What The Hack?

Marisol Rodriguez and Mia Bostic

Have you recently seen some students kicking a little colorful ball full of tiny beads and been wondering what the HACK is going on? The simple answer would be that they’re just playing hacky sack; however, the sacking culture is much larger than that.

To start: what is hacky sack? Hacky sack is a simple sport (it’s so HACKing easy!): it involves a bag of beads and three or more people, and the aim of the game is to keep the hacky sack in the air by  kicking it around from person to person. If everyone hits it once then you have a hack, and if everyone hits it twice you have a sack. You can hit the sack with anything but your hands, and for HACK’S SAKE DON’T SELF SERVE (to start a game you toss the hacky sack to someone else’s feet, not your own)! You always toss the sack to another player in the sack circle so that they can play it off their feet to another person.

The hacky sack was born in 1972 in Oregon City, thanks to John Stalberger and and Mike Marshall. Marshall was the key inventor, but together they created the game as a form of knee rehabilitation for Stalberger. The pastime reached its peak in the 1980’s. It was incredibly popular among the youth of that time period. But with time, hacky sack lost its KICK. It would be many years until the sport of hacky sack returned.

The students of C.H.S. today are witnessing the revival of hacky sack. Often, they’ll play a variation of hacky sack known as “death hack.” In death, once three different people have hit the sack, players can catch it and throw it. If the sack hits someone they’re out of the game until only two remain. Sack circles form after school in the student parking lot and are open for everyone.

Key revivalist, Char Tomlinson (12), believes the game builds community at C.H.S. through connecting anybody and everybody who is willing to play. Since she has started playing, she has met tons of new people who she would’ve never known without saying the simple words, “Hey, you tryna sack?” She encourages everyone to say “yes” when asked. “The bond that is created through interdependence and fun reflects the unity of the C.H.S. community,” says Tomlinson. Active sacker, Kyle Lehnert (11), finds the game to be the perfect stress reliever. He strongly recommends it to others, “they need to get some stress out of their lives and chucking a hacky sack at people does that.”

Sacking is a great way to make friends. It is the most up and coming social game of the century. Mr. Anderson, king of the Charlottesville High School attendance desk, said, “it’s a social game, not too physical. [I] played it with friends, played it with whoever had the hacky sack.” It’s commonly used as a bonding tool within the athletic community such as soccer teams. School administrator Mr. Devlin recalls his sacking history, “In highschool I played. I was on the soccer team. Our coach made us play hacky sack as a team building activity and for foot control, and hand-foot coordination.” He recounted the SACKrifices people made for the game. “The Jester is a power move in which you swing with the opposite leg behind your lead leg, all in one jumping motion. A kid tried to do one once and landed incorrectly and broke his ankle.” Dangers aside, Vice-Principal Mr. Morgan calls the sport, “a communal experience and a healthy engagement”.

Even Chance the Rapper sacks, “Chance Acid Rapper, soccer, HACKY SACKER”, so you know sacking is cool. So be like Chance, if you walk by a group of hackey sackers, don’t be shy, join in!