Feger: Rocball canceled in Pakistan

Posted on Aug 17 2022

Rocball founder James Feger with Marianas High School student and up-and-coming Rocball player Jerome Manzon. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Rocball founder James Feger said Pakistan could no longer play the CNMI’s indigenous sport.
This, after the Pakistan Rocball Federation wasn’t able to renew its Certificate of Registration and Copyright License Agreement with Feger. 

“The Pakistan Rocball Federation has been sent and received the same copyright license agreement and, after a reasonable time of notification, has failed to sign and send a notarized copy of the CLA as directed,” said the Marianas High School physical education teacher who founded the sport in the 1980s.

In contrast, Feger said the Rocball Amateur Federation of India under the leadership of president Rajender S. Ahlawat is in compliance with the CLA and is in good operational conditions for national Rocball games.

The Certificate of Registration for any entity wishing to organize and develop the sport of Rocball in any country is the first stage of becoming the governing body for the sport of Rocball, according to the Rocball founder.

“After a country has received a Certificate of Registration they are allowed time to organize and develop the sport of Rocball as a new idea and find ways to popularize the sport on the local and national level. Once a Rocball federation or association has established Rocball games on a national level, they are expected to be in compliance with Rocball’s Copyright License Agreement,” gh said.

The sport of Rocball has been registered under different copyright categories at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. several times since 1980. 

With copyright registrations completed, Rocball is protected under international copyright laws, the World Intellectual Property Organization, The Society Act of 1860 of which Pakistan is a signatory country, according to Feger.

“In the past, I have been invited to travel to Pakistan with expenses paid. But, without a CLA, I don’t see how a trip to Pakistan would be beneficial to either of us. And, a CLA is not something I’m going to negotiate in Pakistan,” he added.

Aside from Pakistan, Rocball is played on the national level in India and Bangladesh. Rocball is also a registered sport in Egypt, Morocco, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Spain, Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia, and the CNMI. 

On Saipan, Feger said players from every major island group in Micronesia who have played Rocball at Marianas High School.

Rocball is played both indoor and outdoor. It is a game derivative of volleyball (and uses a goal like soccer) with its roots of play inspired by the Meso-American sport of Tlachtli. Rocball’s offensive and defensive multiple points scoring system is played under a quarter/set rules of play. The quarter/set system is a combination of the clock system in which teams win a game by total points scored within a specific amount of playing time, and the set system where the winner of a game is based on the amount of time it takes to win a certain number of sets.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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