What is Human Foosball? Surely that would be soccer? The game it was originally developed from?

Human Foosball is not Soccer, it is a lifesized version of a Foosball table, but the players take the place of the Foosball men, attached by poles, ropes or pipes. There are lines on the court which the players must remain on at all times

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What Is Human Foosball

Human Foosball is what you may expect, a cross between the game of Foosball and the game of Football (Soccer). It is a “Human Foosball Game” or “Lifesize Foosball”. Some of you may be thinking “But Soccer is the human version of Foosball”, and of course you would be right!

Foosball was initially developed as a version of soccer, but it was played on a table top, and only by two players. Human Foosball is played by two teams of players, each Foosball player on the pitch played by a real person.

The difference between this game and the actual game of soccer is that the human players are attached to each other by a bar of some sort, so have to remain a fixed distance apart. Also, the bars are connected to the side of the playing area so they can only move in one direction. (Or if this is not possible, then there are some chalk or tape lines which the players must stay upon)

Below is a YouTube video of people playing Human Foosball on a cheap homemade pitch

Who Invented Human Foosball

Human foosball was first heard of in the 1970s and played on small homemade pitches with rudimentary poles. It started becoming more popular in the 2000s. No one is sure who made the first game, and several people have claimed to have created it.

It is entirely possible that several people came up with the idea independently. And I am sure that thousands of people before this said “Wouldn’t it be great if we could play a real game of Foosball?” but never got further than this fledgeling idea!

How To Play Human Foosball

Human Foosball rules are very similar to the game of Foosball and do not have much in common with the soccer game. As mentioned the players are connected to rods so they can only move in one direction, instead of anywhere they like as in real soccer. The ball is served between the two teams in the middle of the pitch.

The players must then try to pass the ball to their teammates and try to score goals. The match is either played up to a certain number of goals, usually 5 or 10. Otherwise, the game can be played for a fixed amount of time, for example, 10 minutes. The team with the most goal is declared the winning team.

How Many People Can Play Human Foosball

If you have rented (see later) an inflatable Foosball pitch, then the size of this will usually dictate the number of players that each team requires. This is often around eight players. The layout of the players on the pitch is generally as in the diagram below.

human foosball layout

Also if there is a competition between teams of players, then again there will be a fixed number of players (as there will need to be the same number of players on each side). If however, you are building your own game then you can have as many or as few players, as you have available, and will fit into the space you have. Just arrange the players as you want on the pitch. The only rule is there has to be the same number of men on each team, and the teams have to be symmetrical (both sides need to be laid out in the same formation)

Human Foosball Rental

A human foosball pitch is a significant construction and can take a long time to build. If you just want to try the game, you can now rent Human Foosball Pitches; this includes the pitch, rods and balls.

All you need to do is supply the people and the beer — an excellent team building exercise. Human Foosball Rentals tend to be of the inflatable variety really for convenience.

The non-inflatable pitches are large and bulky and require assembly and dismantling before and after use. You will need to find someone local to rent from as these pitches are probably too large to send in the mail. Just Google: “Rent inflatable Human Foosball YourCity”. (Replace YourCity with the name of your city…but you knew that didn’t you?)

Below is a youtube video showing all the fun of an inflatable foosball game

Human Foosball Court

How To Build A Human Foosball Court

To build a human foosball table, you need basically to create a rectangle out of wood or some other material, then make holes in the side where the poles, are to go and then put these poles through the holes. The players are attached to the pole is the positions as you want. A picture is worth a thousand word as they say so here is what you are building!

Human Foosball Court Size

The court is 32 feet long and 16 feet wide. You can change this if you have more or fewer players, but it should be twice a wide as long, but have fun and use the space available. Whatever the size, you need to be rods stretching across the field. The players (us humans) hold on to the rods in set positions.

DIY Human Foosball

There a many ways to play human foosball, as long as you have a pitch with borders and fix players, you can emulate the Foosball game. Some common ideas are below

Human Foosball In A Gym

A gym is ideal for human foosball as it is a space with a wall to stop the ball from going out of play. The Foosball court size will be whatever size the gym is, and tape (or similar) lines need to be laid out, on which the players must remain

Human Foosball With Chairs

A fixed area with walls to keep the ball in play must be manufactured. The chairs are placed as on a foosball pitch. The gaps between the players need to be smaller as the players are going to be stationary, and the ball must be reachable at all times. Suitable when some of the players do not have the best mobility

Human Foosball With Rope

A fixed area with walls to keep the ball in play must be manufactured. The players must be joined or hold a rope. As the players move up and down their line, there is a maximum distance apart they can be, but they will be able to move closer together, as a rope does not force a minimum distance apart for the player

Human Foosball PVC Pipe (or similar)

Again a fixed area with walls to keep the ball in play must be manufactured. The players are attached to or must hold the pipe. This type of Human Foosball is the most similar to the real game of Foosball, as the players must all move in unison.

Human Foosball Rules

• Human Foosball is the real-life equivalent to tabletop Foosball, played with real people, a soccer ball and in an enclosed pitch.

• Two teams compete for a specified period to score the most goals, or you can play the first team to reach an allotted number of goals (e.g. 10)

• Each side has six players, in three rows that are facing the opponents:
 o One goalie
 o Three midfielders
 o Two attackers

• Teams are allowed up to two substitutes, who may only substitute in the breaks in the game

• Six poles are laid across the pitch. Players in each row to move along the pole, but not up and down the court.

• The game is played in two halves of a specified period. Or until a team reaches a certain number of goals

• At half time, the teams switch sides

• The game starts with a neutral person rolling the ball between the midfield players

• The players have to keep both hands on the bar at all times

• The game is played until a goal is scored, the time runs out, or a penalty is given

• Players can only move laterally from side to side. They must not attempt to run up and down the field

• At halftime, and during penalties, substitution of players can be made

• If a penalty is awarded, the gameplay stops and the ball is given to the side that was awarded the penalty. The advantage is played, if the team that was given the penalty is about to score, or it is to their advantage, the gameplay continues.

• Penalties occur when:
 o Someone takes one or more hands off the bar
 o The foosball goes over the height of the bars the players are attached to
 o The ball goes out of play
 o There is contact with an opponent on the other side
 o One side tried to deliberately delay the game

• If hands are removed off the bar to stop a goal, the goal is awarded

• When a goal is scored, the ball is given to the midfield of the side who had the goal scored against them.

• When a penalty is awarded, the ball is given to the midfield of the none offending side

• The game is over when the time expires, or the specified number of goals is reached

• The game officials will provide the final score.

Print/Download Human Foosball Rules



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