ideas.
"I did a project in Horsham back in 2011 and it seemed like the perfect place to host this experiment."
There will be a circular playing field with three sets of goal posts and modified rules, with eight players a team on the field and five on the bench.
The highest-scoring team is deemed the winner.
Horsham RSL Diggers president Peter Miller admitted he was sceptical when first told about the project.
"Initially, I thought it was nuts," he said.
"It's probably the most unusual sporting concept that anyone's ever come up with."
Miller said he was fascinated by the uniqueness of it all and was curious to see how it panned out.
"I think it's a great idea and will give coaches a chance to be creative," he said.
The match starts at 3pm and entry is free, with pre and post-game festivities including live music from eight-piece band Kritta.
The concept has been short-listed for the $100,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize and will be on display at Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne.
Footage of the game and the process will form a documentary video that will serve as a record of the project.
Three teams compete simultaneously. Each team has eight players on the ground at any given time, plus five on the interchange bench.
Each team has two full-forwards, two full-backs one for each set of goals they're defending and four on-ballers. The two full-forwards from each team and the two full-backs must be inside the goal square at the beginning of each third and the re-start of the game after a goal. After each centre bounce, these players can play in all areas. Two players from each team a ruckman and an on-baller are allowed in the centre triangle at the beginning of each third and the re-start of the game after each goal.
The two remaining on-ballers from each team must be outside the centre triangle at the start of the game, the beginning of each third and the re-start of the game after a goal is scored.
There are seven umpires: one centre umpire, three field umpires one umpire in each third of the ground, three goal umpires one at each set of goal posts. The field umpires also umpire the boundary of their third of the ground.
The game is divided into three 20-minute thirds.
Between each third there is a 10-minute break.
THE COIN TOSS
A triangular prism with different coloured apexes allows the team whose colour lands face-up to decide which goals they want to kick to in the opening third. It also decides which goals the other two teams kick to in the opening third. Play rotates in an anti-clockwise direction for the remaining thirds.
When the ball goes through the point posts, the team whose goals are furthest away from the point post which the ball goes through kicks it in. If the ball clearly goes off one of the defending teams for a behind, the other defending team kicks in. If the ball clearly goes off one of the attacking players for a behind, the defending team whose player was closest to the forward the ball went off, kicks in. If it is unclear, the umpire uses their discretion and awards the kick to the defending team, who is making the best effort to defend or keep the ball in play. If one of the defending players deliberately rushes, punches or kicks the ball for a behind when they are not under pressure, the attacking team gets a free kick from where the defender committed the indiscretion.
RUNNING TOO FAR
A player must bounce or touch the ball on the ground every 15 metres. If a player has run too far, the umpire balls it up to restart the game.
OUT ON THE FULL AND DELIBERATE OUT OF BOUNDS
The umpire throws the ball back into play from the boundary line when the ball gets kicked out on the full. If there are many players around the ball kicker when the ball goes out of bounds deliberately, the umpire throws the ball in. If there is only one defending player chasing the player who deliberately kicked it out of bounds, that defending player is awarded the free kick for a deliberate out of bounds.
HOLDING THE BALL
As each player has two opposition players and less opportunity to get rid of the ball, the umpires might show some leniency to the player with the ball or going for the ball when a pack forms or when he is tackled by more than one player. When it is clear to the umpire that a player has disposed of the ball incorrectly as a result of a tackle, a free kick goes to the player who initiated the tackle. If it's not clear who initiated the tackle, a ball-up is called.
A 35-metre penalty is applied by umpires to a number of different infractions when a free kick or mark has already been paid. This corresponds to the 50-metre penalty, which occurs in regulation Australian Rules Football.
The following rules will be applied as usual: tackling too high, push in the back, tripping, kick must travel at least 15 metres for a mark to be awarded, umpire to bounce the ball or throw it up at the beginning of each third and to re-start the game after a goal is scored.
The winner is the team with the highest score at the end of the game. The team with the second highest score comes second and the team with the lowest score comes third. If the two highest-scoring teams have the same amount of points at the end of the game, all three teams continue to play. Whichever of the two leading teams kicks the next goal, wins the game. If however, the team with the lowest score at the end of full-time is able, by kicking a goal, to score higher than the two drawing sides before either of those two sides is able to kick the winning goal, then they are the winners. If the two lowest-scoring teams have the same amount of points at the end of full-time, they will finish joint second.