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Professional Foosball Players: Getting There & Getting Paid

Professional Foosball Players

You want to become a Professional Foosball Player, play all around the country and give up the nine-to-five lifestyle? Do you have what it takes?

You are going to need to be an incredible player, your income is going to vary, as the only money that you are guaranteed to get is any sponsorship. Yes, you may be a dominant player, but you can’t be sure how many competitions you will win. There is a lot to think about. Read this article for more ideas before making the big move!

How To Become A Professional Foosball Player

Most people think foosball is just a tabletop game to play in the bar, but for some is it an opportunity to enter” The Zone” that is typically reserved for minor sports stars. Not just a barroom game. It is a competitive sport that’s played at a professional level by people all around the world.

Your standing nose to nose with your opponent, it is almost like the weigh-in for a boxing match, and you are going to fight, you are battling against each other. This article is for those people who love foosball so much; they want it to be involved in everything they do. So, if you possibly eat, sleep, breathe, practically live foosball, and even get paid to do so read on!

Foosball Professional – Paid To Play?

First, many people do not realize that you can be paid to play the game we all love. Do not get me wrong, it’s difficult, and you will have to be the best-of-the-best to make a living from the sport, not everyone is going to be anywhere near good enough to succeed as a Foosball Professional!

What Do I Need To Do To Become A Foosball Professional?

1. Practice

Foosball professionals are the very best players, you are going to need to practice your play for many hours every day, it may get boring, but if you want to become a true professional, you will need to play, play, play

2. Have Good Opponents (A Foosball Pro If You Can)

You need to play the best players that you can, preferably people who are better than you. You really try your best against someone it is difficult to beat, as you are at a disadvantage. We have all had that great feeling when playing someone worse than yourself and know you can win without trying. Always push your limits.

If someone is slightly worse than yourself, give yourself a disadvantage, so you really have to push to get that win. Play one-handed; don’t use your attacking bar. That way you will really push yourself and improve faster.

3. Be Excellent At One Shot

Few people can be good at everything, so it is better to become superb at one type of shot. If you look at the list of World champions from the past, you see that some of them were good at multiple types of shot, but most of them had one specialty which they were great at (This is mainly the “Snake Shot”).

This need to be coupled with a good Foosball Strategy
The list of ex-world champions can be found here, and their best shot types champions

4. Accept Failure

You will not win every time, especially when you are just starting out. You must learn to accept failure and try, try again. I know it is an old cliché, but this is true. If you want to be successful in anything in life, you must learn to accept your failures and to keep trying.

This should be easy to do, but it is the most common thing that stops you from achieving your goals in life

5. Go To Professional Foosball Competitions

Go to competitions, watch them on the TV and YouTube, be honest with yourself, and ask could I bet these players? If you can honestly say “Yes” then it may be worth entering your first tournament.

6. Enter Pro Foosball Competitions

This is going to allow you to judge your own skills against another professional, or people hoping to become professional players. This is how you will tell when it is time to quit your job and start paying to travel to enter those big competitions.

You do not want to do this because you can beat all your friends, or your parents say you are good enough. You need to be regularly winning against others of a professional standard.

You may go to these competitions and realize that you are not as good as you thought you were, and these people are way better than you… Use the advice above, Accept your failure, Practice twice as hard, and re-enter the competition in 6 months. Nothing worth having comes easily!

7. Foosball Table

You will need an excellent quality foosball table to practice with. You will need skilled players and may need to use foosball replacement players if yours are not good enough. You will also need the best foosball balls to practice with.

Above – Photo of pro foosball player Tony Spredeman

Professional Foosball Salary – How Much Can You Earn?

(Professional Foosball Earning Graph)

The Golden days of Foosball competition earnings are gone, at least for the moment. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were some incredibly high paying tournaments, however, with a lot of these sponsors no longer around, these super payouts have now gone.

But you do not want to know what your father or grandfather could have won; you wanted to see what you can get for yourself! First, I am not a professional; I am nowhere near good enough to join the professional circuit.

Graph above shows average pro foosball player earns almost $75k

According to the website simplyhired.com, the average salary of a Professional Foosball player is $74,000. The bottom 10% of professional players earn around $40,000, and the top 10% earn around $138,000. These sound like significant figures, and they are, but remember that you need to consider that you need to pay for your travel, entrance fee, food and other general expenses while you are away from home.

Of course, you are going to need to travel, you will be away from home, going to tournaments both nationally and if you are good enough, and willing to internationally. This lifestyle does not suit everyone, but most people enjoy the travel, excitement and Foosball Groupies (I have never seen nor heard of any Foosball Groupies…sorry, I don’t think the sport is glamorous enough)

Who Runs The Professional Foosball Scene In The USA?

In America Foosball is governed primarily by two ruling bodies, one National, and one international, these are

• International Table Soccer Federation

The International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) is a non-profit organization based in France that promotes table soccer. The ITSF endorses soccer tables that meet requirements for international competition.

The ITSF has expanded to over 66 countries and they include: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hong-Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic Of Korea, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA.

• Valley International Foosball Association

The Valley International Foosball Association (VIFA) is an American “association of coin machine operators, foosball table manufacturers and foosball players, working together to provide increased interest in the game of foosball”. The league is headquartered in Bay City, Michigan, and was founded by game equipment manufacturer Valley-Dynamo.

Pro Foosball World Cup 2019

One of the biggest Professional Foosball Competitions is the Foosball World Cup. The first foosball world cup took place in the 70s and spread like wildfire. Across the US and, eventually the entire world, you could win $50k or a new, usually costly, car. Just from playing foosball! Remember, this was a time before video game arcades had caught on, and foosball, pool, and air hockey were the staple after school games of any teenager worldwide.

This led to the birth of the first international foosball leagues and the first professional foosball players, and eventually led to the game as we know it today.

The Foosball World Cup is an international game, in 2019 it will be played in Murcia Spain

Visit Foosball World Cup Site

How Do You Make Money As A Professional Foosball Player?

As in most competitive sports, you earn money in two ways, prize money and sponsorship Prize Money

This is the simpler of the two, you enter a competition; you play well and finish in the top few, and you win the money for your result. Your earnings depend on how good of a player you are! This year, regional and national tournaments across the United States will bring in more than $250,000 in prize money.

The internet is the best way to find any competitions, merely google “foosball competition <state, town>” to see any upcoming local contests.

Some of the pages informing you about national and international tournaments are given below

Visit Warrior tournament
Visit US State tournament
Visit International Foosball Promotions
Visit ITSF World Tour

Sponsorship Of A Professional Player

This method is more variable and will depend a lot more on you, the individual player. It depends on several factors these include:

• Your Results
• Your Age and Appearance
• Your Social media following
• Your general fan base

It really boils down to how popular you are, and your results.

Sponsors can be found online or will find you through social media and tournaments, you will need a fan following or have some excellent results before anyone is going to consider giving you their money.

The average sponsorship deal is about $1-5k a year and up, though it helps to know how much they profit in a year so that you have a good idea of how much they would spend for your promotion.

Foosball can be televised, depending on what country the tournaments are in, and how popular it is in that country, but for the sake of offering consistent exposure to your sponsors, I heavily advise using the technology at hand. Make an Instagram or YouTube account (or both!) dedicated to your foosball journey.

If you treat your followers as friends, they will bring their friends, and the more they bring, the more sponsorship money with you will be worth.

Professional Foosball Player Rankings

The International ITSF maintain the world rankings of Foosball players in some categories: these people will be your competition:

Country Rankings

The ITSF also maintains the World country rankings. This show how well a country is currently ranking in the World   Foosball – Current Country Rankings

Tables Used In Professional Foosball Tournaments

There are only a limited number of makes of table that are used in Professional Tournaments. These will vary from country to country, as most manufactures only sell in their home country. (A full size table is bulky and very heavy – Not ideal for shipping to other countries, it can be difficult in your own state to get good shipping)

Tornado Tournament 3000 Foosball Table

Tornado are one of the most respected table manufacturers in the world, coming out with some significant innovations over the years. Their flagship table, the Tornado Tournament 3000 is one of the most respected tables on the market. It is used in a lot of Professional Foosball Tournaments. ITSF Approved.

Garlando Pro Champion Foosball Table

This is another table that is approved by the ITSF, of excellent quality, well and respected. This table is also common in Professional Foosball Competitions.

Warrior Professional Foosball Table

The Warrior Pro foosball table is a magnificent table as well. It is not yet an official championship foosball table, as it does not have the approval of the ITSF. But it has the recognition of the body and may be approved soon. Also, is used in several competitions.

Foosball World Championship Results

If you would like to see the current Foosball World Championship Results, they are maintained by the ITSF. You can find the current Champions, and a host of other information on their website.

Best Professional Foosball Player In The World

At the time of writing, ITSF leader is Tony Spredeman. Obviously, this changes often.

A multiple World Champion and gets a consistent rank in the doubles too.

He has won several World Championships, including the Tornado Worlds Championships in 2008.

Professional Foosball Player Interview

Short, well-produced piece on top player Tony Spredemen.

Other Questions

Who is the best foosball player in the world?

The ITSF leader and the best professional foosball player in the world is Tony Spredeman, according to the World Players' Official Rankings 2020. Tony Spredeman is a multiple World Champion and ranks consistently in the Open Doubles format too.

He has won several World Championships, the Tornado Worlds 2008 being one of them.

How many foosball players are there?

This depends on the foosball table type. Thus, on a standard foosball table there can be twenty-six players or twenty-two players. For the standard foosball table with twenty-two players, you have two teams of eleven players – three strikers, five midfield players, two defensemen and one goalie for each team.

The number of field players varies for specialty foosball tables, since these have longer playfields and an extended number of rods, which increases the number of foosball players in each team. For example, a foosball table for six people, ideal for three-on-three matches, can accommodate up to eighteen players for each team.

This means there are 36 players on a six-person foosball table. An eight people foosball table features sixteen rods, which significantly increases the number of foosball players for each team. With 21 foosball players on each team, an 8-person foosball table can accommodate 42 players in total on the playfield.

Is foosball an Olympic sport?

Although there is a petition in motion to make foosball an Olympic sport, with foosball players and fans around the world supporting this movement, foosball has not been accepted for the 2020 Olympics.

Foosball did, however, gain Observer status in October 2017 – a step that is paramount in foosball eventually being included in the Olympics. Having achieved this status, foosball is now recognized as a sport and has chances of becoming an Olympic sport in the future.

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References

If you require more information, please check these references

en.wikipedia.org , article, “List Of World Table Football Champions”, retrieved on, Tue 28-May-2020

www.tablesoccer.org , article, “Rankings”, retrieved on, Tue 28-May-2020

foosballtablereview.com , article, “10 Tips To Become A Professional Foosball Player “, retrieved on, Tue 28-May-2020

Author: Nick

is a Computer programmer with 25 years experience working in the Industry. Mainly using Microsoft products I have produced systems for several blue chip companies including The BBC, Natwest, British Rail.and Torbay Council.

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