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Table Football Tournaments: How to Compete and Win in Foosball Matches

Table Football: A Fun and Exciting Game for Everyone

Have you ever played table football, also known as foosball or table soccer? If not, you are missing out on a great game that can bring you hours of fun and entertainment. Table football is a game that simulates the sport of soccer on a miniature scale, using figures mounted on rods to kick a ball into the opponent's goal. It is easy to learn, but challenging to master, and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about table football, from its history and rules to its tips and tricks. We will also show you how to play table football like a pro, and how to enjoy it with your friends and family. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, a casual or a competitive player, a fan or a newcomer, this article will help you discover the amazing world of table football.

table football

What is table football and how did it originate?

Table football is a game that is loosely based on association football, or soccer. The aim of the game is to move the ball into the opponent's goal by manipulating rods which have figures attached. Table football tables can vary in size, but a typical table is about 120 centimetres (3.9 ft) long and 61 centimetres (2.00 ft) wide. The table usually contains eight rows of foos men, which are plastic, metal, wooden, or sometimes carbon-fibre figures mounted on horizontal metal bars.

The history of table football

The exact origin of table football is unclear, as there are several claims and patents for similar games dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, some of the most widely accepted stories are as follows:

  • In 1921, Harold Searles Thornton from the United Kingdom patented the game as "Apparatus for playing a game of table football". He invented the game as a way to recreate the excitement of soccer at home, inspired by a box of matches.

  • In 1937, Alejandro Finisterre from Spain patented his version of the game as "futbolín", during the Spanish Civil War. He came up with the idea after seeing children who had lost their limbs in the war playing with toy soldiers.

  • In 1938, Lucien Rosengart from France claimed to have invented the game as "baby foot", as a way to entertain his grandchildren during the cold winter months.

The game spread across Europe and reached the United States in the 1950s, where it became known as "foosball", derived from the German word "tischfußball" (table football). The game reached its peak of popularity in the 1970s, when it could be found in bars, arcades, colleges, and homes across the country.

The rules and equipment of table football

Table football is played by two or four players, who control four rods each. The rods have different numbers of figures attached to them, usually one goalie, two defenders, five midfielders, and three forwards. The players can spin, push, or pull the rods to move the figures and kick the ball.

The ball is usually made of plastic or cork, and has a diameter of about 35 millimetres (1.4 in). The goal is usually 20 centimetres (7.9 in) wide and 8 centimetres (3.1 in) high. The playing field is usually covered with a green cloth or plastic to resemble grass. The table may have ramps, bumps, or slopes to add more challenge and variety to the game.

The rules of table football may vary depending on the location, the type of table, and the level of play. However, some of the most common rules are as follows:

  • The game begins with a coin toss to decide which team serves first. The ball is placed at the center of the table and the serving team can kick it in any direction.

  • The game is played in two halves of 5 minutes each, with a 2-minute break in between. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. If the score is tied, a sudden death overtime is played until one team scores.

  • A goal is scored when the ball enters the goal and remains there. If the ball bounces out of the goal, it does not count as a goal.

  • A player cannot spin the rod more than 360 degrees before or after striking the ball. This is called a "spin shot" and it is considered illegal.

  • A player cannot touch the ball with his or her hands, or move or lift the table during play. This is called a "foul" and it results in a penalty.

  • A penalty is awarded to the opposing team when a foul occurs. The penalty is taken from the nearest spot where the foul occurred, and the defending team must move all their figures away from the ball.

  • A player cannot keep the ball in one rod for more than 10 seconds. This is called a "time out" and it results in a loss of possession.

  • If the ball goes out of play, it is returned to the team that did not touch it last. If it is unclear which team touched it last, it is returned to the team that was serving.

How to play table football like a pro

Table football is a game that requires skill, strategy, and practice. If you want to improve your game and impress your opponents, here are some tips and tricks that you can follow:

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