Here comes the 3Sided Football League!

This Sunday, 7 September 2014, sees the return of 3sided football, originally conceived by artist Asger Jorn and now taking firm hold in the London scene. This year, however, things are stepping up a notch with the launch of the 3Sided Football League.

In his recent article, Owen wrote eloquently about the reasoning, attraction and nuances of the beautiful 3sided game, which is such immense fun that when you play it you rediscover why you kicked a ball in the first place! To quote one of football’s most eloquent artists, Socrates: “What matters is joy.” There is also a sense of the anarchic, that anything that could happen, often not in the manner expected. To accommodate three teams, the game takes place on a hexagonal pitch with three goals. When you’re standing in one of these goals, the pitch seems to be slightly skewed, like a listing ship. It’s all very bizarre, but bizarre is in the nature of 3sided football. And, unlike traditional football, it’s the team that concedes the fewest goals which wins.

What are the tactics, then? The biggest difference is that, with three teams on the field, you can work with one of the other teams against the third. Sometimes teams openly make these agreements before a ball has been kicked, but this often falls flat on its face as one of the teams changes allegiance and starts attacking their supposed ally. 3sided football can be very devious! You can find more about how 3sided football works, including a short documentary, on this page. Philosophy Football have found that a short quick pass-and-move game works well. It’s often a good idea for the keeper to kick or throw into the centre of the pitch, enabling our midfield to make a decision on which direction to take the attack, dependent on the current state of play and alliances built.

3sided football has got it all: it brings together the thrills and spills of the 5-a-side game, the dexterity of table football and, towards the final whistle, plenty of goalmouth scrambles and broken alliances as teams push for victory. If this has whetted your appetite, get down to Fordham Park, New Cross on the first Sunday in every month, and join in the fun. Matches start at 2pm. This Sunday also sees the draw to allocate teams in the rotation of matches over the next ten months, and will be filmed by a Japanese TV crew. If you want to take part, contact us on Twitter, @philosophyfoot.

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