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New year, new project: ThinkPad T530

I’ve always been a fan of ThinkPads, dating back to growing up and seeing some of the late-90s/early-00s models around my Dad’s IT colleagues. They’re utilitarian in a way that reminds me of 1980s consumer electronics, like hi-fi components, and I’ve always been nostalgic for that Sony/Kenwood sort of look.

I’ve actually ‘owned’ two previous old ThinkPads, actually: an extraordinarily thick, circa-1997 380D with an original generation Pentium CPU, and a relatively-modern-ish T500, both pulled out of the e-waste garbage at work. Given that neither will really run a modern OS all that happily (and one doesn’t support Windows versions after like, Windows 98SE), they’re fun novelties but not really practical to use regularly.

ThinkPad 380D. Somehow heavier than it looks.

So instead, after getting more sold on ThinkPads and the tinkering possibilities by my girlfriend, I went on eBay and found a T530. It was in solid physical shape, firmly middle-of-the-range for what Lenovo offered, and at a decent price. I threw out a bid, and ended up winning it for $127.50 of my hard-earned dollars, with an additional $28.80 for package and posting from Pennsylvania and $12.50 for the alphabet.

It arrived an understandable amount of time later, as listed, and I was very pleased. Spec-wise, out of the box, it was equipped with the following:

  • CPU: i7-3320M (dual core Ivy Bridge)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3L-1600 (OEM)
  • SSD: 120GB SATA ADATA SU800
  • 1600×900 15.6″ LCD
  • Wifi: Anatel 1×1 B/G/N Wireless (OEM)
  • ODD: CD/DVD Burner
  • Original (dead) battery
Image 01 - Lenovo ThinkPad T530 Laptop 15.6" i5-3320M 2.6ghz 4GB Ram 120GB SSD Win10 Pro
Pre-tinkering, from the original eBay listing. (biggitybiggims on eBay)

To be honest, I bought it mostly for the chassis and motherboard since those are the hardest/most annoying to source and swap. Getting the 1600×900 screen instead of the (substantially worse) 1366×768 panel was also nice. But pretty much everything else was getting pulled before long.

So, after unpacking and firing it up for the first time, I ran a few tests to make sure everything was working as expected, and then was hand-held through how a tool called 1vyra1n works. It’s basically a BIOS ‘jailbreak’ that grants access to every possible feature available, not just the ones Lenovo wants end users to have. Neat!

Then it was time for upgrades.

First came a SSD swap, pulling out the SATA drive and sticking a 256GB Samsung PM871 mSATA drive in one of the open mini PCIe slot. Out came the basic OEM ram, and in went a 2x8GB kit of properly nice Crucial Ballistix Sport memory. Not just 4x the capacity, but running at a higher clock speed with lower latency. Nice.

Next came a proper OS. This is a Lenovo ThinkPad, and while it was shipped with Windows, had a Windows sticker on the bottom, and has the Windows logo on the keyboard, you don’t run Windows on a ThinkPad. That’s not what they’re for, and if I wanted to run Windows on a laptop, I already have a Surface Pro with Windows 10.

No, this thing got Linux, and in my specific case, it got KDE Neon. It’s basically Ubuntu with the latest and greatest KDE desktop environment and programs. I’ve been a KDE fan forever, and I like getting the shiny new KDE features, so rock on. And since it’s built off Ubuntu (which is already built off of Debian), it’ll run damn near anything that’s been ported to Linux. It also lets me get all fun with the theming and customizations, which of course I did immediately.

Happiness is a customized KDE desktop.

But all of those are still fairly basic, routine upgrades. Those aren’t weird.

The real fun began with the CPU upgrade. Now, one could just go look at the CPUs the laptop shipped with, find the top-tier chip, and buy it off eBay. One could do that and have a very normal, reliable, consistent experience. But that’s extremely boring. Instead, I went on AliExpress and ordered an Intel engineering sample of the i7-3720QM. The finished, actually-released-by-Intel 3720QM is at least twice the power of the original chip, mainly due to the fact that it has four cores, not two. But the one I have is technically Intel’s confidential property from when the 3720QM was still in development. I don’t think they particularly mind that I have it now, given that the final product was publicly released 9 years ago and has long since been discontinued, but it might technically have been stolen property-adjacent. Also it’s not fully guaranteed to work the same as the final product given that it’s a testing sample made while the CPU was in development. But really, that’s a far better story and far more fun.

CPU arrived one standard AliExpress wait later, and it worked exactly as advertised by the vendor in China. Neat!

Next came a few touch-ups to deal with a few of the issues any second-plus-hand laptop would have. The battery was the original battery it came with, and was in bad shape as any 9-year-old laptop battery likely is. Amazon to the rescue with a reasonably-priced equivalent. The laptop was also missing two of its rubber feet and the trackpad sticker was worn out, which again were easily handled thanks to Mr. Bezos’ Rube Goldberg Machine of Suffering.

Next to go was the wifi card, which was fine but basic, the lowest-tier OEM part Lenovo ever used. Instead, I went for an Atheros AR5B22 card. It’s the same spec of B/G/N wifi, but uses fully FOSS firmware (meaning no need for proprietary blobs to work in Linux) and runs a good 5-10% faster than the original card. For $10 or less, it’s totally worth it.

The most recent major component that needed replacing was the keyboard. The one it shipped with was in rough shape. It was bent, the bezel was falling off, and the keys had their coating almost completely gone, making them feel slimy and unpleasant. Any random 30-series ThinkPad keyboard is compatible, and getting a high-grade USA layout keyboard from eBay is quick, easy, and cheap, but again, that’s boring.

No, it’s far more fun to import a backlit dual English/Korean keyboard from AliExpress. Which, of course, I did.

One more standard AliExpress wait later, and the Meme ThinkPad is nearing completion.

There are a few things left I’d like to work on. I have a random 500GB 7200rpm hard drive in here for additional storage which I’d really like to replace with something faster (either hybrid SSHD or SSD) and bigger (1-3TB would be nice), but the storage market is fucked because of Chia Coin mining. So that’s on hold until the dumber side of stupid crypto hype dies down. Instead, I’m going for a screen upgrade. For about $100, I can upgrade to a full 1080p panel with better dynamic range and marginally newer and nicer technology. Since $100 doesn’t go anywhere nearly as far as it should in the storage market at present, that’s a much better quality of life upgrade for the money. Plus, KDE supports proper fractional scaling so I can dick with those settings and upscale a bit. Perfect!

In the end, I’ve ended up with a $150 laptop with about $250 worth of parts in it that performs about as well, CPU-wise, as my current personal Surface Pro 6. Yes, I could have probably just bought a faster laptop for the money, but again, that’s boring and pedestrian and not fun. It’s far more fun to have a project computer that can get upgraded piece by piece into something nicer than it was when it was new, and having that in a laptop is actually practical.

So instead of having regrets, I have the opposite: a literally brand new ThinkPad X230. It’s the T530’s little brother, cramming much of the same features (sans optical drive) into a tiny little laptop. It’s delightful, and the ThinkPad nerds at large have already modded it to hell and back. I can put in ridiculously high-end screens and reworked motherboards and make it almost as fast as its full size sibling. But those parts are more expensive and trickier to get ordered, and they require far more work to install. So for now, I’m cutting my teeth with this one.

Don’t talk to me or my son ever again.

This thing has actually been in use more often than my Surface since I got it, and I love using it. I have my graphic design tools installed, I have Bitwig for working with audio and music projects, and OBS for some video capture. It’s not quite powerful enough to handle editing, but I have both a Surface Pro and a proper desktop that can handle that easily. 90% of what I want to do on a computer can be done happily on here, and it’s just more fun to be running a modded Linux laptop than something stock.

On Linux: Giving Zorin OS a go

Hello website!

I’m gonna ramble a bit about Linux today. For years, like, since high school, I’ve sworn by Linux Mint as my go-to, first-choice, no-brainer Linux distro of choice. But maybe that’s gonna change?

See, yesterday, I assisted a friend in dual-booting his laptop, and found that Zorin OS had a much better out of the box experience than Mint typically does. I’m no stranger to a bit of configuration and troubleshooting in the wild world of Linux, and I was shocked at how little needed to be done. Even high-DPI scaling, something Linux is notoriously not great at, worked flawlessly.

So, I’m gonna give Zorin a go on my primary Linux laptop, a Dell Latitude E5450. This is the first time I’ve switched my primary Linux device’s distro since my initial switch from some flavor of Ubuntu to Linux Mint circa 2009.

In fact, for quite a few years in high school, I was Linux-exclusive. My only main computer, a Toshiba Satellite laptop, was running Linux as its only OS, and everything I did was done on that laptop. That’s when I got heavily interested specifically in Mint.

But now, maybe it’s time for a change. I’m installing Zorin today, and I’ll be using this laptop for much of my lighter work stuff for a few weeks.

Rant: IndyCar’s 600km Race in Texas is NOT 600km.

Every June, the IndyCar series pays a visit to Texas Motor Speedway. It’s been an annual event dating back to the track’s opening in 1997. From 2007 through 2010, and then 2012 and 2013, the race was advertised with the number “550” as the distance. 550 kilometers. For 2014, it was extended another 50 kilometers, to round out at a nice, even 600.

Except those numbers are completely meaningless. Here’s why.

Texas Motor Speedway is not 1.5 miles long. All of those numbers are based on that assumption, which IndyCar internally refutes. All of their timing and scoring is based on a measured distance of 1.44 miles. That works out to 2.317 kilometers. Time for a bit of light math.

The race, during the “550km” era, ran for 228 laps. 228 laps times 2.317 kilometers equals… 528.276km. That’s not even close to 550. To get close, we need another nine laps, leaving us at 549.129km in total, and 237 total laps.

But wait, the discrepancy actually gets worse. The difference between the old race distance and what was advertised was 21.724km. Now that the race is 248 laps long, it’s a total distance of 574.616km. That’s more than 25 kilometers shy of what’s advertised, a whopping 11 laps.

If the race were 259 laps, that would reach 600.103km of race distance, and that’s goddamn close to exactly what’s painted in massive numerals along the front stretch. But it’s not, it’s 11 laps off.

If one were to be sufficiently annoyed, and go back through every single race that IndyCar has run in Texas, adding up the total distance run versus the listed distance, they’d find some very irritating numbers.

At least, that’s what I did, and that’s definitely what I found.

Even excluding the shortened fall race in 2003, wherein Kenny Bräck had his accident, we find that 14,115.16km of racing has been run by IndyCar at Texas Motor Speedway, but they’ve advertised it as 14,695.23km. That’s 580 missing kilometers, for a total of 250 race laps not run.

Yes, this is just a ranty missive about something mostly inconsequential, but I want my extra laps, please.

Or at the very least, adjust the race distance to match what’s advertised.

 

 

Things I’m Adding Here Soon(ish)

So, I’ve been making plans to use this space for more than just mirroring what I do elsewhere, and here’s the short summary of what I have planned for my website in the nearish future.

First up, I plan to post at least one unique thing here per week of some sort. I want to keep writing, and to write a wider variety of content, and this lets me share things and get feedback publicly while still having full control over everything. I have some things on PC gaming that I’d like to do, as well as writing about writing stuff, and some non-soccer related musings on sports. All of that will end up on here.

Secondly, I’m working on getting all of my graphics projects on here. This includes all the soccer flags, radial brackets, and more. I want to make it nice and easy to share not just what I’ve made, but also the thought process of why I did what I did. This isn’t quite as simple as I’d ideally like it to be, but it’s coming.

Third, I’m adding a few pages of “recommended” stuff. These range from the software programs that I use to get work done, the books and movies that have influenced the most, links to websites I use for research, and that sort of thing. Basically, if it contributes to my work in any meaningful way, it’ll end up in a tab. Thinking about calling this section “Essentials” because I’m a pretentious hipster.

Fourth, I’m adding a contact/submission/commission thing for people who want flags made for something. I want to make more flags for a wider variety of things, and this should hopefully give me ideas I never previously considered.

Fifth, and finally, I’m working on a “Public Gratitude” page, wherein I list all the people I want to personally thank for helping me get to where I am. Some of these people are authors or writers that influenced me, others are the individuals who offered me the chance to work on something new. I personally find it important to let people know when they’ve done or made something that has personally either affected me or inspired me, and I want to keep all of this in a nice central place. It’ll be interesting to see all the names written out in one place.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m not counting this as my weekly post, even though i have every right to, because I’m (of course) setting arbitrary rules for myself once again.

 

 

Purely Speculation: A Non-Existent League

It’s become a recurring joke, bordering on meme territory, that the weird world of American soccer relies heavily on rumor, anonymous sources, and outright speculation. So much is said, maybe not publicly, but far more than is actually done. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s in line with routine punditry found among any sport. However, the jokes of “60-90 days” or “sources say” or “announcement for an announcement” have increasingly permeated soccer culture.

Maybe that’s why Asbury Park FC is a thing. If you’re unfamiliar, Asbury Park FC is a fake team, an anti-team, a parody of modern soccer and modern professional sports. There’s a website where jerseys and scarves are sold, and occasional news updates of fake player transfers. But there’s a heavy joke-y nature to the whole thing. It’s very punk rock satire.

This has me thinking about rumor and speculation and the disconnect from reality. Asbury Park FC isn’t a thing, but it’s definitely a thing. And there are dozens of teams around the country that were announced, named, and never signed a player. What if that were the entire game? What if the entire point of a league was to not actually exist? No players are signed, no tickets are sold, no balls are kicked, but that doesn’t prevent the existence of statistics tracking goals scored, game day attendance, and team standings.

This is something of a thought experiment, and I’ve yet to fully convince myself that this idea isn’t completely stupid. It’s at least somewhat amusing to me, and gives me complete creative freedom, but at the same time, it’s inherently pointless.

And maybe that’s the point.

So. What the hell, let’s see where this train of thought goes.

For this, I feel the need to establish some sort of basic rules for myself to remain consistent for whatever this ends up being. The league needs to have a name and branding, for certain. There needs to be a process for team announcements. Everything is going to be as real as a fake endeavor can possibly be. Even if it’s parody, or fan fiction, or the logical extension of “Whose Line?” scoring, it’s not anarchy. And where would American soccer be without the existence of and reliance on arbitrary regulations?

First up: the name. Hypothetical Soccer League, known as the H-League for short. This is as straightforward as something this arbitrary can be. The logo is a combination of a question mark, a lightbulb, and a key hole. As per industry standard, all of these elements represent some flavor of obligatory nonsense. The question mark represents the speculation and quasi-rhetorical questions found everywhere in soccer media, the lightbulb represents the idea of creating a new league or team, and the key hole represents the secrecy and anonymity maintained by the media. The “H” in the center is indicative of a dead filament, representing failed plans, and it also stands for “Hypothetical”. Poetry.

.League Wide.png

 

Of course, there will be teams, and those are sure to be announced in the coming days/weeks/months, and I’ll let you know when those announcements are coming, but for now, this is all.

The YouTube Experiment

I’m starting a YouTube channel. It’s going to bear the same branding as this website, intended as the video catch-all equivalent for me for the foreseeable future.

I’ve uploaded maybe a half dozen videos to YouTube in the past, but never with the intention of any sort of regularity. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, it’s that I really have no idea what I’m doing with regards to video. I’ve done some incredibly rudimentary video editing, and I worked on a video project back in high school, but stuff like what I typically see on YouTube is a complete blank spot for me.

In the past, when writing was still a blank spot for me, I started this WordPress site, wrote more, shared my posts around the internet, and eventually became what I would consider to be a good writer. With graphic design, I dove headlong into InkScape, started working on little projects, and have moved up to my sports flags, logo work, and all sorts of interesting projects.

With video, I feel the best way to figure it out is to start a YouTube channel and learn by doing once again. So, I’ll be posting those videos to this site, and several written articles will be made into videos. I also have a few ideas about the tools I use for the work I do as part of a larger “What exactly is it you do?” series.

My initial video projects will be made using OBS, a tool that I’m gaining familiarity with, and edited at first with OpenShot. There may be better free options out there, but this one looked decent enough for now.

So yeah, consider this the official announcement. Here is a link to the channel if you’re interested in subscribing. And click here for the video equivalent of this announcement.

Growing Pains, or the story of today’s build.

Today, I built my dad a brand new desktop pc, his first new desktop since the summer of 2008.

He wanted to go pre-built, but I told him he’d get a lot more PC for his cash if I did the assembly and picked the parts.

So, after weeks of research and build checking, I went to Micro Center earlier today on a mission. I already had priced everything out and the tech I’ve been working with helped get everything together. Shopping went shockingly smoothly, and that tech/salesdude very much so earned his commission.

Assembly, hardware wise, went smoothly as well. Motherboard was easy to install, CPU went in smoothly, fan and heatsink installation took only a few minutes, and all the wiring was clearly marked and labeled. So far, so good.

Once everything was bolted and screwed and wired into place, it was time to fire the beast up, just for confirmation.

Post and BIOS, first try, no issues, everything working. Never happened before, but I’m not complaining (at least about this).

The drama begins when we get to the software. Back in 2009 or so, my dad bought a 3 pack Windows 7 upgrade license for Home Premium. He’s never built a machine from scratch, always going OEM, so you may notice, we’ve not bought a pure install (non-upgrade) license of Windows since 98SE. Nearly TWENTY years ago.

And, of course, the upgrade disc didn’t work correctly, because I didn’t have anything installed on this machine. Fantastic. I don’t have any other working clean install discs lying around, so in order to set up this new machine, I had to go pirate a Windows Vista install disc, install Vista, and THEN install a clean Windows 7. This took about three hours longer than I have patience for, and when everything booted, I was eager to get this fucker finished.

But wait! Why should things go smoothly? Drivers install as expected, but even when connected to wifi and running normally, Windows Update refuses to do a goddamn single iota of a thing. Installing SP1, hoping it fixes the issue.

Shit, Microsoft, get it together.

My Workflow, or why shopping for technology is pissing me off.

Right now, I’m using a two year-old phone, a seven year-old e-reader, and a desktop that’s almost to the decade point. It came with Windows Vista, when that was new. And my tablet, that’s been retired due to a broken micro USB port. It’s also three years old, and

Obviously, this is unacceptable, and I realize this, and I’m trying to find suitable replacements.

The desktop computer part, that’s easy. Plenty of configuration sites and then amazon or newegg and I’m set. An afternoon with lego’s autistic cousin and I’ll have something perfect.

But everything else, that’s where I’m getting pissed off. And it’s all the portable stuff, too.

I went through this not quite a year ago with music, when it became glaringly obvious that smartphones are pretty much useless at high end audio, due to restricted storage space and shitty audio processing hardware. After briefly using a Sansa Clip, the glorious, amazing, wonderous, superlative Fiio X1 came out. I’ll be reviewing that in the context of how I run my music collection at some point, but needless to say, music audio is firmly covered, and that task is irrelevant to my decision making process from here on out.

Rather than looking at what device is getting replaced, I’m more concerned with how I can best accomplish a set of tasks. I’m less tied to a specific device than I am the workflow I use as a whole.

For me, most of my working time is spent using Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress, because that’s what it means to be in web content. Like this, right now, what I’m doing, is not all that different than what I did at work and was actually assigned in a recent class. I actually don’t use the stock Facebook app, or any Facebook app, because every single one of them is unusable, especially the “official” one. For that, I need a web browser. A good one.

Reddit, on Android, is easy. Reddit News Relay for Reddit is simply the best one out there. Reddit Now is a close second for when Relay isn’t working (like on my phone, for fucks sake), but they’re both great and do what they need to do easily. Same with Twitter, plenty of great options.

I actually don’t use wordpress much on portable stuff except my laptop, and again, just needs a web browser (and a non-shitty keyboard).

But herein lies the dilemma:

The things I do on my tablet, laptop, and phone have a LOT of overlap. The only exclusives are Waze on the phone, ebooks (sometimes) on the tablet, and Netflix on the laptop. So now, I’m wondering if one of these three devices gets booted off the island.

This is accomplished by taking the tablet functions and splitting them across laptop and phone. This also means I’m looking for a touchscreen-enabled laptop-slash-Surface-device and getting a massive brick of a bitch of a phone.

I like small smartphones. It’s easier to use, typically more power-efficient (since screens are a massive battery suck), and comfortable in the hand.

Yet, the phone I’m considering to solve this problem is the Droid Turbo. That bastard is a whopping 41% bigger than my current phone. And it’s going to complicate the pocket situation. Normally, I carry my phone, a pen, a notebook, and my wallet. This thing is going to crowd out all non-phone objects to one pocket, which is annoying, but potentially manageable.

I want to test it out, and see if I hate it as much as I expect I might, but I only get 14 days thanks to the draconian policies of cell phone carriers.

Oh, and I know I’m sticking with Android. I’ve tried an iPhone, and it’s good at being a podcast player in the car and nothing else. And Windows Phone, yeah nope. The only parts of the software I’m at all familiar with are elements I disable and replace on my desktop. Android is literally the only rational choice for me.

So, say I get the big phone. I’m probably sacrificing the tablet’s ebook-reading abilities, cause reading on a phone, no matter the size, is awful, plain and simple. That means I’m looking at ereaders, too (we’ll get to that).

Phone potentially solved. Onto the laptop situation.

My laptop is my portable workbench. I write, research, take notes, and even record podcast audio on there. This is also the device most likely to find itself near my bed for whatever internet-based content I’m applying to my retinas. I’ve seen the Surface Pro’s latest whatever they’re calling it, and I gotta say, I’m pretty convinced. I like that I can still have the touchscreen tablet feel for browsing the internet, while also having a not-crippled-incapable-of-productive-work device. The keyboard case looks nice, but it’s actually awful for typing, but again, most laptops especially suck at that. I might be able to manage with it, since the new revision is backlit and better engineered. And touchscreens are SO MUCH INFINITELY BETTER than track pads ever could hope to be. Key example of this: the MacBook line. Annoying keyboard, annoying massive trackpad.

ANYWAY.

This is the alternative to my normal practice of just buying the most discounted new Toshiba Satellite model I can find. And I’ve seen what Toshiba is offering, and I’m not super impressed. Not a good year for laptops, in my opinion, but whatever. I’m stubbornly brand  loyal, but mainly due to my experience with ripping the things apart to repair the inevitable issues. The devil you know, etc.

So, at this point, my arsenal looks like this:

  • Droid Turbo
  • New desktop
  • Surface Pro 3

Now onto the thing pissing me off the most. Ebooks.

I like to read. I take my nook all over. It’s lovely. The interface is very simple, loads quickly, decent battery life (while new, mine isn’t), and most importantly, a physical button one presses to turn a page.

This may sound simple, and that’s because it really is. It’s the most important action while reading, the page turn, so it should obviously be the most logical, convenient process.

Instead, on all the current Nooks, Kobos, Kindles, everything, you have a fucking touchscreen. WHY.

Touchscreens are nice, and when they’re good they’re excellent. But everything does not need one! Hell, that’s half the reason I bought the Fiio is because it had mechanical buttons.

I want just a few things from an ereader: E-ink screen, good format support, a microUSB port for sync and charging, a light of some sort, and a button to turn the fucking page.

Instead, they all decide, weeeeeeeeell, we’ll just get rid of the nice control system and oh yeah, fuck the expandable memory, and we don’t really like all those formats, so they’re out too. What you’re left with is something incredibly frustrating and clumsy. And so many people around the tech world agree. This was not a change made in ANYONE’s best interest. And before you defend the companies saying maybe they’ll save money or some shit, the hatred of the new devices will cause more damage to their bottom line than a couple of fucking tact switches.

And it’s not like this hypothetical device exists somewhere at some ludicrous price point. It simply no longer exists. No one makes such a thing.

Goddamn.

State of Arena Soccer – Part 0 – Playing Indoors

It was recently reported that the USL operated Major Indoor Soccer League is no more, due to 6 of the 7 teams departing to join the rival Professional Arena Soccer League, with the remaining league changing it’s name to Major Arena Soccer League, or MASL. With that, came the information that the 2014-2015 season will be contested by 24 teams, 6 from MISL, 16 returning PASL teams, one revived team in the Tacoma Stars, and one expansion club, the Brownsville Barracudas. Four PASL teams and one MISL team are presumed to have folded.

To set the stage for the first season of unified arena soccer, I’ll be documenting the history of the uniquely North American spin on the beautiful game, and the revolving door of leagues and teams, but first, a brief summary of what arena soccer really is.


 

It’s basically soccer mixed with ice hockey.

Start off with a hockey rink, boards and everything. Take some synthetic turf, cover the ice, and remove the walls behind hockey’s goal line. Put a goal in each hole in the wall, flush with the boards. Goals are 14 feet by 8 feet and at least 5 feet deep, smaller than outdoors. The field is divided much like hockey, and the hockey offsides rule is used. There’s also a 3 line violation rule, where a defending player kicks the ball past both yellow lines and the white line. It gives possession to the other team, and can result in a 2 minute penalty.

 

Here’s a rough idea of what the field looks like, courtesy of the PASL rulebook.

Image

Teams consist of five position players plus a goalkeeper. Rules are pretty similar, with goal kicks and corner kicks and penalty kicks all working, but teams are allowed unlimited substitutions, much like hockey, and the same benches are used. Substitutions can happen at any time, and frequently occur during play.

The boards are all in bounds, and playing the ball off them is part of basic strategy.

Arena soccer preserves the hockey penalty box, using soccer style cards to issue penalty time.

A blue card means two minutes in the box, for specific minor fouls. Fouled team plays on a two minute 5-on-4 power play.

A yellow card means five minutes in the box for more severe offenses, but no power play.

A red card means the offending player is gone, just like soccer, with blue card style 2 minute power play following. A designated player occupies the box.

Games consist of four 15 minute quarters. There’s no ties; teams play 15 minute sudden death overtime followed by a 3 man shootout if necessary.

In the MISL, goals are worth two points, with those scored from behind a special three-point arc worth three, much like basketball.

In the PASL, all goals are one point, and there’s no 3 point arc.

For lower leagues, numbers will be used to describe which generation used that particular name. MISL1 will refer to the original, while MISL will refer to the current league.