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How To Play Human Foosball – Ultimate Guide

Human Foosball is a fun sport which is gaining increasing notoriety for family outings, building teamwork, or just kicking back with some friends after work.

For a pretty low setup cost, you can get together and have hours of fun. If you prefer not to invest the time to build your own, there are facilities all around the world with sized foosball fields that offer rentals.

This guide I’ve thrown together will break down rules, building plans, facilities, and even the history of the sport.

You’ll walk away with a bigger picture of everything human foosball has to offer, and maybe, an idea or two for your plans this weekend.

What is Human Foosball?

Human Foosball

It’s the same thing as regular foosball, but life-sized!

The field is about 32 feet long and 16 feet wide, with rods stretching across the field. The players (us humans) hold on to the rods in set positions. The customization of how many people can play varies, especially if you’re building your own, but it generally follows the table game pretty closely.

For a fun game you probably need at least 10 people, and at maximum, around 14.

Check out this really well put together video of an amazing home built human foosball field:

Obviously, you don’t have to go all out like this family did, but it gives an excellent reference to what the human foosball field should look like.

A brief history of human foosball:

A direct branch from the history of regular foosball, human football’s history is shrouded in mystery and controversy. Was it the brainchild of a famous engineer? Was it a natural progression from foosball into a fantastic re-sized game? Nobody really knows, but one thing is for sure; each game you play creates its part of history for this awesome game.

Best time to play human foosball?

Office team building, bachelor parties, costume parties, birthday parties, etc., etc.

Those are just to name a few.

Human foosball is played with a large group, so make sure you bring enough friends or family to get the full experience. The more, the merrier!

Human Foosball

How do you play human foosball?

The rules are very simple, but they do vary from place to place. On average, you should stick with 10-18 players on the field, with the same standard foosball rules, kicking and scoring wise. If the ball is knocked out, it’s put back into play, which also applies to goals. You can swap people out in between goals and resets, but players must hold onto the pipe or “rod” the entire time they are in play. Overall, each player can move in an area of about 2 free while holding the rods. I usually mark the floor with chalk or a strong tap.

What types of human foosball exist?

There are technically three different types of human foosball:

  • Unenclosed
  • Custom built
  • Inflatable and Facility Rentals

Human Foosball

First, let’s start with the unenclosed version:

It’s the easiest to setup and cheapest version to play. As a result, the most popular.

As you can see below, you set up cones for the goals and have the players hold PVC pipe. This version of human foosball is played without barriers, but if you have a good idea or something easy to use, by all means. My family set up wooden pallets, as my mom runs a hardware store, which we have an almost unlimited supply.

The other version would be a custom built field to play on. I’ve seen the enclosures made from wood, netting, cardboard, house siding. The list goes on and on, and it really depends on your budget and ingenuity.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with this one!

A few fun examples:

Human Foosball

Human Foosball

Human Foosball

Last but not least…

Many companies offer rentals of inflatable fields and facilities who have professionally built human foosball fields for rental. The inflatable field rentals are sold by companies that will come and set up the field at your house, and when you’re done renting it for the day, they break it down and pack it up for you. This costs a little bit more than a facility field rental but gives you the comfort of playing wherever you choose.

Human Foosball

The upside to visiting a facility is the level of construction many of these establishments hold. The fields are well built, sturdy, and you don’t have to mess around with rental dates or appointments like the inflatable company. You simply call, schedule a party, and the fun begins.

Human Foosball

Here’s an excellent list I’ve thrown together a list of a couple of facilities I have tried in different locations:

How to build your very own human foosball field

Human Foosball

Up above is a standard design for a human foosball table. The materials you use are completely up to you, but the most popular I see used are wood and construction netting. If you’re in a more rural area, like my family, you can buy hay bails and use those.

Choosing the right rods running across the field is super important.

In unenclosed foosball: you should focus on getting pretty light rods – maximum of around 8 pounds. As the game runs for about 10-15 minutes, you would need to carry approximately 2 pounds, divided by the number of people holding the rods, according to overall weight.

As for enclosed human foosball: The main thing to focus on is the sliding motion. It’s a lot more fun for players to be able to slide and move across their area to get the ball. Wooden 2×4’s with PVC pipe slide over them seems to be the go to, but my family uses rope with pvc pipe over it. We anchored the rope into the ground on the outside of the wooden pallets, so they are taught and don’t sag or break.

We glued rope to the pipes for hand holds, so the players can grip the pipe and slide it for reach. Next, hand grip is essential for player stability and gameplay. It gets intense sometimes!

The cost also varies, as the cost for supplies widely ranges. Keep it straightforward and minimal, and you won’t be spending over $150 to build your own.

Here’s another cool video of construction and play:

How to refresh the game?

There are some easy things to do, to pump up the gameplay and create a super fun environment.

It gets better? Oh yes.

My family puts blindfolds on the players, making it harder to hit the ball. It creates a lot of laughs when everyone is kicking at the thin air.

Another cool thing to do is costume party human foosball. Costumes add an extra dimension of fun and hilarity to the game and make the day a little more special. Human foosball is particularly a blast for birthdays and Halloween. Last year for my nephews 8th birthday, everyone dressed like ninja turtles.

If you’re playing with a lot of players, adding a ball or two extra can spice up the gameplay a lot. The added confusion and mayhem make for a really fun time.

Use your imagination! There are so many things you can do to make the game more fun, like adding music and lights or creating high stakes. The losers get pies thrown in their faces. The limits are endless.

In conclusion!

Thank you so much for sticking with me to end of the guide! I’m sure you’ve gained a deeper understanding of this awesome game. It’s easy; it’s fun, there really isn’t much more you can ask from a game.

Here at fringepursuits.com, we love hearing feedback from you guys, so drop a comment about your experience with human foosball. You could probably teach us something we don’t know!

Thanks, and I’ll catch you on the next pursuit.

Before you head out. Here are a few more Foosball guides and reviews I put together:

Best Foosball Table Reviews

Warrior Table Review

Foosball Men

Mini Tabletop Foosball

Sport Squad FX40 Foosball Table Review

American Heritage Carlyle Foosball Table

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