The objective of the game is to score points by getting their ball in the other team's ball opening, either throwing the ball (referred to as a "sphere") into the opening or "dunking" it in at close proximity. Triad is played in a triangular court. Some contact is permitted between the players within the rules.
The game begins with having all the players hold hands to create a circle that the players (alternating between Red Team player and Blue Team player) rotate counterclockwise until the ball ejects from the goal post (where the ball was last thrown into), with the apparent intent of inducing a momentary loss of equilibrium into each of the players.
Once the ball is ejected, the players break the circle and try to obtain the ball. Once this is done, using a combination of team work, the players try to stop the other team from throwing the ball into the goal opening. Each player is responsible for making sure they stick to their opposite number, either attempting to block them from obtaining the ball or stealing the ball from their opposite.
During the game, players may block or impede the progress of their opposite numbers using non-deadly physical force or rough tactics. Such tactics, known as "blocking", include shoving or tackling their opposites aside.
The person in command of the ball can do one of two things:
- Give up the ball by throwing it to their teammate (either through deflection off the wall or floor, or direct passing),
- Or bounce it off a wall and attempt to regain the ball themselves.
There are moving violations within the game: once the ball holder stops moving, they cannot continue to move and must relinquish the ball by bouncing it off a wall or floor, or passing it off to their teammate. Both venues open up the opportunity for the other team to intercept the ball.
Such tactics are given terms, including:
- "High, spinning deflection", a type of ball pass between players;
- "Bodycheck", a type of physical maneuver against the opposing player where, essentially, the opponent is rammed into a wall of the court.
Rules and Penalties
There are a few known rules to the game, as well as penalties for the following behaviors:
- "Unnecessary blocking", which deals with attempts to push (or backhand) an opposing player after the ball has made its goal. The penalty for this act is to permit the opposing player a chance to score at the offending team's goal, similar to the "penalty shot" in basketball (TOS: "Murder on the Rising Star").
- "Rib-blocking after the score", which deals with a player elbowing a member of the opposing team in the ribs after that team has made the goal (Murder on the Rising Star)
Fighting within the game results in the automatic ejection of the offending players. Multiple penalties made by an offending player may also cause the ejection of said player, as was the case between Ortega and Starbuck before Ortega's termination by Karibdis (Murder on the Rising Star).