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To begin the game, the ball is served through a hole at the side of the table, or simply placed by hand at the feet of a figure in the center of the table. The initial serving side is decided with by coin toss. Players attempt to use figures mounted on rotating bars to kick the ball into the opposing goal. Expert players have been known to move balls at speeds up to 56 kmh (35 mph) in competition.[citation needed]

 

Ball control

Rules consider "360-degree shots" or "spinning" (using the palm of the hand to swiftly spin the bar all around, instead of using wrist strokes to kick the ball with a bar-mounted figure) to be illegal. However, shots short of a full 360-degree rotation are legal.

The winner is determined when one team scores a predetermined number of goals, typically five, ten, or eleven in competition. When playing Bonzini competitions the target numbers of goal is seven.

Table football tables can vary in size, but a typical table is about 120 cm(4 ft) long and 61 cm (2 ft) wide. The table usually contains 8 rows of foos men, which are plastic, metal, wooden, or sometimes carbon-fibre figures mounted on horizontal metal bars. Each team of 1, 2, or 3 human players controls 4 rows of foos men.

The arrangement is standard. Looking from left to right on one side of the table, the configuration is as follows:

Row 1

Goalkeeper

1 foosman (sometimes 2 or 3)

Row 2

Defense

2 foosmen (sometimes 3)

Row 3

Opponents attack

3 foosmen (sometimes 2)

Row 4

Midfield

5 foosmen (sometimes 4 or 6)

Row 5

Opponents midfield

5 foosmen (sometimes 4 or 6)

Row 6

Attack

3 foosmen (sometimes 2)

Row 7

Opponents defense

2 foosmen (sometimes 3)

Row 8

Opponents goalkeeper

1 foosman (sometimes 2 or 3)

Table football can also be played with four people in "doubles" style, in which there are teams of two people on either side. In this scenario, one player can control the two defensive rows and the other team member uses the midfield and attack rows. In informal matches, three or four players per side are also common.

Competition

 

 

Table football on Tornado in New York

Table football is often played for fun in pubs, bars, workplaces, schools, and clubs with few rules. Table football is also played in official competitions organized by a number of national organizations, with highly evolved rules and regulations. Organized competition can be traced back to the 1940s and 1950s in Europe. But the professional tours and bigtime money events began when the founding father of modern professional table soccer, Lee Peppardof Seattle, Washington, United Statesannounced a "quarter million dollar tour" in 1975. Peppard went on to award several million dollars in prize monies, and, ever since his Tournament Soccer Organization went out of business in 1981, several organizations and promoters have continued holding large purse professional table soccer events worldwide. The ITSFregulates International events including the yearly World Championships and the World Cup held to coincide with the FIFA World Cupevery four years. In 2006, Austria, Germany and Belgium took the Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively. Every year, Heineken invites employees from offices across the globe to compete in HitFC - The Heineken Champions League Table Football Competition. The format follows that of the Champions League, with regional league winners and runners up going into the knockout rounds. The ultimate winners then travel to Amsterdam for the World Finals where they will compete to become the undisputed Heineken World Fussball Champions.

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