Disillusioned with table football

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Ben
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Disillusioned with table football

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:16 am

Who on here actually gets to play doubles with and against decent tournament atending players more than once a month. If you don't live in bristol or manchester are you always destined to be disillusioned with table football?

Flame on.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by CannonBallGuy » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:33 am

I definitely think Foosball in the UK is not what I expected (or at least wished for). Events are too big and too few, (some) tournament players are too contemptuous while non-players are too disparaging.

I think I'm comfortable treating foos as a small hobby in real life, while separating tournaments, britfoos, etc into something else entirely.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Bundy Volume 1 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:56 am

Every development in table football across the country has been done by players. If you feel you don't have a local scene, then go out and make one! I know it's far from easy, but you can't sit around expecting something to magically happen. If you can get a group of people together, get them interested in the game, get them interested in tournaments, and before you know it you have a group of decent tournament players whom you can play with locally.

If you want ideas of what to do then look at the north west forum to see what Boris has planned. This is someone putting some work in to get more players involved. Alternately, ask some of the guys who have created scenes out of nothing, Sarah at Keele, the (soon to be ex) Nuneaton guys who seems to always be able to find a new venue through whatever adversity, JP down in London etc. This is by no means an exhausted list.

These are guys who just love playing the game, and have gone out to make an environment to allow them and others to do this. I know we'd all be behind anyone who wanted to do the same, and people who want to put the effort in are what the UK game needs.

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Ben
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:47 am

Um I never said there wasn't a local scene. There are players in Reading and more or less every weekend you could if you wanted play doubles.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by AK47 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:53 pm

The problem is it takes serious effort and dedication to get a group of players hooked on the game. Many become annoyed at their inability to better their standard of play whilst others enjoy battering inferior opponents, thus discouraging further play.

In my experience, getting a group of people together on the same night irrespective of talent is difficult as table footy is put on the shelf for other social activities. In Manchester we have two outlets to play Tornado, both with a high standard of player but we seldom get together on the same night for many individual reasons.

George and I have put a lot of time and effort into trying to encourage new players to get involoved and be a part of what we're trying to achieve. We should be having tournaments on two tables every week with the amount of players there are in Manchester but it never happens.

It's the same old story though: the more each individual can do to help the game, the better. However, as Mac has quite rightly pointed out, the game has many contemptuous people with selfish interests who whinge at many things but never attempt to solve them. The game needs more Dave Oates, Dave Morgans, Dave Perrots, Shoveltons, George Eids, Boris Athas, Brices et al. Only that way will the popularity of the game improve. And the onus cannot always fall on the same people in different areas of the country: it's simply too demanding.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by CannonBallGuy » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:30 pm

AK47 wrote:However, as Mac has quite rightly pointed out, the game has many contemptuous people with selfish interests who whinge at many things but never attempt to solve them. The game needs more Dave Oates, Dave Morgans, Dave Perrots, Shoveltons, George Eids, Boris Athas, Brices et al. Only that way will the popularity of the game improve. And the onus cannot always fall on the same people in different areas of the country: it's simply too demanding.
You're right, but I would also like to apologise for being so negative above - For every contemptuous person, there is another who has gone far and above the call of duty to help expand and grow the game in the UK.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Happyham » Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:47 pm

AK47 wrote: In my experience, getting a group of people together on the same night irrespective of talent is difficult as table footy is put on the shelf for other social activities. In Manchester we have two outlets to play Tornado, both with a high standard of player but we seldom get together on the same night for many individual reasons.
This is such a tough subject. I think its impossible to find a night that is best for everyone because ultimately all people will have different things happening on different days. If someone is that interested in foosball don't you think that they would put their other 'commitment' aside? You can't be blamed for people putting priority on other social activities.. that just reflects their level of interest to the game in the first place.

When I started playing, I was so into foosball that I put my weekly goin out on the lash (which happened to be thursdays) to a stop and went to the bush most weeks. I was highly dedicated.

I first went to the bush with my 'out on the lash' wingman Dave Taylor.. he didnt have the same interest or dedication, so continued to go out on thursdays! He said he did like playing but preferred going out. So thats fair enough.

Shovie has started playing footy on tuesdays, and prefers that to foosball. Although not good for the local scene, its his choice what he does with his time. Its not anyones fault, its just how it is.

This seems a pretty pointless post I've made, but I just wondered if the likes of Ant or Dave Oates blame themselves for not 'selling the game' well enough to a rookie? I don't think anyone is at fault for people putting other things ahead of foosball. If a player wants to play , then it doesnt matter what day it is, they will make the commitment to play.

I wonder if tiddly winks or other underground 'sports' have the same problems as foosball. Generating interest, not many quality player bases etc. .
To me it just boils down to what people want out of the game. Those who when they play express a high level of interest and want to become top tournament players will play as much as they can.. as this is their sport they have chosen to play. Whilst they have other social goings on I'm sure - I doubt they have the same level of commitment to anything as much as they do about foosball. Then you have the guys who can play well, but just play for a laugh down the pub. The likes of Eddie, Benge etc.. As theyre only bothered about catchin up with each other and knockin a ball around, they won't bust a gut to try and make a tournament or if something else comes up, they will probably abandon the foos night. Then you have the guys who play in pubs and like playing, but aren't that interested in learning how to be a tournament player. These guys won't ever become top players in a player base, so then the player base never grows in skill.

I think the problem is, to the general public foosball is just a pub game between mates for a laugh. Which it is! They just don't see enough of the other side (inside foos etc) to know that it is also accepted as a serious game. Without knowing its a serious game as well, it makes those who 'train' etc look like sad sad people! lol.

If you can go to a pub and play pool with a mate and have a laugh yet you can also appreciate it when your mate shoots a perfect positional shot using checkside... then why can't you have a laugh with ur mate goofin around then appreciate when he brush passes it through the lane into a super long pull shot.

Wow I ramble on alot - this prolly doesnt even make sense.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Steviola » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:38 pm

Ben wrote:Who on here actually gets to play doubles with and against decent tournament atending players more than once a month. If you don't live in bristol or manchester are you always destined to be disillusioned with table football?

Flame on.

Ben
Well, I get regular doubles practice and I'm also not disillusioned. I live in London now, I go to Bar Kick most Thursdays to play Bonzini against regulars and also experienced tournament players (Juj, Dave Z, Mayya, Jon May, JP etc). In my opinion the London scene is currently thriving thanks to the huge efforts of JP currently and the efforts of those running the show previously. Bar Kick is full nearly every night of the week with people on most if not all of the tables, certainly upstairs. On Thursdays it is very busy and as it's winner stays on you really need to win some games to avoid a wait! Apart from that, Dan and I have a Garlando in our house and as there are quite a few Garlando players now living in London, some of whom like myself have moved down recently, we'll be setting up a regular Garlando night at our house in the very near future.

Previously when I had a year in Gloucester I used to travel to the Bush or Crown in Bristol every now and then for some practice against good tournament players which was useful for staying sharp but this was quite a long trip just for foosball for me personally.

People should not be thinking: What can the BFA do for me? Rather, they should be thinking: What can I do for the BFA? We're just a group of people who have an interest in how the national game is run. That shouldn't stop anyone else from doing their own thing, assuming something will be done for them.

What Boris has just started up in Liverpool looks fantastic and I wish him the best of luck. Was this a committee thing? No. It was Boris simply doing his own thing, because he wants to see more of a player base in Liverpool. And it also happens to run up nicely to his tournament in January so the timing is good. He is willing to put in the effort himself for the benefit of the UK game as a whole.

Whereas others are comfortable being disappointed in the game and are usually waiting for someone else to make it better for them. I guess it depends how much you are into it and how much you believe in yourself that you can make a difference. Of course no one should feel obliged to do anything, but like anything in life, if you really want something you have to go out and get it yourself.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Steviola » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:37 pm

This reminds me actually, Ben when you posted last month about the BFA doing something in Reading in the "What should the BFA be doing that it isn't doing now?" thread, I sent you a PM interested to develop something out of this, which I know you read, but you didn't even get back to me...

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Philo » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:06 am

This seems like a good time to point out that Ben, or anyone else are very welcome to make the journey down to Southampton on a Wednesday. If you were coming down we could get there a little early and you would get at least three and a half hours of foos. Many experienced tournament players here. However as Ben has probably noticed it is hard to get those who play in Southampton to play on a weekend. Not because we are disillusioned but because there are other things we like/need to do as well as play foosball.

As for Reading, there are 2 high quality garlandos on freeplay! The reading scene seems like its still in its early days, but the player base is huge. In my recent 2 trips to Reading I must have played at least 10 people I had not met before that would already do well at a tournament. I expect good things to come out of Reading in the next few years. :D
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Christopher Lyall » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:29 pm

I've always felt that local scenes don't grow because regulars are embarrassed to introduce their non-foosing friends to the game.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by AK47 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:16 pm

Happyham wrote:When I started playing, I was so into foosball that I put my weekly goin out on the lash (which happened to be thursdays) to a stop and went to the bush most weeks. I was highly dedicated.
This is my point exactly: introduce as many as you can to the game and only a few will stay on to become good, regular, committed players.
Happyham wrote:This seems a pretty pointless post I've made, but I just wondered if the likes of Ant or Dave Oates blame themselves for not 'selling the game' well enough to a rookie? I don't think anyone is at fault for people putting other things ahead of foosball. If a player wants to play , then it doesnt matter what day it is, they will make the commitment to play.
I find this a little insulting, Joe. I've done everything I can to involve everyone I've met and introduce them slowly, show them how they can improve little-by-little without ramming the snake down their throat. I've had three new tables installed in the northwest. I've organised a tournament aimed at the rookie level that had a massive number of entrants in the then 'rookie' categories. I think I've done more than many to 'sell the game' to a rookie.

Of course people will do what they want to do on specific evenings but it takes great effort to hook people onto the game so they become regular players. As I've said, the onus cannot always be on the likes of George Eid or Dave Oates or Jon May or whoever to keep the scene going; others have to pitch in. As you've rightly pointed out, table football is known as a pub game and nothing more and when you find someone with talent, it's difficult to turn them into a more serious player; the conversion rate is very poor but personally, I'm not all that bothered about how good people eventually become so long as we have as many people playing as possible.
Steviola wrote:Whereas others are comfortable being disappointed in the game and are usually waiting for someone else to make it better for them. I guess it depends how much you are into it and how much you believe in yourself that you can make a difference. Of course no one should feel obliged to do anything, but like anything in life, if you really want something you have to go out and get it yourself.
Never a truer word spoken, unfortunately apathy plays a huge part. 'Too much effort' and 'can't be arsed' are phrases I hear far too often in this great country.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by shovie » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:22 pm

I find this a little insulting, Joe.
I think Joe was saying it would be silly to suggest that you were to blame Ant! We quite clearly need more people like you.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by cbalife » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:31 pm

it wasn't really the game itself, its more the people around it for me. Sarah and all the Keele lot made me feel welcome, I thought the game was good enough craic, I played it a lot. Now I'm not that interested in it because there's not that many people around me who play it, I know I can go to London and whatnot but its a lot of effort and money for ... foos. I daresay i'll play more back at Keele but its more just a fun pub game for mates to play to me, I had a brief spell of taking it 'seriously' due to being bored out of my mind, but it's back to normal now. I also like playing different rules to ITSF because it just makes the game boring (fair :P) in a pub or whatever. Before foos was for me was pool, after foos i'm sure it'll be something else. Maybe darts :P. But yeah, i'll forever be disillusioned I am sure but i'll be quite happy to be.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Happyham » Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:19 pm

Ant, you've completely misunderstood me - I think :? . Like Alex said - I was just pointing out that those who do run nights and encourage rookies aren't to blame if the newbies don't come back a second time. Everyone has a different level of commitment for foos so the ones who are dead keen will come back, and the ones who aren't so keen simply won't come back.

My question amongst the piece of c r a p I wrote was: I wonder if the likes of Dave O, Ant, George etc see it as a personal failure (perhaps a bit extreme) if they get someone to play, but then lose them because they don't come back? Do you think you didn't do a good enough job selling the game to the newbie?

I'm saying that I DON'T think it's your fault if that happens.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Oatsey » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:09 pm

.
Last edited by Oatsey on Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Oatsey » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:11 pm

Interesting debate.

By the way Joe I read it how you meant it which i know was positive not negative i.e. george and Ant up north , bushy at Harrogate as well and me down south and also in fact JP in London ,phil williams in southampton, mase in hereford etc and before us others e.g Titch have tried to encourage new players with some but mixed success.
I certainly don.t feel guilty or frustrated or anything by the failures and the successes are nice.I just move on to try something else and keep enjoying it myself where i can.


What is important to me is to have more people playing Foos for fun/sheer enjoyment , both for the "buz" you get as you get better and smack a few goals in but also for the social side and laughs.

I do not view tournaments or getting "real good" as that important. As you say they are for those people who have the time and money and desire to achieve that which is the minority. We focus far too much on this aspect and not enough on just playing with friends or making friends playing and helping show new people how to get "good enough" to actually enjoy foos a lot.

There is a pub in winterbourne (near bristol) where there are loads of people who play and the table ( a Tornado I sold to them)is used far more than the crown or the Bush ever was. This is because the landlord loves the game as he is an ex TS player like me and Martyn. He has showed the locals enough about how to play for them to achieve "the get hooked stage" and really enjoy playing each other . I popped up there this week to say hello and he beat me playing loads of banks and quick reverse front and back pins! As usual the 5 needed some work though :D

These guys have never been to a tournament they just love playing each other for fun and do not know or use a snake!
They basically love trying flash and different stuff and trying to hit it real hard!

To grow the game this is what we need to encourage not Tournaments or the need to get "real good so must snake " attitude.

Basically if people enjoy it many will come back to play and some will want to progress more than others naturally.

I do think I have come round to the Geoff brice view though that the snake is not good for the games popularity and fun seeing its negative impact on noobs. I will be changing tactics now I am retired and have more time so expect to see some different stuff from F4F in 2010 whcih will be focused on creating new players and not more tournaments of which there are too many already.
Last edited by Oatsey on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Jonathan may » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:07 am

In Tulln after the G Worlds, we were told by tournament players that in Austria the snake was banned in non-tournament games (e.g. pub games). Those wishing to practice or play it would have to do so in their own time on their own table. I found that interesting.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by El Capitan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:57 pm

As someone who has just past their 10th anniversary in the game, I have offered help and tips to anyone who has asked. So bear that in mind with what follows.

However, I think that it's scientific fact that playing with people who are new to the game is boring - unless they are a mate and we're also drinking / joking about.

Yes - it may help them see what's possible and that there's a lot of skill involved, but for me any game with people who are new to the game is purely for their benefit.

This is the trouble with trying to set up a scene. As we did in plenty of places in Oxford. The few good players have to battle against people who lose interest or just aren't very good. You can't join in yourself because you either play a proper game and destroy them, or you play a "fun" game that isn't actually any fun for you.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Oatsey » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:23 pm

There is of course a huge amount of truth in what El Cap has to say (amazingly :D ).

To some degree this can be seen by the decline in top players attending the Crown after we developed a lot of new players.
For quite awhile we all played together doing rotation of partners , pro am and loads of other stuff to not just trash people but
in the end the top players want to play top players and stretch themselves more. Hence why a novice night and a pro night may work well at the crown we will see.

The old TS days had the right formula which was basically:

1. Get loads of tables in venues (over 100 in Bristol alone at least) and reasonable quality tables
2. Hire a van load of american pros and some great UK players ( :) to then tour those locations and promote the game showing the locals how to play and making them want to do better next time they turned up! But dont visit too often !
3. Hold a few national events so it established credibility as more than just a pub game albeit not a sport and so well worth playing/ cool to do so. Also giving those who want to the channel for competing and taking it "seriously" if they want to. Most did not.


The black lion in Bristol on its own had at least 30 pretty good players with the table in use all night every night at one point
but hardley any actually went to an event not in bristol. But blimey they all had a great time playing and loved it.

Somehow we need to recreate this.

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