Played by people all over the world, foosball is a game with a long history that is full of some ups and downs. If you want to learn a bit more about table soccer, or just need some facts to impress your friends, then check out our 10 facts below that you probably don’t know.
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If you’ve ever wondered about the longest foosball game in history, now you know! According to the Guinness World Records page, the longest marathon playing table football/foosball (doubles) is 61 hours and 17 minutes. This world record was achieved by Alexander Kuen, Manuel Larcher, Bernd Neururer and Dietmar Neururer (all Austrian), in Innsbruck, Austria, on August 29th – September 1st, 2012.
That million dollar championship prize though is the really impressive fact. I first learned about it from the book The Complete Book Of Foosball by Johnny Rafols (writing as Johnny Lott) and Kathy Brainard. If you’re interested in more details and can’t find a copy of this book at your local library, then check out this page.
I was also surprised to learn about the different playing styles and game tables. According to an article on Mental Floss, American style foosball, also known as “Texas foosball,” is generally played on a dense, solid table surface like mahogany. The ball is usually thick plastic, and the foosball men are made of harder plastic, all of which makes for a fast game where power rules. In addition, American tables have three men on the goalie bar as opposed to one goalie in other countries, enabling the player to pull the ball out of the corner without stopping gameplay.
In contrast, French foosball is played on a linoleum surface with a “tacky” feel and a cork ball, making the gameplay much more controlled, with an emphasis on passing the ball and setting up shots, just like real football.
German tables are the softest of the bunch, providing ultimate control of the ball to strategically line up shots on over-sized goals. In German-style, the game play offers a slicker interaction than other European styles, making for less pinning against the table surface and more shots starting with side controlled movement. Compared to America, their men have more rounded or blocked toes rather than a cross-hatched design that allows for a little more ball control when pinning it.
Finally, Italian tables are a good mix of styles, well known for using either sandblasted glass to allow for faster gameplay, or plastic laminate to slow things down for precision ball handling.
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