The Different Styles of Foosball
With each country having its own "foosball nationalism", it is common for most foosball enthusiasts to assume that theirs is the only style. The inspiration for the invention of the game early in the 1920s came from football – known as soccer in the United States. Therefore, you are sure to find foosball fans wherever there are football fans.
This has led to the evolution of the game, with different areas having different architectural designs and different resources to construct their tables. These variations have led to differences in the styles of foosball, ranging from action-packed and fast, to slow and more strategic. That having been said, it does not mean that an individual must stick to a given style for victory. The ability to adapt depending on the opponent could make you unbeatable to most people.
The 6 Major Foosball Play-Style Variations
The six major variations of foosball game styles by country include:
- French Style
- Spanish Style
- American Style
- Czech Republic Style
- German Style
- Italian Style
The French style of play is a fluid one; where the ball moves between the surface and men from a pinned position. This style is facilitated by the 'Babyfoot' table, which can be identified by their horseshoe-shaped cabinet and telescoping rods that do not stick out the other side. The French style also features heavy aluminum figurines, light cork balls, and a rubbery playfield. All these are of course, in French colors.
The Spanish style heavily borrows from Spain's men's football where the emphasis is placed in the midfield. As a result, the foosball table slopes in a 'U' shape, meaning the midfielders will be getting most of the ball. This calls for great concentration and hand-eye coordination, as the main technique used will be back pins to control the ball.
Born from the European style, the American style developed into a hybrid of German and French styles. The style is a slow-paced game with an emphasis on passing and ball control before the execution of the shot. Pinning of the ball is also possible through the use of cross-hatched or textured toes on the men. It is also possible to play a fast-paced game where shots can be pulled from the side position against the figurines, making it a hybrid style of play.
German tables are the most resilient to change, having stayed pretty much the same since the 1970s. The tables have single goalies, sloped corners and plastic men directly mounted to the rod as one piece. The playing surfaces are hard, with some even using acrylic or sanded glass; which allows the balls to achieve very high speeds. The result is a style of play that is a combination of America's pragmatic and Europe's finesse, all in a fast game-play.
Czech Republic Style
Designed solely by Rosengart, this style has been developed over the years through the incorporation of player feedback to facilitate fluid movements. The style of play associated with these tables is similar to a blend of German and American; where the game is controlled with brush-passing and snake-shots common in tournaments. Rosengart has greatly improved its engineering, and is currently an ITSF-certified professional table manufacturer.
Italian foosball tables quite often feature a unique design where the playfields are made of glass, the rods are lighter, the figurines are tinier, and the ball is made of plastic. All of these features are aimed at facilitating very fast game-play, where in some local rules it is even a foul if the ball stops at the center. Emphasis is, therefore, more on the speed of thought and reflex as opposed to a play that is calculated. Although pinning the ball is difficult with these tables, it is possible, and is becoming common in tournaments.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the base knowledge about different foosball styles that exist. With so many options to choose from, each foosball enthusiast can find the one that best suits their desired gameplay. Proper research should, therefore, be an important part of your buying process. A great place to start your research for the ideal table is our website where we have listed a catalog of different foosball table types. Check us out to see if you will find the perfect choice for you.