The Foxtail Game Guide
Okay, so you've got your brand new Foxtail toy, now what do you do with it? Even if you just want to play catch, the Foxtail comes with a basic set of rules (see the Oath and Foxtail Scoring below). But whether you have a Foxtail Sport, Foxtail LED, or Foxtail Softie, there are endless games to played! Check out our game guid below to learn some of our favorites. Think you've got a BETTER game idea? Shoot us an email!
Take an Oath!
First and foremost, it’s important to remember the number one rule of ANY Foxtail game: Throw by the tail, catch by the tail. If a play is made by catching or throwing from the ball itself, it will not count.
Classic Foxtail Scoring
Classic Foxtail Scoring is based on which section of the tail is caught. Catching by the colored section closest to the ball earns you 5 points, while catching with your hand around the seam earns 4 points, and so on… See below! This can be a means of keeping score while playing a simple game of catch, and is used in several of the Foxtail games described below.
Don’t worry too much about remembering the rules, they’re also printed right on the Foxtail’s tag.
This Foxtail game is great for large groups with mixed physical abilities.
Setup: Split your group into two teams, one on each half of a playing area such as a basketball court. Other versions of this game are played on a volleyball court, which we think is an extra fun way to play!
Game Play: Each team takes turns throwing a sky-high lob to the other (over the net if on a volleyball court). The object is to land the foxtail ball in-bounds and uncaught. If that happens, the person nearest the ball is eliminated — unfortunately, this is usually the one who just made a valiant effort to catch the ball. If, however, the foxtail ball lands out of bounds, or better yet, it is caught by the tail, it is the thrower who gets eliminated.
Continue playing until only one team remains!
Play for Points: In place of elimination, allocate points based on Classic Foxtail Scoring until reaching a designated score.
Switching Sides: If you don’t want to keep score and don’t want anyone to feel left out, this game can be played by switching sides instead of elimination. The goal in this version is to get all the players to one side of the court.
Setup: One thrower stands throwing distance from a cluster of receiving players.
Gameplay: This one is super straightforward. One player throws the Foxtail to the group. Everyone in the field is trying to become the thrower by scoring 500 points. Points are scored by being the one to catch the ball.
Scoring is done with a basic modification to Classic Foxtail Scoring:
Ultimate Foxtail8+ Players | Movement: High | Skill Level: Medium
Setup: This is one is easy, if you know how to play Ultimate Frisbee, you know how to play Ultimate Foxtail!
Divide the group into two teams. Create a play area with two “end zones,” like a football field. The space can be smaller, but we recommend a field at least 50 yards long (roughly the maximum throwing distance).
Game play: The goal is to get the ball down the field and into the end-zone using passes only.
The Throw-off: The game starts with one team (soon-to-be defense) “throwing-off” to the other team (soon-to-be offense) on the opposite end of the field. The goal of the throw-off is to get the ball as far down the field as possible without it crossing into the end-zone.
From wherever the ball is caught or lands, the offense will begin playing. If the ball crosses into the end-zone, the offense automatically begins from one quarter of the way towards their end-zone.
The offense begins with whoever catches the throw-off, or whoever is closest to it when it lands. The person throwing the ball must keep one foot anchored to the ground at all times, moving the ball down the field with passes alone. The object of the game is to continue completing passes down the field all the way into the end-zone. Whenever a pass is dropped or intercepted, it is turned over to the other team, who will then try to score in the opposing end-zone.
Every time a team successfully completes a pass into their goal end-zone, they win a point. Play until a predetermined score.
A twist: Allow the person with the ball to take up to 3 steps, depending on where they made the catch. 3 Steps for the front section and seam, 2 steps for the middle section and second seam, 1 step for the tail end!
Mob Catch6+ Players | Movement: High | Skill Level: Medium
Setup: Split into two teams and designate imaginary boundaries for a “catching area.” You can decide how large to make the space once you read the rest of the rules :)
Game Play: The catching team stands within the designated area, with each team member touching at least one other member of the team. Teammates can hold hands, put a hand on each other’s shoulder, whatever keeps everyone together, but mobile.
Similar to Nuke ‘Em, the game starts with one team throwing a high lob, hoping to land it in-bounds and uncaught. The catching team races as a mob to make the catch. The object is to catch the ball (by the tail) without breaking the group’s contact. If the group breaks up in order to make the catch, it is no good!
Teams switch places after each play. Each team can have a designated thrower, or you can just use whoever last caught the ball. Points are kept with Classic Foxtail Scoring.
Foxtail Spud:Serves as a great Foxtail warm up. Good for groups.
Setup: This is an old game that may be familiar. You just need 4 or more people and an open area.
Caution: With too many people, this game may take exhaustingly long.
Game play: Start by assigning somebody to be the first “Spud” -- they get the Foxtail. Every once else starts in a circle around the spud, leaving just enough room for what happens next:
The Spud counts to three and slings the Foxtail straight up into the sky. As they do, they must yell out someone’s name. Everyone but that someone scatters. That someone must stay to catch or gain control of the Foxtail, at which point they yell, “SPUD!”.
Once “Spud” has been yelled, everyone who scattered must stop. The Spud then gets to take three giant steps. Their goal is throw a catchable Foxtail to someone else. If the receiver can make the catch while keeping one foot anchored, they’re the new Spud and the game repeats.
If the throw is way off and uncatchable, the Spud get’s an “S” and remains the spud. If the throw was good but the receiver drops the ball (literally), then they get the “S” and start the next round of Spud.
Players are eliminated if they complete spelling “SPUD.” Play until one person remains.
Horse Tail2+ Players | Movement: Varies | Skill Level: Easy
Gameplay: This one is very straightforward. Take turns throwing the Foxtail back and forth among the players. All throws should be “catchable” and reasonably accurate. The object is to show off your fanciest and most difficult trick-catches: under the leg, behind the back, mid-air, whatever you can come up with!
After a successful trick-catch, the following player has to replicate the catch. If they fail, the player gets the letter “H” (then “O”, then “R”, then “S”, and so on). After each player has had their chance to copy the catch, the originator of that particular trick catch gets the next chance to to make a new trick-catch.
First to spell “HORSE” is eliminated, followed by the next, until just one player is left as the winner. He or she gets the free cookie you all agreed to at the beginning :).
Trick Throws: play the same game with trick throws! A trick throw is successful if it is catchable by its receiver.
Catching by the Color2+ Players | Movement: Varies | Skill Level: Easy
Gameplay: Two or more people toss the Foxtail back and forth and the catcher has to catch by the same color the thrower used. To make things interesting, every throw has to be on a different color than the previous throw.
Bounce Catch2 Players | Movement: Varies | Skill Level: Super Easy
Setup: Space to play on asphalt or hard ground.
Gameplay: Players take turns slamming the Foxtail down so that it bounces up in the air. Before the ball bounces again, the other player has to catch it, and bounce it back.
Combine with other games: This approach is a great way to modify games like Catching by the Color for younger kids!