As the first organization to sanction competitive sports in zero and micro-gravity, Space Games Federation is making history by taking sports to space—but not without help from the people of the world. This is why we launched our inaugural Equal Space Challenge, inviting the global public to design and develop original games exclusively for zero or micro-gravity playing fields.
Phase I: Global Call for Submissions
We launched the worldwide competition by opening General Submissions to competitors of all ages, genders, levels of ability or disability, and nationalities. The new sports ideas were evaluated based on four key factors, each weighted at 25%: Concept & Feasibility, Game Strategy, Community Engagement and Submission Execution. In 2018, the initial submissions were reviewed, and a “Sweet 16” of new sports ideas were chosen.
Phase II: Introducing the Sweet 16
The top 16 entries from the General Submissions, AKA the “Sweet 16,” were publicly announced, moving forward to a worldwide crowd vote to determine the Semi-Finalists.
Phase III: Announcing Our 5 Semi-Finalists
We are thrilled to announce our 5 Semi-Finalist Space Games! These concepts will be progressing to the final round of the competition, in which they will receive 3D simulation treatment from our creative production team and be prepared to deliver their final pitches to the Space Games Selection Council (SGSC)—a group of experts across the fields of astrophysics, science, technology, sports, education, and entertainment.
Stay tuned to find out who will be named the First Official Sport in Space, and be sanctioned to fly in 2020!
Meet the Semi-Finalists
Space Game: Inno
Objective: Utilize trampolines and Velcro®-padded walls to throw or bounce a ball through the opposing team’s goal.
Big ideas—and bigger concepts—come naturally to Elizabeth Huber, 14, a sophomore at L.A.’s Hamilton High School. Long interested in the intersection of cosmology and philosophy, she was captivated by SGF’s first STEAM+ event at her then-middle school. Far from “your average teenager” (though she’ll tell you otherwise), Elizabeth is grateful to be part of something huge (big ideas, remember?), and in love with the chance to make history in zero gravity.
Space Game: Spaceball
Objective: Get a magnetic ball through a hoop of the same polarity, while the opposition attempts to do the same.
Etan Grant is currently a 9th grader at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. He also attends LA Hebrew High School, and spends his summers at Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA. Other activities include civic outreach to homeless youth, singing in the Men’s Ensemble Choir at school, and being part of Hamilton’s JPL Robotics Team. In his spare time, Etan is teaching himself bass guitar, building computers and airplanes, and tinkering with all forms of technology.
GIULIA & GIANLUCA BASSANI
Space Game: Shooting Star
Objective: Guide a ball through one of three heavily-guarded goals, while looking out for a remote-controlled drone.
Italian brother and sister team Gianluca (15) and Giulia (20) Bassani share a deep passion for space, and the #EqualSpace Challenge provided the perfect opportunity to engage their synergistic sibling-energy. Giulia is an aerospace engineering major at university, while Gianluca specializes in computer science at high school. They love imagining themselves in space together, and this could be their first step.
Space Game: Space Dodgeball
Objective: Dodge incoming balls from an opposing team by throwing obstacles in their way.
Julisha is a seventh-grader at a charter school in Florida, with an emphasis on STEM education. She first became aware of the #EqualSpace Challenge to conceive and design a new sport to be played in zero gravity from her science teacher—and was immediately interested in trying it out for herself. When she isn’t dreaming of space, Julisha is an avid basketballer and music-lover, playing both the violin and string bass.
Space Game: Zero Gordian
Objective: Race the clock to tie an increasingly-complicated series of knots while tethered to a teammate.
Michael Ricciardi is a poet, teacher, multimedia artist/designer, researcher, and science writer who entered the #EqualSpace Challenge as a fun way to exercise his design and creative chops. The original sport concept for “Zero Gordian” combines elements of an anxious “space walk” dream (involving two entangled astronauts—don’t ask), such artistically-oriented sports as gymnastics and ice-skating, and his love of knots gained as a recovering-magician. He presently lives in Seattle, WA.