Human Foosball

The floor surface may be made of sand or, in our case, field lime. You do not want a hard surface. When multiple players are attached to a single rod, it is not unusual to have one player drag another as they move from side to side. Whatever surface you use, it is important to build in proper drainage away from the game. A nerf or soft soccer ball is used since ball strikes to the face and body happen frequently. As groups get used to the game, a second ball can be added for extra excitement.

Minding The Rules

Human foosball is played exactly like table foosball. One consideration is the need to make a ruling on when the ball leaves the court. In my opinion, the best way to handle this is to give a point to the opposite team; otherwise, you will spend all your time running down the ball gone awry. Another major difference is that many players on the table game spin the rods at a high rate of speed. When you try spinning the human foosball rods at a high rate of speed with campers attached, you end up tossing kids all over the place. OK, I’m kidding, but no doubt you had a mental picture, didn’t you? The main action of each participant is to move side to side with the other people on the same rod, all the time trying to kick the ball toward your team’s goal. This is a great lesson in teamwork. It takes extreme cooperation in order to succeed and win at this game. Yes, there is competition, but competition that promotes unity and teamwork is great!

So what happens when there is a dispute, for example, when the ball is kicked outside the court? A referee is not really necessary because there are usually one or two people who do not play and are happy to retrieve the ball and toss it back into the field of play. This game really attracts a group of on-lookers, and they are always happy to assist. It really doesn’t seem to make a difference where the ball enters the court, but try to toss it near the center between the two rods of four people from each team that face the center of the court.

This new game has been a great addition to our camping programs, whether the groups are children or adults. In fact, you can mix campers and counselors, young and old, on the same court, and they all work together well. I guess the only real difference between the young and old with this game is that anyone over 30 is gasping for air within 20 minutes of play. So if you see one of your older players turning a bit blue, I suggest a substitution is in order. Extreme exertion, screams and laughter will fill the air as your groups bond and play together.

Bob Carver has been in camp management for the past 33 years. He recently retired as executive director of CampAllendale in Trafalgar, Ind., to become the camp’s marketing director. He can be reached via e-mail at

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