Hackeysack Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Hackeysack, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

Hackeysack Overview

Hackeysack, also known as footbag, can be played as an individual or with partners. The basic idea is to keep a footbag from hitting the ground by kicking and hitting the bag with all parts of your body except your arms. Hackeysack, primarily a laid back game played among friends, can also be found in professional competitions.

Hackeysack History

Modern day hackeysack was invented in Oregon City, Oregon, by Mike Marshall and John Stalberger in 1972. The two later sold the rights to Wham-O in 1983.

Hackeysack Rules

The most common group game is "circle kicking," where a group of players works as a team to reach the highest number of hits and kicks to the footbag without it hitting the ground. A group achieves a "full hack" when every person in the circle hits the footbag without it hitting the ground. Basic rules include: Not serving it to yourself; Not hogging the footbag; And sharing the footbag with players who have not yet had a chance to hit it.

Individuals can compete in freestyle competitions in which they perform a choreographed routine composed of tricks, using stalls, spins, cross body moves, and ducks, in which they let the ball pass over their head. Routines are judged along four axes: presentation, difficulty, variety, and execution.

Footbag Net can be played by singles or doubles. Similar to Volleyball players must hit the ball over a five ft high net. The court is 20' X 44', divided into four serving quadrants, like tennis. In singles, players are given two chances to get the ball over the net. In doubles, teams are given three hits but they must alternate between each other. Games can be played to 11 or 15 points, where players must win by two points. Matches are usually best two out of three.

Hackeysack Tips

Beginning players should begin with a footbag full of sand and then advance to a footbag full of plastic pellets. Players can wear wider shoes to allow them to handle the bag easier.

Hackeysack Equipment

The only equipment necessary to play Hackeysack is a footbag. Beginning and intermediate players should use footbags full of sand or dirt because they are easier to control and stall. More advance players playing together in a circle can use the more common crotched footbag full of plastic beads. Professionals use 32 panel bags made out of fabrics ultrasuede light, facile, or amaretta. Although harder to stall these bags allow for more complex tricks.