What is table football?
Table football is a very competitive sport that emulates the real game of football. This sport requires high levels of skill in flicking small plastic players at a ball and then scoring goals in the opponent’s net while the defender is flicking his/her players trying to prevent the scoring. Table football provides never ending action and requires speed, accuracy, a high level of concentration, quick decision-making and a strategic mind.
All the aspects of real football can be simulated with flicking or snipping the figurine and play the round ball. Fast or slow, defensive or offensive play can be used for tactic. A throw-in, a free kick, a penalty and a corner can be played. Shots on goal can be done low or high under the crossbar. A foul may be done from the offensive player as well as from the defensive player. The goalkeeper can save shots and deflect the ball into corner or back into the playing area.
Players and equipment
The game is played between two individuals on a table measuring 40 inches x 60 inches. The playing surface is made of a material that resembles felt and each player has one goalkeeper on a rod and 10 figures of about 1 inch high over a circular flat base.
Rules of the game
All football playing rules have been transferred into table football. Referees take decisions according to the playing rules, such as the offside rule, confirming a goal, foul play, corner-kick, free-kick or a throw-in. The rules of table football are similar to the rules of real football but certain modifications have been made to accommodate the table game.
Below are a few examples of these modifications:
- The table football pitch includes the “shooting line”, a line parallel to and equidistant between the goal line and the half-way line. The “shooting line” will not be found in the real football pitch.
- Each figure cannot be flicked to kick the ball for more than three consecutive times without another figure of the same team touching the ball.
- In order for a goal to be scored, the ball needs to be inside the shooting line.
- The offside rule is in effect but only pertaining to figures that are forward of the opposing team’s shooting line (as opposed to the half-way line in actual football)
- Each half lasts 15 minutes. Click here to read all the rules of the game.
What makes table football special?
Contrary to other table top games where the playing figures are in fixed positions, table football gives the players the freedom to move their figures without any restrictions. Additionally, each player can have his/her team painted in such fine detail so it resembles an actual football team.
Players who participate in table football tournaments experience the same feelings (anticipation, excitement, etc.) that real football players experience in all major football tournaments like the World Cup or the Champions League.