wikiHow to Play Paper Football

Three Parts:Preparing the FieldPlaying the GameMaking the Football

You don’t have to be a football fan to have a blast playing paper football. Play with friends, classmates, or colleagues for a great bonding experience or just to simply pass the time. It’s up to you how intense you make the game. You can even get creative when preparing a “field” for play.

Part 1
Preparing the Field

  1. Image titled Play Paper Football Step 1
    Pick a flat surface. Make sure the surface used is smooth enough to not hinder the game. The field size will be dependent on where you are playing. The length and difficulty of a game will differ if you are using a school desk compared to a conference table.
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    Create a goal post. These are important for when you attempt to “kick” a field goal. Decide whether you want to make a physical goal post using materials, or a finger goal post when the time calls for it.
    • To make finger goal posts, simply position your thumbs horizontally and connect the tips of each thumb. Point both index fingers upwards. You decide the height of the goal posts on the field is based on how high or low you place your fingers.
    • To make a goal post, bend two straws and tape the bent edges together to form a “U” shape. Cut a small X incision in the bottom of a paper cup. Stick the firm end of another bendy straw into the hole and tape it into place. Wrap the bent part of the straw around the base of the “U” made from the first two straws, and tape that into place. Now you have a field goal you can place down wherever and whenever needed.[1]
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    Make a scoreboard. Keeping score is what makes any game competitive and in turn, more fun! Use a sheet of notebook paper or construction paper to write down the scores of you and your opponent. Decide on whether you want to end the game by time or by score.[2]
    • Draw a line vertically down the center of the paper, and a horizontal line towards the top to make a T. Write the name of each player or team at the top of each column. Tally the points throughout the game in the respective columns.[3]
    • Winner can be whoever gets to 35 points first or whoever has the most points after 15 minutes. Adjust the score limit or timeframe to your liking.

Part 2
Playing the Game

  1. Image titled Play Paper Football Step 4
    Get the ball down the field. Each player attempts to get the football to their opponent’s side. You decide how many attempts each player is allowed. Pushing the football across can be considered cheating, so it depends on how you and your opponent would like to play.
    • To get the ball across, place the football on your side of the field so that one corner is slightly off the edge of the surface. Then “flick” the corner of the ball hanging off the side with your index finger. When the football is down the field and you are allowed another attempt, you can lightly tap it forward with your index and middle fingers.
    • Flip a coin to decide who starts first.
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    Score a touchdown. Once you get the football to your opponent’s side in the allotted attempts, you are in touchdown territory. In order to score a touchdown, one part of the football must hang off the opponent’s edge.
    • A touchdown is worth 6 points, if you want to follow actual football guidelines. Yet, if you want to keep the game simple, make each touchdown 1 point.[4]
    • To double check if the football did in fact hang over the edge to score a touchdown, bend down so that you can look upwards at the bottom of the surface edge and the football. This angle will make it easier to determine if a piece of the football is past the edge.
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    Kick a field goal. Once you score a touchdown, you can kick a field goal to get extra points. Have your opponent do finger goal posts, or place down the goal post you made, at their side of the field. If you can kick the football between the goalposts, you get 3 points if following football guidelines or 1 point if keeping the game simple.
    • To kick a field goal, place the football vertically, pressing one point with your index finger onto the surface. Hold it there to keep it steady, and when you are ready, flick the football with your free index finger towards the goal posts.[5]

Part 3
Making the Football

  1. Image titled Play Paper Football Step 7
    Fold an 8 ½” by 11” sheet of paper lengthwise and cut the fold to make two half sheets. You can use notebook or printer paper to make your football. If you want to be more creative, use colored construction paper, such as brown, to make it look more like a football.[6]
  2. Image titled Play Paper Football Step 8
    Fold one of the half sheets lengthwise. After folding, make sure the folded paper is placed vertically in front of you, with the opening facing right. You only need one half sheet to make one football. Feel free to make another one with your extra sheet.
    • If you want your football to be more sturdy, or contained, tape down or glue the edges of the folded paper together.
  3. Image titled Play Paper Football Step 9
    Fold the bottom right corner upwards to form a triangle. Take the bottom right corner and bring the point towards the left edge, this will form a triangle at the bottom of the paper. Repeat until one fold is left to make a complete triangle. Insert the remaining corner into the folds of the football.[7]
    • To add some flare, draw on some black lines to mimic the stitching found on actual footballs.


  • To make the game more interesting, add in more NFL rules to make extra points, such as 2-point conversions and safeties.
  • Have a designated referee to keep watch for any cheating or "out of bounds" plays.


  • Please be careful when flicking the paper ball in someone's direction because the pointed edges can be harmful, especially to the eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Two players
  • Paper
  • Bendy Straws
  • Tape
  • Paper Cup

Article Info

Categories: Party Games