Play Full Contact Spoons




About: I am an ordinary guy. Except that I live in an RV, drive a 250cc motorcycle, have a truck that runs on bio-diesel, am vegetarian, and have had almost 30 jobs in 10 years, including armored truck driver, bicy...

Full Contact Spoons, (or FC Spoons for short), is sort of like rugby, but with no teams, only one goal, and almost no rules.
It is a lot of fun, and great exercise as well.  It is also probably the single easiest sport to learn.

Its a great game to play on the spur of the moment when you and some friends are at the park, because it requires almost no equipment, and you can use any kind of a ball (or even an empty plastic soda bottle).

This game is like the card game called spoons, except that there are no cards and no spoons.  There is also a goal, and full contact is allowed.

See Step 6 for a video of the game in action.

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Step 1: History

There is a card game called Spoons.

In it, everyone sits in a circle, and there in the middle is a pile of actual spoons.
The kind you dig food with.
There is one less spoon than there is players (like in musical chairs.  Except with spoons)

Cards get passed around, and when someone has 4 of a kind, they grab for a spoon.  If you see anyone else grab for a spoon, you grab one too, and whoever is slowest and doesn't get one is out.

Well, we were playing this game, but inevitably, two people would both grab for the same one, and fight over it.
And that was kind of fun, so we decided to encourage that element of the game.

Little by little, the game evolved into Full Contact Spoons, which has nothing in common with its namesake other than the name.

Step 2: Set-up

- Something to us as a ball. 
The best option is a standard rugby ball.  But any ball will work.  In fact, any thing of the approximate size and shape of a ball will work, as long as it isn't crushable and doesn't have any sharp edges.  When we first invented the game, we almost exclusively used empty plastic soda bottles (with the cap put back on)

- Something to use as a goal. 
This should be something which can't be damaged if someone lands on it.  And which won't damage the person who does the landing.  Orange cones work great.  But two backpacks or bunched up jackets work just as good.

- Players:
Anywhere from 4 to 15 people can play at once.  The more the better.  Just make sure everyone knows what they are getting into...

- Field: 
No particular shape or size.  It should be reasonably level, and reasonably soft for falling on (i.e. not concrete).  This will usually be grass, but sand, astroturf, or a very large padded cell would work just as well.
Its a good idea to look for any big sticks or rocks (or dog poo) in the playing area, and throw them out beyond the goal so no one falls on them.

Pick one end of the field, and place the goal on the ground, around 2 to 4 feet wide.

Step 3: Game Play

1. Everyone lines up near the goal.
2. Someone throws the ball out into the field somewhere.
3. Everyone runs to get the ball.
4. Whoever gets it tries to return it through the goal.
5. Everyone else tries to stop them, and get the ball for themselves.
6. If anyone does get it away from the first person, then they try to get though the goal, and everyone tries to get it from them.
7. Repeat.
8. Eventually, someone gets the ball through the goal. They win!
9. Everyone takes a minute to rest.  This game is really intense.  Then you start over from the beginning.

Score is not kept. When a goal is made, that game has been won. The next round is a new game, independent of the last. You can not lose at spoons, you either win, or you don't win.

Step 4: Rules

The basic rule is "get the ball through the goal".

  • You can tackle, you can trip, you can grab, you can push.
  • You cannot punch or kick or bite or anything like that. (However, there are no fouls, no time outs, no penalties)
  • You cannot throw the ball into the goal. You must be actually holding the ball to win.
  • The ball must go through the goal. If you are holding the ball on the ground, and you manage to edge one foot over the goal line, you have not won yet.  On the other hand, if you are tackled right near the goal line and you reach the hand with the ball just barely past, even though your body is not past the goal line, you win.
  • You must be in clear possession of the ball to win.  If one person is holding the ball in their hand and someone else is touching it, the person holding it gets the point.  However, if two people are both holding the ball about equally, it gets thrown back down-field.
  • You have to go through the goal in the correct direction (as in, if you run around behind the goal, and then try to come through, no win).
  • If one person has the ball, and someone else carries them through, the person doing the carrying gets the point. If you get picked up near the goal, the best thing to do is to throw it down field.
  • If one person is much heavier/faster/better than everyone else, you may wish to institute the goalie rule:  If any one person scores 2 (or more) goals in a row, that person must play goalie for the next 2 games, and cannot win.  Their only role is to try to stop anyone from getting through the goal, and to take the ball and throw it back downfield.  Enlarge the goal area by an extra 2-4 feet if you have a goalie.
  • And finally - if this is your first time at fight club Full Contact Spoons, you have to play. 
    FC Spoons in not a spectator sport. Any one who shows up to watch can expect to get tackled just on principal.

Step 5: Warnings!

• You will get bumps, bruises, and minor scratches, and you may be sore the next day.

• You may get sprains or strains, or any of the other things you might suffer in any full-contact sport.
  If this is a problem for you, do not play this game.

• No type of pads, helmets, or other safety gear is worn in spoons.
  There have never been any major injuries, in the game's 6 year history. 
  But there is always a first time...

• Do not wear jewelry, watches, or glasses, or leave hard objects in your pockets.
  If you bring 'em, you have to set them aside during play
  ...then you have to worry about theft, so it's best not to bring anything valuable.

• Do NOT wear cleats (or heavy boots),
  though you try not to accidentally step on anyone, you probably will.

Step 6: Video

This is the only known recording of an actual Full Contact Spoons Game in existence.
Here it is being played at my 30th birthday party at Lake Merritt.  Two of the original founders of the game are in it.

That's me doing the dramatic tackle of a guy about 50% heavier than me :)

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    17 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When I saw the title and the picture of the spoons card game I thought someone else played spoons the way my brothers and I did. It's a combination of the two.

    You play spoons, the card game but with only one spoon in the middle, regardless of the number of players. The rest of the spoons are placed somewhere else, top of the stairs, another room, outside, really anywhere that forces players into or through a narrow space or through obstacles so it's not just a contest of speed. When one player grabs the spoon in the middle then your FC rules apply to everyone else trying to get to the other spoons.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    yep, thats pretty much how my version evolved too - we just discovered that people got hurt fighting over spoons, so we used a ball. We discovered it was hard to say when one person definitively got it, so we put in a goal. And the cards kept blowing away as we were running around, so we got rid of the cards

    action pig

    8 years ago on Step 6

    Looks like fun! Reminds me of a game my brothers and I used to play called Rollerblade Soccer...

    4 replies
    JacobAzizaaction pig

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    That reminds me of a game I once played as a kid called rollerblade basketball.
    It was very painful. We never played again :P

    JacobAzizaaction pig

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    nah... I used rollerblades to commute to 11 miles work 2 days a week from 2006 to 2010 - I only stopped because I don't work at that job anymore


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I did roller blade jousting once. Brooms, roller blades, dirtbike armor, and protective cups. It was great. Soooo many injuries :D


    7 years ago on Step 2

    why would there be dog poo in a padded cell? (this is a great idea!)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    In addition to the founders, and a bunch of my other friends, I have found new players with an ad on the CraigsList Activity Partners page.

    If you try it, feel free to put a link to this instructable in the ad ;)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    i may just have to do that :)

    the down side to being 6'4" 350lbs .. not alot of people want to play full contact sports with you


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Ah yes...

    What we used to do is, if there was one guy who was much bigger than everyone else, we would institute a goalie rule:

    If any one person makes more than 2 goals in a row, they must play goalie for the 2 games.

    I should add that into my instructable. I think I will. Right now!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I take it you live in the area.

    I'll try to remember to invite you next time I hold a game.
    They are usually at Ohlone Park, across the St from North Berkeley BART


    8 years ago on Introduction

    First thought was "Dehydrated Rugby! Just add water!".

    I like this, I really do. I commend you and your mates for the way of playing, in all the video I did not see anyone trying anything dirty and all the grabs were correctly done like a gent should.

    Two thumbs up and thank you for sharing my friend :)