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Foosball with humans

An example of a Human Foosball game which is coming to the Monroe County Fair.

Human Foosball is coming to the Monroe County Fair.

Julie Zebro, Monroe County Ag Society media/marketing director, said the event will replace Hug-a-Pig Wednesday, July 25, the first night of the fair, at 6:30 p.m.

Zebro said Hug-a-Pig was removed due to new rules enacted by the Wisconsin Association of Fairs board regarding pigs.

“There’s a new rule the state fair board put into effect because of a disease the pigs carry,” she said. “For Hug-a-Pig every one of those pigs would have to be given a shot ... and they are expensive... and then the farmers still wouldn’t have been able to take the pigs back home.”

Simon Wells, secretary of the Monroe County Fair board, said the disease, called porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, has triggered strict regulations to stop its spread. He said the regulations made it impossible for Hug-A-Pig to continue.

“We didn’t want this to be a problem at the fair, so we decided not to have Hug-a-Pig because of health concerns,” he said. “It’s the same way with the hog show − any pigs that come to our fair will have to be butchered immediately after the fair rather than go to the farm” and possibly spread the disease.

Human Foosball was chosen to take Hug-A-Pig’s place. Zebro said the game is the latest craze.

“We wanted to do something for Wednesday night ... and wanted to do something new that hasn’t been done,” she said. “I do know people have been playing it in town ... and in surrounding counties and north of here are playing this, and it sounded like it was worth giving a try.”

Participants in Human Foosball must be at least 16 years old. Participants have to wear gym shoes − no cleats, spikes or sandals are allowed.

The game will consist of 12 teams with six people per team. Two teams go head to head in a bracket-scoring method to advance to the championship game.

The game is like regular foosball (or table football), but with human beings instead of mounted figures shaped like humans. Like foosball, the goal is to kick the soccer ball into the opposing team’s goal.

To play the game, contestants must keep their hands on the foosball pole at all times, and the ball must stay below the pole. Players have to move together from side to side; no one is allowed to move forward or backward or switch positions with another during the game. The ball also has to be in motion at all times.

The entry fee is $30 per team, and forms must be submitted to the Monroe County Fair before July 20.

Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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