In recent years the “dude-that’s-awesome” factor at my extended family’s Thanksgiving get-togethers has increased 10-fold. Why? Two words: human foosball.
You may have seen this Backyard Badge recipient at a corporate event or summer festival. But as my Aunt Jackie and Uncle Art demonstrated, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing it to your own backyard.
What you'll need
You can rent these things from party outfitters. But building them yourself is a much cooler way of doing things. You can get creative with the building materials but here are some of the basic elements you’ll need:
- An enclosed area (the foosball pitch) – our boundaries are made of big-ass hay bales
- 6 poles laid out width-wise across the pitch. Spacing is important. You want them close enough so opposing players can get a bit scrappy with each other with their feet. But not so close as to congest play.
- Sleeves that fit over each of the poles. Players will hang on to these, allowing them to slide side-to-side (we used plastic piping)
- A couple goalie nets (or just a gap at either end in the boundaries)
- A soccer ball or reasonable facsimile
- Having a little cousin you can bully into being your ball fetcher is helpful for whenever the ball is kicked over the boundary.
- Beer doesn't hurt either
- Shin guards (if you’re a sissy)
Like the table version of the game, foosball plays like soccer with two teams trying to score on each other by kicking the ball into the net (without using your hands). The difference with foosball is that the players are restricted to moving side-to-side along their pole. In human foosball, players must keep both their hands on their pole at all times.
Each team is comprised of a goalie, three mids, and two forwards (see image below). Feel free to adjust the set-up according to your group’s size and preferences.
Set a score or time you want to play to. Or, kick it old school and end the game when it’s too dark to continue or someone gets hurt.
Human foosball: a shin-kicky good time!
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