Foosball, also sometimes called “table soccer,” might have seen its halcyon days in American and British bars in the 1970s before the arcade game craze of the early 1980s ― there is even a 1981 B-movie, “Longshot,” about it ― but now “foosies” will get a chance to play the “beautiful game” again courtesy of the European Chamber of Commerce Korea.
The ECCK is inviting volunteers to participate in a table soccer contest, the “ECCK Table Soccer Championship 2014,” as a way to celebrate the 2014 World Cup. The competition will see 64 players in 32 teams (match schedule mirrors World Cup schedule) vie for glory at the British Embassy’s Aston Hall on July 10. Self-proclaimed “foosies” can register to compete in the tourney by email or on the chamber’s website through June 30.
“The World Cup in Brazil is here, and the world is absolutely enthralled with the thrilling and dramatic games. As usual, the demand for tickets to the actual games is really high and not everybody can go to Brazil and see the games live,” said Christoph Heider, secretary-general of the European Chamber of Commerce Korea. “That’s why the ECCK is organizing this tournament. It is one way we can take part in the fun and competitive spirit of the World Cup.”
Employees of Heineken Korea, one of the sponsors of the “ECCK Table Soccer Championship 2014,” try out foosball at their office in southern Seoul on Thursday. (ECCK)
Foosball is a pretty straightforward game. Twenty-two (sometimes 26) miniature “soccer players” are mounted on eight rods, each with a handle, across a boxy tabletop 1.2 meters long by 0.6 meters wide, and each foosie controls two rods.
Competitors try to score a goal and block their opponents’ scoring attempts by moving the little “foosmen” back and forth. The team that scores five goals first wins the match.
While, by the very nature of the game, foosball does not require tremendous athleticism, good eye-hand coordination is prized.
The best foosball players compete at a pace that makes it difficult to follow the ball, which can travel as fast as 64 kilometers per hour, according to one account.
Tournament registration is open to both ECCK members and nonmembers, though preference will be given to members. A fee of 20,000 won per team is required, payable on competition day. The fee covers a certificate of participation, a beverage and a light meal.
For more information, contact the ECCK’s Suh Hyo-kyung at (02) 6261-2716 or email@example.com, or visit www.ecck.eu.
By Philip Iglauer (firstname.lastname@example.org)