It started with a matchbox in England. Harold S. Thornton is widely credited with inventing and patenting foosball (or table football) in 1923, though the game may go back to the 19th century.

Thornton got the idea from watching his favorite sport, soccer. He wanted to re-create soccer, only in a way that you could play indoors. Thornton’s uncle took it to the United States to have it patented in 1927. The name of foosball originally came from the German word for “football,” more commonly known as soccer in the United States.

The game begins when the ball is placed through the serving hole on either side of the table. Once the ball is served, the players use their rod-controlled “foosballers” to try to hit the ball into their opponent’s goal. Each side has four handlebars so the players can play one-on-one or two-on-two.

There are four reasons I like foosball:

1. It is fun to play inside on a cold day and with family.

2. It’s really addicting.

3. It helps build your reflexes maneuvering the ball to either block or make a goal.

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4. I am the all-time champ in my family. It is fun to see the look of utter shock on their faces when I win by a landslide!