As soon as I was steady enough to stand on two feet, I would climb atop anything to be tall enough to watch my parents and their friends play foosball; such an exciting stimulant for a toddler. For those that have not heard of foosball, one can compare it to table soccer. The term foosball came to the English language in the mid-twentieth century; thought to be a modification of the German term tischfussball, with tisch meaning table and fussball equivalent to soccer in English.
First patented in November 1923 by Englishman Harold Searle Thornton, foosball's exact origin is not easy to trace. According to online sources, other gentlemen attempted to assume credit for the foosball table. Alexandre de Fiesterra stated he had the idea while in a hospital bed recovering from ...view middle of the document...
Foosball did not become well-known in the United States until the mid 1970s, while players in Belgium created leagues as early at 1950. Finally, in the year of 1976, European leagues from multiple different countries united to form the European Table Soccer Union (ETU); ETU now competes annually in the European Cup. While each league competes well, unification is still an issue: table brands, shape of figures, size of handles or composition of balls. With America being the first to have a pro tour with a million dollars prize money, the U.S. has attracted foosball fanatics from all over the world, resulting in a wide spread adaptation to the American table and rules. Today, 1.9 million United States citizens play foosball every week.
As a popular, yet simple sport, foosball table have proven to play a vital role in sports medicine rehabilitation therapy. Studies show that it helps patients suffering from Osteoarthritis, also known as the ‘wear and tear arthritis’, is the most common form of arthritis yet the most difficult to treat. Table soccer allows patients to stand and be active without letting the affected joint remain stagnant. While playing, the body is constantly moving and flexing major joints: knees, hips, wrists, shoulders, elbows and even the feet. This stays popular with patients because it is an activity they enjoy doing, compared to tedious exercise routines they normally experience. Table soccer began appearing in VA hospitals across the United States to entice wounded servicemen out of bed, then it became incorporated as a meaningful part of recovery. Regardless of the injury, gaming tables have become a mechanism of recovering patients. Hand-eye coordination involved in the game assists those with brain injuries to recover much faster than others, as well as assist those with prosthetic limbs adapt much more quickly.