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Styles of Play

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Styles of Play

Several styles of play are common in competitive foosball. The hard court, grass court and clay court styles of tennis make for a good analogy for the styles of play in foosball.

  • American/Texas Style: “Hard Court" Foosball is known for its speed and power style of play. It combines a hard man with a hard perfect rolling ball and a hard flat surface, which enables precise/consistent positioning of the ball. Excellent lateral control in maneuvering the ball beneath the rod makes for awesome Pull, Push and Kick Shots. Tic-Tac Series and Power Passing are signatures of American style. Its most controversial trademark feature is the 3-man goalie rod. The American-made Tornado brought this style of play into popularity.
  • European/German Style: "Grass Court" Foosball is characterized best by its enhanced ball control – particularly in the “pinned” position. This is achieved by softening of components that make up the important man/ball/surface interaction. Improved feel or touch is often used to describe this style of table. Euro style of play is known for the Front-pin series, Back-pin series, Reverses, Bank shots and Razzle Dazzle type shots. The Tournament Soccer brand table of the 70's and early 80's made this style popular in the US.   The 2001 product offering from Shelti (their pro foos series) captures some of the best of this style of play - while maintaining great American style lateral control and speed as well.
  • European/French Style: "Clay Court" Foosball is on the opposite end of the spectrum from American style. It features heavy (non-balanced) men, and a very light and soft cork ball. Add to that a soft linoleum surface and you have a feel best described as sticky. Great for finesse style front-pin series complete with every option/fake imaginable…and then some. The US got its first taste of French Style on the Rene Pierre Table in 1970 – but with lack of promotions it didn't really expand much.  Since 2000, there's been some growth in French style of play again now that the original French foos table line (Bonzini) is available in the U.S.

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