You have probably seen foosball tables, and very likely played the game. But do you know very much about it? Here are 4 fun facts about foosball and how it got started.
When it comes to game tables, there are a lot of great games available today. But only a handful of them are really popular. One of the more popular games today is foosball. You can find foosball tables in many places. They are a small enough game table that many people have them in their homes. You can also find them in many public game halls, bars, bowling allies, clubs, schools and other areas. People of all ages enjoy playing foosball, they bring friends and family together for a lot of good times and enjoyable memories. Here are four things about foosball that you may not know.
Similar games first came about in the 1890's, but the game as we know it today was invented in 1922 in the UK. It was patented in the UK in 1923, and in the US in 1927. Other than billiards and tables tennis, it is one of the oldest table games still played today.
Foosball was inspired by a Tottenham Hotspur Football Club football (soccer) game. Known as the Spurs, they are based in Tottenham, North London. Harold Searles Thornton was an avid supporter of the Spurs and of soccer in general. After attending a match, he got to thinking that it would be fun to replicate the game of football so that it could be enjoyed by anybody in the home. He formed the basis of the game by laying out matches across the top of the match box. Thornton patented the game in the UK, and his Uncle, who lived in Portland, Oregon, patented the game in the US.
The popularity of the game spread rapidly. Organized competition first came about in Europe in the 1940's. Big money competition was not seen until 1975 when Lee Peppard, from Seattle, Washington, organized the "quarter million dollar tour". Lee's organization went out of business in 1981, after awarding millions of dollars in prize money. Though other organizations have also held large purse foosball events worldwide, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITFS) was not established until 2002 in France. The ITFS now regulates many international events, including an annual World Cup.
Foosball tables can vary in size and the number of men, depending upon where you are in the world. Normally foosball tables are designed for 2 to 4 players. But specialized tables have also been made, including a table called the Leonhart table that is located in Berlin, Germany. This table requires 11 players per side to play (or you can count on getting a really good workout!). Besides game variations, even the name can vary. Common English names for foosball include table soccer, table football and footzy. The French will refer to it as baby-foot. In Hanover, Germany the game is sometimes called Krökeln, or in general in Germany it is referred to as Kicker. The Austrians call it Wuzeln.
Next time you are at the club hanging around the foosball tables, you can spout off some of these fun facts to your friends. They will be impressed, and maybe even a little more fearful of you when you play.