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In Waukee, foosball plays you


YESS brings foosball from the table to the court this weekend in the Human Foosball League Tournament.

YESS brings foosball from the table to the court this weekend in the Human Foosball League Tournament.

Let us take a dive into the Meta and figure out just what the devil is going on with this week’s athletic endeavor. The game of soccer is played on a massive field where players (depending on position) run about seven miles per game. Foosball is a table-top game that is loosely based on the same concept (but you don’t have to do any running — how American!).

This weekend the table-top is back on the field as teams get in position for a Human Foosball League Tournament. It’s all the entertainment of soccer with none of the exercise. (How American, indeed!)

“In Human Foosball, up to six players from each team line up in a life-sized Foosball arena,” said Jana Daisy, community activities manager at Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (YESS). “Like their table-bound counterparts, the players are limited to side-to-side movement within a designated space, attempting to earn points by kicking the ball through the designated goal.”

Sounds simple enough, right? Well maybe not. The trick is keeping up the chatter with your teammates.


“It will definitely require a lot of communication with teammates. In addition to limited movement throughout the arena, players will have their backs to the action at times, depending on where the ball is in play,” Daisy said. “They will need the guidance of their teammates to anticipate when the ball is coming their way.”

The tricky part will be people holding on to the poles. The honor system will be in play here, and if a player should remove his or her hands, a penalty will be doled out. Instead of pushing the ball through the side’s center, any penalty results in a ball being thrown into the middle of the court, toward the non-penalized team.

The arenas were built by hand with the help of handy committee members of YESS. The arena will comprise of wooden stanchions with holes drilled in the top for the PVC to go through. The exterior walls will be mesh fencing/netting, with an opening at each end for the goal, as well as one side for players to enter and exit the arena.

“There is definitely a different type of teamwork at play than in traditional soccer,” Daisy said. “Because players are limited to a small area, it will require several more players to kick the ball in order for the team to score.”

To add to the entertainment, some teams may have “Game Changers” depending on how much money they’ve raised/donated to YESS. Think of them as lifelines that a team can use at any time during the match. As of this interview, the “Game changers” are freeze a line, tie the opposing goalie’s legs together or pull an opposing team player.

“Human Foosball is such a unique game; it’s unlike anything that most people have done before,” Daisy said. “With the limited movement, it allows for players who may not be physically able to play an entire round of golf or a game of softball, so it can appeal to a wider audience. Also, it’s just a lot of fun.” CV

David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Sunday, Nov. 2, 1–7 p.m.
Gym Space, LLC. (1120 S.E. Westbrook Drive, Waukee, IA 50263)
Spectators will be charged $5 at the door
Proceeds go to Youth Emergency Services & Shelter.

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