An asari sport. The aim of the game is to skim the ball - a hollow wooden sphere with four solid areas of surface separated by open sides - from the surface of the water into a goal, formed by the intersection of two slanted poles set into the ocean floor. The ball must make contact with the water before entering the goal mouth, although it can do so by skipping back into the air or skidding across the surface without rising again; whether the ball hits the water with an open or closed face, and any spin imparted on it by the throw, are important factors. The goalposts being set into the ground causes the goal area to grow and shrink as the waves rise and fall, adding an external element of timing to shots. Waveball is never played professionally in still water. Biotics are permitted, but only to assist a player or teammate to move through the water - biotics may never be used to affect an opposing player, or the ball itself. Players may make physical contact with the opposition, but only with the torso, upper arms, or thighs - direct contact with another player using hands/forearms, feet/shins, or the head, is forbidden, although referees are typically lenient on accidental contact provided no deliberate striking seems intended.
In the professional game goals may count for additional points if the shot was the culmination of a series of passes (known as a chain), each skimming the water in its course - pulling off such a manoeuvre without pausing too long (“breaking the chain”) or having the ball intercepted by the opposition is a considerable test of a team’s cohesive skill, but can be decisive in games where the scores are close. Amateur players rarely employ this rule as judging a successful chain requires a non-participating referee, passing only to avoid the rule against any one player holding the ball too long.
Waveball is well covered in asari media, and has a strong following among the general asari public, and a respectable fandom among salarians. Coverage in other areas of the galaxy is a matter of some contention, however. Since the sport (in common with swimming in general, for many asari cultures) is played nude, some networks deliberately market their coverage of waveball matches as titillating, in some cases even employing commentary and manipulation of camera angles to suggest sexual undertones to the contest, leading to the sport having difficulty attracting attention outside the Republics as a serious team sport. The situation is additionally complicated by the long-standing tradition within asari erotica of depicting waveball players as figures of desire, persisting into the modern day with frequent appearances of a number of players in nude and erotic modelling; asari fans are adamant that the two facets to the game’s following are not mutually exclusive.
The most famous waveball teams compete in the Republic League, representing individual Asari Republics. Perennial favourites for the biannual League championship, and rivals, are the Armali Kanas and the Serrice Sar Lin, both teams having long histories and proud winning records.