Footbag, more commonly known as hacky sack, is a sport that can be played individually or with a group of people by kicking a bag with your feet. It’s a pretty simple concept, but if you’ve never played it before, you may be a little intimidated about trying it for the first time. But don’t worry! Once you’ve mastered the basic kicks, it can be very easy (and fun) to play hacky sack with other people.
EditPerforming Basic Kicks
Kick the sack with the inside of your foot to perform an inside kick. Gently drop the sack in front of you. Use the inside of the foot, almost directly in the center of your shoe where the arch of your foot is, to kick the bag directly straight up. Be sure to angle your ankle so that the inside of your foot is parallel to the ceiling in order to kick the sack straight up.
After the first kick, catch the sack in your hand. Then, practice dropping, kicking, and catching the sack until you can consistently kick the bag straight up.
If you’re having trouble kicking straight up, try slightly bending your other leg while you’re standing.
Once you feel comfortable performing an inside kick with 1 foot, be sure to practice this kick with your other foot.
Use the outside of your foot to perform an outside kick. Gently drop the sack with your arm outstretched to the side and use the middle of the outside of your foot to kick the bag upwards. Just like with an inside kick, angle your ankle to keep your foot parallel to the ceiling in order to kick the hacky sack straight up.
You may have a little bit of trouble at first bending your leg “outward” instead of toward the center of your body. This is ok! It will get easier with practice.
Drop the sack and kick it with your toes to do a toe kick. Make sure to drop the sack a little bit further in front of you than you would when performing an inside kick. Use your toes to kick the bag straight up in the air. Be sure to kick your toes up instead of toward your head to avoid getting hit with the hacky sack!
This kick is very similar to the one that people usually use to juggle a soccer ball.
You may hear this kick be referred to as “the whip” among some hacky sack players.
Be sure to keep your feet low and kick with the center of your foot. Unless you’re performing a toe kick, you should always try to hit the hacky sack with the center of your foot to maintain the most control. You’ll also have better control over the hacky sack’s speed and direction by keeping your feet low when you kick.
Practice performing stalls if you want to be able to perform tricks. A stall is when you drop the hacky sack and catch it with your foot instead of kicking it. To perform a stall, catch the sack with your foot by gently lowering your foot in a cradling motion when the hacky sack hits it. This will help absorb the impact of the bag on the foot and keep it from bouncing off the side.
Stalls won’t actually help you much in a game of hacky sack where the goal is to pass the sack to another player. However, they’re a neat trick you can use to impress your friends!
Just like with kicks, you can perform inside stalls, outside stalls, and toe stalls by changing the location on your foot where you catch the sack.
Do various combinations of kicks and stalls to perform advanced tricks. Try doing patterns, such as outside left, inside left, inside right, outside right, or whatever you want to make up. This will also help you learn to control where you want the bag to go, which is good for both performing tricks and for playing actual games.
For example, to perform the Helicopter, do an inside kick, a toe kick, an outside kick, a toe kick, and another inside kick, moving the hacky sack back and forth from the front of your body to the outside.
To do the Rainbow, use outside kicks to move the hacky sack from 1 side of your body to the other over your head.
EditPlaying with a Group
Start by gathering at least 2 people in a circle. You can technically play a hacky sack game with only 2 people, but the game will be a lot more fun if you have 3 or more players. Keep the circle about across.
You can have more than 3 players too, but be aware that if you have too many people playing at once, it may be hard to move the hacky sack around the circle.
Have 1 person use their hands to serve the sack to someone else. Serving the sack just involves that person throwing it to another player so that the second player can kick it to another player. This is the only time in the game that a person is allowed to use their hands.
Make sure the person serving the hacky sack tosses it about waist high for the person kicking it.
Pass the sack between each other for as long as possible. The goal of the game is to use your feet, legs, and forehead to avoid letting the sack hit the ground. Whenever the sack is kicked toward you, kick it back to a different player to keep the game going.
This is the most common variation of hacky sack and is often referred to as “Circle kicking.”
You can incorporate more specific rules and goals into your game to make it interesting. For example, try requiring each player to kick the sack to themselves a certain number of times before they can pass it to someone else.
Restart the game whenever someone lets the sack hit the ground. This person now has to serve the hacky sack to another player. You should also restart the sack if someone hits the hacky sack with their arm or hands.
EditPlaying Hacky Sack Variations
Make eliminating other players the main objective to play Knockout. You can have players be eliminated by either failing to hit the hacky sack or by being “pegged” by other players. In most Knockout variations, any player can catch the sack after a set number of kicks. Then, that player has the chance to throw the sack at another player and thereby eliminate that player.
In many of these same variations, if the person who caught the sack fails to hit another player, the thrower is then eliminated.
Be sure to throw the hacky sack gently if you add pegging to your game. Being hit with a hacky sack can hurt!
Kick the hacky sack across a net to play Footbag Net. This game variation is very similar to other games played over a net, such as badminton or tennis. In Footbag Net, players arrange themselves on different sides of a short net and kick the hacky sack back and forth. If a player or team on 1 side of the net fails to kick the sack back over, the team on the opposite side gets a point.
To win the game, a team has to score a certain number of points. This number can be as high or low as you want.
For best results, don’t play this game with a net higher than .
Play 21 if you’re only playing with 1 other person. In 21, 2 players take turns trying to kick the hacky sack 21 consecutive times. When you get to 21 kicks, stop the hacky sack by stalling it in order to get a point. The first player to get to a certain number of points wins.
This is a good, low-pressure game for beginners to play. It also helps you to improve your ability to keep the hacky sack in the air for as long as possible.
If you want to make the game even more challenging, try having each player pass the sack to the other player after they get to 21 instead of stalling it.
When hacking with a group, you may need to learn some special etiquette. For example, you shouldn’t serve to yourself.
Be patient. It can take a lot of practice to learn the fundamentals, but once you have these down, you’ll probably get much better very quickly.
Although many people may be familiar with the term “Hacky Sack,” “Footbag” is the true name of the sport; “Hacky Sack” comes from the brand name given to one type of footbag.
Wear lightweight shoes with a thickly cushioned sole. Tennis shoes and skate shoes are common choices for people who play Hacky Sack regularly.
Buy a hacky sack made with sand or plastic beads if you’re a beginner. Sacks made of these materials tend to be softer and easier to control. The larger the beads, the harder it will be to stall the sack.
Stay relaxed and keep your breathing steady while kicking. This will increase the length of your kicking sessions and cause less strain on your muscles.
Playing Hacky Sack involves a lot of repetitive leg movements, so be sure to stretch out your legs before you begin to play. This will make it less likely for you to suffer a strained or pulled muscle.
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