What Is Footpool? The Life-Size Pub Game Winning Over New Fans

Image of a man kicking a white footpool cueball at a racked set of footpool spotted and striped balls

It seems every week there is a new hybrid sport being discovered, and the latest is footpool. Also known as soccer billiards or snookbool, footpool is as its name would suggest, pool but played with your feet.

Clearly not something you can play inside your local pub or hotel, footpool is a game that requires plenty of space. While footpool has been played in Australia, it’s fair to say it hasn’t quite yet taken off in the same way as other mash-up sports such as pickleball or teqball.

So what exactly is footpool, how is it played and perhaps most importantly, where can you play it? Read on to find out.

What is footpool?

Footpool, which is also known as soccer billiard or snookball in some countries, is a game that combines the format of pool, but uses larger soccer balls that you need to kick with your feet. It’s proven to be a big hit so far in Europe, and is slowly but surely making its way into Australia.

UK Footpool claims to be the inventor of the game, and operates as an entertainment-for-hire company. UK Footpool says footpool is played on a table that is 12ft by 8ft. We have seen other versions of footpool that use more balls and a larger table, too.

The design of a footpool table closely resembles that a standard pool table, only it is much larger to accomodate the larger balls, and the fact you have to walk on it in order to kick the balls.

It might sound easy to play because the balls and the playing surface are large, but footpool does still require a fair amount of skill. You may think you’re somewhat of a Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to footballing skill, but you’re at the mercy of other players taking their shots, and the cursed situation when the cue ball ends up landing right on a cushion.

How to play footpool

Footpool is played in an incredibly similar way to the standard game of pool. To start a game of footpool, the player or team flip a coin to decide who breaks first. You need to kick the white cue ball into a coloured ball, to pot it into one of the six pockets. A footpool table has the same pockets as a standard table, i.e. one pocket in each of the four corners and one on either side, in the middle of the table.

A game of footpool uses 10 balls: four yellow, four red, a black and a white cue ball. The eight coloured balls, plus the black ball, are racked at one end of the table. The black ball should be placed on the black ball spot.

Some versions of footpool use a full set of 15 balls (spots and stripes, known an 8 ball game). Any game using this many is played on a larger table.

The white cue ball is then placed on or behind the white ball line at the other end of the table. The player, or a player on the team that won the coin toss, then kicks the white cue ball at the racked balls. If the player doesn’t pot a coloured ball, or a coloured ball doesn’t hit any of the side cushions, then the balls are re-racked and the other player or team takes a turn.

If, however, the starting player does play a legal turn and pots a coloured ball, they continue the game using that designated colour. If a player hits both a red and a yellow ball into the pockets from a break, then they can nominate which colour they wish to continue the game with.

If somehow the black ball is potted from the break, then all balls are re-racked and the same player restarts the game without a penalty.

If a player fails to hit their designated coloured ball, hits their opponents ball, pots the white cue ball, or kicks the ball off of the table, then they forfeit their turn and the other player gets to make a play.

If a foul shot is committed, then the opposing player is allowed to play the white cue ball from anywhere on the table, and can kick it in any direction.

The winner of footpool is the first player to pot all their coloured balls, followed by the black ball. If, however, a player pots the black ball and the white cue ball, they lose and their opponent wins. A player can also lose a game of footpool if they pot the black at any time throughout the game.

Where to play footpool?

You can play footpool in Australia, where it is known as snookball, in Sydney and Adelaide via Snookball Australia. The company works on a hire basis, so you can hire a footpool table for an outdoor event. But, Snookball Australia also has locations in Breakfast Point and Balmain in Sydney where you can try your hand – or rather, feet – at playing a game.

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