What is sports roleplaying?
Sports roleplaying is the roleplaying (RPing for short) of matches or games between national or club teams (or among individuals) in a certain sport, be it football (soccer), 'American' football, ice hockey, rugby, baseball, motorsport, or any other real-life sport you can think of or new one you can invent. Rather than allowing roleplayers to come up with the scores or results of the competitions, the results are generated by the hosts of the tournaments.
How do I get involved?
Look for a thread that says "signups" in the title, and follow the directions! For most sports, it'll just be posting and saying you'd like to participate, but others may require more details about your entry. Some threads aren't labeled very well, so if you see something that looks interesting, there's nothing to lose by clicking and checking it out.
How are scores generated?
Through "scorination"--using Java programs, spreadsheets, or other utilities to come up with scores or results. At the heart of every scorinator is random numbers, but many long-running competitions have ranks that measure past success. Scorinators of these tournaments usually build in advantages to higher-ranked participants; this adds a sense of realism to the simulations. Also, scorinators frequently include RP-bonus (see below).
If you are running a football (soccer) competition, like your country's domestic league, a very useful scorinator is NSFS, which you can download here. You can also download this version, which can generate American football and rugby results too.
How do I RP?
After seeing the results of a competition, players post role-plays about it. These can be anything from simple newspaper reports describing the action to elaborate sidestories. Anything goes as long as you don't contradict the given results (or your opponents' previous posts). Some people post RP guidelines telling others, for instance, not to injure their players during an RP. In these cases, of course, go by those guidelines...but there's plenty of room for creative posting.
Can I see some examples?
For team sports, it's a good idea to start with a roster--a list of your team's players. Click here to see a roster example. This roster lists the names and positions of the players on the team. You can also provide more information about the players on the team; click here to see a more in-depth roster.
Once competition gets under way, media reports are great ways to follow your team or player's progress. Click here to see an example newspaper article. It reacts to the results of the competition by describing the game.
On the other hand, you can do less formal media reports and get inside your characters' heads with a character-based sports RP. Click here to see a first-person RP. Although it's written as a character's blog, it also describes what's going on in the tournament. Beyond that, the sky's the limit.
What is RP bonus?
Many competitions give a ranking bonus for RPs posted, so roleplaying during the competition can help you do better. However, it's important to remember that RPing only increases your chance of winning; it never guarantees a certain result. Higher-ranked participants generally do better than newcomers, while there are always fluky upsets. The best way to deal with unpleasant results is not to complain, but to have fun writing it off.
What competitions are out there?
The longest-running sports RP tournament is the football/soccer World Cup. Other sports frequently RPed include various forms of hockey and rugby (not to mention gridiron football), as well as Olympic tournaments.
Who hosts these tournaments?
Generally, experienced participants. Frequently, more than one party bids to host an event, and elections are held among past tournaments' participants. Sometimes there is only one host bid, and they're awarded the tournament by default. Other tournaments have traditionally been hosted by the same nation in every edition.
I want to host an international underwater basket-weaving tournament. Should I start a signup thread right now?
Probably not. In order to host a sports RP, you first need a working scorinator. But you'll also need the trust of the community. Regularly participating in other threads will give you know-how about how things work that'll be useful if you ever decide to start your own tournament.
Does anything else go on in this forum?
Besides international competitions, there's plenty of action happening inside many nations' own borders. Threads labeled "International *some sport* Domestic Newswires" or something of the sort often contain results from different countries' internal leagues. There are also international tournaments for club teams in soccer/football and ice hockey, conducted inside those threads.
How do club tournaments work?
Somewhat differently from national-team tournaments. Club tournaments are usually scorinated by the same person, with several rounds per day. (National-team tournaments, in contrast, generally have one set of results per day.) Because of the pace of club tournaments, there's no need to RP your teams' performances during the tournaments--this won't earn them any bonus for later rounds.
I still have questions. Where do I ask?
For general questions, post in here. If you'd like to know more about a specific tournament, look for threads with "OOC" or "Discussion Thread" in the title. You can also log on to the #nssport IRC channel on EsperNet.
Can I see what some of this looks like?
Here's a small sample of some various sports. IC means "in-character" (such as roleplays), OOC means "out-of-character" discussion (like this post).
World Cup (football/soccer) NSWiki article * Recent thread (IC) * Discussion (OOC)
World Cup of (Ice) Hockey NSWiki article * Recent thread (IC) Discussion (OOC)
Rugby League World Cup NSWiki article * Recent thread (IC) * Discussion (OOC)
World Bowl (American football) WikiStates article * Recent thread (IC) * Discussion (OOC)
Olympic Games NSWiki article * Recent thread (IC) * Discussion (OOC)
World Baseball Classic WikiStates article * Recent thread (IC) * Discussion OOC
Domestic football/soccer Union of International Club Associations NSwiki article * International Domestic Soccer NewsWires (IC) * International Domestic Soccer Discussion (OOC)
Say, there's been a lot of sports events here - is there anywhere I can go to get a sense of NS Sports history?
Indeed there is! Have a look at the The History of Modern NSSports thread, as originally (and heroically) compiled by Apox.
What's a trigram?
It's the three letters used by individual nations as an identifier in international competition, particularly the NS Olympics. These can be the first three letters of a nation name - but don't have to be (see, for example, the RL Olympics: CAN=Canada; GBR=Great Britain; USA=United States of America). It might be polite to check and see if another active nation is already using a trigram before claiming one for yourself! A list of existing NS Sports trigrams can be found here.
I strongly disagree with something another player did in a Sport RP - can I/should I complain to a mod?
You can... but please consider whether you need to before taking this step. The Archregimancy is the semi-official NS Sport mod, and therefore the mod most familiar with NS Sport. However, in most cases he will urge you to first raise your dispute in the relevant competition's discussion thread, and in keeping with the rules of that competition. NS Sport is a largely self-regulating community with its own internal rules, and in most cases mod intervention in sport RPs is only necessary in particularly extreme cases. We typically try to sort our differences out between ourselves.
Kryo's ModEdit -- edits made as per user request here.
Arch's ModEdit -- added note on Sport RP and moderation now that we have our own mod. Yes, I could have logged on as NSWC Signups since I have the password, but felt I'd better do this transparently.
Arch's ModEdit II -- World Baseball Classic added to event list
Arch's ModEdit III -- Link to NS Sports history thread added
Arch's ModEdit IV -- Link to NS Sports trigrams list added