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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist


When starting the Ponyville buckball team, Applejack and Rainbow Dash’s first choice for a unicorn player has to be one of the best magic workers in town. As it turns out, both Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer are big fans of buckball…

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 100 )

Ahh, the Magnus curve ball trick, or, the reason why you need a goal that can move in teh first place. A double blind play. the unicorn holds the bucket in one place and the pegasus goes to block, but the bucket is moved to teh predicted point late enough so the pegasus cant respond in time but faster than a direct reaction. Of course, a fast enough unicorn or temporally savant capability means things get very confusng very quickly.:twilightoops:

“It’s buckball,” said Starlight. “A buckyball is a type of fullerene molecule.”

"Yes, but look at this article in the Journal of Ludicrously Applied Transmutation on nanobuckball!"

In any case, a very amusing tale of how different ponies can enjoy the same thing in very different ways, and a fantastic prologue to the episode. I suppose I should be grateful that the two 'lights haven't yet discovered fantasy buckball...

I can see this as a deleted scene from the episode.

Nice one!

And then Snails broke the maths.

When you mentioned BuckyBalls, that gave me an idea:

If one would have a Fullerene (BuckyBall) the size of a BuckBall, although it would have enormous strength for mass, its low overall mass would mean that it would be so flimsy that the breeze from the flap of the wings of a Breezy would shred it, but if one nest several million BuckyBalls in each other like the layers of an onion, one would have the toughest BuckBall ever made.

“But how can you just reduce a pony to a number? That ain’t doin’ anypony justice.”

:twilightsheepish: "Oh, dear Applejack. We're not reducing ponies to numbers. We're purifying them! Separating the wheat from the chaff; removing irrelevant information until we are left with nothing but the factors that contribute to the pony's performance in buckball, all of which is conveyed in the simplest, purest possible expression of their competence without the slightest chance of confusion or misinterpretation." :twilightsmile:

Well, they got their wish!


And that's why those two weren't chosen for Buckball.

Heh, very amusing and a nice reference to Moneyball.

Yeah, not surprised that Twilight would act that way. Starlight? Eh, haven't seen enough of her character to decide either way.

MJP #14 · Sep 6th, 2016 · · 25 ·

Having unicorn players in that sport is technically cheating

MJP #15 · Sep 6th, 2016 · · 24 ·

Can we all admit that RD and AJ basically told snails to cheat


How exactly is having a unicorn player cheating? They're goal posts that move to catch balls going anywhere but straight.

Comment posted by NotSoWickedWitch deleted Sep 7th, 2016

Having a goalkeeper in a soccer game is also cheating? :rainbowhuh:


It's definitely not cheating since the game required you to have a unicorn to levitate the goal. But in reality Snails didn't do much catching in the brief glimpse of the game we saw and during the matchtraining.

What I wonder about is Rainbows stupid positioning, It looked like she always was a few meters behind or next to the goal which is just plain stupid, while Fluttershy just hovered in front of it and caught everything.


I guess she wanted to make the game more fun for herself by letting the ball get as close to the goal as possible before defending. Or maybe she wanted the unicorns to get a front-row seat to how awesome she could be. Either way, it wasn't good positioning.

Oh, delicious irony.

How can it possibly be cheating when it's how the game is not only designed and intended, but enforced? You literally can't play without one.

Isn't that addressed on line one? The way I interpret the set theory is a winged unicorn is still a unicorn. Unless there's a specific princess clause in the Rules and Regulations of Buckball (I presume Twilight keeps a copy alongside her official Goof Off Rulebook), then she's not technically excluded from play. Although a pony like Applejack might still feel it's not quite right...

7542443 It is literally a three-species sport. It has been clearly designed from the ground up to have a logical and inclusive role for earth ponies, pegasi and unicorns.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but this is even less logical than your problems with the Saddle Row Review.

What a couple of adorkable nerds. Love it!:twilightsmile:


1. I'm sorry, but just addressing something in the story doesn't mean the problem has been averted. (This isn't meant to be rude or sarcastic in any matter; Please don't think it is, because I never meant it to, in any way.)

2. Alicorns have been shown to have way more powerful magic than normal unicorns, and even then they also have earth pony strength and pegasi flight. And even if Rainbow Dash doesn't think it's cheating, I'm sure some pony in the crowd is wondering why an alicorn is on the team.

The game was designed to be played by the three tribes, or else I'm sure that there would be an alicorn role somewhere. This game is obviously a traditional one, long before Twilight and maybe even Cadence ascended into alicorn hood. I'm sure that the citizens of Equestria didn't expect their rulers to be going around getting all physical, so they didn't really put a role for them in. I mean, I wouldn't really expect /my/ princess, who's busy ruling the land, to go down and play a game like that, either.

Really, what I'm trying to say is this.

The story is beautifully written, and it's one of my favorites involving this episode. But Twilight on the team might lead a reader to ask questions. Questions like 'why is an alicorn with powerful magic (especially since this is Twilight we're talking about) and earth pony strength playing in for a unicorn role?'

This is my opinion, and I don't think the story lacks anything because of it. Have a nice day, and please continue to write more of this wonderful art.

This was a very cute patch story, I liked it. Hey, you want to check out mine?

7542320 I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of this when I first heard about Buckball. :rainbowlaugh:

See if you watch football Twilight and Starlight in here will remind you of Jose Mourinho...

They should be hired for commentators rather than that boring voice that only says "Fluttershy saves the ball and returns it to Pinkie Pie." Seriously, who doesn't want a genius commentator?

Genius commentators...

7543592 Yes Pinkie would be commentating while playing, she is a multi-tasker alright with all those instruments.

Cute and informative. I like it!

7540867 nanobuckball?

Now you have me seeing two teams of six unicorns with electron microscopes and microthaumicmanipulators on their horns playing a game of buckball on a 200x200 atom field...

While this is a cool what-if story, this leaves the question of how Snails would have otherwise shown to his fellow ponies down the line he wasn't just the village fool.

1. There is no problem with having an Alicorn on the team playing the unicorn role because...

2. The only role a Unicorn is shown to have on the team is moving the goal post. This isn't something that looks to require having massive amounts of magical power or talent. From the looks of how Snails handled it, just coordination and the ability to move the goal fast.

And just addressing the whole "Alicorns have stronger magic" doesn't even work as an excuse because among your Alicorn pools, you have Celestia and Luna who have centuries worth of experience in life.

Twilight who was already far more power than a majority of Unicorns in Equestria before becoming an Alicorn.

Flurry Heart, whose one of two parents is already a powerful unicorn as well.

Leaving Cadance, whose canon is up in the air and iffy.

Set theory by virtue of names isn't really applicable to things like rulesets, or else you could do shenanigans like having footballs be made of ethyl carbamate (a pharmaceutical drug) and having it be completely legal, since Football rules say that footballs must be made of urethane, and ethyl carbamate is also known as urethane (despite being unrelated to the urethane the rulebook means).

Also, "winged unicorn" doesn't seem to be an official term in-universe, and alicorns seem to be completely different species than unicorns, and not merely augmented unicorns (for example, their magic works differently, as shown in S4E01 when the plundervine miasma disrupted control over unicorn magic, but had no effect on alicorn magic).

As an analogy, if pegasi (mythological version, not MLP version) suddenly became real, there is basically no chance that it would be considered legal to ride them in a horse race (without a rule update specifically to allow them), even though they are literally horses with wings added on.

In conclusion, unless there is a rule that states something to the effect of "alicorns are eligible to play the unicorn position", Twilight is likely barred from playing in an official game of Buckball (well, assuming she can't just override official game rules with princess privileges).

7544364 This conversation reminds me of when Korra did pro bending in Legend of Korra. For what it's worth, they hot-patched the game so Korra could only play if she stuck to Waterbending.

A week after the game is over, Twilight and Starlight come bursting out of the castle.
"Okay! We have the perfect winning strategy!... guys?"

Best head canon as to what those two were doing doring the episode.:rainbowkiss:

Go nerd power! :twistnerd:

7541438 The thing is, that while that makes sense in a game like baseball where the only room for strategy is in how and when to make feits and steal bases, buckball is a game that allows for a lot more room for strategy and I can't imagine how one could factor strategy whil calculateing a given probability of success without having a huge margin of error. For in a game that involves strategy it's possible to win even if every player of the opposite team is statistically superior in every way if the strategy factor happens to side for the underdogs on that given game.


I think that RD and AJ should just leave them to it; Twi and Glim-glam seem to be in paradise already so why spoil their happiness with trivia? :raritywink:

Problem is, he never was a village fool.

So much more interesting than the dumb ping-pong game those losers in the next lab have set up on an oscilloscope.

Personally, I like to think Buckball Season takes place during the events of either Gauntlet of Fire or The Times They Are a Changeling. But this story could work just the same as to why the mane "-icorn" ponies were absent there.


Twilight was powerful before, yes. But as I said before, there is a reason this game was designed for only the main three tribes. Alicorns for one, weren't expected to play, just watch. And for another thing, even if they did play, I'm sure there would be some issues.

If Snails can do such a task with ease, how do you think Twilight would be? Most of the unicorns that actually showed up at tryouts didn't have magic as their talent, anyways. Where as Twilight is an ALICORN and has a mark in magic, making her going against another unicorn without this advantage kind of unfair.

Think about this way: If Rarity, somebody who uses their magic mostly for their talent, which isn't in the magic arts, goes against Twilight, who has years of schooling and such, and also a boost because of her race.

Now, I'm not saying unicorns with this ability just shouldn't play or anything. But a unicorn with a weak grasp on their magic abilities shouldn't be playing against a magical goddess.


Somehow the first thing I remember after reading this story are Sports Entertainment and their snarky internet fans

Wait, "buckyball" actually IS a fullerene? Wow. I am impressed :twilightsmile:
(And a bit more educated^^)


"Wait, Korra's the Avatar? Isn't that cheating?" Refs: It's fine as long as she only waterbends.


You do freaking realize that the avatar and an alicorn are two different things?

The avatar is something where the person not only needs to learn this stuff, but isn't exactly a mixture of all the elements. They just have the ability to use all four of them when others don't. An avatar doesn't necessarily have to be good at their job. An avatar doesn't HAVE to master all four tribes. They just can if they wish to.

An alicorn is given these abilities, even if they don't know how to use them. They're the mixture all of three tribes, and therefore can use all of them. They are destined to this, bonded. And unlike the avatar, have to use their abilities whether they like or not. (Like a unicorn power surge, etc.)

Like, seriously. The chic your trying to beat wasn't even that strong. But then you try and do something that doesn't make any sense and should've even be in this MLP argument.


Sir, you've been getting across what I've been trying to say all this time. Thank you for that! :pinkiehappy:

Pause #50 · Sep 7th, 2016 · · 2 ·


"Because she's an alicorn" is incredibly ridiculous way to bar her from the game because all she has to do is restrict herself from doing the other two roles in whichever role she's plays.

She's playing the Unicorn Role? No flying and no bucking the ball, which a normal Unicorn wouldn't be doing in the first place.

Her magical strength doesn't mean anything because you're literally just levitating the goal post in the path of the ball to catch it and hoping the Opposing pegasi doesn't block it. Wow, so much magical talent required. If being magically powerful is a reason to prohibit her, then Starlight (who has shown to be as powerful as Twilight in magic) and any other unicorns out there of their level would need to be restricted from the game as well, but considering how its nothing more than levitating a goal post around, its made for practically every unicorn except the most terrible in levitation.

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