Table soccer targets digital connectivity for future growth
Played in almost every country around the world, table soccer, table football or foosball, has continued to grow since its introduction in 1921. The sport, overseen by the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF), has grown to 67 national members. However, each country, and even sometimes each city, has its own rules or style of play.
Since its formation in 2002, as well as promoting the development of table soccer throughout the world, and uniting players globally, it has been the mission of the ITSF to bring some degree of uniformity to table soccer without altering the local practices. The recognition and preservation of those traditional or emerging styles of play is an ongoing project and remains a major focus for the ITSF.
“The extension of our GAISF Observer Status is critical to improving international collaboration”, said Farid Lounas, President of the ITSF.
“GAISF Observer Status provides the opportunity for the ITSF to connect, share and learn from other International Federations working towards the same goal of Olympic recognition. It also helps individual federations gain local government support to grow and improve the structure of the sport. Critical to this challenge is that our sport remains fun and accessible to all – from the athletes to the leisure players.”
“Our strategy to promote table soccer is different within each country because of the diversity of cultures, models and history of the sport. However, the ITSF’s main concern is to preserve the link between the recreational aspect of the game and the sport practice. We want to keep sight of the spirit of our game, which is highly inclusive by its nature.”
The ITSF is targeting technology and digital connectivity as a way of improving international collaboration and to act as catalyst for the growth of the sport. The ITSF rolled out a set of digital tools to connect athletes with leisure players to help them communicate and establish their own federations, including:
- Tournament management software (for federations and fans to run their own tournaments)
- Federation management software (for accounting, licenses and communications purposes)
- Table Soccer Mobile app (to enable users to connect with each other globally)
- E-learning platform (dedicated content for players, referees, coaches and federation managers)
- Online store
- Livestreaming (to broadcast tournaments and stream live matches)
In the long term, it is the ITSF’s intention to share this technology with other International Federations (IFs) as part of its contribution to the development of the international sports community.