all sport/play is like this:
you start with emptiness, a special kind of emptiness: a basketball court, a tennis court, a soccer field, a lacrosse field, a football field, a hockey rink. Ok, you construct the 'special emptiness' of rink, the court, the field. Then you set up lines and markers and rules about how to conduct passage from one end to the other, rules for the movement of people and rules for the movement of the object--the ball, the hot potato.
This object is only valuable by its temporary possession, by it's movement into areas where it becomes more and more difficult to take it.
The fact that this can not be done alone, but is done in concert with a group of players in action simultaneously with an equal and opposite group of players. Without these two simultaneous pressures of direction, no game is possible. **
(This is very different from a race--where all flow is in the same direction and it is a case of endurance, and timing, pacing.)