What is table soccer?

Table soccer is a recreational game that consists of a table which contains figures that are controlled by outside extended handle bars which players use to kick the ball around, hence playing a certain extent of soccer on the table. The standard table soccer table usually ranges in size from 4-5 feet in length and from 2-3 feet in width, and can be made out of materials such as wood or iron or plastic.

How is table soccer played?

Table soccer is normally played with certain rules and distinctions which make the game fun a very entertaining for its fans and love. Both sides have defenders, strikers, goalkeepers and midfielders, popularly known as foos men, whom they control. To begin with, the game can be played by either two players or four players, as both sides will be able to control the ball. The game starts when the ball is served via an opening on the table’s side. Additionally, the ball can be conveniently placed into the table by a hand into a figure-like structure’s feet at the center of the table. Much like real life soccer, a coin toss is usually used to determine which side will start.

Rules of playing table soccer

Table soccer, much like any sport, consists of various rules and stipulations which make the game both fun and fair to parties who partake in it. The most basic rule of table soccer is that players are required to play the game by moving the ball with the bar handles, and this is required to be done in a 360 degree motion movements. Consequently, these movements should be one with the player’s palms and are more efficient and fun if done in swift and quick motion movements. In some instances, players are allowed to fully rotate the foos ball figures after striking the ball and this can be done after a goal has been scored.

In other instances, the goalkeeper is allowed to be spun by the players. In essence, 360 degree rotation movements are allowed, whether before or after hitting the ball. Since the establishment of the international Table soccer federation, commonly known as ITSF, the rules have become uniform across all table soccer competitions. The winners of a table soccer match are determined by the players who score the most goals, ranging between five to eleven goals. In competitions such as the Bonzini competitions, players, whether singles or doubles, must achieve a minimum number of seven goals, and two clear goals are required for one to win such a tournament.

Competition events and venues

In most instances, table soccer is played in places such as work stations, bars, entertainment joints and arcades as a recreational activity. However, table soccer has been known to be played competitively in major tournaments and events all over the world. In addition, these competitions date back to the early 1970s, whereby there were cash prizes to be won and hence these competitions consisted of highly evolved rules and regulations. In the modern day and time, the ITSF controls major international tournaments, especially the world cup competitions of the sport. This world cup brings together over 400 players from 50 countries that compete.

Types of tables used

Table soccer consists of a number of table variations, with the most notable ones used at international tournaments being the Roberto sport, Bonzini, Garlando, Leonhart and Tornado. Additionally, over the years, there have been developments of tables which are for luxury and comfort purposes. For instance, an artist named Maurizio Cattelan created a table which requires eleven players a side to play. Tables vary according to constituents such as goalie movement restrictions and types of balls of the tables and these factors greatly influence the playing styles of table soccer lovers across the world and in competitions alike.

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