Copntact Staff Card Deck Instructions!
The Contact Staff Card Deck!
These cards have been specially designed to break down the
art of contact staff into its fundamental components. This
enables you to create new and exciting tricks, play games
with your friends, and expand your knowledge by playing
these cards in different combinations.
Contact staff theory, cards and game design by Jed Fowler.
Version 2.0 www.masterflowarts.com
1x Instructional Booklet
4x Centre of Rotation
11x Body Part
2x Spin Type
5x Body Position
7x Arm Position
3x Staff Height
2x Points of Contact
6x Side of Contact
1x Blank (spare)
Before you start playing
Contact Staff is a physical activity that involves a staff moving
about your body. As such it is recommended to take
appropriate precautions before and during play. Remember
to warm up and stretch before playing. Take it slow and
steady, as there's no need to move the staff quickly. Your staff
should be lightweight, with cushy grip and soft ends. Do not
push past a comfortable range of motion or perform feats
you think may cause any issues. Of course, if you need it,
take a break!
The deck consists of 74 cards, which are separated into 15
different types/colours. Each card type has a name and is
associated with a colour. A contact staff trick is created by
combining these cards to define each part of the trick in
sequence. The trick is performed one column at a time, from
left to right. All the cards in a column must be expressed at
the same time. There cannot be two cards of the same
type/colour in a column. To perform a trick, the performer
must move their body and contact staff in such a way that
all the conditions of the cards are met, one column at a
time, in sequence.
Each card also has a difficulty rating, which is represented on
each card by the following symbols:
These symbols can help you determine how difficult tricks
may be. If you are fairly new to contact staff, you may want
to remove some or all of the "hard" cards from the deck.
In the example below, the contact staff must start at the right
wrist (the first blue body part card), then travel to the right
elbow (second body part card), then travel to the left
shoulder (third body part card). Once the staff touches the
right wrist, the trick starts. The performer must then
immediately meet all the requirements of the second column
(orange, green cards) while the staff is on its way to the
right elbow. After the staff touches the right elbow, the
performer must then meet the requirements of the 4th
column (brown, grey cards) as the staff travels to the left
shoulder (the final column). Once the staff touches the left
shoulder, the trick is finished.
All Levels Game (2-5 players)
Gameplay Overview / Aim:
Over several rounds, players draw cards to create tricks to
challenge other players to perform. If the tricks are
successfully performed, cards are added to their personal
collections. In the final round, each player must use the cards
in their collection to create and perform a final staff trick.
Highest score wins!
1st Round Draft:
Shuffle all the cards in the deck together and deal out 7 cards
to each player. Each player simultaneously chooses one card
to keep, placing the card face down in front of them. Each
player passes the remaining cards in their hand (now 6 cards)
to the player to their left. Each player then simultaneiously
chooses a second card to keep, then passes the remaining
cards (now 5 cards) to their left again. This continues until
each player has 7 cards face down in front of them, and there
are no cards left to pass. Each player must now discard one
card of their choice, so the total number of cards in each
player's hand is now 6.
Using the cards chosen, each player must create a staff trick
(keeping with the deck overview rules) to challenge the
player to their left to perform, using all 6 cards. When all
players are ready, the first player challenges the player to
their left (the performer) to perform the trick they have
created. The performer must then perform the trick, within
only three attempts. The other players in the game decide if
the performer has successfully completed the trick. Upon
successful completion, first the trick maker, then the
performer, are able to take one of the cards from the trick
and add it to their personal face down collection. The
performer then becomes the challenger and reveals the trick
they created to the player on their left. This continues until
all players have revealed their hands and attempted to
Play continues with all the cards (except for the players'
personal collection) being shuffled, redealt and drafted as
above. Each player challenges a different performer each
2-player: Players play as above, for 4 rounds.
3-player: Players then challenge to their right, then left, then
right, for a total of 4 rounds.
4-player: Players then challenge across, then to their right,
then to their left again for a total of 4 rounds.
5-player: Players challenge 2nd player to left, then 3rd player
to left, then player to the right, for a total of 4 rounds.
Do not deal out cards, instead, players now use 6 of the cards
facedown in front of them to create a trick for themselves
to perform. When all players are ready, all players
reveal their trick at the same time. Each player gets three
attempts to perform the trick they have created for
themselves. Should the trick be successfully performed, the
trick is scored 1 point for each "easy" card, 1.5 points for
each "medium" card, and 2 points for each "hard" card.
Highest score wins! In case of a tie, players add up the scores
of cards in the trick and remaining in their hand (if any are
left in the hand). If still a tie, whomever performs their trick
the cleanest wins!
NO PRACTICING. Once a trick is revealed, the performer
cannot manipulate a staff unless they are attempting to
perform their trick and being judged.
This game can be played in a larger group, or with players
joining and leaving constantly. Just remove the card
collecting rules and final round/scoring, to keep playing
rounds continuously with players swapping out!
Game for Experienced Players, 3-5 players:
Each round, 3x "body part" cards are played out in a row.
Players take turns playing various other cards between the
"body part" cards to challenge each other and explore
various ways to move the contact staff around the body.
Each round, each player's hand gets steadily smaller until the
last player with cards in their hand wins!
Separate cards into two decks: “Body Parts” and the rest.
Shuffle both decks separately. Deal 3 Body Part cards out in a
row and set aside the left over body part deck for later
rounds. Deal 5 cards from the other deck to each player,
6 cards to the player to the right of dealer. The dealer is the
first performer. The two people either side of the dealer
place 1 card from their hand between either of the body
parts (as per example). The performer must then perform
the trick, within only three attempts. The other players in the
game decide if the performer has successfully completed the
trick. The performer must meet the card requirements, with
success determined by your peers.
If successful: the performer picks up one of the two condition
cards and the other card is discarded.
On failure: both cards are discarded.
Play moves clockwise.
The player to the left is now the performer, and players either
side place the new cards. The body part cards stay the same.
Repeat. Once everyone has performed, the round is over and
all the body part cards are then collected, shuffled and
re-dealt. When a player has no cards left and cannot play a
condition card, the game ends!
Options: For more difficulty, a random “persistent” card can
be added from the deck that affects the entire sequence.
There are two ways to create longer trick sequences that
1. Tricks showing the blue body part cards as the base.
This style assumes the perspective of the staff moving about
the body, touching various body parts as it goes. Cards are
placed in columns between the body part cards, describing
how the performer and staff will behave between each body
Trick showing the light purple transition cards as the base.
This style assumes the perspective of the staff transitioning
from one style to another. As per above, but the purple
transition cards form the base of the trick:
Creation Game, 1+ players:
Shuffle the entire deck. Play 3 cards from the top of the deck
into a column. One person performs the trick the cards
create. Another card is then dealt from the top of the deck
and added to the column. If the card is a transition card (or a
body part card, based upon which style you choose to play),
it is placed next to the first column. The next card dealt after
the transition card starts a new column. Each column cannot
have the same card type (colour) in it. Players take turns
completing the trick as it progressively gets more difficult
and specific, until the trick is too hard! This way, you can
discover and create random new sequences with your friends!
H-O-R-S-E is a game played by multiple people. The idea of
the game involves matching staff tricks (based upon the rules
in the game overview section). The player who creates staff
tricks that the opponent does not duplicate, wins the game.
Example: The first player makes a trick by drawing out 6
random cards from deck, then rearranging them to form a
trick, and performing it. If it is completed successfully, the
second person must duplicate the first person's trick. If the
second person fails, they receive the letter "H". If the first
person's attempt failed, the second person may attempt the
trick or draw cards and make a new trick. If the 2nd person's
trick is successfully performed, the next player is obligated to
duplicate it (their trick may vary slightly, but as long as it
meets the requirements of the cards, it counts). Each time a
player fails a trick they attempted to duplicate, a letter is
"awarded". The game continues until one person collects all
5 letters of the word H-O-R-S-E, and the game ends.
Some Card Clarifications:
Staff Height: Low/High: The performer must keep the staff as
close to/as far as possible from the ground at all times.
Stepping(walking): The staff temporarily has two points of
contact as it transfers from one body part to another.
Static (3 Families): This card cannot be played in the same
column as other cards of the family types; Spin Type,
Rotation, Centre of Rotation, as it is all 3.
Pendulum (2 Families): A pendulum occurs when the staff's
rotation comes to a slow stop due to gravity. This card cannot
be played in the same column as types; Spin Type, Transition.
Clockwise/CounterClockwise: The direction of spin as seen by
Calibre: "The character/level of ability" the trick must be
Arm Position: The arm that is manipulating the staff should
be in this position.
Side of Contact: The side of the body the staff must touch.
Lock/Trap: The staff is held in place by 2+ points of contact.
Slide: The staff moves smoothly across the body as if the staff
is slippery (like there is no grip).