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Overview Of Foosball

Once considered the official game of pubs and fraternity houses, foosball (also called table football and table soccer) has slowly grown in popularity. Today, the game receives the same attention and treatment of many organized sports. With its fan base spreading, foosball is now promoted by official organizations and tournaments held around the world.

Most people have seen a foosball table even if they're unable to recall the game's name. They may have even enjoyed playing the game without knowing the proper rules. Below, we'll give you an overview of foosball. You'll learn about the equipment, basic strategy and the game's evolution through the years.

Understanding The Pieces Of The Game

Playing foosball required at least 2 players and a foosball table. The table includes the ball. Each player controls a set of foosmen attached to a series of rods. Foosball tables vary in size, but almost universally include 8 rows of foosmen (each team of players controls 4 of the 8 rows). Each row of foosmen has its respective duties. For example, the first row is your goalie while middle rows include your defensive foosmen. Your last row (typically the 6th of 8 rows of foosmen) is used for offensive plays.

Basic Foosball Strategy

Foosball strategy changes as the number of players increases. During singles play (with 1 opponent on each team), it's difficult to maintain control of 4 rows of players. Some experienced players focus on perfecting their defense during singles play. Other players develop a talent for controlling multiple rods with their right hand while always maintaining control of the goalie with their left.

During doubles play (with 2 opponents on each team), teamwork is critical. One player should focus solely on midfield defense and offense, leaving his teammate to focus on controlling the goalie. There are several expert shots that skilled players can accomplish as part of their playing strategy. These shots include the "pull shot," "front pin" and "snake shots" and usually require the finesse and precision of an experienced player.

Entertainment Vs. Competitions

When foosball was introduced to the U.S., it was usually relegated to bars, pubs and fraternity houses. It had the same prestige as a game of darts. However, foosball has enjoyed an expanding popularity. Today, competitions and tournaments are held locally, nationally and even worldwide attracting media attention with first prize purses often climbing past $100,000. The Foosball World Championships are held annually while the World Cup of Foosball tournament is held every 4 years to correspond with the popular FIFA World Cup.

While still enjoyed in pubs around the world, foosball has gained a helpful boost of credibility through the promotion of organizations such as the International Table Soccer Federation and the American Foosball Association.

Enjoying The Game

The game of foosball has evolved over the past several decades. It started as a glorified board game and grew to become recognized as an organized sporting event with tournaments held worldwide. Today, the official organizations that promote foosball events regulate the types of tables used, the rules by which competitions are played as well as which countries are allowed member status to compete for the world title. For most people, however, a simple game with friends and family is enough to suffice. With a few hundred dollars, a bit of room in your home and some extra time, you can enjoy foosball on your own terms.