If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably played some foosball at a bar with your buddies or in the rec room back in college.
You might even have a foosball table in your home game room right now.
But have you ever really learned anything about the sport beyond how to play it?
Luckily our friends at Kick Foosball Tables have compiled a list of some facts about foosball that you might not have heard before today.
Who knows, you might be able bust out some of facts on trivia night.
1. The ball can move at speeds up to 35 mph!
Some of the highest ranked foosball tournament players have managed to hit the ball at speeds as high as 35 mph during game play. While most hobbyists will never be able to crack speeds that high, it’s crazy to think about it moving so fast.
2. No one really knows who invented the game.
In 1923, Harold Searles Thornton got the first patent for the game, but there are many claims that the game had been around since at least the 1880’s.
Plus, two other inventors claim that they are the sole originators of the game – Spaniard Alexandre de Finesterre says he patented it but the paperwork was lost and the French inventor Lucien Rosengart says that he made up the game to entertain the grandkids.
Despite the varying claims, it is Thornton who ultimately gets the credit due to the valid patent.
3. The most expensive foosball table ever for sale was the “11|The Beautiful Game” table for 85,000 Euros.
This table was first created in 2008 for the Milan Furniture Fair, and then put into limited production in 2011.
This onyx and chrome luxury foosball table was originally available at a cost of 48,500 Euros and sold as hand-numbered limited edition pieces. You can actually still buy one of these, but the price as increased to a whopping 85,000 Euros!
4. The longest game of foosball to ever take place took 61 hours and 17 minutes.
In the Guinness Book of World Records, you will find an entry for the longest doubles foosball game.
From August 29th, 2012 through September 1st, 2012, a team of four Austrians (Alexander Kuen, Manuel Larcher, Bernd Neururer and Dietmar Neururer) achieved this record-breaking feat.
5. The first foosball tournament in the United States took place in 1972.
Though the game had been popular in Europe for a while, it wasn’t until 1972 that Lee Peppard gave the USA their first players tournament. It took place in Missoula, Montana at Eight Ball Billiards.
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6. Pac-Man caused the decline in foosball’s popularity.
After the highest ever tournament prize in 1978 (a million dollars!), the popularity of the game began to wane. This is blamed on the corresponding surge in popularity of video games like Pac-Man.
7. An American soldier brought the game to the United States.
After being stationed in Germany in the 1960s, military man Lawrence Patterson decided to import coin-operated foosball tables to the United States.
He’d fallen in love with the game while stationed in Europe, and this was the easiest way for him to continue playing (plus make a little money).
In the mid 1960s, Patterson went on to start some of the first foosball tournaments in the United States.
While these fun facts won’t help you get better at defensive plays, they do give you some cool conversation starters.