Akilini was the official sport of Metru Nui. In Akilini, Matoran competed to see who could throw more Kanoka disks through scoring hoops, while surfing around the field on a Kanoka disk. Winners of this competition received a Copper Mask of Victory.
Akilini was said to have been invented by Kodan, the Po-Matoran Chronicler of Metru Nui. Numerous legends arose about how he first came up with the idea or how he first set up a crude Akilini field in a Po-Metru canyon. However, over the years other Metru insisted that the idea for the sport actually came from one of their Matoran. In the resulting confusion, no one was really certain anymore who deserved the honor. After Kodan disappeared and was presumed deceased, a monument was erected to him in Po-Metru giving him credit for the invention.
The original version of Akilini featured a ball and later evolved into a popular sport played with Kanoka disks; matches drew hundreds of spectators. When there were no official games being played, Matoran all over the city would play on their own, often causing chaos in their efforts to dodge obstacles, even playing in the Archives. Street Akilini became so popular and such a menace to pedestrians that the Vahki eventually had to crack down on it.
Akilini tournament games were played at the Coliseum, where the floor was designed to shift, creating obstacles for Akilini players. Retractable Chutes were also installed above the Coliseum to aid in Akilini maneuvers.
There were three tiers of Akilini play in Metru Nui. These tiers were defined by the Kanoka used in play. The lowest group used Kanoka with power levels of one to six. The second tier used level seven Kanoka. The third tier, comprised of the best Akilini players, used level eight Kanoka. As an honor for tournament winners, the Kanoka used by a winning team would be shipped to Ta-Metru and crafted into Kanohi. Four times a year, a massive game of Akilini of at least six[note 1] teams was held in the Coliseum, and presided over by Turaga Dume. Each team had twelve[note 2] players. The Kanoka of the winning team were made into a Kanohi Mask in Ta-Metru. When the Matoran of Metru Nui escaped to Mata Nui, the game of Akilini was lost and would soon be replaced by kolhii. Kolhii was continued to be played after the return to Metru Nui.
Rules of Akilini
- Akilini matches are played between more than one, but not more than four, teams.
- An Akilini team consists of at least two, but not more than six, players.
- At least one player on each team must serve as a defender. A defender is forbidden to take shots and may only launch disks to deflect the shots of opponents. A maximum of two players may serve as defenders.
- At least one player on each team must be a launcher. If the team has more than two players, a maximum of four players may serve as launchers.
- One point is scored for every disk that passes cleanly through an opposing team's hoop. Disks that strike the hoop are not considered goals.
- Akilini tournament play ends when one team reaches twenty-one goals.
- Disks in play may be retrieved by any launcher or defender from the launching team but may not be recovered by opposing players.
- Disks that leave the playing field are considered to be open to all and may be retrieved by players from any team.
- Players must keep at least one foot on their transport disk at all times. Transport disks may not be launched. Launching disks may not be used for transport.
- Players who go more than one bio outside of the field of play on any side will be considered out of bounds. However, players may go as far above or below the field of play as they wish and still be considered in bounds.
- Players may not make physical contact with a defender at any time.
- Players may make physical contact with launchers, but only after their disk has been launched. Striking, tackling, or otherwise making physical contact with a launcher in the process of making a shot is considered "roughing the launcher" and will cost the offending team one launching disk.
- Players may not use disks from other Metru. For example, only Po-Matoran may use disks made in Po-Metru (This rule came into existence because players of other Metru often went to Hewkii, a Po-Matoran disk maker, to get Kanoka to play with since his were considered of the highest quality).
- Originally, Akilini was planned to be a form of kolhii and to use the same name, but the story team later changed it to be a different sport. By the time this took effect, however, Mystery of Metru Nui had already been written, and as such it referenced kolhii multiple times in the book.
- It is unknown how and why there were six teams, as having more than four teams violates rule one. This may mean that these games had different or modified rules. This may also have just been an error.
- It is unknown how and why twelve players were on each team, as having more than six players per game violates rule 2, and also must violate rule three and/or four. This may mean that some players would sit out during play, that these games had different or modified rules. This may also have just been an error.
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