Global Gaming Project: In which Polish kids kick around a stuffed sack named "Sophia".


Our march to find the world’s best games continues!

The world is full of seemingly arbitrary rules. Why do we take off our shoes for security screening in the airport? Why can’t we use our hands in soccer? And why can’t I walk left in Super Mario Bros.

There’s a game from Poland called “Zoska” that plays like a fusion of hacky sack and four square. The name “Zoska” comes from a truncation of the woman’s name Sophia. Essentially this game, often played by young boys, involves kicking around a small sack named Sophia. (Read into that what you will.)  I’m hoping that this is an arbitrary naming and while other games might deserve more discerning analysis, “Zoska” just sounds like a lot of uncomplicated fun.

NAME: Zoska


ITEMS NEEDED: a “Zoska” (or hacky sack), chalk


1. Each player marks out a circle (5-6 feet in diameter) in a square, spaced evenly apart.

2. While everyone stands in the middle of his circle, one player handles the Zoska hacky sack-style (using legs and knees, but never hands). He passes the Zoska to the next player.

3. Nobody can use their hands. The next player has to catch the Zoska and pass it on to the next player without dropping it in his circle.

4. The game can be played elimination-style. Players who drop the Zoska, use their hands, or can’t pass it to the next player are “out”. The remaining players pass to each other, until only one remains.

5. Check out this sweet video of Polish teens in action.

-Josiah Harrist