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A Brief History Of Foosball

Foosball tables have been seen in movies, popular TV shows and in bars and the homes of young adults throughout the world. But, from where did foosball come? When was it invented? Has the game or the equipment used undergone any significant changes over the years? To many, foosball is an enigma. Existing in the present, most have no idea of its origin. In this article, you'll learn about the history of foosball. You'll discover how a humble tabletop game slowly grew to become a global phenomenon.

Foosball In The Beginning

While few know the true "birthdate" for the game of foosball, most speculate that it was invented in the early part of the 20th century somewhere in Germany. Most experts who have taken the time to research its origin believe the game was created in the 1920's or early 1930's. There's some confusion regarding this because there were similar games under development in France around the same period. Despite competition in France, foosball gained a foothold in Germany and became popular throughout German society. This all but ensured that Germany would be named foosball's country of origin.

Foosball Comes To America

Foosball did not explode into American culture. Instead, it had meager beginnings. In 1955, a man named Larry Patterson (hailed by foosball fans as a foosball pioneer) was reputed to have introduced table football to the U.S. The game was not well-received. However, years of persistence eventually rewarded Patterson and his supporters. Slowly, foosball tables began to populate local bars and pubs, eventually becoming popular with college students. Though interest in the game grew slowly, it gained a meandering momentum that continues to attract fans today.

The Sport Becomes Organized

Even though organized promotion of foosball tournaments existed throughout Europe during the 1950's, it wasn't until 1975 when the game attracted major media attention. During that year, a man named Lee Peppard organized an event with a $250,000 purse, far more than previous foosball competitions. This sparked a wave of interest, prompting a series of large-prize foosball tournaments. In 2002, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) was created to promote events worldwide and work with the Olympic committee to induct foosball into the roster of Olympic sports.

Foosball Becomes A Major Business

As foosball has grown in popularity, the demand for foosball tables has grown proportionally. There has been a surge in business as people have flocked to stores to buy new tables. Fans of the game are often willing to spend large sums of money on a robust foosball table that offers durable construction, figures with counterweights, bumpers, a scoring system and other features. Today, dozens of manufacturers build foosball tables that range in price from $400 to several thousands of dollars to sate the demand.

The Future Of Foosball

Were foosball merely a fad, it would have disappeared long ago. Instead, it continues to attract new fans and players each year. The expansion of global competitions and larger tour purses draws new crops of players as thousands of websites offer the latest playing strategies. The game also provides a fun, low-maintenance way to spend time with friends. Some experts have compared the state of foosball with that of billiards during its early years. Driven by professional organizations that work tirelessly to promote the sport, a healthy business environment and competitions with increasingly larger purses, foosball is certain to continue growing in popularity.