In the summer of 1972, Mike Marshall introduced visiting Texan John Stalberger to a game that he had learned from a Native American. The game involved kicking a small bean bag repeatedly to keep it off the ground for as long as possible - using all parts of your body except your hands and arms - and then eventually passing it to another player. Stalberger, who was recovering from a knee injury, began playing the game, which they described as going to “hack a sack,” as a way to rehabilitate his leg. Six months later, with Stalberger’s knee healed and a newly-acquired mastery of their game, they decided to go into manufacturing.
For about a year and a half, Marshall and Stalberger experimented with different versions of the sack. Their 1972 initial sack was square-shaped, made of denim and filled with rice. They quickly realized that internal stitching provided an improvement in control, tried round instead of square, and switched from denim to cowhide for longevity's sake. By 1973, they had developed the classic, two-panel leather, internally sewn disc-shaped style that would remain in use up to today. Watch a classic Wham-O Hacky Sack TV commercial!
* By 2018 - Over 25M Hacky Sack footbags were sold.
* 1972 - The Footbag (Hacky Sack) was invented by John Stalberger and Mick Marshall and 2M were sold prior to 1983.
* 1979 - Stalberger and Ted Huff formed NHSA, the National Hacky Sack Association.
* 1983 - Wham-O introduced Hacky Sack.
* Wham-O marketed Hacky Sack as a soccer training aid.
* 1984 - World Footbag Association (WFA) was formed in Golden, Colorado.
* 1994 - The International Footbag Players' Association (IFPA) serves as the International governing body.
* 2000 - The International Footbag Committee (IFC) was formed to sanction the rules.
2023 - Hacky Sack 40th Anniversary (1983 intro)