Sunday, August 30, 2009

Football Tables - A Pro-Player's Recommendations

Type 'Table Football' into E-bay, and you are faced with a bewildering array of tables and claims. I am a professional player and administrator of the game, with experience of playing at the highest level in the UK, Europe and the USA, having played the game for 30 years on a wide variety of tables, and offer my personal view on buying tables for home or commercial use. This does not represent official advice from the British Foosball Association (BFA) or International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF).

Question 1 - What/who is the table for?
(a) Young children (4-8yrs) - there are plenty of cheap tables around, but the Monneret make tables designed for children, and have held junior championships via the Football Association community programmes at league clubs. Cheap tables tend to have flimsy rods which bend or break easily, be satisfied that the rods are strong enough to stand up to use - and abuse. It is enough to see if they enjoy the game and if so, consider buying an better table by the time they are 8 or so. Full-sized tables may be unsuitable, particularly if junior's eyes are at or below rod-height (about 4ft tall), although one 7 year old competitor at the world championships last year had a box to stand on. Avoid the temptation to get a table endorsed by Junior's favourite footballer, as the quality is usually non-existent, as are most tables sold by supermarkets or sporting goods stores. If Dad (or mum, or elder siblings) want to play as well, pay more to get a decent quality homeplay table (e.g. Garlando G500) to avoid tears when the christmas present falls apart.
(b) Older children (9-16 years) - most of the top players started playing competitively in this age range. If you buy a cheap table, chances are your money will be thrown away as either the rods will bend, or the table offers no opportunity to develop skills (e.g. slippery surfaces or badly-designed player-figures). Many of the recognised manufacturers produce decent-quality home-play tables (e.g. Garlando G100/G200/G500/G5000, Tornado Whirlwind, Storm, Cyclone, Jupiter Homesoccer).
(c) Schools, colleges and workplaces - these tables can take quite a battering so stick to reputable brands. Most coin-op tables can be set to a range of prices to suit local pockets, or to freeplay as required.
(d) Pubs

Orignal From: Football Tables - A Pro-Player's Recommendations

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