Three sided football

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Diagram of a three sided football pitch. The penalty areas can also be square or trapeziums

Three-sided football (often referred to as 3SF) is a variation of association football played with three teams instead of the usual two. It was devised by the Danish Situationist Asger Jorn to explain his notion of triolectics, his refinement on the Marxian concept of dialectics, as well as to disrupt one's everyday idea of football. Played on a hexagonal pitch [1], the game can be adapted for similarity to soccer as well as other versions of football.

Unlike conventional football, where the winner is determined by the highest scoring of the two teams, in three-sided football the winning team is that which concedes the fewest goals.


3 sided football workshop, at the 1st Intergalactic Conference of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, Public Netbase, Vienna, Austria, Summer Solstice, 1997

It has been promoted in England, Scotland, Italy, Serbia, Poland and Austria by the Luther Blissett Three-sided Football League. The first known game, played on 28 May 1993, was organized by the London Psychogeographical Association on Glasgow Green as part of the Glasgow Anarchist Summer School. Participants included Richard Essex, Stewart Home and the members of The Workshop for Non-Linear Architecture.

Three-sided football has been practiced in various training sessions of the Association of Autonomous Astronauts in England, France, Italy and Austria, including the 1st Intergalactic Conference in Vienna (1997), the 2nd Intergalactic Conference in Bologna (1998), the Space 1999 in London, or as a protest event in Parc de La Villette during the 1998 two-sided football World Cup in Paris.

In August 2009 a three-sided football game was played in Alytus as part of the Art Strike events there. Stewart Home acted as referee.[1]

On 31 October 2009, a three sided football competition was organised in Lyon during the Biennale d'art contemporain de Lyon. The subversive event was a confrontation of the non spectacular sense of the original game with the main title of the Biennale, Le Spectacle du Quoditidien. The manifestation took place in Stade Laurent Gérin, Vénissieux and was organised by Pied La Biche association.[2]

A three-sided football game, with each team representing one of the main political parties, was played on 2 May 2010 in Haggerston Park, London in the run-up to the UK General Election. This match was organised by Whitechapel Gallery in conjunction with Philosophy Football FC.[3] The match was won by Philosophy Football FC, representing Labour, who conceded no goals to the Conservatives' 2 and Lib Dems' 3.[4] Philosophy Football FC later organised and competed in the first ever three-sided football match to be played in Spain, on 7 May 2011, which was discussed by journalist Sid Lowe in the Guardian's football podcast. Lowe's team won 3-5-5.[5][6]

In an event called "Thinking Football", aiming to reflect on the role of football in modern society, the Athletic de Bilbao Foundation organised among other things a three sided football championship taking place from October 2011 to April 2012 with 37 participant teams.[7]

The Deptford Three Sided Football Club (D3FC) was founded in February 2012 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jorn's invention of the game in his 1962 book Naturens Orden.[8] Games were held every other Sunday between D3FC and other local clubs at the Deptford Green Hexagon in Fordham Park, South East London.[9]

The first three-sided football match in Turkey was organized by InEnArt on 14 September 2013, to coincide with the 13th Istanbul Biennial. The match was played in front of Kadir Has University, Istanbul between Philosophy Football FC from the UK, FSC Dynamo Windrad Kassel from Germany and Ayazma FC from Turkey.[10][11] The referee was Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, who was suspended by the Turkish Football Federation in 2009 because of his sexuality.[12] Geoff Andrews, manager of Philosophy Football FC, launched the International Three Sided Football Federation before this match.

The first three sided football match in Australia was held on the 4th of May 2014. It was held at St Kilda Primary School in Melbourne and featured the 'St Kilda All Sartres', Pythagoras 3FC (the Pys) and Atletico Geometry (the Geometers).[13] The teams were mixed - an important feature of Australian Three Sided Football.

The first three sided football world cup took place in cooperation with the International Three Sided Football Federation and the Museum Jorn in Silkeborg, Denmark, May 23 until May 25, 2014. Teams from France, Germany, Poland, England, Lithuania and Denmark sought to win the Cup. The Danish team Silkeborg KFUM were crowned champions.[14]

3SF in South London[edit]

Home to two different Three-sided football leagues, South London hosts an active community of 3SF, mostly played in New Cross at Fordham Park, and London Bridge at Tabard Gardens.[15][16]

In September 2014 Deptford Three Sided Football Club embarked on a new experiment in trialectics by establishing a formal league structure with five other teams from the local area. The inaugural teams involved in the league were Aesthetico Athletico, New Cross Irregulars 3FC, Philosophy Football Club, Polsky Budowlancy (now named Husaria), Strategic Optimists Football Club and, of course, Deptford Three Sided Football Club.[17] The inaugural season ended on the 7th of June 2015 with New Cross Irregulars being awarded the trophy, having mathematically won the title in the penultimate game of the season. [18]

The 2015-16 season was concluded on the final game of the season, again in June, with Husaria taking home the title, beating Aesthetico Athletico, New Cross Irregulars 3FC and Strategic Optimists into joint second place by a single point. [19]

In January 2017 the first season of the Triball 3SF league was established. Duplicating the Deptford points structure for the league table, Triball is played in a 4-a-side format between seven league teams. The league also hosts a cup competition called the Triball Open Cup.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Alytus art strike: 3-sided football (trišalis futbolas)". YouTube. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "Biennale de Lyon". 
  3. ^ "Three Sided Football Match". Whitechapel Art Gallery. Retrieved 22 April 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Beautiful game played in three-sided match". Enfield Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Richardson, James; Glendenning, Barry; Busfield, Steve; Hann, Michael; Lowe, Sid (9 May 2011). "Football Weekly: Man Utd on the brink of title No19". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Discovering Three Sided Football". Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Presentación de "Thinking Football"". Athletic Club de Bilbao website. Retrieved 19 December 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ Naturens Orden. The Silkeborg Interpretation vs The Copenhagen Interpretation. Borgens Forlag. 1962. ISBN 87-418-3080-6. page 38.
  9. ^ "Deptford Three Sided Football Club". 
  10. ^ "Philosophers become cultured barbarians in city of protest". InEnArt magazine. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Der Kunst des Protests". Das Erste. Retrieved 1 October 2013. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Gay Referee: Being Out Isn't All About Rainbows". Compete. Retrieved 1 October 2013. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Three Sided Football Kick Off in Melbourne". 
  14. ^ "Three Sided Football World Cup in Denmark". InEnArt magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Triball Football League". Triball Football League. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  16. ^ "Philosophy Football FC - 3-sided football". Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  17. ^ "New Season Gets Underway". 
  18. ^ "New Cross Irregulars Win League". Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "2015-16 Season". New Cross Irregulars. 2016-09-04. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  20. ^ "Triball Football League". Triball Football League. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 

External links[edit]