List of circle kick variants

Circle kick is the most common game played with a footbag, and it is the game people usually refer to when they talk about "hacking the sack" or "hacky sack". Players stand in a circle, do tricks with the footbag, and keep it moving around the circle. A 'hack' is achieved when every person in the circle contributes a kick. There are many local variants of circle kick, and the game is especially popular with college students.

List of Variants

Some of the many variants of the game Circle Kick. For more information about the original game see Footbag or Hacky Sack


A game for 2 or more people. A number is set (usually 21, but can range anywhere from 51 to 501, and then some), and the object of the game is to kick the footbag the set number of times. Variations include a mandatory stall at the end, where you have to continue hacking as long as you can after said stall, where certain stalls are illegal, start backs at a certain interval for mess ups, and etc. In case of tie, the game enters sudden death, where you each get one turn to hack it as many times as you can to yourself without dropping it.

Around the World

A simple variant on the normal circle hack, where each participant passes it directly to the player next to them, and so on, until it goes all the way around the circle without skipping anyone.

Bad Habits

A normal game of circle kick, but when the hacky sack hits the ground, the rest of the players punch the person who caused the sack to hit the ground. The players cease the punching when the person at fault says, "Bad Habits" a total of three times. If no person accepts the blame for the fault, the other players will vote on who is within approximately three seconds and that person is declared the one at fault. If someone does something with the sack that is considered impressive, a player may call, "Nice one!" If a "nice one" is called, then the person who drops the sack will have to say "Bad Habits" 6 times instead of the normal three. Running is discouraged, and in some groups results in everyone getting to hit the runner.

Bad Mistake

A variation in which a group of people (usually 4 or more) hack normally but when someone misses and the footbag dies, the other players vote on whether or not it was a "bad mistake" or not. If voted out then the player joins a line of people waiting to join in. Whenever a hack is made, after the hackysack dies, one player from the front of the line joins in again. Once there are only two standing, they are declared the winners.


Barcode is a game of circle kick, played with an empty carton. Usually a 600ml carton of flavoured milk is used. If someone "drops" the carton, and it lands barcode up, all players are allowed to punch the person who "dropped" the carton once. This leads to players kicking the carton at other players in the hope it will bounce off them to the floor. However, this is a risky strategy, as the person can dodge the carton, possibly causing the kicker to lose.


Blood is similar to peg or kill, and is also often called Outs. After a predetermined number of kicks (often 5 or 7) the footbag is "live".

When the footbag is "live" it is kicked at another player. Whoever the footbag hits last before it hits the ground receives one "out", even if this player is the one who kicked it (if they miss their target). This leads to a game very similar to Kill, because often players will attempt to kick the footbag at another player in such a way that it is difficult or impossible for them to recover and kick it back. This is generally known as a kill shot or sting.

After a player has received the predetermined number of "outs" (usually 2 or 3 depending on the number of people playing) that player must leave the game.

The last player remaining wins the game.


The aim of brandy is to make sure the footbag never hits the ground. This game is a low skill circle kick variant. If the footbag hits the ground the last kicker can be brandied. However, if the footbag can easily be kicked by a player who refuses to kick it in the attempt of the previous kicker getting brandied, the group can declare the non-kicker at fault, and brandy them. When a player is about to be brandied, they will usually run. Any other player can then pick up the footbag and throw it at them in the attempt to hurt them. They usually throw the footbag from where they pick it up. If the player is successfully hit, he is out.


In Bullet, the hacky sack is kicked around the circle up to a number usually 3 or more as the game progresses, and once the number of kicks is reached any player in the circle can grab the sack and yell "bullet", once this is called the other players must freeze as the one with the sack throws it at a player of their choice, once the sack leaves the thrower's hands people can move to dodge it. It can also be played so that if a player gets hit a certain amount of times they are out.


In burns, play carries on like a normal circle kick. If a player errs, and the hack touches the ground, he must walk around the circle, and the other players each get to punch him once. The strength of the punches can be predetermined, or are just as hard as the players can. A common variation of the game is for the punches to start off weak, but as a player makes more and more mistakes, the punches against said player gets stronger.


Players stand in a circle and the object of the game is for each player(when they have received the Footbag) to hit the Footbag a designated amount of times before kicking it to another player or dropping the Footbag. Basic Colors (level 1) only requires the player to hit the Footbag once. More advanced versions of Colors require 2+ hits, which is agreed upon by the starters of the game (new comers to the circle either have to accept the amount or leave). Regular kicks such as from the Inside, Toe, Outside of the foot, or the Knee count as 1 "Hit". Stalls anywhere on the foot, knee, or behind the knee count as 2 "Hits". Tricks can be counted from 2-3 points(depending on the circle's preference). Tricks vary from the basic "Clipper" and "Jester" to extreme advanced tricks such as "Butterflies", "Cyclones", and "Mirages" which require more dexterity, flexibility, and speed of the legs. How the name "Colors" comes into play is because if a player were to not finish their Hits(if they were to drop it or kick it away too early) the group is allowed to punch the player until he picks the Footbag back up, hence the name Colors because of black and blue bruises. Punching to the face, head, neck, and genitals are STRICTLY prohibited. Often the rule of "Hands" is applied, which is where if a player were to touch/grab/smack the Footbag while in play, that player is required to place their hand(flat or else there is a risk of breaking fingers) in the middle of the circle and allow each member of the circle to slam the Footbag onto their hand(Hands is not enforced if using a suede Footbag). Colors should ONLY be played with people who agree to the terms and are conscious of the risks of playing. To some players, Colors is seen as a training method to help a person get better (ex: a lab rat goes through a maze and is shocked if it went the wrong way, after enough pain the rat goes through the maze faster and more accurate.)


if a player catches the hack to stop it from going out of the circle while in play, that player has to stand facing the designated (dinger) who tosses the hack with moderate force to the offenders groin region, it really helps stop the catching of the hack and improves players techniques instead of just catching it.


A large group kicks around the hack until someone drops it. That person is then out. This continues until one last person is standing.

Elimination 2

Very similar to the previous elimination, except that you are trying to get people out by kicking the hack at them, instead of just letting people get themselves out. In fact, it is very hard to get yourself out. You have a predetermined number of hits needed before the hack is "alive" usually 2 or 3, and then you can kick it at another player in hopes to get them out. If you miss you are still in the game and the hack should be reserved. When a player is out, they can get back in the game by eliminating someone like normal. If they do they are back in and the person they hit is out.

Face Ball

Two or more people have footbags and they try to flick the bag into each other's faces. One variation is to play with one footbag and if the footbag is dropped, the last person it touched is out.

Fire Hack

Exactly like the normal circle kick, except the hacky sack is lit on fire. Players may choose to use gasoline or lighter fluid to keep the hacky sack on fire for longer, or just allow the cloth to be ignited. Play continues as normal.

Certainly, this version of the game should only be played by experienced players under controlled conditions, with an old or disposable/unwanted hacky sack.


A simple variation of circle hack, where you can use any part of your body. You can not hit the footbag twice in a row with your hand, but you may keep the bag up with your feet as many times as you want.

Four Square

Four people divide into the ground into 4 squares and play traditional Four Square rules, except with adaptations made for the footbag. A line forms outside the 4th square for extra people.


Playing the footbag game "GOD" is very simple, and is for as many people as desired. The footbag is served and once the 3rd person kicks it anyone can grab it and throw it at someone. Should the footbag hit the ground, however, it is considered "dead" or out of play, and should be served again. It should be noted that this game is potentially quite dangerous, as the footbag may be thrown hard enough to break or bruise the skin.

Guiltless shred

Guiltless shred is an advanced game where players agree to take turns in a specific direction around the circle and only perform tricks above a 3 add rating. Players who perform a trick with less than three adds are said to have guilted and are encouraged to pass the bag to the next player. Players who perform a one add trick or a kick are said to have tilted and must end their turn and pass the bag. The origins of this form of play started when professional players were doing one trick after another for 5 minutes or more. Some players felt guilty using easy tricks to keep the run going, thus the term guiltless was born. This rule increased the difficulty for advanced players and gave a more equal time with the bag to each participant in the circle. Other terms relevant to guiltless shred circles include tripless (playing without using three add tricks), fearless (playing without four add tricks), BSOS (Bee Sauce, hitting a trick both sides in one string), and 'the' (missing a trick in someway). "The" is probably the most confusing of the terms. It was originally noted that "the" in English is a pretty vacuous word, much like a trick done poorly is pretty vacuous of value. The creation of guiltless shred has advanced the sport of footbag at an incredible rate since the mid 90s, and served as a goal for many of the first few generations of players. Guiltlessness is no longer the pinnacle of footbag, but now serves as an entry point for players looking to compete professionally.


"HIV" is similar to "Peg", except the set number of kicks needed is three. After three successful kicks are made, whoever catches the footbag may throw it at, or peg, another player. HIV is played communitively, meaning that just one person can't make all the kicks and anyone can go for the kill. So for example in 3 hit, 3 different people can get a kick then after the third hit anyone can throw the footbag at any other person. If a player grabs the footbag before the predetermined number of kicks, any free "peg" on him or her if he obtains possession of the footbag before it touches the ground.


In a very similar variation, called kill, a number of kicks is chosen; for example, two-hit kill uses two hits. Players try to make two consecutive hits, after which they can kick the footbag at another player. If the footbag hits the player (knee-level or above), he or she is "killed" and out of the game (In some variants, a player is not out until he or she has been hit a certain number of times). However, if the player successfully hits the footbag, the footbag is put back into play and the player is not out. Whoever is the last-man-standing wins the match, after which all players come back in. This game is also known as "Prick," or sometimes "Knockout."

Kill differs from peg in that in most versions of kill, players have to make (for example) two consecutive hits by themselves before they can "kill" another player; in peg, all players contribute to this number. More importantly, the footbag must be kicked at the opposing player rather than thrown. In both games, higher numbers of hits make the game more challenging. Under some variations, if a player has the sack kicked at him he cannot move/jump out of the way or else he is removed from the game.

Kill can also be played communally, meaning that just one person doesn't have to make all the kicks and anyone can go for the kill. So for example in 3 hit, 3 different people can get a kick then after the third hit anyone can kick the footbag at any other person. (WARNING: accidents do occur and people can get kicked in the scramble for the footbag. So don't get mad, this is a fun game, but this version also makes things a little more interesting.)


A variation on Kill. Please read all rules.

Gameplay: Instead of being "out" a player is forced to walk around the inside of the circle whilst receiving a punch from each player. Being hit in the head (headshot) or being hit in the groin (nutshot) results in a penalty of two walks. Penalty walks are also applied to those leaving the circle prior to it mutually disbanding or to those playing in a manner unbecoming of a civilized player. Penalties are linked and apply to all who have made foul contact with the footbag before it touches the ground.

In most variations dodging of the footbag during an attempted kill is allowed, but only if the players feet do not move. In other variations dodging is not allowed under any circumstance and in the absence of a successful kill may result in a player being penalized one or more walks depending on the severity and frequency of the dodging.

This game was played mainly by teens in secondary school during the late 1990s and early 2000s under much scrutiny by school officials for being viewed as brutal and uncontrolled.

Kill Points

A very small variation from the game of kill. The number of kicks is determined beforehand, as in two hit kill using two hits. After achieving the first two hits, players then go for the kill shot. If a player is hit, they are not out. In this variation, no one gets out. Instead, point values are assigned beforehand. Point values can vary, but usually are as follows: Successfully "killing" someone:3 points. Saving yourself (kicking the bag after the kill shot hits you):1 point. Saving someone else:1 point. Being killed:Minus 3 points. Dodging (moving out of the way of a kill shot):Minus 2 points. This game can be played to any amount of points, although it is usually played to 21.

Killer Hacky

Devised by Patrick Markey in Australia, Killer Hacky requires a group of people to stand in the circle and 'hack' the sack. After three complete hacks, the sack can be caught by anyone in the circle and thrown at another person, but not at his face. The person who catches the sack is not allowed to move before throwing it and must throw it within two seconds or forfeit his throw. Afterward, play continues and the process is repeated.


A Lisa-Maree is when a player in the circle makes an attempt to keep the sack in play by using any part of their arm (or more often their hand) to make a pass. Originated in Wellington, New Zealand, after a work social group had a player who consistently used this method to keep the sack in play. After the Lisa-Maree (or another designated word) the player has to stand still while all players participating in the game get to throw the sack at the offending player. Other punishments for using hands include breaking a small stick over the violators arm, or one of the circles veterans will slap the violator.


The nipple is merely when one person stands in the middle of the hack circle, usually because the circle itself is just a little too big and if one person stands in the middle, it makes it easier not to lose the hack because it was not kicked hard enough to cross the circle, if only by errant chance. The nipple person usually stays there however long they want, or until another member of the circle volunteers to be the nipple.

Nucleus/Washington Rules

Another variant is commonly known as Washington Rules because it is commonly traced to the West Coast, though it is often referred to as Nucleus. In this version, when a player drops the footbag or errs in any other way, heshe must go to the middle of the circle. If heshe errs again all the other players are allowed to hit and kick him until he can break out of the circle. If another player drops the bag or otherwise errs, the player in the center is allowed out and the latter player takes the middle position.


The number of players each stand in a circle. In this variation, the hackysack can be self served. The first player serves the hackysack to him/her self and has to hit it only 1 time. The person to the left does the same thing but hits only 2 times. The next person hits it 4 times and so on. The person who fails to hit the required number is eliminated. This process is repeated until only one person is left.


In one variation, commonly called peg, Battle Sack, slaps, Cali, Red dot, killer hack, or Whip Sack, a number of kicks is chosen usually 3 for a game where many pegs are desired, but may be higher for more experienced players. After that many successful kicks are made and is hit by at least two people, whoever catches the footbag may throw it at, or peg, another player. Some variations of the game also include a rule that, if a player grabs the footbag before the predetermined number of kicks, any or all of the other players get a free "peg" on him or her. Another common variation of this game is to require a certain number of people who must touch the sack before a catch is allowed, usually two in most cases.


A game similar to Peg. The footbag must stay in the air for a decided number of hits. After the selected number of hits is reached. The first to grab the sack has an opportunity 'pelt' opponents. The pelter is allowed three steps from where they stand when the bag is caught. Players who haven't caught the ball are allowed to dodge the footbag within set bounds. If the footbag is caught before the determined number of hits is achieved, the catcher must drop it before opponents say "hands". Anyone who has called hands is allowed one free pelt from a selected distance. The same punishment is given to those who serve the bag to themselves.

Power Hacking

This variation is much like circle hack, but the players must hit the footbag with as much power they have to get maximum distance and height. The circle must accommodate the footbag and once again pass it around to the other players. In order for the game to be challenging the player with the footbag must not "hackerbate" or pass the footbag to themselves more than three times in a row. Otherwise the other players can call him out to make offending remarks and peg him/her as well.

Red Dot

This game is played with normal circle kick rules. When the bag is dropped, the last player to kick it gets to throw it at the back of the player who missed it. If no one can be identified as the player who dropped it, gameplay continues as normal.


When a player makes a mistake they are given a letter, for example, for their first mistake they receive an "s". After they spell out "sack" (or another designated word) the player has to stand still while all players participating in the game get to throw the footbag at the offending player.


A game with the same rules as kill except instead of kicking the bag, you must slap it at someone. If you are hit, you lose a life, but if you can touch the hacky sack before it hits the ground after it hits you, then you are safe and do not lose a life. If someone slaps the hacky sack at you and hits you below the knee it doesn't count. Usually it is played with 3 hits (lives). If someone catches the hack or cups their hand around the hacky sack before throwing it, they lose a life. Sometimes, if there are a lot of people in a circle, the "No Neighbor" rule can be applied. The "No Neighbor" rule simply means that when the hack is slapped, the person next to you in the circle cannot be the target.

Slap (Arizona Version)

The circle will pass the hackey-sack for either 3 (for a large group), 5 (for a smaller group), or 7 (usually for 2 or 3 man circles) and as soon as the desired number is reached, the sack is slapped. If it hits a person he is out or loses a life. The game goes on until one person remains. As soon as one person wins they are the champ. Then a new game starts. There are no self-serves (or when a person throws the sack to himself, he loses a life). This is a fun variation of the game. No catching and then throwing is allowed. If someone does, it is a do-over. This game can be played for money. The losers pay a certain amount to the winner. This is a fun version that can be played by players with all skill levels.

Slaps(MASS Style)

Same as Slap except after 3 hits any player can slap the footbag at any player. You may slap the hack at any part of a players body for a "out". once a player is out they are called a "dead man" if a "dead man" gets a hack that has been kicked out of the circle and serves the hack(a dead mans ball) to an "alive" player and the "alive" player starts to hack the "dead" ball that player is out(they become a dead man),and the "dead man" returns to the game as an "alive" player. any player who is out is a dead man.

If a player slaps the hack at another player they can stay in the game if the are able to "recover" the hack by hitting it one time before it hits the ground.

Also if a player self serves they may be pelted with the hack once, just for fun but they are not out.

When only two players remain in the game they have a "hack off" each player has one chance to see how many times they can hit the hack. who ever gets the most hacks hits wins.


Shins is played with a group of around 4 to 5 people. The object is to never drop the hack. If a player drops the hack, the persons on the direct sides of the player, kick the player in the shins(as hard as they want usually light at the start of the game). If anyone gets a keyhole or a bad serve, everyone in the circle gets to kick them as hard as they want in the shins. If a game has started and a player wants to join in, they have to be initiated by everyone in the circle kicking them very hard in the shins. Not a game to wear shorts with.


Also known as ladder or baseball. A slight change on the common circle kick. The players are required to hit the hacky sack a consecutive number of times by themselves, starting at one. The next player then has to get two, and so on. Players get 2 turns to get the number needed, and the total of each turn is added together. For example, a player who needs 20, can get 10 on the first turn and 10 on the second turn and he has succeeded. Other players are allowed to help by kicking the hacky sack back to the active player if they want to. Whether or not their kicks count towards the total for the active player is decided by the players at the time. For more advanced players, you can change the rules so there is only 1 turn, or you can change how the number grows. Instead of getting one, then two, then three, you could make it go up by 3's (3,6,9 etc).


A version of the common circle kick, but with a gambling twist. A stick or pencil is inserted into the middle of the circle and the game continues by the rules of the regular circle kick. If the footbag lands on the stick or pencil the person who kicked it last should be given an amount of money from all the players in the circle.


This variant is perfect for the classroom setting. Line up four or five desks in a row to create the "net." Start by having one player serve (a simple kick with the instep of the foot) over the net. Play continues in the rally format in a manner similar to volleyball, except that a player may use as many kicks, knees, or headers necessary to return the footbag over the net. A player earns a point when his or her opponent is unable to return the footbag over the net or the opponent kicks it out of bounds (it's usually a good idea to have some other players on the sideline to judge). A match is usually played to 5 or 7 points, and a doubles (2-on-2) format is often used. This variant is claimed to have originated at Nova High School in an AP Calculus class in April, 2007.


This game is a slight variation of Slap. The players serve the bag at another player, then, after it has been hit three times by at least two players, a player can catch the bag and throw it at another player. If the bag isn't caught, the player hit receives a burn. Once a player has three burns, he or she is out. If a player intentionally touches the hackey sack with any part of the arm (including the hand), it is considered a hackle. The player stands against a wall, and another player tries to hit the offending player. If the player is hit, he or she gets a burn. Other illegal moves include throwing the hacky sack at a player when it is not in play, and keyhole (the bag goes through a person's legs).


Playing with a footbag the game is played with the same rules as "bad mistake" and when a person makes a bad mistake he or she takes a shot of Vodka. You continue this until the last man that can still stand from not being intoxicated and he/she wins the game.


Same rules as slaps(Mass style) except you may only kick the hack at other players no slaps allowed.

Washroom Variants

The washroom variants are based on a style of play that focuses on the amount of consecutive stalls a single group can achieve before an error is made. The following list shows the three fundamental levels a circle may achieve.
1. Men's Room: A Men's room is achieved after the footbag has been stalled two times by two different members of the circle. As with any of the washroom variants, if the footbag touches the ground during play, the stall count must reset.
2. Women's Room: Similar to a men's room, the women's room occurs only once the footbag has been stalled four or more times without touching the ground.
3. Chinese Bathroom: The Chinese Bathroom only occurs once the footbag has been stalled one thousand times without touching the ground. The so-called Chinese-Bathroom is said to be one of the most difficult play variants a group can achieve. This move was created to honor the largest bathroom in the world in Chongqing, China.

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