I went to the Oakland Convention Center to check out the 31st international world footbag championships put on with the help of local footbag (aka hackey sack) crew chaos footbag. I got there just as the women’s doubles finals were finishing up. Julie Symons and Jody Welch won the title after a spirited match.
The actual setup was pretty interesting to me. A bunch of different footbag courts with hard puzzle-piece flooring and all were set up for competition on one side, while some plastic turf was set up on the other side of the rented space for freestyle purposes. Bleachers were set up around the main court and the convention center’s own lone caterer (no BYOB allowed, apparently) served beers and wine to those looking for a little buzz.
Some of the open doubles finalists warmed up while other people juggled and performed some freestyle footbag routines in between the women’s doubles and open doubles finals.
One of the eventual champions, Florian Goetze from Germany sets up for a spike:
Florian spikes once again:
The spikes are pretty incredible. It’s a 5-foot tall net, and it looks pretty tough to be able to have the flexibility, coordination, and the vertical to be able to kick the bag downwards.
The competition got started a little late, but was worth the wait. Florian Goetze and Patrick Schrikel were in black, competing against Gilles Demers and Francois Pelletier from Canada. I hadn’t watched much footbag prior to watching this event, but seeing the guys attempt to block was pretty incredible.
Seriously. Look at this dude’s face:
And that dude’s. Acrobatic.
The finals were played to 15 points with sideout scoring per game. The match was decided by the first team to win two games. I had expected a 45 minute match or so but the competition was fierce and both teams stayed close throughout.
and the blocks:
I love looking at the expressions of the people sitting in the crowd in this photo:
In the end, the match lasted almost two and a half hours. The highlight for me was when, while in midair, one of the Canadians realized he couldn’t kick the bag with his intended foot. He was able to move that foot out of the way and switch feet to kick the bag over the net. Like a double-pump in basketball.