Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It’s Made

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Last updatedLast updated: March 22, 2021
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Though it isn’t clear who actually invented the first foosball table, these entertaining tabletop games have been played around the world for several decades. The name of the game may vary, depending on which country they are in but the gameplay is relatively consistent. These games have shown up in arcades, pool halls, bars, and eventually in homes all over the globe.

If you’ve ever played foosball, you likely know the simple rules that are needed for proper gameplay. What you may not have considered is the foosball table parts used to create this fantastic game. There are many more of them than you may realize if you haven’t had to build one from scratch.

Those who are interested in getting an amateur or professional foosball table may want to pay attention to all the foosball parts and accessories used to make up their chosen table. This will help if you ever need to replace or upgrade the existing parts.

What does a foosball table consist of?

Whether you’re buying a Tornado foosball table, a Kick foosball table, or any other brand that you have your eye on, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the parts included to create it. There are quite a few of them, so it’s a good idea to learn what each one does to really understand the game you’re playing.

Players

Whether you prefer the foosball players that look like actual people or the more traditional ones, like the Hathaway Premium Replacement Foosball Men, there are a few features that you should look for. These pieces do a lot of the work during a game, so they should be made of highly durable materials, with pointed toes and cross-hatching on the foot. These features allow for better control of the ball for passing, bank shots, and scoring.

Rods and bearings

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeThere are two types of rods that could come with a foosball table, including hollow rods and solid rods. Hollow rods are lighter, so they offer faster gameplay. The Brybelly Solid 5/8-inch Steel Rods and other solid options have more weight to them, so slow down the gameplay while allowing you to focus more on skill than speed. Be sure to look carefully at the rods included with your foosball table since many manufacturers include low-quality pieces to save money on production.

Foosball bearings are the small pieces on the sides of the tables that the rods go through to the other side. These pieces reduce friction as the rods slide and turn during a game. They also prolong the life of the rods and the table itself.

Bumpers

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeBumpers are found on the foosball rods between the table and the men. They are usually made of hard rubber, which is durable enough to handle some rough gameplay. Some manufacturers use springs instead, which allows you to move the men closer to the side of the table, though this isn’t the best solution since they aren’t as durable and rarely last as long.

Balls

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeThough not technically a foosball part, the balls are still one of the most important pieces of the game since you can’t play without one. There is a variety to choose from, including traditional, cork, textured, and smooth options but they aren’t all equal when it comes to gameplay. The smooth ones are fast but don’t give you very much control during the games. Textured balls, like the Tornado Official Foosball Tournament Table Soccer Balls, have a rough surface that allows you to grip or pin the balls as needed to make those amazing shots.

Wraps and handles

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeThe handles on a foosball table are the pieces that you use to control the movement of the rods and the players that are attached to them. A high-quality handle is a must to ensure that you can maintain your grip throughout the game, even if your hands get sweaty. The best options are rubber or wood, though they shouldn’t have any type of finish since this could make them slippery and hard to hold onto. An ergonomic design is also preferred to keep your hands comfortable during long playing sessions.

Whether the handles give you the grip you want or not, it may also be a good idea to wrap them. There are a variety of wraps to choose from but they should be slightly tacky after applied, like the Warrior Foosball Wraps, to ensure your hands stay where you want them. Wraps come in several color options and can be replaced as needed.

Pins and pin punches

The pins are the small pieces that are used to attach the foosball men and the handles to the rods. These will wear out over time, so may need to be replaced when they are damaged. If you choose to replace all of your foosball men, you may also want to replace the pins at this time to ensure they offer the proper alignment to coordinate your players during a game. The pin punch is a small tool that gives you something to hammer when you’re trying to attach the men to the rods and is usually included with a new set of pins.

Scorers

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeMost foosball tables come with a scorer on each side that players can use to keep track of the goals they make during a game. These are usually small pieces, with sliding scoring beads numbered 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. These are often plastic, so do need to be handled a bit delicately to ensure they aren’t damaged during a spirited game.

Legs and leg levelers

Foosball table legs are another important part of the table since these are the pieces that hold up the table, giving it the stability it needs to stay put instead of shifting across the floor during a game. The legs should be about 3.5 x 3.5 inches or more for the most stable tables possible.

Leg levelers are a handy addition to any foosball table leg. These pieces allow you to adjust the height of each leg, which is a must for those who have uneven floors. Without them, you may be dealing with balls that roll properly on the table’s surface, which can have affect your gameplay.

Optional accessories

Though the above parts are the necessary ones to look for in a high-quality foosball table, there are also a few foosball accessories that can enhance your gameplay and increase your enjoyment.

Lighting

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeThe right lighting over your foosball table can enhance your games. These lights should be installed over the table, eliminating any shadows on the playing area. This will ensure that you can always see the ball as it is moving back and forth across the field.

There are a variety of different lighting options to choose from, including traditional bulb fixtures and more modern LED lights. They also include a range of prices, so you should be able to find the right one to fit in whatever budget you have set for your foosball accessories. Be sure the lights are hung right over the table, with no shadows forming that could interfere with your concentration during a fast-paced match.

Cup holders

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeCup holders are not always included with a foosball table but they can be handy to have if they are well-built and hold your drinks firmly in place. During a relaxed game, they can keep your beverages close at hand, though during a more aggressive game, you may be risking spills if the drinks are jostled too close to the playing area

Be sure to mount the cup holders away from the playing area. You may also want to replace a loose-fitting cup holder with an inset model for a firm grip on your beverage container. Spills on the playing area can cause damage to the surface and warping if it leaks beneath this area, both of which will affect your gameplay.

Cover

Foosball Table Parts: Learn How It's MadeA foosball in your game room will collect dust, hair, and other debris between games. Outdoor foosball tables will have the same issue, as well as dealing with rain, sunlight, falling leaves, and much more. A good foosball cover will protect it from all of this, keeping the playing area clean and ready to go whenever you are ready to play.

Most tables don’t come with a cover, though, so you do need to look carefully for the right one since foosball tables come in different sizes. The cover needs to be a good fit to protect it properly, so measure your table before choosing a new cover for it. There are a few different materials for covers as well, some of which are more durable than others, so choose carefully.

Foosball silicone

Though not actually a piece that is attached to your foosball table, the silicone is a necessary addition to some of the parts that are. Good quality silicone, like the Essential Values Foosball Rod Lubricant, is used on the rods to keep them clean and moving smoothly during a game. When you add a liquid silicone to the rods, it also gets into the bearings, cleaning and lubricating them at the same time. Spray silicone is another option, though it doesn’t get into the bearings as well, so these pieces will need to be maintained separately.

Final thoughts

Foosball tables have been around for quite a while and haven’t seemed to lose their popularity. Though arcades are few and far between these days, foosball tables are still showing up in the game rooms and basements of homes around the world. There are many options to choose from, including small tabletop versions, foosball coffee tables, and large professional foosball tables.

No matter which one you choose, the foosball table parts stay the same and need to be cared for and maintained the same way to keep your table in perfect working order. You can swap and upgrade these parts as needed, depending on the table and the type of gameplay you prefer to give you the perfect table for your home.

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