Table football or ‘foosball’ is probably one of the most appealing, entertaining and addictive table-top games around. From skilled players to the controversial ‘spinners’ (that’s NOT ALLOWED by the way!) there are few tables in pubs and venues countrywide that don’t enjoy the regular play.
The rules are based loosely on Association Football. A serious sport for some, associations and tournaments exist and thrive the world over – some with attractive cash prizes.
Most likely though, you're investing in a football table for the fun of it. So, here are a few pointers to help you on your way.
There are a number of table sizes available so it’s likely you’ll be able to find one that works best for you. You’ll need to allow at least 2.5ft between the edge of the side of your table and the wall directly behind, whichever rod type you opt for. Bigger tables tend to be made of heavier and more robust materials and are better suited to adults, while smaller tables tend to be less expensive and can be fun for both adults and children.
There are two basic rod types, fixed and telescopic. Tables with fixed rods tend to be less expensive (but rarely less fun) though have the potential to inflict considerable pain if you happen to be standing in the wrong place when your opponent desperately tries to defend a vicious shot! Telescopic rods on the other hand mean that as the opposition rod is pushed forward, it collapses into itself rather than poke out of the other side, allowing both players to better focus on the game, and removing any chance of accidental rod-based injury.
Entry-level MDF tables will absorb moisture and eventually warp while particleboard will weaken and crumble over time. However, these types of tables tend to be relatively inexpensive compared with high-end, commercial and competition models, so it’s often a balancing act. If your table is destined to live outdoors then composite or high-quality wood & glass materials are an absolute must but for indoor tables, this is far less important as long as the room it’s going to live in is warm and dry.