Penny football

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On the way to a goal

Penny football (also coin football, sporting coin, spoin, table football, tabletop football,[1] or shove ha'penny football[2]) is a coin game played upon a table top. The aim of the game is for a player to score more goals with the pennies ("Spucks") than their opponent.[3] An electronic version of the game has also been produced.[4] The game has been in existence since at least 1959.[5]


In this game players begin by deciding who goes first by flipping a coin. The winner of the flip starts the game by holding three coins in his hands clasped together, shaking them like dice, then letting go of them.

The object of the game is to flick a coin through the other two coins. This is the way in which players move the ball up the table. If the coin falls off the table or fails to pass through the other two coins, it becomes the opposing player's ball and is placed near his end of the table. A player may continue to flick any of the three coins through the other two until he wishes to shoot. At this point, the opposing player holds out his pinky finger and his index finger and places them flat on the table, so that the middle two knuckles of his hand are flat with the table edge. The first player then shoots in any way he wishes, while still hitting a coin between the other two coins. If the coin touches the opponent's knuckles, this counts as a goal.

There is another variation of the game in which players use four coins, the fourth coin representing a goalkeeper. Again, the opposing player puts out his index and pinky finger, but also puts the fourth coin under his index finger. The coin acts as a "goalkeeper", and may be used to block shots. He then sticks out his pinky finger of his other hand and places it right next to the other hand. The two hands should be touching. If the player blocks the shot with his index finger, the shot counts as a goal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The alternative student olympics". The Independent. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Shove Ha'penny Football". Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ Byl, John (2002). Co-ed recreational games. Human Kinetics. p. 37. ISBN 0-7360-3455-2. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ "JVC kicks off digital football game in good time for UEFA Euro 2008". New Media Age. 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  5. ^ Wesker, Arnold (1994). As much as I dare. Century. pp. 114, 128. ISBN 0-7126-5918-8. Retrieved 2009-03-13.