Disillusioned with table football

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robmoss2k
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by robmoss2k » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:10 pm

Evertonian wrote:This is by no means an exhausted list.
I'm sure I saw it yawning.

Anyway. When I got my place at Oxford, the first thing I did was find out whether or not there was a table football team at Jesus College, at the age of 18 I was mad keen. There was, and we were in the bottom division of the Oxford college league. I was terrible despite my keenness, and when I went to the university team trials after having played pretty much every night for four months, I was that bad that I managed to lose a forward shoot-out (tie-breaker for the last place on the team) against someone whose name I forget, they were a defender and I think our first to 5 ended after about 20 minutes, I managed to scrape a 5-4 defeat, and I was lucky to get that (I'm sure El Cap remembers that one). And yet I was still convinced I was the best player on earth and I'd just been unlucky, I kept playing every night against the rest of the team and my enthusiasm for the game seemed to be infectious - whereas before we had a couple of players who were okay in division 3A, we ended up with a team that managed to get into the top division. We didn't mind playing against each other because we all managed to get our fair share of wins, and even the people who never played saw us down at the far end of the college bar and would occasionally come and try their luck - and we ended up with about another four players that way.

Then I left university on the back of going to three or four tournaments while I was there and I was still keen to play all the time, after spending about 15 hours a week playing whilst I was at university. And... nothing. I was back up in Bolton, I didn't know Ant was just down the road in Riley's, I didn't know about the Manchester scene, and tournaments were all I had. Then a year or so later I started going to the Rainbow every week, then we moved to the Hard Rock Casino, and it was all gravy. After about 6 months I'd ended up going only when Rob did, which was two or three times a month. After a year or so of that I just stopped going regularly and showed up about once every other month. A couple of years later and I stopped entirely. And yet I still attend the majority of tournaments.

So why have I stopped playing locally? Is it because the locals don't encourage me to come along? Certainly not, that's preposterous. Is it because I've lost interest in the game? Again, certainly not, I still love playing. No, the reason I've stopped playing locally is simple: I don't enjoy playing locally as much as I enjoy tournaments. When you go to a tournament you make a weekend of it, most of the friends you've picked up from playing the game for 8 years are there, you go out on Friday and Saturday and have a great time, you get a shot at winning a bit of money and/or a trophy, you know you'll get a couple of epic close-fought battles along the way. It's just great fun. And - and this is by no way a bad reflection on the local guys here - that's just not something it's possible to get with a local scene of about 10 players. You'll play the same people 5 or 6 times over the course of the night and you end up playing for the sake of playing, and you can't have a pint as you have to drive home. And when it's the game you're addicted to, as Joe said, you will make that sacrifice unconditionally.

For an awful lot of players, it's not the game we find addictive. And if you're trying to set up a local scene, that's a battle you just can't win if you intend to retain players. The only solution I can see is if there's as many table football tables as there are pool tables, you get a few thousand people who play every now and then, and you end up with a similar scene locally to the one we have nationally. Achieving that level of traction requires someone with money to invest in the game as well as time.
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Martyn
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Martyn » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:35 pm

Good post Rob.

Just to add something from first hand experience, we at the Bush (and just don't take my word for it) used to be incredibly noob friendly. We couldn't have been more encouraging, giving strangers more table time than most, sometimes paying for them more than we needed to and generally making sure they had a great night.

And they did.

And they came back...............for a week......maybe two....and then they didn't.

At the same time, the London boys played winner stays on, and we were told by a few travelling players that they much preferred coming to us to get value for money, ironically as they got better, the London scene became their choice for tougher games (winner stays on) which we rarely if ever played. We always preferred dyp's with world cup groups, so as to make everyone have the same number of games, for fairness.

Over the 7 years or so, we tried quite a few things and of course had success keeping one or two players, but generally we just could not keep them coming.

Back in the day we really didn't have to try hard to get new players, but nowadays it seems there are so many other things to do.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Teeb » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:08 pm

Harry Cummings wrote a guide to setting up a new society back during the golden years of warwickfoos. We put in many man hours discussing and debating the best way of running a weekly club that was both n00b friendly and suitable for the better players. If anybody is interested in setting up a new society rather than whinging about how table football hasn't been tailored to suit their individual needs exactly then Harry is the person to talk to. 1/5 of the top 100 on the garlando ranking list are current or ex-warwick players and I believe this is because warwick had the most n00b friendly set up at all locations in the UK. The bush run a close 2nd :p

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by tom_k » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:35 pm

Could this guide make it on to the discover site maybe?

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Jonathan may » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:42 am

I'm not sure the mythical guide exists.

I did ask for it a while ago and I can't remember Harry's response but if it had been positive the guide would have found it onto the discover site already. By all means someone ask him again though. There are also some great posts from Dan Gallon and Neil Morrison on setting up societies on Britfoos somewhere, possibly amongst others.

The simple fact is that there ARE many many tables out there, they are just in Bloop condition and we don't know where they are so we can't do anything about it. The single biggest and most important action to be taken with respect to "generating venues" would be to build relationships with large operators, get them to trust the BFA, persuade them to release their venue lists, persuade them to maintain and eventually replace their tables.

Most of the big operators don't make much money on or care about their foosball tables, because they require more care and attention than a stupid (but highly profitable) quiz machine.

Any volunteers?
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by The Doctor » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:51 am

I think the BFA needs to start operating tables.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by davez » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:31 am

The Doctor wrote:I think the BFA needs to start operating tables.
:idea:
Apostrophes never make plurals.Incorrect:Table's,Garlando's,DVD's,1900's.Correct:Tables,Garlandos,DVDs,1900s.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Boris » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:25 pm

We have been offered a stall at ATEi next January at low cost, if we can get at least 2x people each day (Tues Wed Thu) to staff it FOC. I have made contacts over the years with a number of major operators, but so far there has been little interest from any but the small and medium-sized. The big operators only provide tables because their customers want them, foosball is not as profitable as bandits, jukeboxes, quiz machines or pool tables.

Some years ago I thought the BFA should issue a code of best practice to which operators could sign up and get BFA approval for doing so. This would set minimum standards for table maintenance, number of balls per game etc. It could also include notification of new and dead venues, and a page listing operators who have signed up to the code.

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Mase
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Mase » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:51 pm

Why would we go to the ATEi when 80% of last years exhibitors including all Foos manufacturers are boycotting it in favour of the EAG? ATEi is outdated and has become a casino and gambling exhibition increasingly over the last 4 years (check the number of stalls and sq footage used).

Madness!!

EAG is a good idea.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by AK47 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:08 pm

Happyham wrote: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.
Fair enough Joe, my apologies for the tirade. Now that I've re-read your post with the above in mind it all makes sense.
davez wrote:
The Doctor wrote:I think the BFA needs to start operating tables.
:idea:
This. Would be happy to help with the maintenance needs and any admin duties within the Greater Manchester area.
robmoss2k wrote:Then I left university on the back of going to three or four tournaments while I was there and I was still keen to play all the time, after spending about 15 hours a week playing whilst I was at university. And... nothing. I was back up in Bolton, I didn't know Ant was just down the road in Riley's, I didn't know about the Manchester scene, and tournaments were all I had. Then a year or so later I started going to the Rainbow every week, then we moved to the Hard Rock Casino, and it was all gravy. After about 6 months I'd ended up going only when Rob did, which was two or three times a month. After a year or so of that I just stopped going regularly and showed up about once every other month. A couple of years later and I stopped entirely. And yet I still attend the majority of tournaments.

So why have I stopped playing locally? Is it because the locals don't encourage me to come along? Certainly not, that's preposterous. Is it because I've lost interest in the game? Again, certainly not, I still love playing. No, the reason I've stopped playing locally is simple: I don't enjoy playing locally as much as I enjoy tournaments. When you go to a tournament you make a weekend of it, most of the friends you've picked up from playing the game for 8 years are there, you go out on Friday and Saturday and have a great time, you get a shot at winning a bit of money and/or a trophy, you know you'll get a couple of epic close-fought battles along the way. It's just great fun. And - and this is by no way a bad reflection on the local guys here - that's just not something it's possible to get with a local scene of about 10 players.
And it's a big shame you don't still play locally Rob. I'd happily taxi you to Manchester and back (£1 for first mile, 10p every additional tenth :D ) when I'm playing if you fancy a pint. The offer is always there should you change your mind. You've got my number. I would argue the local game needs more people like you with your enthusiasm and energy. One of my finest memories of TF is playing you and Brice at Bolton in that marathon match with Darren. It was never boring.
Oatsey wrote: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.

... somehow we need to recreate this.
I agree completely, and I think the BFA should be looking in this direction and would assume they already are.
El Capitan wrote: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...

... 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.
Whilst the point is valid (and there are days I really fancy a high-quality match instead of 'being polite') I think this is something with which you'll have to persevere if you want to improve the local scene, hence my original point that we need more 'Chiefs' in every area of the country.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Boris » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:35 pm

Mase wrote:Why would we go to the ATEi when 80% of last years exhibitors including all Foos manufacturers are boycotting it in favour of the EAG? ATEi is outdated and has become a casino and gambling exhibition increasingly over the last 4 years (check the number of stalls and sq footage used).

Madness!!

EAG is a good idea.
I think it is the EAG, rather than ATEi proper, where we might get a stall.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Mase » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:44 pm

They are two different events run by two different companies at the same time in different locations.

You need to check which one.

www.eagexpo.com

then go to floor plan.

Mase

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:27 am

El Capitan wrote:I think that it's scientific fact that playing with people who are new to the game is boring
I think that El Cap is spot on
El Capitan wrote:but for me any game with people who are new to the game is purely for their benefit
I don't mind playing games against newbies, but you have hit the proverbial nail on the head there.

I'm not trying putting down anyones efforts to increase the popularity of the game of course I'm not. I love the game , I'm hooked on it. But ideally I'd like to play against people that are better than me for the challenge, if not then someone of my level, or prehapes lower, but I'm not playing players anywhere near my level and I'm not even pro!

I just feel like the last samurai in a world full of muskets. I try to encourage newbies in Reading and teach them tips etc on how to improve there game but they're not really interest.

I was just curious on how other foosers are feeling around the country.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Cotty » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:26 pm

Come to more tournaments. There are lots of people that beat you at those.

Sounds to me like you want a competitive game to end up at 4-4 in the last game, in a best of 11 championship of the universe match. If the opponents are too tough you don't go, if they are too easy you moan. I'm afraid the foosball population is too small to have the kind of games you require.

Take up another sport/pass time.

Did Matt get out the wrong side of the bed this morning?

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Ben
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:50 pm

I know I under achieve at tournies Matt, I just don't have the ruthless personality that can help, I know that.
Cotty wrote:If the opponents are too tough you don't go
not sure that's true Matt, I've never complained on that score. I've been to more venue than most, when I just started getting hooked on foos , I'd go the bush in bristol and never win a game and still go home happy. When I loose a match in a tournie (which is often) I'm alway gracious in defeat, its a shame not all players are gracious in victory.

To say if opponents are too tough I don't go is a bit harsh. In fact that's totally wrong. I'd love to play against the top players and wouldn't mind if I never won. This was the whole point of my post.
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Cotty » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:30 am

lol yeah your right, sorry dude.

I'm in a better mood today *giggle*.

It's nice to know I still write pointless comments tho!
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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Steviola » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:00 pm

You going to the UKC Ben?

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Happyham » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:28 pm

Cotty wrote:lol yeah your right, sorry dude.

I'm in a better mood today *giggle*.

It's nice to know I still write pointless comments tho!
Cotty - Don't take out your anger on Ben when we all know what the real problem is. . .

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Ben » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:34 pm

Steviola wrote:You going to the UKC Ben?
Nah not this time. I went last year , but the Hawkwell Hotel was a bit of a rip off. I'm not talking about the cost per night which was £55 that's fine and would have expected to pay maybe a tenner more even with a discount. It's just the beer and drinks where a complete rip off. I'm mean £3.50 for a pot of tea, 4 quid for a bee, I think it was about a tenner of burger and chips. I don't mind paying the going rate for things or even a bit more but getting ripped off just narks me. I can't justify getting ripped of twice.

I to hope to go to one of the tourinements this year mind you.

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Re: Disillusioned with table football

Post by Philo » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:14 pm

It was expensive but I dont think it is fair to call it a rip of. As I remember those were hand cut chips and quality burgers! In my opinion the place was just "too posh". The average foo's player being a bit ore more caravan park than luxury hotel. :)
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