Tabletop soccer

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Tabletop soccer
Type: coordination game, ball game
Number of players: four or more
Location: on a table
Equipment: tennis ball or alike
Duration: arbitrary
Preparation: none

Tabletop soccer is a variant of soccer that is played indoors on a table. It can be played with any number of player depending on the size of the table. All players should be able to sit around the table. The game is not to be confused with table soccer played on special equipment by manipulating rods with miniature figures attached to them.


You need a small ball (tennis ball or ping pong ball) and a table.


The players are sitting around the table. Each player gets assigned a certain fraction of the table's edge that he has to defend. Every player holds both his hands (but not arms!) against the table, with the fingers pointing upwards. Doing so he tries to avoid letting the ball run over the table's side.

When the game starts, the ball is put on the table. By hitting the ball, the players try to shoot the ball over the edge of one of the other players. Note that the top of the table may not be touched, and that the ball may not be shot, but may just "rolled" by nudging it with the hand held on the table's edge.

Whenever a ball rolls over a players fraction of the table, he gets a negative point. Winner is the player with the least points after some time.


You can also tighten the rules: every time a player lets a ball slip past him, he has to remove a hand from the game. When both his hands are gone, this player is out of the game. Then, the edges of the table are divided by less players, resulting in an even larger fraction of the table each player has to defend.