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Table football - table football
Ball control

Table soccer is a sport applied to a game device or a the football modeled on game kickers , table football , table football , kicker box , Krökeln (Region Hannover) or Wuzzler or Wuzeltisch and Switzerland Töggelichaste ( table football) is called. The aim is to use (soccer) player figures (made of wood, plastic or metal) attached to rotating handle bars above a rectangular playing area to shoot a predetermined number of balls into the opposing goal. A foosball table is usually equipped with four handle bars on each of the two long sides of the playing surface, on which a total of eleven playing figures are attached per game party.

Table football has been used in education as a communication and rehabilitation tool for decades . There are many foosball tables in youth facilities, schools, scout homes, in playrooms in children's hospitals and in many children's rooms. Due to the low entry threshold, foosball tables are also often set up in restaurants .

History of table football

It is believed that the first table football table (in Europe) was developed by the French Lucien Rosengart . Back then, Rosengart was an employee of the car manufacturer Citroën . The Swiss company “Kicker”, based in Geneva, built their tables based on this “original table” (where the bars were still at the head ends). The tables were so popular in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium that the word “kicker” became a synonym for table football in Germany. In German-speaking Switzerland , the tables are colloquially called "Töggelikasten", in Austria they are often "Wuzzler", and occasionally "Wuzzlkasten". The Galician Alejandro Finisterre secured the first patent for a foosball table in 1937.

Verifiable patents identify an Englishman as the inventor of table football: On October 14, 1922, Harold S. Thornton registered a device with rotating bars with the patent office. Even the rough structure of the original table corresponds to today's tables. However, it took another 30 years for the game to establish itself in Germany. It was not until 1967 that the first German championship was held through an initiative by the Bildzeitung . The DTFB was founded two years later .

Significant for the development of the ambitious table football sport in Germany was above all the machine sales company Löwen , whose long-standing supplier is Leonhart. Löwen organized a national tournament series in Germany in the 1980s and 90s, which also attracted many top players from neighboring countries and the annual highlight of which was the so-called "German Championships" in Bingen, the headquarters of Löwen. In 2000/01, Löwen withdrew from the event for economic reasons. Shortly afterwards, active players founded p4p eV ( Players 4 Players Tischfussballvereinigung eV) to continue the tournament series.

According to a final judgment by the Hessian Finance Court on June 23, 2010 (file number 4 K 501/09), an association that operates table football can be recognized as a non-profit organization.

Regional names in German-speaking countries

Table football is known by other names than those listed above in certain regions:

  • In Hanover and the surrounding area, the sport is known under the name Krökel , a table football table is accordingly referred to as a Krökler or Krökeltisch . The term comes from the term Krökel for an iron bar in Hanover.
  • In Austria it is often called Wuzzeln , in Carinthia Balankan , in Upper Austria Zoistsn.
  • In Switzerland table football is also known under the name Töggelä or Jöggelä ; in eastern Switzerland (e.g. in Thurgau) a table football table is called Tschütelichaschtä .
  • In Liechtenstein one speaks of Tschuttikäschtala or just Tschüttala
  • In southern Germany, especially in the Palatinate , it is known as Hackersche .
  • In western Saarland , table football is also known under the name Knack .

Sports organizations


The table football players in Germany are organized in the German Table Football Association (DTFB) and in the P4P eV (Players 4 Players Table Football Association ). Both organizations hold tournaments and championships or league operations on a regular basis. Table football has been officially recognized as a sport since 2010. To distinguish it from Tipp-Kick , it is officially referred to as rotating pole table football .

The DTFB is the umbrella organization of the German state associations, which are organized in a similar way to football . The regional associations organize regional championships and regional leagues and, according to their rankings, send players to the German championship, which is similar to the DTFB Cup, and also to league teams for the 2nd and 1st Bundesliga. Players can also qualify for the championships via supraregional challenger tournaments organized by the regional associations and receive ranking points for the DTFB ranking list. Challenger tournaments can be organized relatively easily by the individual clubs. Spatially, these tend to take place in northwest Germany. Apart from that, there are some larger regional leagues (e.g. in Berlin, Freiburg, Hamburg etc.) in which the players can compete. Around 7,000 players are organized in the DTFB (as of 2015).

The first German table football championship was held in Braunlage in 1967.

The P4P eV organizes an annual, national tournament series, which thanks to high and guaranteed prize money also attracts top international players. Unlike in football, a newcomer can also play against the world's elite here. The tournaments usually take place in conference hotels at around 40 to 80 tables with around 200 to 800 participants. There are more than 10 disciplines (usually) held in double knockout mode . Doubles (two against two) and singles (one against one) are played in each of the three performance classes, with high starts being possible. That is, a newcomer can participate anywhere. There are also women doubles and singles as well as a DYP .

Sponsored by P4P eV and DTFB, the DYP tour will take place for the second time in 2012/13. There are many smaller (sometimes only 10 to 20 participants) ranking tournaments in the MonsterDYP mode throughout Germany , in which the participants can collect points for a ranking. The best players then take part in a final tournament at the end, in which they play for material and cash prizes. When it was held for the first time in 2011/12, 1007 tournaments were held at 47 locations in 10 months, in which 2784 players took part.


In Austria, the Table Football Association Austria (TFBÖ) is responsible for the organization of TFB Sports. The game is usually played on the Garlando table, the design of which has been increasingly approximating to international tables since 2002.


In 2002, on the initiative of eight national associations (Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, USA) the ITSF ( International Table Soccer Federation ) was founded as the global umbrella organization of national associations. At the end of 2009, the France-based ITSF comprised 60 national federations. The association has observer status with the Global Association of International Sports Federations . The ITSF organizes international tournament series and world championships and has set itself the goal of making “foosball” Olympic. In this way, the commercialization of sport is also promoted. In order to achieve this, the association tries, for example, to bring all common tables to a common denominator with regard to basic properties. This should make it possible to compare the performance of the players directly and independently of the table being played. There are currently five officially approved tables (see table types).

The most important tournament rules

Depending on the associated association or organization, the rules differ in small details.

  • Usually two sets of wins with up to five goals are played, but in the losers round only one set of up to seven goals is played.
  • Before the ball is put into play, by throwing it in or clamping it on the row of 5, the player in possession asks his opponent if he is ready. The game will only start when the latter confirms this.
  • The team against whom the last goal was scored receives the right to put the ball on or throw it in, whereby influencing the ball (cutting) is permitted. This means that the ball can be safely thrown into your own row of 5 through the insertion hole.
  • It is not permitted to rotate the figures by more than 360 degrees before and after contact with the ball ( cranking / rounding ).
  • Turning the bar without contact with the ball is not prohibited, but can be considered a distraction.
  • Excessive force (shaking the table or bumping into it with the figures) is also not allowed.
  • Both hands must always remain on the handle when shooting.
  • Goals can generally be scored from any position.
  • Every ball that has been brought behind the goal line counts as a hit, especially balls that jump back into the playing field after crossing the goal line due to the force of the shot.
  • One-man passes are not allowed when passing the ball from the 2 or 1 to the 5 and from the 5 to the 3 rod. After the ball has been controlled (pinched or stopped), it must always be passed through with another piece. Balls at rest may not be passed directly through either. Furthermore, in some leagues this rule is broken through contact with the gang , but not in others.
  • Sometimes the ball is in the blind spot
    A ball is dead when it cannot be reached by any playing figure and it rests. How the ball is put back into play differs from league to league. For example, in the P4P league, a dead ball is put back into play behind the row of two by the goalkeeper concerned. Dead balls between the two bars of the table are brought back into play by the team with the right to throw in. According to the rules of the DTFB, the ball is thrown back in the middle or placed on the row of 5 if it is between the rows of 5, otherwise it is given to the next row of 2.
  • If a player kicks the ball out of the field, the opposing team gets the ball on the goalkeeper.
  • After every interruption of the game (e.g. time-outs, dead balls, balls that have been blown out) and after every goal, the opponent is asked again whether he is ready.
  • Intentionally squashed passports are prohibited.
  • Each team can take time-outs, how often and when is also different.

The main shots and techniques

Many players wedge the ball between the table top and the foot of the pawn. Either "front" - the figure is leaning forward - or "back" - the figure is leaning back. This technique is often referred to as "soccern", hence the various table names. The clamping of the ball requires a grip of the ball on the table surface and is therefore not practicable on all table models. The back or front positions may be stuck. a. the starting points for the “pin-shot” and “jet” shooting techniques (see below). An alternative to clamping the ball is to place the ball next to the figure's foot and then push or pull it from a resting position (push or pull shot).

  • The pin-shot is one of the most common shots in Europe (also European pinshot). The ball is pinched with the middle figure of the striker row (also called 3-row or just 3 ) in front or behind and quickly pulled to the right or left in order to get past the defender. The figure is brought behind the ball. As soon as the ball is level with the puppet, let it snap forward and shoot the ball straight into the goal. In the tournament area, the "pin shot" is usually played with the "open hand" shooting technique. With this technique, the back and forth turns of the figure are not performed from the wrist. The handle of the bar is guided in the "open" hand and "unrolled" over the palm and / or the ball of the hand with a short downward and subsequent upward movement of the forearm (hence the earlier term "unwinding" for this shooting technique). At the end of the firing movement, the grip is caught in the curved fingers. If the ball is moved sideways very quickly, it is necessary to describe a counter-pulling movement with the figure, otherwise the ball would drift off due to inertia. The efficiency of this shot lies in the high number of variations (short or long, right or left and combinations thereof).
  • The "jet" , a shot with a rollover - called "snake" in the USA - is another shot that is very popular with players. This technique is used almost exclusively as a shot on goal by the middle striker. The ball is clamped at the front and brought to an uncovered position by a quick sideways movement. Instead of moving the figure behind the ball, reaching back and shooting, it will "flip over" backwards and hit the ball after one turn. However, it is very important to stop the player after making contact with the ball so as not to break the 360 ​​degree rule mentioned above. In the jet , the handle of the rod is held at the crook of the hand (monkey clamp) or above it, rolled over the entire palm of the hand by an upward pulling movement of the arm and caught (stopped) with the curved fingers. This causes the rod to rotate. With some players, this shooting technique has a similar bad reputation as shooting from the center row. The "jet" was invented by the German Hans-Friedrich Kircher and quickly spread in the USA in the 1990s under the name snake , where it is one of the most popular shooting techniques alongside the pull shot. Due to its immediacy and comparatively easy handling, the jet is increasingly displacing the pin-shot among European performance players. "Snake" is tellingly the name of the hardened professional kicker from the cult film Absolute Giganten by Sebastian Schipper.
  • Another popular shot is the pull-shot (or slide / push-shot ). The ball is placed next to the figure's foot and then accelerated in one direction by pulling or pushing it. The firing movement itself takes place through the wrist. On many tables - such as B. the American tornado or the Leonhart tournament winner (dolls with narrow feet) - the puller is one of the most popular shots. Here, too, in the case of a rapid sideways movement, a counter-pulling movement when the ball is fired is advantageous in order to prevent the ball from drifting off and thus an oblique path of the shot. The advantage of the shooting technique is that it can be implemented on almost any table model.
  • In principle, gang shots can be played from any position. The figure hits the ball very far outside (usually with the edge of the foot), which means that the ball is shot at an angle. If you hit the ball at the right angle, it will first hit one of the boards and then hit the opposing goal. This technique is most often used from the defender's 2-bar, mostly at the height of the penalty spot or at a shallow angle near the board. Advanced players play this, as well as the other shooting techniques, from movement.
  • Squeezers are also called " bananas " because of the trajectory . For the squeeze-off, the ball is pinched at the back with the doll's foot (but not as far back as with the pin-shot) and then pushed or squeezed forward by pressing on the ball with a simultaneous lateral movement. The lateral movement gives the ball a spin that curves the path of the shot. This shot is more of a trick shot and is rarely played in tournaments.
  • In tic-tac (also tip tap ), the ball is played back and forth between the figures on a pole with the sides of the feet and kept in constant motion. The shot at goal is either done while the ball is in motion, when the ball is in front of an uncovered part of the goal, by moving a figure quickly behind the ball and taking the shot (usually from the wrist), or when the ball suddenly moves with a figure is pushed in front of an uncovered gap and a second figure takes the shot. Surprising pullers or sliders in the opposite direction of the current movement of the ball are also possible.
  • With the sling shot , the ball is played sideways against the boards with the foot of a doll and only shot after it has ricocheted off when the ball comes back. The side swing of the ball automatically shoots it at an angle. The opponent can easily become confused by stepping over before the actual shot.
  • The pass from 5 to 3 is often the decisive move in tournaments. In principle, the pass is possible through every gap in the opposing row of five. However, two passes have become established, the pass “towards the gang” and the other the “sloping pass” or “away from the gang”. For both passes, the starting position is the second figure on the gang. The pass itself is usually carried out as a "brush pass". The ball is cut with the front of the foot. Due to the spin, the ball either runs along the boards without ricocheting, or at an angle towards the goal.

Table types

Table football tables differ, among other things, in the type of rods, the material and the shape of the dolls (play figures), the properties of the playing surface and the nature of the balls. Different techniques are used depending on the type of table. Widely used models are usually also available in a version with a coin-operated device, which is then set up in pubs and other publicly accessible places and thus leads to a high distribution. Some tables have glass tops to prevent reaching in or accidentally shooting out balls.

The International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF ) currently distinguishes between "Official Tables", on which the World Championships organized by the ITSF are held, and "Recognized Tables", on which national associations can hold tournaments recognized by the ITSF.

designation Manufacturer origin Features, techniques Associated association image
Leonhart u. Lion soccer Leonhart Betriebs GmbH Germany Solid bars, soccer
leo_pro tournament Leonhart Betriebs GmbH Germany Hollow bars, identical to Tecball, all techniques ITSF, DTFB Leosoccer.jpg
Tecball Tecball GmbH Germany Hollow bars, identical in construction to Leo Sport, all techniques DTFB Tecball.jpg
Fireball Competition Müller & Mann GbR Germany Hollow bars, all techniques. ITSF
Rood screen evolution Lettner company Germany Hollow bars, all techniques. DTFB
P4P table Ullrich-Sport Germany Hollow bars, mainly soccer but also all other techniques P4P e. V.
WORLD CHAMPION Garlando Italy Hollow bars, glass plates, mainly jet, puller and slide ITSF, TFBÖ Table football, plastic.jpg
tornado Valley-Dynamo United States Hollow bars, dolls, pullers and sliders that are attached and balanced on the bars by means of a dowel pin (and not, as is often claimed, a splint ) USTSF Phone pi.jpg
Bonzini B90 Baby-foot Bonzini France Telescopic rods, unscrewable handles, all techniques ITSF Baby foot artlibre jnl.jpg
Roberto Sport Adrenaline Roberto Sport Italy Hollow bars, all techniques. ITSF


The play area is approx. 120 centimeters long and 70 cm wide, the table height is between 80 and 92 cm. The goals are approx. 20 cm wide and 8 cm high, the figures approx. 7 cm high, the balls have a diameter of approx. 3.5 cm and a weight of 15 to 30 g.

With an area of ​​at least about 2.70 by about 1.90 meters, there is enough space for the body movements of those playing.


  • Grip tapes are a popular tool to prevent hands from slipping off the handles. The grip straps used are the same as in tennis . They are wrapped around the handles and fixed at the end with a rubber.
  • Fingerlings , also Grips called, are also often used to improve the grip on the handles. To do this, the finger cots are put over the handles.
  • Gloves are often used in conjunction with the finger cots. Golf gloves are particularly popular.
  • Silicone oil , furniture polish or even silicone spray allow the bars to slide better and thus facilitate the quick execution of the shooting techniques.
  • Rod locks are training aids to fix the rods and thus keep the dolls in any position.
  • Magnesium carbonate or zinc oxide is used as in athletics to eliminate annoying hand sweat. It was also used in the past to give the ball and the playing field the necessary grip.
  • Floodlights to illuminate the table, for example at tournaments. 2017 certified for the first time by the world association ITSF and used at the world championships in Hamburg

Variants and other table football games

football table in Berlin with one meter high Buddy Bears , set up before the 2006 World Cup
Custom-made for 11 players per side

See also

  • Frédéric Collignon , Belgian national player and world-leading table football player of the first decade of the 21st century
  • Lilly Andres , German table football player, world champion and former team captain of the women's table football team


  • Due to a ruling by the Hessian tax court in 2010, table football is recognized as a sport under financial law.
  • There has been a ban on table football in Turkey since the late 1960s, which was lifted by a ruling by the Turkish Constitutional Court at the end of 2015.

Literature and Sources

  • Ralf Plaschke, Jens Kesting: Table football & table football: history, technology, tables, accessories, tips & tricks, addresses and much more . Humboldt, Baden-Baden 2006, ISBN 978-3-89994-054-1 .
  • Kathy Brainard, Johnny Loft: The World Table Soccer Almanac . Table Soccer Publications, Cheney, Washington 2007, ISBN 978-7-7745-6940-7 .

Web links

Commons : Foosball  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Non-profit status
  2. Zoistsn: table football | The Austrian Folk Dictionary. Retrieved March 23, 2018 .
  3. Table football officially recognized as a sport! In: German table football association. January 17, 2012, accessed May 24, 2015 .
  4. Table soccer shots . Website about table football. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  5. a b c and area of ​​application of the DTFB
  6. a b c d e f Approved table types of the world umbrella organization ITSF
  7. Official tournament table of the P4P e. V.
  8. a b The foosball table - facts and figures. Retrieved July 14, 2018 .
  9. KiRo
  10. Table soccer robot from Upper Austria. In: heise online. Retrieved January 5, 2018 .
  11. Michael Terhaag: Table football is sport - Hessian Finance Court, judgment of June 23, 2010, Az .: 4 K 501/09. Retrieved April 21, 2019 .
  12. Langırt oynamak artık serbest. Retrieved April 21, 2019 (Turkish).
  13. Michael Otterbein: The curious story of a kicker ban. In: - office sports digital. August 22, 2016, accessed on April 21, 2019 (German).