Footbag Reference: Groups:HOF/1997

Footbag Reference

Groups:HOF/1997

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Footbag Hall of Fame: 1997 Inductees

1. Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall
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Mike Marshall
  • Founder and spirit of the game. Mike use to say "Let's go Hack the Sack". This later turned into Hacky Sack which then became a type of Footbag.








2. John Stalberger

John Stalberger
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John Stalberger
  • "Mr. Hacky Sack" Founder and spirit of the game. John started the seed to make Footbag a sport and as you can see today, many have followed in his footsteps.
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
  • The sports future?






3. Garwin Bruce

Garwin Bruce "Coach Footbag"
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Garwin Bruce "Coach Footbag"
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I was playing on a softball team and was told that we were getting a new shortstop. They said his name was Johnny Hackysack (I actually thought that was his name for a couple of weeks). When practice started I saw John Stalberger and other teammates warming up by kicking what looking like a beanbag.
    • I tried it a couple of times but was recovering from injuries to both of my ankles. Within a couple of months in 1977 John moved into my house. I have been an athlete all my life so John started teaching Ted Huff and me how to play this new game. The principle of using both sides of the body, better coordination, quickness of the feet, developing flexibility and strength in the ankles and knees connected to all the sports that I had played. I had just recently moved into my new house in Oregon City so I had joined this softball team to get back into team competition. I had spent the previously years working on my golf game.
    • When John moved in the discussion quickly turned to how to develop this game. The conclusion was to teach it through the school system. The idea of trying to get support for the schools led us to getting a booth at the Oregon State Fair. It turned out to be a good decision because we got the endorsement from the state school superintendent to teach the game in Oregon's school system.
  • Major achievements?
    • Since that time I have done school demos in Oregon, Washington, California and Arizona, along with numerous shows, halftimes of soccer and the NBA. I was Co-founder of the National Hacky Sack Association. When we first started promoting the game we originally had the idea that the net game would be played over an 8 foot net just like volleyball (too high). Then we experimented with a 3 foot net like tennis (too low), finally we decided on the 5 foot high net (just right). This was the period of time that I helped develop training exercises that were used to teach PE classes by the Hacky Sack Touring Teams. I spent 13 weeks in Haiti setting up the first Hacky Sack factory. I helped form the first official footbag club the Footbag Pioneers Club. I was the first WFA sponsored tour member to teach a soccer club and promote the game of footbag in Paris, France.
    • From 1979 until around 1986 I averaged 2 tournaments a month. I don't remember which events I won but I won my share. I would go to these tournaments to play with someone new and had the opportunity to teach the game of footbag to so many people. My particular passion was the back kick. To me it was the ultimate in balance, coordination, flexibility, grace and form. So the honor of being called 'Commander Back Kick' was one of the highest praises I could receive.
    • As the years added up on my body I realized that there was a great need for a person to be Tournament Director so for many years I filled that role which included the World Championships held in Portland, Or. To this day I would still fill that role if the occasion arose.
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
    • I have a tour story that I hope will help any new player wanting to become a better player. After footbag got the endorsement from the State School Superintendent a tour team went to the coast to demo Hacky Sack and teach in the PE classes. I had only been kicking about two months and basically had a left inside and an occasional right outside. So here I am in front of 400 students to show the game of footbag. I remember I was doing a doubles demo with Guy McGee and every time he kicked it to me I missed the footbag. This didn't detour me but drove me to learn this game and find an easy way to teach this game to all newcomers. So the moral of the story is, don't give up if it is difficult at first because eventually the joy of controlling a footbag will bring you great joy.
  • The sports future?
    • I see this sport becoming a worldwide sport due to the fact that the rest of the world is more accustom to games using their feet. I think the only thing holding back footbag is sponsorship.



Ted Garwin Rick & Johnny at 1982 NSGA Show


4. Ted Huff

Ted Huff
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Ted Huff
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I first saw Hacky Sack in the front yard of a friend, he was on the same softball team as Johnny. The whole team was trying to kick this beanbag, which was a flat design at the time. It was 1973, John Stalberger, Garwin Bruce, and others on the team which was made up mostly of old high school friends of mine.
    • I was intrigued first and gave it a try. I had started hanging out with some old friends again, and had first met Johnny, then Mike Marshall. I was a sports nut/fan and was majoring in marketing at the time. It took Johnny's discussion of his theory of basic kicks, and how it related to the development of better coordination, and concentration to get me "hooked" into Hacking the sack.
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
    • What else were you involved in at the time? I was working, going to school full time, and married, when I met John, and Mike Marshall. I got divorced in 1974. (not due to hacky sack) When Mike died in 1975, Johnny was struggling to find a way to keep the dream going. I visited him at the Oregon coastal town of Lincoln City, where he had moved to with a couple of friends. We hand cut leather pieces into a dog bone shape, then pounded out holes. We then counted the holes, and put them in piles with matching numbers of holes, then sewed up and stuffed the homemade hacky sack footbags, then played a bit. While at lunch one day I was sitting across the table from John. I thought... What if I was sitting with Dr. Naismith, (he invented basketball) and he asked me what I thought about helping start a new game. Would I be interested? I decided that exact moment that a chance to be a part of starting a new game, and sport is a very rare opportunity, despite not knowing if that dream could come true. I thought that a simplistic idea, such as kicking a beanbag, could have a chance, as I had witnessed people getting "addicted" in my local area already. I decided I had some skills to bring to the "game" of marketing this new game/sport, and had the passion to stick with it. I decided I was in.
  • Major achievements?
    • I was vice president of the National Hacky Sack Association, charged with doing the newsletter, membership, setting up demonstrations, tournaments, etc. for the 1st players association, up until the forming of the WFA. During that time, I was a guest speaker at the US national soccer coaches association convention, besides many, shows/schools, halftime shows with the NBA, pro. soccer, etc.... I did with the Hacky Sack tour teams until 1983. I coordinated the 1st fundraising events for the sport.. to raise funds for charity, and showcase the new game and sport to the public, including the 1977 Easter Seal Kickathon, 1st ever event in the game's history, and the Portland Neighborfair tournament for MDA starting in 1979. I was the sales manager for Pastime Enterprises, then Kenncorp Sports from 1981 to 1983. Major growth of Hacky Sack brand nationally happened before the company was sold to Wham-O. I started the Footbag Pioneers club, it's 1st president, which was formed by many of the leaders in the sport's movement, hence so many Hall of Fame members were from this club. I, and Kenny Shults, are still defending champions of the Alaska State Championships in Doubles Net, since 1981! I won the Beaver Open draw partner doubles net championships with Jeff "Animal" Johnson in 1984, before he became really famous! I willed him to stay focused, I played well too, and we won! There were no kids/ beginners in the tournament at that time, at Champoeg Park in The Oregon Territory. I was a member of 1st player advisory board of WFA. In 1995, I came back to help the sport, by planning and co-directing the 1997 World Championships in Portland, Oregon, and by founding the Footbag Hall of Fame. Both to honor those that had shown significant leadership in the sport's growth, past to present, and worldwide. I am still co-director of the Footbag Hall of Fame Historical Society, helping honor and respect the sport's best leaders, and maintain the sport's history. I am a sponsor of the World Championships and Hall of Fame and have chaired the induction celebration each year since 1997.
  • The sports future?
    • Played to bigger crowds, more money and sponsors for the players and key clubs.



Worlds Sports Market Show


5. Lori Jean Conover

Lori Jean Conover - 'Toe'
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Lori Jean Conover - 'Toe'
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I first starting kicking in 1973 when I moved to Oregon from Minnesota. At that time, people (kids) were cutting off the ends of socks, stuffing them with various materials like popcorn, beads etc. and then sewing them up to play with or just making a squarish kind of bean bag to kick. I had four brothers who saw it first and taught me to play in a circle. There was no thought of form or rules at that time. We played at parties, in the halls and parking lots at school, in parks...everywhere. I think it must have been 1974 or 1975 when I was at the bank and saw Johnny and friends kicking in front of a gas station in Oak Grove, Oregon (outside of Portland) I approached and we kicked for a while. He later showed me his design and told me how thrilled he was to see a female kicker. I continued to run in to him and through other friends who were involved as a real push to develop the game as a sport began.
    • It was 1978 the first time I saw net play. Dave Hill encouraged me to come to Oak Grove gym to kick. He said a group of folks had reserved the gym every week to kick. As I walked into the gym, Mag and Billy Hayne were playing over the net and there were several of the top players there including Garwin Bruce, Ted Huff and Robert Conover (who later became my husband.) They all encouraged me to attend and play in a tournament at Portland State that weekend. At the tournament, Bill Hayne worked with me and recruited me to play in mixed with him. That was it...I was hooked. I think I hit every tournament possible in the next 5 years.
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
    • Footbag was the first sport to really grab my interest. I liked to play...nothing specific, just anything and everything. Both the game and the people captivated me.
  • Major achievements?
  • The sports future?
    • I have loved watching this sport grow and spread across the globe. My hope, like so many of us who were involved early on, is that it will one day be an easily recognized sport like soccer, baseball etc. Of course, the ultimate dream is to see it in the Olympics. I think if we as a community want to see it get there some of the things we might do are: create opportunities in schools, parks etc. to continue to develop young players, hold events in public venues to increase awareness, look for and create opportunities for media attention, attract and teach professional athletes when possible and increase the number of events we have around the country and the world.




6. Dave Hill

Dave Hill
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Dave Hill
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Founding National Hacky Sack Association (NHSA) member. Dave's enthusiasm helped become the backbone for the company and NHSA's growth. Played in every early tournament, and taught as a Hacky Sack Tour Team member.
  • The sports future?







7. Jane Wievesiek-Sellman

Jane Wievesiek-Sellman
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Jane Wievesiek-Sellman
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Jane was the first woman to join the Hacky Sack Tour Teams from 1977 to 1980, helping teach the new game to thousands via P.E. Classes and school assembly demonstration.
  • The sports future?








8. Mark Hill

Mark Hill
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Mark Hill
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Mark became one of first official Hacky Sack Tour Team members, leading the demonstration and development of school programs, as well as the new sport's development from 1977 to 1979.
  • The sports future?















9. Craig Hufford

Craig Hufford with Jerry Cunningham
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Craig Hufford with Jerry Cunningham
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Craig became one of first official Hacky Sack Tour Team members. Leading the demonstration in school programs, and in the Net Games development from 1977 to 1979.
  • The sports future?


Craig with Jerry Cunningham (1979 Doubles Net Champions)





10. Jerry Cunningham

Jerry Cunningham
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Jerry Cunningham
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Jerry helped lead the 1st National Tour Team. Inspirational player that helped development of the Net sport with doubles partner, Craig, winning the first major tournament in 1979.
  • The sports future?


Jerry with Craig Hufford (1979 Doubles Net Champions)






11. Eddie Robertson

Eddie Robertson
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Eddie Robertson
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Eddie helped lead the 1st National Tour Team. Founding member of NHSA. Helped John in development of basic game movements for physical education and athlete's training in early 70's.
  • The sports future?










12. Bill Fischetti

Bill Fischetti
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Bill Fischetti
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Bill helped lead the 1st National Tour Team, was first member from California to promote the game and sport nationally.
  • The sports future?











13. Garry Gamon

Garry Gamon
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Garry Gamon
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
    • I had the special priviledge to be introduced to footbag from John Stalberger and Mike Marshall in 1973 in Carver Oregon. John Stalberger and myself grew up together in the same neighborhood in Houston,Texas. When John and Mike first introduced it to me it was just a part of a sewn sock with rice inside it. But they kept modifying the model from to two pieces of flat leather filled with buttons to a sphere. This was all very amazing, being able to see and be part of this great sports birth and growth.
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
    • Currently I have been teaching history in Houston,Texas for 21 years. I still maintain a strong interest in the growth of footbag.
  • Major achievements?
    • Garry was an original member of NHSA. Tour Team member. Lead development of the game and sport in Texas. I competed in the first official tournament in Oregon in 1977 and placed in top 3. At that time the tourney consisted of contol rings for consecutive. As an original member of the NHSA, this definitely influenced me to promote it in Texas thanks to the great Hall of Famers like John Stalberger, Mag Hughes, Bill Haines and Kenny Schults. All of this helped to inspire me to found the first official footbag club in Texas called the Houston Skyliners. Along with this came the first Texas State Championship in 1980 and my first place victory in singlels net. Over the years I won seven 1st place tiltles in singles and doulbles net in state and regional championships. The Skyliner organization continued to promote and influence the sports growth in Texas and SW via tourneys, demos and instruction. I was very fortunate to have a Hall of Famer like Tim Vozar in our organization to help to put us on the map and promote the sports growth.
  • The sports future?
    • There is only one thing to say about the sport's future..up,up, and away..no end in sight..the skys the limit. I see the sport heading towards the Summer Olympics someday soon along with a limitless list of extraordinary oppurtunities. We definitely have the talent and dedication worldwide now to make it happen!!!!



14. Walt Mason

Walt Mason
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Walt Mason
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Walt was an early pioneer of the Hacky Sack Tour Teams. Became involved after learning that Footbag was a good conditioning exercise for baseball player's. He was a college All-American baseball player.
  • The sports future?









15. Jack Schoolcraft

Jack "Mirkan" Schoolcraft
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Jack "Mirkan" Schoolcraft
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Jack, 'The Godfather of Freestyle'
    • Jack helped develop the first tricks, such as the famous flying clipper, and new designs for footbags used in the new game and sport. 1st World Freestyle WFA Singles Champion in 1983. Leader and inspirational player.
  • The sports future?





16. Mag Hughes

Mag Hughes
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Mag Hughes
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Mag was an original NHSA member. In 1981 became a member of the 2nd major National Hacky Sack Tour Team. Key game and sport developer, as teacher, coach + 9 time Doubles Net Champion, and 3 time Singles Net Champion amongst his sport's awards. Twenty two years later Mag continues to teach the Fundamentals of the sport of Footbag through his educational and entertaining school assembly programs.
    • For more information contact Mag at W.E. C.A.R. E. Alternative Sports Programs (www.WeCareSports.com) (Working Enthusiastically for Constructive Activities Releasing Energy)
  • The sports future?



Teaching US Olympic Ski Team





17. Bill Hayne

Bill Hayne
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Bill Hayne
  • When did you see your first Footbag?

I first saw it in Lewiston, ID -- while playing college baseball a bunch of us started playing with those cool, old brown/tan bags. Lot's of fun - one of my teammates (Bobby Terrel) brought one from Portland == got hooked quickly!!!

  • Your own personal comments and notes?

I owe so much to so many people -- suffice it to say that my years of playing, traveling, and developing the friendships within the great game is a great blessing.

    • Currently Bill is a professor at Lewis-Clark State University in Lewiston, Idaho, and the father of four.
  • Major achievements?
    • Bill was a former All-American baseball pitcher, joined the NHSA and in 1980 became a member of the 2nd National Hacky Sack Tour Team. This four-time National Doubles Footbag Net Champion exemplified the art of doubles team play, and made the Sport of Footbag Net appealing to spectators. His competitive spirit lead to the first flying inside spike. One major achievement was my wife (Jennifer) and I spending our honeymoon at the 'honeymoonin and noonan beaver open' ... and having a wedding ceremony with two beavers conducting the ceremony!!!
  • The sports future?

Unsure really - though the window to olympics and main stream appeal may have closed -- but to me, that's good as the attraction to and intrigue of the game always seemed to me, to be the 'fringe' element.












18. Greg Cortopassi

Greg Cortopassi
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Greg Cortopassi
  • When did you see your first Footbag?
  • Your own personal comments and notes?
  • Major achievements?
    • Greg had huge enthusiasm. Greg joined the NHSA in 1980, and became the spokesperson and motivational speaker for the game and sport as a member of the 2nd National Tour Team in 1981. In 1983, co-founded the World Footbag Association to serve as an independent player's association to coordinate the sport's growth worldwide.
  • The sports future?

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