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

Human Foosball is not Soccer, it is basically a large version of a Foosball table, but the players take the place of the Foosball men 


Human foosball on homemade pitch

What Is Human Foosball

Human Foosball is what you may expect, a cross between the game of Foosball and the game of Football (Soccer). 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 homemade pitch

Who Invented Human Foosball

Human foosball was first heard of in the 1970’s and played on small homemade pitches with rudimentary poles. It started becoming more popular in the 2000’s. 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 Human Foosball Is Played

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.

Inflatable Foosball Pitch

Inflatable Foosball Pitch

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 8 players. The layout of the players on the pitch is generally as in the diagram below.

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 competition

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

How To Build A Human Foosball Table

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 Foos ball from top

Human Foosball With No “Table”

You can create this type of pitch on any open space, tennis court, football pitch, basketball court, even on a street corner.

  • Divide the players into 2 equal teams
  • Divide the area available on the pitch with a line that the players will stand on. this should be reasonably equal in space apart and should really be more than 2-3 feet apart. (this all depends on the amount of space available to you)
  • Players may move freely along the lines drawn, to which they are allocated, but not in other directions
  • The game is played and scored the same as in table foosball
  • Toss a coin to decide the 1st serve, the goalie throws the ball on to the pitch as a serve
  • If the ball goes off the pitch it is thrown back on at the point it left
  • A goal is scored everytime the ball goes over the opponent’s goal line
  • If a player moves off his line, the ball is given to the nearest opposing player
  • When a goal is scored the opposing team’s goalie serves
  • The Goalie is the only player on a team that may use his hands
  • The first to a predetermined score or amount of time has passed, ends the game

Below is a YouTube video of human foosball being played with poles in a gym with no pitch

Budget Version Of Human Foosball For Kids

If your kids want to play human foosball, or you just want to keep them entertained for a few hours, a simple playing field can easily be made. Merely use chalk to draw the outline of the boundary of the Foosball pitch, then draw the bars onto the pitch. The kids then have to hold onto sticks (or anything you have to hand) and not let go of the stick or come off their lines.

Letting go of the stick or coming off the line results in a penalty. Then just play human foosball. You may need to referee for a few minutes until the rules are fully understood, but after a couple of minutes they will completely understand the game and be having great fun.

References 1. “Wikipedia,Table Football”, Wikipedia, Foosball Article – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_football. 2. “Quora, Foosball Questions”, Quora – Foosball Forums – https://www.quora.com/topic/Foosball 3. “International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF)”, Foosball Ruling Body – https://www.tablesoccer.org/

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