About Foosball Tables
Invented by British football fan Harold Thornton in 1921, the original foosball table (also known as fussball, futsal, kicker, biliardino or simply table football) began with a box of matches, arranged as a crude prototype while developing the idea. The game has changed little since its inception, and continues to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Although designs vary, the average table has a playing area enclosed by sidewalls and eight poles (four per player) passed across it - each fitted with little wooden, metal, plastic or carbon-fibre footballer figurines ( or "foos men"). These poles are designated as the striker row (offensive 3-bar), midfield row (5-bar), and the defensive zone (consisting of one 3-bar and one 2-bar for defending the goal).
Tables can be purchased in varying dimensions to suit the people likely to play it, however the standard size is around 120cm in length by 61cm in width. Full size or competition tables are larger at around 140cm by 73cm, while for small children, 54cm by 33cm models are adequate.
The style of table also varies and can be chosen to suit your home décor. Modern, fold-out models with sleek, flowing lines are ideal bought brand new for minimalist or contemporary homes, while chunkier refurbished retro tables give a vintage feel. There are even ornate designs to fit with an otherwise classic décor. Tables are usually made of wood, such as MDF or pine with a variety of finishes, but plastic and metal versions are also available.
Some tables also double up as snooker, pool, or air-hockey surfaces for an all-in-one, sometimes fold-away playroom.
Among the best known brands are Tornado, Shelti, Bonzini and Dynamo, with replacement parts for these better known models being very easy to come by.