Footbag Freestyle - When you and your friends are standing in a circle, attempting to defy the forces of gravity by keeping a footbag in the air, we call that “footbag freestyle”. Everyone’s kicking style has its own unique personality, and as the “footbag freestyle” name indicates kicking a footbag allows players the “freedom to style”.
In competition footbag freestyle has evolved into an incredibly complex and competitive sport. Intricate routines are choreographed to music, and judged on difficulty, presentation, variety and execution. This is the only footbag game that allows the use of the upper body, although foot skills are still the name of the game. Instructional DVD’s are available! For a complete list of footbag freestyle rules click here.
Footbag net plays like a cross between volleyball and tennis. Competitors battle it out on a 44’ X 20’ court, divided into four serving quadrants and separated in the center by a five-foot high net. In singles play, each player is allowed no more than two consecutive kicks per side, and the footbag is only allowed to contact a player below the knee. In doubles net, players are allowed three kicks per side, but must alternate kicks. Points are begun with a cross-court serve, similar to tennis. Scoring and court strategy is similar to volleyball, with sets, rolling spikes, blocks, dinks and digs. Games are typically played to 11 or 15 points, where players must win by two points.
At its best footbag net requires a phenomenal degree of athleticism, and is simply breathtaking to watch. The sheer power, dexterity and grace required to control the flight of a two inch round, rock hard net footbag can be mesmerizing. For the official rules of footbag net go here.
The concept of this game is simple–keep the footbag aloft using only the feet. Perhaps the single most frequently asked question we get is: “What’s the record for most consecutive kicks?” Well, back in 1997 over the course of eight hrs. 50 min. 42 sec., Illinois native Ted Martin put together a rally of 63,326 consecutive kicks. In the modern era of footbag competitions, consecutive kick contests rarely take place, and if they do, it is often in the form of a quicker more creative contest such as: “five-minute timed consecutive”, or “doubles distance one-pass”.Beginning players frequently us personal consecutive kick records to provide benchmarks for their progress. The first time a player reaches double or triple digits can be cause for celebration. For a complete list of footbag consecutive kick rules go here.
As one might expect, this is quite similar to flying disc or standard golf. Each stroke is executed by kicking the footbag toward a footbag golf hole. Often utilizing an assortment of different footbags, players kick through and around various hazards. Strokes are tallied to determine a winner. Designing your own course by using trees, rocks or sign posts as object holes, is simple and fun. For the official rules of footbag golf click here.
The most popular up-and-coming unofficial footbag game is footbag four-square. Most footbag tournaments will have hotly contested four-square matches taking place on the sidelines. The concept of footbag four square is similar to ball four-square in basic layout and structure. The player in the top square kicks the footbag to any one of the lower squares. That person then kicks it on until it hits the ground in someone’s square. The person in the square where the footbag was dropped moves to the bottom square. Then everyone below that square moves up one square to fill the gap. That is a very simplified explanation of a game that is now quite complicated, and in fact can be so complicated, that at times may even call for a group vote to resolve disputes. For the most in-depth list of footbag four-square rules click here.
Here’s a list (below) of homegrown footbag games that we have heard about over the years:
1. Kick Back – kicking the footbag against the backstop of a handball court, alone or with others. Needs a very firm footbag to bounce back. You can keep a simple score or not.
2. Copy Cat – in a circle, each consecutive kicker does the previous kick the same way and then adds his/her own kick or sequence of kicks, with the next kicker repeating that sequence of kicks and adding one more, and so on.
3. Round Robin – first kicker kicks the footbag once (passes it), second kicker kicks it twice (passing on the second kick), third kicker kicks it three times (passing on the third kick), and so on.
4. Survivor Hack – You need a good sized circle for this to be fun. Every three drops someone is voted out of the circle. The last two people in the circle have a “hack-off” and whoever can keep it up the longest wins the game.
5. Three Hack Whack – In a circle a kicker kicks the footbag three times and then kicks it at someone and if it hits them, that person is out. If the person manages to keep from being hit and instead kicks it three times then he/she can kick it at someone, etc. The winner is the one left when every one else is out.
6. Runbum – All the circle participants run in a direction while kicking the footbag at least once. If it hits the ground then go back to where you began and start again. See how far you can get.
7. Not Sorry – If anyone in the circle says, “I’m sorry,” when he/she misses a kick then he/she or they have to buy the next round of refreshments of the circle’s choice.
8. SAPP – Each kicker has to kick the footbag a predetermined (by the circle) number of times and then passes it to another player. If, rather than kicking the footbag, it hits the player and then the ground that receiving player gets a letter (first letter is S, second is A, third is P, fourth is P). If it hits the receiving player and then another player (who fails to kick it), and then it hits the ground then both those players get a letter. If the receiver kicks the footbag rather than being hit by it, and it then drops to the ground, he/she has to get the predetermined number of kicks and then pass it to another player, and so on. The game is over when only one kicker is left who does not have all the letters SAPP or first person to get all the letters SAPP has to face a wall and let all the other players throw their footbags at them.
9. Fire, Wind, Water – If you kick the footbag a predetermined (by the circle) number of times, you can then grab it and throw it at someone. If you hit them you get a point.
10. Mortal – Once each person in the circle has kicked the footbag, it is deemed “mortal.” When it is “mortal” then if someone is hit by the footbag when it is passed to them rather than kicking it before it hits the ground, they’re out.
11. Double Down – The game is meant for two. You must get a double hack, before attempting to pass the footbag to the competitor close enough that he/she can easily reach it, but trying to kick it in a way that makes it impossible to return. The game causes the player to concentrate long enough to get a simple (double) hack before going to the competitive side of the game. Once a double hack is achieved, a scoring opportunity arises. This is when a player attempts to make their opponent miss the next shot. The first player to score 15 or 21 wins. The best thing about this game is that it is simple to play, easy to understand and wonderfully fun. As soon as you WIN a point, you have to start over, get a double hack, and try to create another scoring opportunity. For three or more players, the points are awarded in a similar matter as the two-player game, except that points are generated after only a single (full circle) hack, plus one pass that is missed.
12. Switch – This is done in a large circle of kickers. You can only kick the footbag once and then you MUST pass it off to another kicker. If the kicker you passed too tries to kick the footbag but misses it, he or she is out. (Note: you can choose not to kick a pass without being out). You play on until there are two players left and as soon as one of them goes for it and misses the kick, he or she is out and the last one is the winner.
14. The Monkey – A game for 3 or more players. One player is the monkey and stands in the middle of the circle. The other players kick as normal. The idea is to keep the footbag away from the monkey. If an outer rim player kicks the footbag and the monkey makes foot contact with it, the outer rim player becomes the new monkey and moves to the middle. A firm footbag is recommended for this game.
15. Horse – The first person to kick tries to do a trick, and if he succeeds the opponent has to match the trick. If the second player does not match the trick then he/she gets a letter. The first player to spell “horse” loses.
16. Truffle Shuffle – Get in a circle and someone serve the footbag normally, but after anyone kicks it, he or she has to immediately move into a new position in the circle. It can get hectic.
17. Elimination – The starting person in the circle kicks the footbag as many times consecutively as he/she can. Once he/she misses a kick the footbag goes to the next person to kick and that person must kick the footbag consecutively at least as many times as the first kicker and then more if possible. The third person must kick the footbag as many times as the second person and more if possible, and so on. When a kicker cannot make as many consecutive kicks as the previous kicker then he/she is out. Play continues as such until there is only one kicker who is left.
18. Don’t Miss! – Two kickers play this game with the first one serving the footbag to the other kicker. If the second kicker tries to kick it and misses he loses, but they keep kicking the footbag back and forth until someone misses it and that person is the loser.
19. Challenge – This teaches stamina, memorization, and new styles according to its players. The first kicker does freestyle kicking until dropping the footbag. The other players must imitate the first kicker’s series of moves. Those that fail to do so receive a letter (starting with C to ultimately spell the word CHALLENGE). Once everyone has had a turn trying to repeat the first kicker’s series of moves, the second kicker does a series of moves until he/she drops the footbag and the other players try to copy that series of moves receiving another letter if they fail. If a kicker receives all the letters in CHALLENGE he/she is out. This goes on until one kicker remains who is the winner.
20. Hockey Hack – With two players one is the goalie. Use a hockey net (or improvise). The player on offense starts behind a marker which is placed a suitable distance from the goal (10-15 yards is good, but it should depend on how good the kickers are). The offensive player gets 5 tries to score and he/she must kick it at least three times before trying to kick it into the goal. The goaltender can only block with his/her head, chest, or feet/legs. NO ARMS OR HANDS. After the offensive player has his five tries, the two players switch places and the former goaltender has five tries. The player with the most goal points at the end of two sets of tries is the winner. Should there be a tie, each player gets two more tries and the kicker with the most points at the end wins (and so on should the tie continue). You can play the best of 7, 9, 11… games whatever you want to do. You can also tweak this game for three players by having two players try to score while one plays automatic goaltender the entire game (it’s real fun to be goaltender). For some final options, you might want to add a small crease around the goal so attacking players can’t hack it right into the goal easily.
21. No Hands – Hands are not used at all. The footbag must be started on the ground by someone’s foot. Once it is up, you keep it going around the circle. Once a person commits an error they are removed from the game. If the footbag is dropped, and it is unclear who is responsible, a vote is taken on whether the passer or receiver should be taken out of the game. It keeps going until there is one person left, making him/her the winner.
22. Number of Choice – Each kicker tries to get a predetermined number of kicks without a drop (the name of the game changes with the number chosen: like, “11″, or “20″, or “5″. If a kicker drops the footbag the next person goes and when he/she drops it the next person goes and so on. Once a kicker kicks the predetermined number the footbag has to be caught. If you don’t remember to catch it then you start all over at 0. You can play with any number of people, the more the better.
23. Push – This is played by first just starting out in a normal circle with people passing to each other. When someone drops the footbag (misses a kick) they must do ten, or any number predetermined, push ups. When that person has done the push ups he/she starts the kicking again. When someone gets up to 50, or a predetermined number, of pushups total, they are out and the game keeps going until there is one person remaining who is the winner. Winner decides who starts the kicking for the next round.
24. Tech – The point of the game is to see how original your tricks and stalling are. Select 2 or 3 judges: one for basic tricks, one for stalls, and one for combo performance (e.g. rainbow to back kick to knee to chest stall). Points are awarded.
25. Pick a Trick – This is for 2 or more players. The group takes turns to pick a trick, 1 person at a time. If the picker does the trick the first time, then the rest of the group must do the exact same trick. If they do not do the trick in three attempts then they get a letter from a word the group decided before the start of the game (i.e. FOOTBAG). The last person after the others are out is the winner.
26. The Weakest Link – This is for 3 or more people. The group tries to keep the footbag up for as long as possible. After the bag has dropped 3 times, each person votes for the person they think is the worst. He/she is then out. This continues until there are only 2 people left then the spectators vote who they think should be declared the winner.
27. Dimension – This game is for 2 or more players. The players get into a circle and the chosen beginner (last winner?) starts the play by first hitting the footbag with his/her hand then kicking it. The others in the circle try to intercept the footbag first with a hand and then by kicking it. Once a player hits it with their foot, that player must wait to try to intercept the footbag again until someone else first hits it with his/her hand and then his/her foot. If someone hits the footbag after another player hits it with his/her hand 2 points are awarded to the person’s whose play was interrupted. When a player hits it with his hand and then his foot successfully he/she receives one point. You play until someone has 10 points.
28. Add On – You can have from 2 to however many players you want. It starts when the first player hits the footbag a pre-determined number of times, then the next player hits the footbag one more than that. Example: the first number is 1, then the next player hits it twice, then the third three times, so on and so forth. When a player doesn’t reach the number in two tries added together, the next player can try to get that number. If he/she does, the last player is out. If that player fails, the next player can try until the footbag is all the way back to the first player to miss it, then they move to the next number.
29. Bag in the Basket – This requires fairly proficient kickers. Two or more players position themselves inside the three-point arch of a hoop on a basketball court. The first player serves it, and then the second player must hit it a predetermined number of times and then shoot at the hoop. A bouncier footbag (firmer) is needed for this game. The player who reaches a certain number of points first wins. This would help a person’s control of the footbag and in making pinpoint longer passes.
30. War Hack – For this game to be fun you have to have around five kickers, but the minimum is three. One person throws the hack into play and then the circle of people try to keep it up. Once the sack has been hit at least two times by a single kicker or by the entire group it can be kicked at anyone. If the sack is dropped, someone picks it up and throws it back into play. If the sack hits someone and that person doesn’t manage to kick it or touch it with his/her foot before it hits the ground that person is out. You continue to play until there are two people left. Once there are two people left you have a rally to see who can kick it the most times without stalling or dropping. Whoever kicks it the most is the winner. If your circle is good you can play without stalls. If your circle is not the greatest you can play with hack ins. A hack in is a way to get back into the game. To do so you must kick the footbag while you are outside of the circle.
31. Twenty-one – Best when played with 2 to 4 players this game’s objective is to be the first kicker to make 21 kicks in a row but you can add the number of kicks you get in the first, second, and third tries. The owner of the footbag being used starts. Fun exercise for all because it challenges and still gives beginners a chance with three tries to get to 21 and it gives accomplished kickers a chance to do even better in one try.
32. Figure 8 – This game requires two players. One player will serve the footbag to the 2nd player and the receiver will kick the footbag while turning in a circle (turning your body while kicking it in a circle – i.e. “Around the World”). Multiple kicks may be used to accomplish the circle. After making a complete circle the person will kick it back to the first player and that person will do the same thing (kick it repeatedly to accomplish the circle). After both players have made circles it is considered to be a figure 8 and the footbag is “alive.” Then the two players can now score points for completing a circle. Extra points are scored by doing a trick as one passes it to the next player (i.e. a Mirage kick would be 2 extra points +1 for making a circle). Points are based on the amount of add points a move is (e.g.. Mirage kick=2 points, Osis=3 points, Blur Whirl=5 points, etc.) The first person to get 10 or 20 points wins (you make the winning amount based on the skill level of the players). However, if a player makes a bad pass to the other player and it hits the ground or if a player lets the footbag hit the ground while performing either a trick or doing a circle that person loses.
33. Hacky-Ball – Similar to baseball, but you kick a footbag. It’s best to have about four or more players on a team (or you have to have fewer bases than in baseball). The pitcher kicks to the batter (other team’s kicker) and he kicks it. If the batter kicks it in the air, a field team member has to make contact with the footbag with his foot and then kick it to a teammate on first in order to make the batter “out.” When there are people on several bases anyone can be “out” if the field team member kicks the footbag to any base person who catches it before the runner reaches the base. The object, of course, is for a runner to get to home and score a point. Three outs and the teams change over. Other baseball rules apply: such as whichever team has the most points at the end of nine full innings (or however many you choose) is the winner. This game is best when played on a baseball field that is 110 to 130 feet long. A homerun is over the fence or if you are playing in a yard you could use a rope or string to mark the fence-line. Requires a lot of space and at least eight players.