Outdoors Blog

Footbag — aka Hacky Sack — brings US Open event to Boise

Footbag champion demonstrates freestyle moves

Evan Gatesman, 27, demonstrates freestyle foot-bagging (Hacky Sack) at Boise State's Centennial Amphitheatre. Gatesman, who is considered to be the best in the nation, will compete in the 2016 US Open Freestyle Footbag Championships this Saturday
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Evan Gatesman, 27, demonstrates freestyle foot-bagging (Hacky Sack) at Boise State's Centennial Amphitheatre. Gatesman, who is considered to be the best in the nation, will compete in the 2016 US Open Freestyle Footbag Championships this Saturday

The 2016 US Open Freestyle Footbag Championships are Saturday and Sunday at Boise State’s Centennial Amphitheatre. It’s the sport many remember as Hacky Sack, which is a brand name.

Three of the best players in the country live in the Boise area, tournament director Ethan Husted said. That group includes Jim Penske, Evan Gatesman and Nick Landes. Penske has the most US Open titles in the event’s history, Husted said.

“The sport of footbag is basically an evolved version of what it started out with with Hacky Sack, to where we’re no longer kicking it around in a circle,” Husted said. “A player holds onto the bag and does as many tricks and combos as they can. It’s really more individual-oriented now.”

There are two main disciplines: routines, where a player spends 2 minutes putting on the best show, and circle, where four players take turns trying to outdo each other.

Each day begins with a free youth clinic at 11 a.m. Competition begins at noon. The last event is at 3 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

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