Also known as Foosball, Table Football is basically a miniaturised version of football played on a table where you can play either 1v1 or 2v2. The aim of the game is to utilise the players suspended on the metal rods to hit the ball into the opposition goal. Typically, either team control a squad of 8 players, based over 4 rods, in order to score the predetermined amount of goals.
Whilst this is a fantastic game for you and your children to play with friends, World Championships and many other competitions are also played at professional level. The International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) was founded in 2002, with the aim to expose the sport as well as promote it with the International Olympic Committee.
Not only is Foosball an entertaining recreational activity, it makes for a great gift – providing hours of fun and not to mention, a great addition to a games room/man cave. The main thing to consider when purchasing your Foosball table is the type of table you are purchasing, and what its intended purpose is. Foosball tables can be categorised into 2: table top Foosball and stand-alone Foosball tables, the latter being the more expensive.
As the cheaper option, Table-top Foosball is ideal for beginners and younger children in order to introduce them to the sport and give them a great taste of what they are in for! Similarly, if you are short of space or just looking for a pass-time, then Table-top Foosball tables are packed away hassle-free, and brought out just as easy. As a less-expensive alternative to Stand-alone foosball Tables, their smaller size, easy manoeuvrability and light weight make them much more flexible in terms of playing when you want; they can be placed on many surfaces and packed away easily. Although the quality may not be as substantial or as robust as a Stand-alone Foosball Table, you can be certain they provide hours of endless fun!
Find this table here: https://www.allroundfun.co.uk/games-tables/table-football/gamesson-3ft-striker-ii-football-table
Stand-alone Foosball Table
Unlike the table-top Foosball Table, stand-alone Foosball Tables are usually much larger in size (not necessarily playing surface) and much more robust. Being constructed of robust materials, making the table much heavier, they are usually considerably more expensive and are made to be left in one place. However, there are a select few that can fold away whilst also being made to the same, solid standard as static-leg Foosball Tables.
Find this table here: https://www.allroundfun.co.uk/games-tables/table-football/gamesson-madrid-football-table
Factors to take into account
Table size is a key factor to take into account when purchasing your Foosball Table. For those looking for a pass-time, a gift for your young child or maybe if you are tight on space, then a smaller and cheaper table is likely the best option. This way you can have a taste for the sport and the table is easily stored away and moved around. A standard full-size Foosball Table is 56” long and 30” wide; this is the size that those who have already experienced Foosball, or want to improve their skill, would purchase.
Whilst considering the size of the table, you will also want to take into account the space around the table as the rods will be sticking out either end. Around 7ft x 8ft is enough room for movement around the table.
In order to ensure you buy the right table for you, you need to consider the skill level of the user. Whilst you may think that a full size is the safer option, if the user loses interest, then the table could be a waste. Alternatively, too small a table could be ineffective and not be suitable to the user.
Most stand-alone tables sit at around 36”, which can provide difficulties with some kids as they are too small to be able to reach. In which case, a table top version would be more suitable as they can be placed on low tables and they can also determine if they enjoy the sport so much. Since stand-alone tables are only slightly adjustable in height (dependent on the model), they are better suited to taller and slightly older players. Looking for a table for beginners should not prove too difficult, as most tables will have substantial quality to be played every now and then.
As players progress, they need a higher quality product to enjoy and improve at the sport. Tables for this level tend to be more expensive, as you want to have a flat playing surface, smooth and easy-to-move rods as well as a fairly sturdy structure. These Foosball tables may not be used enough to have out all the time, so you may wish to consider a foldable version to keep it out of the way when it is not in use.
Find the Riley 4ft6 Vertically Folding Football Table here: https://www.allroundfun.co.uk/games-tables/table-football/riley-4ft6-vertically-folding-football-table
There is no doubt advanced players will be needing a full size table at 56” x 30” which is built with heavy duty materials and designed to withstand a certain amount of heavy use. Believe it or not, Foosball can get very competitive! The rods that the players sit on need to be able to slide freely and the playing surface needs to be flat with no dips or warps.
Find the Roberto Sport New Camp Table Football (Blue) here: https://www.allroundfun.co.uk/games-tables/table-football/roberto-sport-new-camp-table-football–blue-
- Particle board is a popular material for the pitch to be made of, which eventually can warp and chip if under excessive use. This is found in cheaper tables as they are not made for constant use and forceful play. If you intend to play several hours a day and consider yourself a pro, then a heavy duty table made of solid wood or composite construction is more suited to you as they are designed to take extreme use. Obviously, if you’re table is more for recreational use when you occasionally have friends over or just a pass-time, then a cheaper option is probably better for you as you would not get much use out of a more expensive Foosball table.
- Hollow steel rods are the ideal type of rod for the best performance. Their hollow inside allows for swift and effortless movement, whilst being made of steel makes them sturdy and durable.
- Adjustable table legs allow you to alter the height of the Foosball table, which is particularly helpful if the users are of different heights. Adjusting the height of the table allows for both young children and adults to play, so the table can be at a comfortable height for game time.
- Leg levellers are ideal if the surface you are placing you table on is uneven. This added feature prevents a non-level playing surface so that game play is fair and the ball does not roll about the table uncontrollably.