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Foosball Tables

Updated on February 2, 2012

Foosball Table Guide

An informative posting on the types of foosball tables available today, what might work best for your specific location, and where you can buy the tables mentioned in the guide. Check out the different kinds of foosball tables available, and what brands might work best for your particular situation!

Performance Games SureShot RS Foosball Table
Performance Games SureShot RS Foosball Table

Foosball Tables

General Information

Take a trip around the world and you will find foosball tables on every inhabited continent. Foosball or Table Soccer has increased in popularity with fans of the world’s most popular sport, Soccer! There is some dispute over who invented the first table, but it is quite possible that it was developed in several different countries around the same time.

Soccer first emerged as an organized sport in Western Europe and foosball came shortly after. The name “foosball” is derived directly from the German “fussball”, which literally means “football”. Today, foosball tables come in many different colors, styles and designs.

Foosball table’s average size is 56”L x 30” W x 35”H. When sizing up your space for a foosball table remember that the rods extend out from the cabinet an average of 8-10” on each side and a player needs at least 3ft of space to play on each side of the table. One end of a foosball table can be placed up against a wall.

The weight of a foosball table varies by manufacturer and type of table. The average weight for a foosball table is around 200lbs but they can be as light as 140lbs all the way to 400lbs. When playing on a foosball table with 4 people, lighter tables can have unwanted movement on them with rigorous play. Heavier tables are designed for commercial settings where moving the table is not necessary.

Rene Pierre Super Cup Foosball Table
Rene Pierre Super Cup Foosball Table

Foosball table guide

what to look for in a foosball table

Foosball tables can be dangerous for small children. Most models are designed with rods that slide in and out through the table and if somebody is not careful, a child can get a rod to the face, neck or chest. In the last ten years, European manufacturers Rene Pierre and Garlando foosball have designed some of their tables with patented telescoping rods. These rods eliminate the safety issues that other standard tables’ exhibit. European tables also come traditionally with a one man goalie with inclined slopes in the corners of the table. This keeps the balls in play more and help beginning players enjoy faster play. American manufacturers like Tornado foosball and Shelti foosball went to three man goalies. Tournament professional foosball players did not like the inclined corners and preferred to control the balls in the corners with their own man. European tables are designed with more colors and modern appeal but considered a more finesse game with slower tables and narrower men. American tables are boxier and designed with more counterbalanced men and wider footings for fast play.

Other important things to look at when considering a foosball table are the composite of wood and thickness of the cabinet. You can generally tell by weight of a foosball table if it is made with quality materials. You really want to stay away from tables manufactured with fiber board or particle board. Most of your premium foosball tables will weigh over 200lbs and have at least an inch thickness in the cabinet. Steel rods are also an important standard for premium tables. Solid steel or hollowed steel rods are both popular. Solid steel are heavier but sturdier where hollow steel rods are still durable, but lighter providing faster play. Laminate play surfaces provide for a slicker faster surface provides protection from warping and bowing.

Carrom Home Foosball Table
Carrom Home Foosball Table

Home Foosball Tables

Home foosball tables consist of manufactures like Harvard foosball, Carrom foosball , Berner foosball, and Playcraft foosball tables. These tables are generally made in China from lighter materials and weigh under 180lbs but are great buys for families on a budget and for beginner players. Some of these entry level tables even come with telescoping rods that your premium European tables have. Although the rods do not slide quite as smooth as a premium telescoping rod, they at least provide safety for children. Most of these tables are pre-assembled so all you have to do attach the legs to the cabinet and feed the rods through and you are playing table soccer.

Shelti Pro Foos III Foosball Table
Shelti Pro Foos III Foosball Table

Premium Home Foosball Tables

The most popular category for foosball enthusiasts is the premium home table. The most well know manufacturer is Tornado Foosball tables. These tables are made in Dallas, TX and have been the best selling table in the world since the 1970’s. They really emerged in game rooms through coin operated tables which were profitable for operators and arcade owners. Soon after the introduction to arcades and pool halls tournaments and leagues were organized by Tornado helping them to become the leader in the industry. Although Tornado is still the leader in the industry, Shelti and Atomic foosball tables have emerged to compete with the monopoly that Tornado once had. Tornado has three premium home tables. The Elite, the Classic, and The Sport. The Tornado Elite is their top of the line with wood handles, leg levelers, cherry finish, 1.5” thick cabinet, 3/4” laminate playfield and .156” steel hollow rods. The Tornado Classic has the same qualities as the Elite with a black finish but only .125 steel hollow rods. Finally The Tornado Sport has plastic handles, a maple finish, 1” thick cabinet, and a melamine playing surface. All of these tables are great options for years of quality home or recreational play.

Shelti has several tables that compete with the Tornado tables. The Shelti line is also a high quality game that most resembles the Tornado line. Shelti foosball tables have the option to purchase a one man goalie option instead of the standard 3 man goalie setup that comes with the tables. The most popular Shelti table is the Pro Foos II. This table has all the bells and whistles as the Tornado Elite but costs less.

Atomic Foosball tables have a new option that sets them apart. The AS1 and AS2 foosball tables both have the new “Hammerhead technology” with legs on the top and bottom of the man. This enables for even faster play.

Rene Pierre and Garlando offer telescoping rod technology and one man goalie setups made from premium materials and modern, colorful designs and styles.

Great American Coin Operated Foosball Table
Great American Coin Operated Foosball Table

Commercial Foosball Tables

Commercial tables are designed for institutions, churches, bars, arcades, and other recreational facilities. Commercial foosball tables generally come in two options; coin operated and non-coin options.

The most popular and best selling commercial table is the Tornado T3000. This table has the durability and weight to handle any environment for many years.

The Shelti Pro Foos III is another great option. This table is designed after the T3000 but has thicker legs and rods and a split cabinet feature for accessibility to the coin box and ball return.

Great American Action Soccer and the Pro Series are other great options. These tables can be custom made to any color laminate you desire as well as true commercial durability.

Finally Garlando makes commercial grade tables. The Garlando World Champion is the table the European championships are played on. The Garlando Coperto series has a glass covering over the play surface to protect from spills and losing balls. All of the above tables are offered in coin or non-coin options but are suited for years of vigorous play.

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