How to Play

Watch a tutorial video:




(The following is an abridged explanation of the game rules compiled by the USA Wiser Sport Committee. The World Wiser Sport Committee has published a 40-minute long tutorial video. Please visit:


WISER  is a game of skill and strategy and can be played wherever there is a field or space, outdoors or indoors.  No fancy, expensive equipment is needed.  The following is a list of things necessary for the game:


1. 2 sets of 7 soft balls (of size #11), differentiated by colors (e.g., one set in white and the other in red).  The 7 balls of each set are marked clearly with numbers from 1 to 7 respectively;


2. a number of small yellow flags and red flags, with poles that can be easily inserted in dirt/grass, or erected on a hard ground; and


3. 9 to 15 cones to mark the boundary.


Note: except in the last phase of the game known as the "capture phase", no hard boundary is necessary for the game.



Two teams of players are needed to play the game.  In a official game, each team is composed of seven players, wearing clearly-numbered jerseys or pinnies from 1 to 7.  The person wearing the number 1 uniform is the team captain.  Each player is in control of one ball. The team captain organizes discussions with the rest of the team during the game to come up with in-field tactics and strategy.


For leisure plays, a team can have less than seven people.  Many variations of team composition are possible.  For example, each side can have only 5, 4, 3, 2, or even 1 player.  They can also play a different number of balls, but usually 5 balls or 7 balls are most popular.  Therefore, depending on the number of people available, a game can be easily organized.


For example, if there are six people available to play, the game can be played by two teams of three, and the teams can agree to play seven balls or five balls.  It is even possible to have a one-on-one game with each person playing seven balls.  If there are fewer people than balls, like in the case where a team of 3 people is playing 6 balls, the teams can agree on a format of playing.  Such formats can be that the people on the same team taking turns to play the balls, or each person is assigned to two balls.


Although no distinct boundaries are required for most part of the game, an area measuring 24m x 12m with a mid-court line is used to start it.

Field Formation at beginning
The two teams start the game at the two short sides of the field. Ball number 1 is the team captain, who stands in the middle. The rest of the team is formed according to the order as shown in the picture.

At the beginning, the two teams stand on the two short sides of the court facing each other.  The team captains throw coins (or do rock-paper-scissor) to decide which team would go first. Afterwards, the two teams will take turn throwing balls into the court, until all balls are placed on the field. The balls can be positioned anywhere on the field and no penalty is given if they are out of bounds, because in this phase there is no boundary limitation.  However, for each team, no less than two balls and no more than five balls must be placed passing the mid-court line.
At this time throwing the balls into the field is for setting for strategic positions only. No touching other balls of either the opposition or own team is allowed. If another ball is touched when a ball is placed into the field, that ball must be picked up and thrown in again.
The team players remain on the end lines until all the balls are positioned into the field. When that is done, the game's first phase is finished, and the second phase, or the attacking phase, is entered.




When it is a team's turn, a player of a team picks up his or her ball and throws it. He or she can aim at an opposition's ball for an attack.  If it successfully hits the opposition’s ball, that ball is frozen.  The first time a ball is frozen, it is called a first lock, and a yellow flag is placed next to it.  If it is hit again, it is called a second lock and the yellow flag is replaced by a red flag.  A third hit permanently removes that "struck out" ball from the game.


A locked ball can be rescued if a teammate of the locked ball in turn hits the opposition's ball which originally struck it.  If it is first-locked, the ball is then freed completely and can be used to strike an opponent.  If second-locked, then it is upgraded to a first lock but remains frozen.  In this case it requires another successful rescue in order to be freed completely.


A locked ball can only be rescued if the opposition's ball which locked it is itself hit by a teammate of the locked ball.  However, if the opposition's ball has made a number of successful hits, including possibly the locked ball and other teammates' balls, then the rescue has to be made in the same sequential order of hits.


Let's illustrate it by an example.  The following is a record of hits. (Note: W5 means the number 5 white ball, R3 means the number 3 red ball, etc.)

1.  W5 hit by R3

2.  W3 hit by R3

3.  W2 hit by R3

4.  R3 hit by W1: W5 is rescued

5.  R3 hit by W1: W3 is rescued

This example describes the history of hits, in which at first the W5, W3,  and W2 balls are locked by R3 in that order.  Later in step 4, the R3 Ball is hit by the W1 ball.  This hit warrants a rescue since R3 has previously locked white balls. Because W5 is the first one locked by R3, W5 is rescued at that time.  In step 5, R3 is hit by a white ball again and another rescue can be made to the W3 ball since it is the next on the list of the balls locked by R3.



A mis-hit occurs when a teammate hits his or her own teammate's ball.  In that case, the striking ball is immediately removed from the game, and the ball that is hit is locked just as if it was hit by an opposition's ball.  That is, if the hit ball was a contesting ball (i.e., a free ball), then it becomes yellow-flagged; if it was yellow-flagged, then it becomes red-flagged; and if it was red-flagged, then it is removed from the game.
In order to rescue a ball that was hit by its teammate, any opposition's ball can be thrown at. However, the "order of rescue" must be followed. (Please see the explanation of the Order of Rescue above.) 


Sometimes it is necessary to bring the balls to different places in the field for better defense or in preparation for an attack. This is called ball positioning. A team is allowed to position its balls up to three times consecutively without making an attack. After three continuous ball positioning, the team must make an attack, or it is considered a violation. The penalty of the violation is that the team's next strike (i.e., hitting an opposition's ball) does not count. Once an attack is made, the counter of the team's continuous ball positioning is reset.


A team is allowed up to one minute of time to discuss and figure out what to do each time it has the turn to throw ball. The elapsed time starts when the referee gives the OK signal to the team to throw the ball. If this time runs out before the team is able to throw the ball, then the other team gets to throw the ball. This rule exists in order to ensure smooth and timely progression of the game.



When either team is down to one contesting (free) ball, the two teams reposition their balls at the "ball-repositioning lines".  The ball-repositioning lines are drawn 1 meter inside the starting formation lines where the two teams first stand on.  The team that have more free balls repositions their balls first.  The balls can be positioned anywhere along their ball-repositioning line.  Their free balls and all their locked balls are taken to be repositioned along the line.  Afterwards, the other team which has only one free ball gets to position their balls.  Again, they have to reposition their free ball as well as all their locked balls along their repositioning line.
The diagram above illustrates the repositioning lines right after the capture phase is entered. The white ball team has more free balls, and the red ball team has only one free ball. All the balls are repositioned along their respective ball-repositioning lines, drawn 1 meter inside from each side.



After the balls are repositioned, the team that has only one contesting (free) ball gets to throw first followed by the team that has more contesting balls.  The two teams take turn throwing their balls, just like in the normal playing mode.  They too can each get three chances of placing their ball before having to make an attack, just like in the normal playing mode.
If an attacking ball goes out of bound, which is delineated by the original 12m x 24m rectangle (see the picture above), then the repositioning line on its side is moved in by one meter towards the center, and all the balls of its team are taken to be repositioned on the new repositioning line, including the attacking ball that is out of bound, except those balls that are already in front of the new repositioning line. However, if a ball is hit and gets out of bound, it is simply taken back to the current repositioning line of its side without the line being moved up towards the center.
Closing Ball-repositioning
The above diagram illustrates a case where the ball-repositioning line on the white team's side is closing in by 1 meter. This is due to an attacking white ball having gotten out of bound in the immediately previous move. In this case the red team's line remains where it was, only the white team's line is closing in. Also notice that all balls, except those that are already in front of the lines, are taken to their respective repositioning line.
A team's repositioning line continues to move up towards the center each time an attacking ball on its side goes out of bound. But once the two team's repositioning lines are down to 12 meters away from each other, if any ball goes outside the capture zone, the repositioning lines are no longer moved.


During the Capture Phase, if the team with one ball is able to free a teammate's ball, then the game exits the Capture Phase and reverts back to the normal Contesting phase.  This is because that both team now have more than one contesting ball. When that happens, all balls stay where they are from the Capture Phase. The game will re-enter the Capture Phase if one team is down to one contesting ball again.




When all of the balls of one team are either locked or removed, the game ends and the other team, who still has one or more contesting balls, wins the game.




A player must first place his or her feet properly before he or she can make an attack.  This is illustrated in the picture below:

Footwork of attack
The player making the attack must place his or her front foot in alignment with the line of attack which is formed by connecting the attacking ball and the target ball, as indicated in the diagram above.  Once the front foot is positioned, it cannot move any more until after the attack is made. However, the player can place his or her rear foot anywhere as long as it does not go past the front foot, again as shown in the diagram above.