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Foosball comes to life-size in Eugene

Participants fight for the ball during Foos and Brews 2016, a human foosball tournament, at Oakshire Public House on March 13 in Eugene. (Ryan Kang / Associated Press)
Participants fight for the ball during Foos and Brews 2016, a human foosball tournament, at Oakshire Public House on March 13 in Eugene. (Ryan Kang / Associated Press)
Junnelle Hogen Register-Guard (Eugene)

EUGENE – Teams wearing blue, gray, white and yellow kicked off Lane County’s first human foosball tournament, during a lively life-size version of the popular tabletop game.

The “Foos and Brews” Inaugural Human Foosball Tournament took place at Oakshire Public House. The competition was instigated by Playground Sports, in collaboration with Lane United Football Club and other sponsors.

“It’s very similar to regular foosball,” said Bec Williams, founder and CEO of Playground Sports. “It’s just life size.”

Human foosball was inspired by tabletop foosball, where players manipulate rows of soccer player figurines attached to poles by sliding them from side to side to get control of a ping pong ball and twisting the poles to make a player kick the ball past a goalie.

In the human version on March 13, each team was composed of six or eight players who stood two or three in a row. Each row of players held on to a long pole that extended horizontally from one side of the court to the other.

The poles are encased in plastic pipe, which slides over the wooden poles and makes it easy for players to move from side-to-side and try and kick a soccer-sized nerf ball.

A key point – hands must stay on the poles, and not touch the ball.

“It’s a lot more hand-eye coordination than normal foosball,” Playground Sports team member Amanda Atkins said.

The tournament, which was held on a specially made court on the second floor of the Oakshire brewpub, 207 Madison St., featured six teams with such names as We Pity the Foos, Ballsagna and Red Aces Ultra.

“We play a lot of different leagues,” Ballsagna member Justus McCann said. “This was fun.”

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