Foosball Tables : Shop Foosball Table at Just Foosball Tables

A Brief History of Foosball

Take a trip across the globe and you might be surprised at all the places you'll find foosball tables. They are in Mediterranean taverns, on Caribbean beaches, in internet cafes in Southeast Asia, and just about anywhere else you might find people gathering for recreation. But when and how did this phenomenon begin?

There is some dispute over who should be credited with the invention of the foosball table. Someone must have been the first, but it is quite likely that foosball tables were developed in different countries at roughly the same time. Western Europe gets the credit, and rightly so. It was there that soccer as we know it today emerged as an organized sport in the 1860s. In all likelihood, foosball came sometime thereafter.

Cop vs. Gangster Foosball Table

What's in a Name
The Belgian magazine Le Soir Illustre gives French inventor Lucien Rosengart credit for inventing the first foosball table. His original name for foosball "Baby-foot," which is still the term used in France and French speaking provinces all over the world.

The name "foosball" is derived directly from the German "fussball", literally "football". However, foosball is more commonly known as "Kicker" (after the famous Swiss manufacturer Kicker and their tables of the same name) throughout the rest of the European continent. Of course, there is the more formal name of table soccer, which the European Table Soccer Union adopted as the official name of the game in 1976.

Finally Catching On
Foosball was little more than a parlor game played by a few people here and there during its first decades. It wasn't until the 1940s that foosball saw a dramatic surge in popularity. Some believe this crossover to the mainstream was a direct result of the Second World War. American soldiers stationed all over Europe, as well as European soldiers abroad on their own continent, became familiar with the game during their service. Before long, foosball tables cropped up at military hospitals and rehabilitation centers to get recovering soldiers back on their feet and in high spirits.

The Modern Game
Today, foosball enthusiasts regard foosball as a sport that requires its own set of hand-eye coordination, hand strength, and quick reflexes. Casual players may disagree, citing the prevalence of foosball tables in bars and basements all over the world and claiming that it is simply a table game.

To make the debate even more interesting, there are several different styles of foosball tables. Some foosball tables are quick, hard surfaces, while others are soft and even sticky. These different foosball tables play to different player strengths, and each style has its own following. If there ever is a single standard foosball tournament table, it will likely be the American table because of the amount of prize money up for grabs on the American pro tour.

The Future
Foosball's future looks bright. Just as the American style of play catches on because of the lucrative purses in American tournaments, enthusiasts are taking a shine to the finesse involved in playing on French, German, and Belgian foosball tables. The result is a dramatic surge in the popularity of foosball the world over. Naturally, as more people gain exposure to the game, more people are apt to pick it up, which means the several styles of foosball are sure to be around well into the future. is a Hayneedle Inc. store. Copyright 2005 - 2010 , Hayneedle Inc., all rights reserved.