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The Game Of Hackysac Or Footbag Essay

, Research Paper

The Game of Hackysac or Footbag

What if I told you that in my hand I hold the secret to world harmony that

diplomats have been searching for for centerys. That a toy about the size of a

plumb can improve your physical and mental well being tremendously. It may sound

corny, but it may even bring you at peace with the world. You may call me crazy,

but I believe that this little devise can do all these things.

This is the hackysac, or footbag as it is officially known, and it is the only

component necessary in a very exciting game. But to me, it is much more than a

game. To me, it is an expressive dance, a natural high, an important social

skill that everyone should become familiar. I am now going familiarize you with

this social skill by explaining some philosophy behind it and showing you some

basic kicks.

The Olympics claim to promote peace and unity, but any hacker will tell you the

true goodwill game is hackysack. It has kept warrior guards awake in ancient

China, warmed up the legs of soccer players, and helped treat sports injuries by

stretching muscles and tendons. Through it’s lattest incarnation, though, it’s

the ultimate neo-hippie sport;the athletic equivalent of tie-dyed clothing or

listening to the Grateful Dead.

Hackysac’s reputation as a game of peace, love and understanding may have begun

during a 1987 American-Soviet peace walk protesting the arms race. As hack

circles developed along the road from Leningrad to Moscow, people joked that

summit meetings weren’t the answer and the true secret to lasting peace among

nations lay in the game of hackysack.

The dynamics of the game reinforce the hac’s image of a game of good-will.

Basically, the hac is pass through the air with any part of the body except the

hands and arms. A circle is formed as more people join in, and there is no limit

to the number of players. In fact, the more the merrier since the fun increases

with more players. This makes the sport inherently welcoming, all you need do is

ask and your in. The circle itself is significant in that it makes everyone

equal, there is no single “important” position, no quarterbacks, centers,

goalies, or bench warmers. Best of all, you can hack just about anywhere except

in line at the bank.

A friend of mine once asked me, “Why do you play hackysac? You can’t score and

you can’t win.” To which I responded, “Exactly.” The fact that emphasis is not

place on scoring or wining is the beauty of the sport. No one is working against

anybody, no enemy to defeat, no conflict. Instead, emphasis is placed on

cooperation, teamwork, and sharing. Members of the hac circle becomes one force

determined to keep the hac in the air. Still, the game still attracts plenty of

showoffs displaying showy kicks: “jesters” “fliers,”"clippers” and “stalls,”

among other so-called circus tricks or as fellow hacker Timur Willson put it,


The game may feel awkward to the uninitiated, like shooting hoops with a golf

ball, but it quickly becomes second nature once you know a few basic kicks. I

will show you a few of them. The Inside Kick is one of the two most important

kicks in footbag. Fortunately, it’s also the easiest. Use this kick when the bag

falls directly between the shoulders. The secret is to to the foot directly

under the hacky and turning the ankle to have a flat surface to strike it

with.Use a smooth lifting motion as opposed to a swift jabbing motion and it

will hopefully propel straight back up.

The outside kick is the another essential kicking skill. This kick is executed

when the hacky falls outside either shoulder . The outside of the foot is used

by turning the ankle and knee outward to create a flat striking surface. Again,

use a smooth lifting motion.

This back kick is used when the hacky is going over your head or is directly

approaching your upper body. The hips and upper body must rotate to the

direction of the hacky’s flight so that eye contact can be maintained with the

hacky. The contact point should be between the hips and knee.

The knee kick is executed when the bag is too close to the body to execute an

inside kick. The top portion of the thigh is used by bending the knee and

lifting straight up as in a high marching step. This should set you up for a

more reliable inside or outside kick.

The toe kick provides a quick reach or save when the other four basic kicks

cannot be used. The top surface of the foot contacts the hacky by flicking your

toes straight up and snapping the ankle. There are, of course, many more kicks

then this but learning the basic kicks will prepare you for any hack circle.

The Aztec indians played a similar game to hackysac but instead of a small bean

bag, they used hollow reed balls or feathered rocks. It’s no coincidence to me

that shorty after such games were prohibited, their civilization fell. Since

then, the power of the footbag has only increased. I truly believe that the

hacky sac can, indeed, lead to a more healthy, peaceful, and prosperous life. So

there’s no need to read the Tao Te Ching cover to cover to find peace, run the

New York Marathon to stay fit, or sit upon a tiben mountain to find the meaning

of life. The answer may be as near as local K-mart for as little as five buck.