Foosball – Table Soccer For Everyone

Published Date: December 6th, 2009
Category: Entertainment

By Mark Rocco Platinum Quality Author

Foosball is one of my all time favorite games. I actually learned to play foosball (as a college freshman); before I learned to play soccer (I grew up playing baseball and football). I would spend hours, and many quarters, playing and practicing not only because it was so much fun, but because you could score in so many ways that just weren’t possible in regular soccer (like bank shots off of the walls).

It should come as no surprise that the game of foosball, or table soccer, was invented by an Englishman. In 1922, Harold S. Thornton conceived the game after a football match (the North London Spurs), which he wanted to be able to duplicate at home. With additional inspiration from a book of matches, the basic concept for the foosball table was born.

The game itself is quite simple, a soccer pitch is duplicated in miniature on the bottom of a table and the players are suspended above the surface on a series of 8 rotating rods. The rod allows the players to move back and forth across the field, and also to kick the ball by swinging the rod. The ball is served into play through a hole in the side wall at mid field. The players then attempt to kick the ball into opposing goals. Each ‘team’ consists of 4 rows of players, a goalie, two defensemen, 5 midfielders and 3 strikers. Only the goalie and defensemen are on adjacent rods. The midfielders and strikers are located between the opposing player’s midfielders and strikers, so they can compete for the ball.

The game can be played by individuals or ‘doubles’, where one player controls the defense (goalie and defenseman) and his team mate controls the offense (mid fielders and strikers). Games are played to a pre-determined number of goals, which can be 5, 7, 10 or 11, depending on the table or the competition.

Although organized competitions date back to the 1940’s, professional tours and big money events did not start until 1975. Today, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) regulates both annual World Championships and every four years a World Cup, scheduled to coincide with the FIFA World Cup.

The foosball tables used in the world tours and official ITSF tournaments are Bonzini, Tornado, Roberto Sport, Garlando and Tecball. Other major brands include Kicker, Rosengart, Jupiter Goldstar, Eurosoccer, Löwen-Soccer, Warrior, Lehmacher, Leonhart, and Smoby.

I’m Mark and I love all types of video and non video arcade games, especially foosball. If you liked this article about the history of foosball, you can get more information on my blog at Pinball Machines and Arcade Games.

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