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Alleged 'Tazer ball' team in Toronto sparks horror, amusement

Screengrab from YouTube video

Screengrab from YouTube video

Put two teams on a field, give them eight stun-guns and a large ball they have to put in the opposing side's goal – what could possibly go wrong?

In a development drawing horror, amusement and skepticism, a group of Torontonians has formed a team and joined the California-based Ultimate Tazer Ball league, despite the fact that the small stun-guns are illegal in Canada.

The lengthy rules boil down to a simple formula: get the ball up the field while eluding defenders, who can use their stun-guns on the person in possession of the ball.

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Stun-guns have been a controversial addition to policing and have been investigated in connection with a number of high-profile deaths. RCMP officers carry them and recently there have been for front-line police in Toronto to be able to do so as well.

During play, the competitors will use a stun-gun with a high voltage but low current, capable of causing pain and muscle spasms but posing no serious risk. The resulting spectacle, depending on your perspective, is either harmless fun or a big step toward the sort of crass game-show depicted on

There are some questions about whether the league actually exists. But this hasn't stopped viewers from watching the they've posted on YouTube more than 700,000 times. And the league claims to be setting up a match in Thailand for early next month.

It's not clear, though, how often the newly formed Toronto Terror will be able to play.

Two of the other three teams are in California and one is in Philadelphia.

And presumably the Toronto side won't be able to practise at home, as the guns are and the rules do not appear to make allowances for low-current models.

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About the Author

Oliver Moore joined the Globe and Mail's web newsroom in 2000 as an editor and then moved into reporting. A native Torontonian, he served four years as Atlantic Bureau Chief and has worked also in Afghanistan, Grenada, France, Spain and the United States. More

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