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Footbag (sometimes called hacky sack) is a sport in which players move a bean bag amongst themselves, using only the parts of their bodies below the knee. ("Footbag" is also the name of this bean bag.) There are two major sports based on this: footbag net, and freestyle footbag.

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Footbag net

In footbag net, players (either playing for themselves, or with a partner) move a footbag back and forth across a five-foot-high net. This game combines elements of tennis, badminton, and volleyball. Specifically, the court dimensions and layout are similar to those of bandminton; the scoring is similar to volleyball (you must be serving to score); and serves must be diagonal, as in tennis. Footbag net games can be played to eleven or fifteen points, although the winners must win by at least two points.

Freestyle footbag

Freestyle footbag is the more common version of footbag, and is the game people are referring to when they talk about "hacking the sack" (or any other variant on the term "hacky sack"). In this game, players stand in a circle, do tricks with the footbag, and keep it moving around the circle. (TODO: add more info here, especially about variants, such as kill)


Although some argue that a certain pair of shoes is necessary, the only piece of equipment that is really required in order to play footbag is a footbag. These come in many styles, colors, and varieties. Some footbags have simple cotton exteriors, while others are made of thirty to sixty panels of suede. Some are filled with sand; others, plastic pellets. Many footbags have designs on them, either geometric or pictorial (a happy face, for example). Some footbags are specialized for footbag net; these are generally not good for playing freestyle footbag.

Part of the appeal and popularity of footbag is due to this simplicity of equipment. A footbag can be bought for under $5, easily stored in a pocket, and later retrieved for a quick game of freestyle. Most other sports, by comparison, are not nearly as portable.

History of footbag

Footbag was conceived by John Stalberger[?] and Mike Marshall[?] in Oregon City, OR[?] in 1972. They coined two terms: "hacky sack", which referred specifically to their product, and "footbag", which is the generic name for the game and the product. "Hacky sack" is now trademarked by Wham-O[?], and should technically not be used to refer to the game or the bean bag, but almost always is.

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